Thursday, June 5, 2014

Merv's marvellous rain catchment system

It's been very rainy here for the past several days, which is wonderful because everything was getting thirsty. My rain barrels were empty, but now they're overflowing.

And so, I suspect, are my dad's. He's come up with a rain catchment system that is pretty cool, and he's given me permission to share his homemade, practical solution that probably costs half of what most rain barrels cost. I wish I'd thought of it before we spent $65 per barrel all those years ago...

Rain is a resource that is too often taken for granted in our western world. The invention of indoor and outdoor plumbing means that North Americans spend a lot of money pouring treated water on our lawns and gardens in dryer times, and water that goes through our water treatment facilities can't have nearly the nutrients that rain water carries! I hate sprinkling city water on my garden because I suspect its chemical treatment actually stunts plants' growth. One of these years, I'm going to do an experiment with two identical plants, one watered with tap water and one with rain water, just to see what happens...

The thing is, we could easily save rainy day resources with a little thought and ingenuity, as my dad has. Basically, he's converted a couple of big plastic garbage cans into rain barrels. By adjusting the length of his downspout, cutting a hole in each dome-shaped lid and turning it upside down during rainstorms, he ensures that the water is funneled from his rain spouts into two barrels.

He's also prevented mosquitoes from populating his water reserves with larvae by stapling a piece of screen over the holes. When my mom wants to water her plants, she just removes the lid and plunges her watering can into the barrel rather than having to wait for the water to trickle out of a spout at the bottom, saving time.








Though this wouldn't work with a drip irrigation system without adding some sort of tap valve, it serves the needs of their yard, which is full of planters that require regular watering...


So there you have it. A practical, less expensive way to keep the best water there is for any plants growing... Credit and royalties for this simple idea go to Merv! Right, Dad?

1 comment:

  1. That is fantastic!! I like how much lower the tops of the bins would be compared to a rain barrel, making it easier to scoop out the water too. You have to share this with the MC group!

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