You can use water collected in rain barrels to water your vegetables, lawn, and flowers while reducing your utility bills. Depending on your house and yard size, you can collect a significant amount of rainfall using your rain barrels. Estimates indicate during a one inch rain event, one downspout delivers 12 gallons of water per minute and that one rain barrel will save 1,300 gallons of water throughout the year. With rising municipal water rates and increasing drought concerns throughout the region, harvesting your own water through rain barrels is becoming more and more important and appealing.
Rain water collection in barrels or other vessels is an ancient and traditional practice. Every time it rains, water gushes from your downspouts across your lawn into local streets picking up pesticides, sediment, and nutrients before flowing into local storm drains. Once in the storm drain system, polluted runoff is carried directly to the Wabash River. Within portions of Greater Lafayette, polluted runoff combines with wastewater and flows untreated into the Wabash River. Installation of a rain barrel can reduce the flow of polluted runoff from your property during the first flush of rain. The more water you retain on site, the less water flows across the land surface resulting in less sediment and nutrient polluted runoff flowing directly into the Wabash River.
Local Rain Barrel Sources:
If you live within the City of Lafayette city limits, contact the Water Pollution Control District for pricing details at 765-807-1800 as reduced rates MAY be available.
City of Lafayette: 55 gallon rain barrels are available for $25 to rate payers (stormwater, drinking water, wastewater) or $50 to non rate payers in blue, gray, black, and terra cotta. Fill out the online order form for barrels and accessories and contact the Wastewater Treatment Plant to confirm that they have your product in stock. Then print your form and take it to the City Clerk’s office (2nd floor at 20 N. 6th Street, Lafayette). Once payment is complete, pick up your rain barrel at the Wastewater Treatment Plant (1700 Wabash Avenue, Lafayette) between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Lowe’s: 50 to 70 gallon rain barrels are available and range in price from $70 to $280 at Lowe’s in Lafayette.
Resources:Rain Barrel Guide
Landscape Architecture: Rain water harvesting