Rain Barrels are Back…and Available for Purchase

Remember the gigantic rain barrel that the “Petticoat Junction” girls splashed around in?

No need to tax your memory (what’s left of it!) because you’ll soon have the opportunity to have a rain barrel of your very own. Chicago’s Water Reclamation District is now selling rain barrels for individual household use.

OK, so they aren’t even kind of big enough to swim in, but they are a great way to conserve and re-use rain water for your lawn and plantings. This is great news for the environment!

Did you know that during the summer months, some of us use as much as 40 percent of our household water on landscaping? The collected rainwater is perfect for watering gardens because it is naturally soft and devoid of minerals and chemicals. So, re-using collected water can have a significant impact on your water bill, is great for the plants, and reduces the strain on our sewer system. It’s a win-win-win opportunity!

The 55-gallon barrels are made of blue or black recycled plastic and cost $40 each. They are relatively simple to attach to an existing downspout and can be ordered online at www.mwrd.org. You can pick it up at your choice of three Chicago-area locations:

• North Side Plant, 3500 W. Howard, Skokie
Tuesday 4 to 7p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

• Stickney Plant, 6001 W. Pershing, Cicero
Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

• Calumet Plant, 400 East 130th St., Chicago
Thursday 4 to 7 p.m.

 

If you give the rain barrel a try (or already use one), we would love to hear about your experience. Please send us an e-mail at [email protected]