When we met with my builder months back, we gave her a list of “musts.” You know, we must have an open kitchen layout, must have 2 baths, etc. One thing on my list that made her giggle was that we must have a rain barrel (what? it’s not on everyone’s important list?).
My grandfather was a big propenent of catching rain and reusing it (although his rain reuse was to make wretched wine that most of us avoided each time he offered it). My mom always tells me that rainwater is better for plants than tapwater. With all of this family advice, it’s no surprise that I’ve been wishing for a rain barrel system for awhile now, but I’m concerned about mosquitos. I can’t think of anything worse than setting up a mosquito breeding ground on a new patio. So I’ve done some research and found that a barrel with a direct connection from the gutter works pretty well to avoid the problem. They also make tablets that you can put in the rain barrel to kill the pests (but I’m not crazy about this idea…what else does it kill?).
I’ve also wondered just how you get the rain from the barrel to use it. I have friends who just have an old whiskey barrel in their yard that fills with water, and they don’t really know what to do with it. In some of the hippy catalogs that come unsolicited to my house, a hose is just attached to the bottom of the barrels. This doesn’t seem like it would be all that effective. In comes the RainPerfect barrel–a catcher with a solar-powered pump system. Not only can you water your plants with a real stream, you could even wash your car with this hose. It’s definitely worth pricing!
image from Jetson Green