Water Conservation on Rainy Days

It’s the start of several rainy days, beginning tonight.  I always watch the weather reports for rain, because that will signal me to turn off my front yard sprinkler system until the rain has subsided. My back yard does not have a sprinkler system – I still water by hand. My patio is also in the back of the house. Over the years I’ve noticed that my patio always floods when it rains.

TIP: To prevent flooding into my home,  I purchased 4 large plastic trash cans, about the size of the garbage, green waste, and recyclables cans provided by my city. I place 2 open cans in front of my patio door, and the rain water collects perfectly. I could probably install rain gutters, but I think this is a low-cost alternative. I check the cans periodically for any cracks or other damage to ensure good water-storing capacity. I place lids on the cans until all of the water is used up – this way, I reduce the probability of mosquito infestation and West Nile virus.

I use the water for my backyard garden and it lasts for at least a few waterings. The other 2 trash cans are backups in case the first 2 are filled up. In that case, and I’ve done this a few times at night (!), I get a small pail and scoop out the water from the full cans and into the empty cans. On a few occasions, I’ve had 4 nearly-full cans of rain water. Now that’s water (and dollar) savings. Wow!

Please don’t think about trying to lift or wheel a large, water-filled plastic trash can from one location to another. Not only is it heavy, and you may end up injuring yourself, but you could also place unnecessary stress on the can, and may end up damaging it and losing some, if not all, of the rain water as a consequence.

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2 Responses

  1. Smart idea! Half of the strip of gutter along the front edge of my carport was ripped off in hurricanes a few years ago and I am embarrased to say I haven’t replaced yet. I will stick a bucket under where mine pours out and collect for watering my front porch plants. I also have a plastic pitcher sitting under an area where it pours down off my roof that I leave in place to collect anything that comes down also for my plantings in front. It is an amazing system cause then I have pourable water available and it sure makes it easy. My pitcher is clear color so it isn’t all that noticable and I keep it tucked up under some shrubbery!!!

  2. Two of my cans are completely full! It’s such a low-tech solution – I love it, and so do my plants! Have a nice holiday!

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