A rain barrel is a system used by a homeowner to collect and store rainwater from the roof of a home. The water harvested is soft, fresh water that can be used for a variety of purposes, including lawn and garden watering, topping off pools, and washing cars. Water from home faucets is treated to a level allowing it to be safe to drink, while natural rain water has the pH level ideal for water and plant growth. Rain water harvesting helps to divert rain from storm drains, decrease the impact of runoff to streams, and minimize sewer overflows during heavy rainfalls. Rain barrels allow homeowners to collect and store rainwater to be used at a later time. In doing so, homeowners use less water from the faucet, conserving both water and energy in the home as well as the energy needed for water facilities to treat the water that would have been consumed. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40% of domestic water usage during peak summer months. Rain barrels save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water each summer, reducing the demand for clean water. Rainwater harvesting helps homeowners to reduce their water bills while conserving water and protecting the environment.
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