Earth Gauge Tip of the Week — Put Rainwater to Work

Reader Contribution by Earth Gauge
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A 1,000 square foot rooftop produces about 600 gallons of runoff during a one-inch rainfall. You can capture that water to use in your home garden with a rain barrel – a large container that collects and stores rainwater from roofs and gutters. By capturing this rooftop water, rain barrels reduce runoff during heavy rains that would otherwise flood storm drains and nearby streams.

Rain barrels:

  • Store rain water run-off from your roof;
  • Prevent erosion from gutter downspouts;
  • Reduce your water bill during dry spells;
  • Irrigate your gardens with minimal effort.

Viewer Tip: Use rainwater collected in rain barrels to water your plants. Rainwater is oxygenated, non-chlorinated, low in minerals and warmer – better for plants and better for the environment. Many home improvement stores and watershed organizations sell rain barrels.

Learn more about using rain barrels with this SOCWA Healthy Lawns and Gardens Program flyer.

Image: There are many ways to control rain water runoff and nutrient pollution at home.

This information is provided by the Cranbrook Institute of Science. Learn more at

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