Rain Barrel/Water Conservation Workshop
Save water from a rainy day: Free rain sensors and instructions on how to construct a rain barrel.
On June 19th, 2009 HSWCD held a rain barrel/water conservation workshop.
The Highlands County Extension Office – Master Gardeners and the Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District
all teamed up to put on a rainy workshop. Attendees to this workshop learned how to make a rain barrel,
ways to keep the costs down regarding irrigation, and found new ways to conserve water around the home,
and they received a free rain sensor.
Dee Dee Jacobson presented ways to save money on irrigation costs by simple steps
than can be applied at home. Corine Burgess demonstrated ways to conserve water
around the house both inside and outside.
Ed Ayen, Master Gardener, demonstrated how to construct a rain barrel.
Those who signed up constructed their own rain barrels on site and took them home.
We all know that when it rains, it pours; and with a rain barrel, all that rainwater can be saved. Saving your rain water is important because residential irrigation can account for about 40% of residential water use. By collecting rain water and storing it in a rain barrel you'll have water for future use, whether it's for watering the garden or just keeping it handy for emergency situations.
With rain water being one of the most abundant and available natural resources, the collection of it is an efficient way to cut down the cost of water usage in the household and help alleviate the burden of water shortages. Strategic placement of a rain barrel underneath the gutters of your home can provide a barrel full of rain water in a downpour, which in turn can be used in practical ways such as watering your flowers and garden or even washing your car. By saving rain water you will significantly reduce the amount of water your previously used from your garden hose. Also rain water is a more pure and fresh source of water for your plants.
So, we’ve established that it is good to save rain water with a rain barrel. But how about saving irrigation water because it is raining? Rain sensors are designed to determine if enough rainfall has occurred in order to skip an irrigation cycle. This keeps your system from over watering your lawn. The electrical connection between the sensor and your sprinkler system controller is interrupted when a certain amount of rain triggers the device. The sensor breaks the electrical connection so that electricity cannot flow to either the sprinkler valves or to a pump start.
Rain sensors can benefit you, the homeowner, in many ways. They save you money. Whether you pay for city water or spend electricity running a pump, the money you save over time will more than pay for the rain sensor. They also extend sprinkler system life span. Irrigation systems are made up of moving parts. If the system parts are utilized less frequently (during the rainy season), they last longer. They will also protect water resources. By limiting the over use of your sprinkler system, rain sensors reduce excess water run-off that carries fertilizers and pest control chemicals into our shared water supply.