The Wrack

 blog of the wells reserve at laudholm

Rain barrels catch and conserve water

June 10, 2010 By Scott Richardson Filed under Article Tags: stormwaterwatermark

rain barrel system testRainwater harvesting can reduce flooding and erosion issues, as well as surface-water contamination, by slowing down and decreasing the volume of stormwater runoff. One way to harvest rainwater is by using a catchment technique such as rain barrels.

Rain barrels are often set up to collect rain running off a roof into a gutter and downspout. A typical barrel holds 60 gallons and is fitted with a valve for filling a watering can, feeding a drip irrigation system, or serving as part of a rain garden system.

In June, the Wells Reserve and SD Analysis hosted the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association workshop and accreditation course. As part of the course, participants installed a rain barrel at the Alheim Commons, using runoff from the bike shed to fill a barrel in the community garden.

The Wells Reserve sponsors a program that subsidizes the production and installation of rain barrels. Field observations of the installed systems will be used to improve the effectiveness of local rainwater catchment systems.

Cindy Dabrowski-Kennie and Tim Spahr contributed to this article.

[Watermark 27(1): Spring 2010]

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