There’s nothing quite like the sound of rain hitting the roof and cleansing the world outside the window. As pleasing as a nice, spring rain can sound, the water it drops can be used later on. Bob Vila explains how to install rain barrels in his radio show, along with some of the advantages of using them.  Rain barrels are a smart addition to your home for many reasons.

Money Savings:  Because you will be using the rain water stored in them, you won’t spend as much on your summer water bills when your plants need the extra moisture to remain happy and healthy. Extra Water:  In case of water outage, you can use the extra water stored in them for toilet flushing or washing dishes. However, it’s not a good idea to use it for drinking or cooking because of the chemicals it may have picked up from your roof. Low Maintenance:  The only things you need to do to care for your barrels are to bring them in during the winter and position them correctly when you first install them.

These simple water collection systems provide free water for you while saving the energy it takes to process and pump water from the utility company.  But before you install your rain barrel, make sure your gutters are in good condition or you'll be losing some of that water you're trying to catch.