Every year on May 1, we mark the anniversary of a natural disaster that devastated Nashville, mourned 11 lives lost, saw $2 billion in damage, and ultimately brought our community closer together. Out of the rain that fell that day – 13.5 inches in 36 hours – was born a greater resiliency, an engaged citizenry and stronger social cohesion.
… Save precious water
… Reduce stormwater runoff
… Mitigate flooding and drought
… Reduce pollution to local streams and rivers
… Save money on your water bill
Can you believe all of these benefits begin with just one barrel? Socket will show you how!
Rain barrels are a simple, inexpensive, yet effective piece of green infrastructure that you can easily add to your home. A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams. They come in a few shapes and sizes, but all of them save you money and help protect your health and the health of the environment.
Here in Nashville, we experience both floods and drought. Rain barrels can help mitigate both. During a flood event, the ground becomes saturated with water and waterways are overwhelmed. By capturing some of the rainfall, rain barrels slow down the rate at which water must be absorbed by the environment. During dry times, your rain barrel will collect valuable rainfall to be used to quench thirsty plants around your home.
Rain barrels are also good at preventing water pollution by capturing stormwater. Socket did some research, and found an EPA blog, which states: “As stormwater flows over the surface of your property, driveways, parking lots, roofs, etc, it picks up lots of sediments, such as animal droppings, tire residue, motor oil, brake dust, deicing compounds (in the winter), fertilizers, pesticides, trash, heavy metals and other pollutants and carries them to the nearest storm drain. … From there it often goes directly into nearby streams, ponds or another water body.” (https://blog.epa.gov/blog/tag/rain-barrels/) Rain barrels can help!
Photo: waterway littered with garbage
Finally, who doesn’t want to save on their water bill and treat their outdoor plants to a treat? Socket does! Rainwater that collects in your rain barrel is free of chlorine, is slightly acidic (just the way plants like it), and contains nitrates, an important maco-nutrient for plants. Your plants will appreciate a drink of rainwater over water from the hose. Meantime, you’ll be reducing your costs for water by using what falls from the sky!
With all of these positives, why not resolve to install at least one rain barrel at your house this spring? It’s easy and inexpensive!
Ready to take the plunge?
Socket found a deal for you. You can buy a fully built rain barrel from Nashville nonprofit Cumberland River Compact for only $40. For installation and maintenance tips, Metro Water Services has you covered. Visit their website for easy steps for installing and maintaining your new rain barrels!
Want to learn more?
Check out this EPA video for a primer on rain barrels.