Tag Archives: Environment

Harvesting the Rain

One of the hobbies GM has been looking forward to exploring once he got a yard of his own is gardening. Last November, he finally got his small slice of green and since this spring he’s been scurrying away trying to make something of it.  But he’s quickly realized that gardens take an awful lot of water. And that deluge started to seriously inflate his water bill. So rather than see his bills get higher and higher, GM decided to do something about it while helping the environment to boot: install a rain barrel.

This weekend GM headed out to Frager’s on Capitol Hill to pick one up. Other stores, like Johnson’s in Tenleytown, sell rain barrels, but the advantage with going to Frager’s is that they only carry rain barrels that have been specifically approved for the DC rebate program. Under this program, the city will pay you back $50 if you buy a rain barrel up to 75 gallons. It will pay you $100 if you buy an even larger one. (Another reason to go to Frager’s? It’s the coolest hardware store in the city.)

GM ended up with the 50 gallon Rain Wizard from Good Ideas:

As you can see from this photo from the company, this barrel is designed to have the downspout pour right into the top of the barrel. Many of the rain barrels you’ll see around are designed this way. This isn’t actually how GM wanted to install it because once the barrel is full it just spills the water out through the over flow hole. This is fine if you have your barrel sitting in a garden bed, but if you don’t want water splashing out around your barrel, you’ll want to get something like this:

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