Rain barrels in the house
Bringing outside water saving technology inside
Most of us understand the principle behind rain barrels. They collect free rain water to be used later in multiple non-potable situations conserving both our water supply and money. One concern I have with rain barrels is only collecting water during times of rain. When the dry season comes to Sarasota County, they stay empty. My solution is using rain barrels (buckets) in the house.
Each morning, I use what I deem my “inside” rain barrel to collect water. My bathroom is on the opposite side of the house from my water heater in the garage. It normally takes a while to turn hot. So, instead of letting the water run down the drain, I place my handheld shower head in a cat litter bucket outside of the shower. I then let it run until turning hot. Any bucket with a sturdy handle can be used. I like the cat litter container because it has a lid which prevents splashing during filling and prevents spills when walking through the house.
On average, you can collect a gallon or more this way each day, depending on time of year. The weight from one day’s water is around eight pounds, give or take. That is easily carried to water outside container plants, help fill one of my four rain barrels outside, or even add to the swimming pool. It may not seem like a lot, but one person can save 365 gallons a year, and that waters quite a few plants.
If you want to save even more water, read the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Saving Water Indoors brochure and incorporate some of the suggestions into your daily routine because saving water is all of our responsibility.
Learn more about rain barrels at our web page, http://rebrand.ly/ufsarasotaext_rainbarrels, or sign up for one of our workshops, http://rebrand.ly/ufsarasotaext_rainbarrelworkshop.