Build a Barrel or Buy One
Adopting a River Friendly lifestyle is a wonderful way to protect the health of the St. Johns River. Rain barrels are a great way to be river friendly and collect precious natural water. Rain barrels help prevent stormwater runoff that can quickly carry harmful nutrients into storm drains which lead directly to the River and tributaries.
What is a rain barrel?
A rain barrel is a simple way to harvest rainwater by collecting water runoff from your roof. Most rain barrels hold approximately 55 gallons of water.
Where do I put it?
Rain barrels can be used anywhere water flows off your roof. Many houses have gutters and a rain barrel can be attached to the downspout. You can also collect rain off of your roof, even if you don't have gutter. Position the barrel near a valley in your roof where water is directed and flows off the roof.
How can I use the water?
Water collected in rain barrels is devoid of chemicals and treatments including fluoride and chlorine and is therefore better for the lawn or garden. You can attach a garden hose, soaker hose, or use a watering can under the spigot. The water should not be used for drinking.
Why should I use one?
The average person living in the watershed of the St. Johns River uses approximately 140 gallons a day and more than 50% of that water is for outdoor use. An inch of rain produces 625 gallons of water runoff from a 1,000 square-foot roof. You can conserve hundreds of gallons of water with every inch of rain and lower your water bill!
You can purchase a reconditioned food grade 55 gallon drum at many local retailers. We ordered the one used in our video from Duval Container Company for around $23.
Are you river friendly but not necessarily tool friendly? Check out the following links to local stores to purchase assembled rain barrels.
Reflections of Nature - Fernandina
Earth Works Garden Center - Jacksonville
Creative Garden Structures - DeLand
The RainBarrel Depot - You can also order kits and use your own barrel!
Sunshine State Seamless Gutters - sell and install rain barrels
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