Catch Every Last R.A.I.N. Drop: Rain Barrel Maintenance

In anticipation of potential rains this season (fingers crossed), we want to make sure that you and your rain barrel are ready! If you DON’T have a rain barrel – we highly encourage getting one for your home. They are low-cost systems that help preserve local watersheds by reducing rainwater runoff. The Metropolitan Water District offers rebates to LA homeowners interested in purchasing a rain barrel. If you DO have a rain barrel – here are some tips for maintenance to ensure that it is in good working condition and prepared to do its job when the rain falls.

R: Remove debris from your home’s gutters and downspouts. This will ensure that the flow of water into your rain barrel is steady and clean.

A: Accumulate more rainwater by connecting multiple barrels together.

I: Inspect your rain barrel and spigot for cracks. To avoid mosquitoes, tightly seal all openings with 16-gauge screening. Use collected rainwater first, then empty and store your rain barrel until next fall. This will ensure no leaks, no insects or debris and no problems!

N: Note the cleanliness of your rain barrel. If your rain barrel isn’t too dirty, you can simply flush it out with water. For super dirty barrels, add 2 teaspoons of a biodegradable soap and 2 teaspoons vinegar to the barrel before rinsing. Make sure to clean the gutter, the downspout, the spigot, the sides and the mesh screen.

If you want to keep R.A.I.N. handy, download our tip card here: R.A.I.N. Tip Card

Here are a few other do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when reaping the benefits of your barrel:

o   DO store your rain barrel inside and upside down when not in use

o   DON’T let your rain barrel sit stagnant for long periods in the sun

o   DO drain your rain barrel regularly

o   DON’T drink the water from your rain barrel

o   DO use the water for your garden and/ or lawn

o   DO have fun with your rain barrel by decorating it!

If you keep R.A.I.N. in mind, you and your rain barrel will enjoy many happy seasons to come!

Photo Credit: TreePeople

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Comments (2)

  1. Avatar for LA Stormwater
    Fran Potaski
    November 10th, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Rain barrels are not just for rain, the humidity and high heat created a lot of condensation this summer. I collected enough water from my condenser this summer to keep my drought tolerant plants happy throughout the summer season.

    • Avatar for LA Stormwater
      LA Stormwater
      November 13th, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Great use of your rain barrel, Fran! Thanks so much for sharing!

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