Our elderly neighbors, the Shumakers, decided to move out of their single family home to assisted living and asked me if I would like to adopt their rain barrel. I'd admired it for years, thinking that it was a very clever and eco-friendly way to capture rain water for reuse.
Everyone in my development relies on well water. So, if I am using my well water to water plants and flowers, I am impacting everyone's future water availability from the same water table. The Shumakers positioned their rain barrel directly under their spouting. I was going to ask our handyman Harold (aka Tom) to saw off our drain pipe to fit the barrel until we got our first hard rain. Since we positioned it under the eaves of the house, water trickled off the roof and the gutter, keeping my rain barrel filled all summer long.
For the last two months, I haven't had to use the hose to water any flowers or plants outside. I've been using strictly rain water. There is a little spigot near the bottom of the barrel where you can hook up a hose, but most of the time, I just dip my watering can down in to fill it. My flowers certainly look lush and lovely.
While Eastern Pennsylvania doesn't have the water shortage issues that the West Coast has, I still want to be responsible about my water use because it's the right thing to do. Trickle-down systems can actually work and make you feel good about your choices. Just not economic trickle-down systems. Maybe Tom Selleck should invest in a few good rain barrels.