Rainwater Harvesting – great products to save money!
A while ago I published an article on rainwater harvesting which elicited many comments from readers. Then I came across a great product and thought I would re-visit the topic.
As you know, rainwater harvesting is simply collecting rainwater as it falls, and then using that water in your garden or to wash a car when it doesn’t rain. It saves you money, because if you use municipal water to water your garden, you have to pay for it (utility bills).
And – best of all – your plants thrive when they get rainwater! For some reason, they always seem to do better with rainwater rather than tap water.
Rainwater harvesting can be as simple as putting a bucket outside – even if you don’t have a garden, you could put a bucket out on your balcony and use it to water your flowers!
Of course a bucket is very practical, but it doesn’t look terribly elegant. I’ve been hunting for an attractive-looking barrel. Up till now, I’ve found lots of barrels, but they all seem to me to be – well, perhaps best described as “utilitarian” or “practical” rather than attractive.
The Algreen 81001 Cascata 65-Gallon Rain Water Collection and Storage System is an exception. It’s tall and elegant, and you can grow small plants in the top to make it look even better.
It’s made of plastic but looks like terracotta. Yes, I know plastic isn’t very eco-friendly, but in this case it’s very practical because it means you can actually lift the barrel, plus it’s guaranteed not to chip, fade or crack. It can withstand the rigours of a Canadian winter too! And there is a percentage of recycled material used in its production. It really looks like a clay urn.
It takes 65 gallons. Many other rainwater harvesting barrels come in 50-gallon sizes, and these fill up surprisingly quickly, so it’s nice to find a larger unit.
And it’s easy to install – all you need is a screwdriver, and it’s ready in minutes!
How does it work?
There is a brass spigot at the front, which you can use to fill watering cans, or attach a hose.
Underneath the urn is a connector with a shut-off valve, with a hose attached, that you can use for watering.
At the back of the unit is an overflow valve, to be used in case of heavy rain if the urn fills up.
You can plant flowers in the top to further improve the appearance of the barrel (add moss or place soil in netting).
There is a 20-year limited warranty on the barrel.
I think the Algreen 81001 Cascata 65-Gallon Rain Water Collection and Storage System is great – but don’t take only my word for it – a customer gives an honest video review of it below. And then check below the video for some more great rainwater products!
The barrel also comes in a different colour. If you live in arid or semi-arid regions, a smaller unit might be more appropriate – again, I’ve managed to find an attractive one. And there’s also a portable unit. And, to save you going to the hardware store for a diverter for your downpipe, you can choose from 2 products here.
Collapsible 60 Gallon Rain Barrel – Stands 28″ High x 24″ Wide -Flexible laminated polyester offers superior strength, durability, and resistance to weatering. Zippered top with mesh screen to keep leaves and debris from entering rain barrel. On/Off valve on bottom to control flow. Overflow valve included at top.UV Ressistant for years. Capture and store rainwater from your gutter or downspout. Weighs less than 7 lbs when empty.
To divert the water from your downpipe safely into your barrel, you might want these accessories: