Don’t Miss Out on Free Water! Add a Rain Barrel!

September 15, 2014 | By Roundtree Landscaping

As fall weather cools and rain makes its way back into the forecast, now is the absolute perfect time to install a rain barrel! Take advantage of all that free garden water by collecting from your roof and gutters. It’s very handy to have a store of extra water on hand during dryer periods or to supplement your veggie garden or container plantings.

Two large rain barrels are hardly noticeable amongst the heat loving ornamental grasses, vines and other water-wise perennials.

Nowadays, there are many new style options available when it comes to choosing a rain barrel. From small, elegant and sleek, to fun and colorful, to extravagant and large. When we add rain barrels to landscapes, we integrate them into the landscape design. We can plant around them or even add an arbor to conceal them.

Did you know? Rain barrels are tax-free!

Decorative wine barrels often make excellent features out in the open landscape.. We’ll help you decide the best place to install them so they are easily accessible to the plants you want to supplement water to the most.

So, how exactly do you calculate what size rain barrel you’ll need, or even how many? There are many factors involved when calculating the volume of water you can collect off of your roof.

  • First, you’ll need to calculate the dimensions of the footprint of your roof and convert them to inches. For example, if your roof is 50’ x 20’, that equals 600” x 240”.
  • Next, we need to calculate the number of cubic inches of water coming from your roof with a given amount of rainfall. Multiply the roof dimension in inches by the number of inches of rainfall (we’ll use 1” of rain). So, 600 x 240 x 1 = 144,000 cubic inches of water.
  • Then, divide the number of cubic inches (in our example, 144,000) by 231 to get the number of gallons of water coming from your roof. (1 gallon = 231 cubic inches). In this example, that number equals 623.38 gallons. WOW…that’s a lot of water from just 1” of rainfall!
  • Now, these numbers will vary depending on what kind of roof you have, the slope, and if you have gutters installed all along your roofline. But it should give you a basic guide when you’re choosing your rain barrels. Many rain barrels come in 55-gal, 75-gal or 100-gal sizes. If you receive 623.38 gallons from 1” of rain that means you’d need 12 50-gal, 9 75-gal or 7 100-gal barrels to capture all of that rainfall. That’s probably a lot more than you thought! Of course, larger containers or cisterns are also a great option.

Even if you only install one or two rain barrels, you can see from the math that you can store up a lot of water for future use. Ready to add a rain barrel and conserve water this fall? Give us a call at (214) 824-7036 or contact us online! In the meantime, find inspiration on incorporating a rain barrel into your garden at Houzz and on Pinterest.


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