Rain barrels offer benefits for gardeners and the environment, and you can make your own this weekend in Providence.

A rain barrel connects to your home’s downspout and collects water when it rains. That water can be stored and used later to water a garden.

By: Tim Studebaker

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The spring season brings warmer weather, green grass, thriving gardens, and of course, an increased need for water.   And, as many southern New Englanders know, outdoor water bans often start popping up year after year during extended stretches of dry weather.  For some homeowners, collecting and storing rain water in a rain barrel might be the right solution.

Jacob Gorke is the Greenway Manager for the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council.  Gorke says, “A good estimate for most people would probably be around 30 gallons of water, and that can last you an entire week.”

A rain barrel attaches to your home’s downspout and collects water that runs off your roof when it rains.  While the water collected is suitable for watering your lawn or flower garden, Gorke cautions against watering vegetable gardens unless you have the right type of roof and you’re sure the water is clean enough.

Gorke says, “If you have any doubt about whether or not the water you’re getting off your roof is good for vegetables, we would definitely recommend getting it tested.”

There’s also an environmental benefit.  Collecting and storing rain water helps take the pressure off of storm water runoff infrastructure, in turn keeping contaminants from getting washed into rivers and other waterways.

Gorke says, “If you can capture that first inch of storm water off your roof, that takes off the load of a lot of the storm water infrastructure that’s out there already.”

The council is holding a rain barrel workshop this weekend at Riverside Park in Providence where you’ll have an opportunity to make your own rain barrel with guidance from experts.

To learn more, visit their website: https://wrwc.org/wp/events/rain-barrel-workshop-2/

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2022

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island