What is rainwater harvesting:
A technique for collecting, storing and using rainwater for landscape irrigation and
other uses. Normally when it rains the rainwater pours off your roof, down your gutters and off into the yard or
down the street. Let’s capture that water! If you have gutters or downspouts on your house, garage or barn,
you have a fantastic system for harvesting soft, clean rainwater!
• There’s money falling from the skies every time it rains!
• It is socially acceptable and environmentally responsible
• It’s a renewable, sustainable resource
• If a city dwelling, it will reduce your water bill
• Improve plant growth as it’s free of pollutants, salts & minerals
• It’s FREE!!
How much rain can I collect:
1” of rain x 1 sq. ft. = .623 gallons… or … 1” of rain from a 1,000 sq. ft. roof will
provide 623 gallons of water. A good rule of thumb is the average 25’ x 40’ roof produces 600 gallons of water
in an hour of moderate rainfall (about 1”)
Why would you invest $75.00-$100.00 on a rain barrel from a retail merchant when you can re-purpose a
55 gallon plastic barrel that you can obtain (free of charge, as long as you’re not “re-selling” them)
from the JCSWMD. All you need to do is purchase a spicot,
drill a hole and you will have a “re-purposed rain barrel”!
You can purchase a spicot from any retail vendor, but I’ve been successful with a plastic ¾” spicot from
Rural King for $2.99. I use a 15/16” wood drill bit and then the spicot TIGHTLY threads into the hole creating
a water tight seal.
Drill a 2nd hole at the top side of the barrel for overflow. Adjust your house guttering to drop directly into the
hole in the top of the barrel (hole is already there), elevate the barrel so you may fit a bucket, watering can
or hose, under the spicot. The higher the elevation - the stronger the flow. Water barrels may be used either
horizontally or vertically.
There are many other uses for the 55 gallon plastic barrels available at no cost (again, only if you are NOT
re-selling them)…. I’ve had local folks use them for: grain storage, dog houses, and growing plants!
I’d like to see how “creative” you’ve been! Take a photo of your “creation” and email it
to firstname.lastname@example.org – perhaps it will get posted on this page!
- Bettie Jacobs, Educator
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Closed on the following HOLIDAYS
George McGinnisCoordinator/Director(260) 729-5071
Bettie JacobsEducation Director(260) 729-5071
5948 W State Road 67Portland, IN 47371Phone: (260) 729-5071
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