One of the best ways to live in concert with the environment is by conserving water, reports News 11 meteorologist James Canterbury, noting that American Rivers has a great way to conserve water and save money at the same time.
"You're getting free water. You're going to be able to reuse it for your planters, for your garden. You can even wash your car with it," says Katie Swartz, a conservation associate with American Rivers who believes catching -- and using -- water in rain barrels is a great way to do the environment -- and yourself -- a favor.
Rain barrels come in many shapes and sizes but the most popular is a 55-gallon version. It sounds like a lot of water, but once the barrel is hooked up to your downspout, it doesn't take much to fill it up.
"If you have an inch of rainfall, that's going to produce 600 gallons on a 1,000-sq.-ft. roof. So it's not going to hold everything; it's just going to hold a little bit but it's enough to reuse later," Swartz says.
Watering your lawn with collected rain water eases the stress on municipal water systems and saves you money on your water bills. It also boosts water quality.
"You're having less water runoff into the sewer systems so you have less oil and gas and other pollutants coming from the streets, driveways, parking lots," Swartz explains.
Last summer, northwest Ohio suffered through a moderate drought. When it did rain, it came in buckets. Having multiple rain barrels would come in very handy in these situations.
"When you have a severe rain event you can catch all that water and use it during that week or the next couple weeks during those dry periods," Swartz says.
Ordering a rain barrel online can be pretty expensive especially with the ever-rising cost of shipping. American Rivers is making them available for a discounted price until Aug. 2.
For more information on rain barrels, visit American Rivers.