Home & Garden Information Center
Managing stormwater runoff is one of the principles for creating an environmentally sound “Carolina Yard”. Stormwater picks up pollutants as it travels over impervious surfaces. These pollutants can then end up in our waterways. A 1” rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof will generate a total of 623 gallons of runoff. A great way to manage this runoff is by harvesting it with rain barrels. Water collected in rain barrels can then be used to water flowerbeds, wash the dog, wash the car or boat, fill the birdbath, irrigate the lawn, and much more.
Rain barrels range in size from 55 to 60 gallons. There are various types of rain barrels available for purchase ranging in price from $50 to $300. Rain barrels can be put together easily and inexpensively. To build your own you will need a 55 to 60-gallon food-grade barrel. Food-grade barrels are often found at local feed supply stores. Use a mixture of 2 teaspoons of castile soap and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar per gallon of water to remove any odors from the barrel. Directions for putting together the rain barrel will vary depending on which type of barrel you use. Detailed directions for designing rain barrels can be found at http://www.clemson.edu/public/carolinaclear.
Here are a few routine things to remember to do to keep your rain barrel working properly.
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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.