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Rain Barrels

By: Kendra Richards
WatersheDuluth Correspondent

Runoff pollution: we hear about it all over, and we know the many different ways we can prevent it but changing the ways we do things and being more careful about using certain things. However, there is something you can do that causes almost no change in lifestyle at all. Set up a rain barrel, and you will be significantly and conveniently protecting local rivers and streams from runoff pollution.

“Rain barrels are a great way to capture runoff from your roof,? according to http://www.duluthstreams.org/citizen/rainbarrel.html.? Water captured in barrels is a free source of water for watering gardens and lawns, with the added advantage of helping the environment.?

And you wouldn't be only helping the environment. According the the Web site, rain water is actually best for your lawn.

“Rain water is softer than tap water; it has no chlorine, lime, or calcium,? said the Web site. “It has less sediment and dissolved salts and is warmer than tap water. It is excellent (some say better) for watering plants and for window or car washing.?

Why is this important?

“Runoff from impervious surfaces adds up,? said the Web site. “Too much water in the streams erodes their channels and destroys habitat. Excess runoff from yards and gardens can cause erosion problems and can wash things like lawn fertilizer into the stream causing nutrient overloads.?

If you are interested in purchasing a rain barrel, visit the Web site for more information. Rain barrels can be purchased from many gardem catalogs, and you can also make your own.

“If you attach a soaker hose to your rain barrel you can trickle water locations under the eaves or shaded by trees or a garage,? said the Web site. “This allows gardens to grow in these locations and saves ever having to use a sprinkler.?

The site has many other links and resources for buying and making rain barrels.