Tag Archives: rain barrel

Tips for Keeping a Lid on Water Usage


Alyse Ford, Mira Mesa

Every bit counts, and Alyse Ford reminds herself of that every time she bathes or cleans the kitchen. While some conservation-minded water users invest in drought-resistant landscaping, graywater systems and efficient irrigation, others like Ford take a low-tech approach.

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“I lived in Sonoma County during the big drought of the ’70s,” when water conservation became a mantra, Ford wrote. “They also said, ‘Shower with a friend.’ … Remember, this was the ’70s!”

She became convinced that simple changes in habit could make a big difference.

“I took all that to heart and started these practices, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” said Ford, 62. “I’m kind of fanatical about it.”

She takes short, military-style showers and keeps a bucket on hand to capture flows as the water warms up, then hauls that out to her plants. Forgoing a dishwasher, she cleans dishes in buckets in the sink and saves that water for the landscaping as well.

“I try not to have any water run down the drain,” she said.

Ford hopes to install a graywater line soon. In the meantime, she irrigates with rainwater captured in a 50-gallon barrel and several large trash bins.

“I think a lot of it just comes down to awareness and not wanting to waste (water),” Ford said.

Read more at: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/Feb/05/tp-keeping-a-tight-lid-on-water-usage/?#article-copy

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San Diegans Get Reimbursed for Your Rain Barrels

Investing in a rain barrel in San Diego may seem like an exercise in wishful thinking, but the city Storm Water Department is so sure it’s a good deal that it will help pay for it.

The department will reimburse 50 cents per gallon of rain barrel storage to residents who install the vessels at their homes, for a total rebate of up to $200.

The barrels connect to a home’s gutter spout and capture water flowing from the roof to irrigate yards and gardens. Rainwater harvesting is a technique dating to the Greek and Roman empires, where sophisticated collection systems captured rainwater for domestic and agricultural use.

In San Diego, rainwater collection can help preserve potable water for indoor use, officials say.

“Over 60 percent of S.D. water is used to water landscape, turf and other plants,” said Maureen Hall, a water conservation analyst for the Public Utilities Department. “Whatever small percentage we can save per person, per residence, is going to add up to a good amount of savings for San Diego. That’s more water for us to use for drinking, for bathing, for cooking.”

Collecting the water before it spills down streets and sewers also helps prevent stormwater pollution, Hall said.

Although the San Diego region only gets about 10 inches of rain per year, a 1,000-square-foot roof collects 625 gallons for every inch of rainfall.

A typical rain barrel holds 50 to 200 gallons, and easily fills up in a single storm, Hall said. Even the condensation from foggy nights and dewy mornings can top off a barrel, she said. Her own rain barrel collected enough precipitation to water her rose garden all summer, she added.

The rain barrel rebate, introduced early this year, has paid $6,285 in rebates to help install 115 barrels at 57 homes.

For information, call (619) 533-4126 or visit utsandiego.com/rainwater.

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only