Is Rain Barrel Water Safe For Vegetable Gardens?

In the world of keeping your vegetable garden fed with water, it can be challenging to find a source of water that does not cost an arm and a leg. Many people quickly go to create a rain barrel system that catches all the extra water that usually goes to waste on the ground. You may already have such a system in your house, but is it really safe to use for vegetables?

rain barrel water

It is extremely safe to use rain barrel water for your vegetable garden, the water gathered from rain is a lot more nutrient-rich, which will promote rapid growth in your vegetable garden. Many vegetable garden owners what to go off the grid and using rain barrel water for more than just the vegetable garden is always an option.

There are a lot of myths and wrong facts about rain barrels that you need to understand, these are made by people that have either had bad experiences or want to promote their own way of gathering water. Water from rain barrels can be some of the most useful and versatile sources of water you can find, and many people always work towards creating complete systems that eventually replace any government supply.

These are the things you will need to know about rain barrel water and the basics of these systems!

How long does it take to fill a rain barrel?

There are many ways to fill the rain barrel, the chief of which should always be using the rain that falls on your roof to fill it. There are a lot of systems that have been built to fill rain barrels with the water needed to keep them full, with some systems connected to underground water sources as well as the roof.

The speed at which the barrel will fill depends on two things the size of the barrel and the total area that will be gathering up water. Larger barrels can take a lot longer to get filled, even with help from a borehole, but will be able to last a lot longer and be used for household chores as well.

Many people create water collection systems that do not have enough area to actively collect rainwater. However, if the area is large enough and the rain barrel has been connected properly it should only take one mildly large storm for the rain barrel to be filled with water.

What is the longest you can water your garden with a rain barrel?

Many people will question that a rain barrel is not worth getting because they have seen systems that could not water a garden for more than a day. Other people will tell stories of their rainwater systems easily collecting water for only a few hours and providing more water than they know what to do with.

Your rain barrel needs to be scaled to the garden you will be using, with a smaller garden a 55-gallon tank easily lasting for most of the year, while larger gardens require much more complex systems. Some of the best stories of rain barrels working are when the owners know how much water they use regularly.

The best rain barrel systems will never run out of water, being filled entirely during the rainy season, and only getting close to empty near the end of the dry season. After all, if a system has been built properly, even a small rain that only lasts for an hour should be enough to easily refill it.

Why do people prefer to use rainwater?

There are many vegetable garden owners that will up and down the street that there is no better source of water than rain barrel water. These are the people that have usually seen rapid growth in their gardens after switching to this natural source of water. It can be confusing knowing why they would prefer this water if so many people are actively spreading fear about acid rain.

Rain barrels have the best parts of rain all in one, as the water sits in the barrel most of the impurities that can cause acid rain settles to the bottom. When you use the water in your garden you are using clean, fresh water with only the nutrients the plants need to grow properly.

It is for this reason that even if the roof you are collecting the water from is a bit dusty, you can still drink the water if it is absolutely needed. This water is nutrient-rich and can almost never be replaced by simple water from the tap.

What are the things needed to ensure the water does not turn bad?

There are three things that you will need to have in place to ensure the water never turns bad or into a mold and algae infested problem. These are the things you should consider while building the initial framework of the system, and they should never be ignored in favor of building with more ease.

  • Sealed System: The system needs to be entirely sealed when you are not working on it, ensuring that the only things that can enter the tanks are water and air to relieve pressure. Many people forget that you need to keep it entirely sealed and that even a slow leak can cause unwanted contamination. Once mold and algae start growing inside the tank it can be extremely difficult to remove.
  • No Sunlight: It might not always be possible but the barrel you are using should receive as little as possible sunlight each day. This keeps the water inside from heating up, but also stops the growth of any and all unwanted bacteria from easily and comfortably growing inside the barrel. Many times, people are unaware that just the presence of the sun can cause much unwanted bacterial growth in water systems.
  • Filtered Intake: It is a more controversial addition to the world of rain barrels but adding in small filters before the initial intakes can help to stop a lot of unwanted large debris from entering your system. Some of the best systems will have weir systems that capture any unwanted leaves or seeds before they get the chance of getting lodged inside your water barrel system

Where else can you use rainwater?

You might be wondering what the full use case is for having larger than life rain barrels on your property, usually taking up so much space you are considering buying a few more acres just to live comfortably. The uses for rainwater are almost endless and with the proper care can eventually start replacing the municipal water you get entirely.

Cleaned and filtered rainwater can be used for normal tap water, pool water, cleaning water, any type of water that you may be used in your home. There is no end to the uses of this water and once you start using rain barrel water you will find yourself not needing much water from other sources unless it has been a particularly bad weather day.

It is for this reason that many vegetable garden owners eventually stop using water from the municipality, as the water they collect from rain has become the only source of water they will ever need.

What rooves are best to collect water from?

The world is filled with every type of roof you can imagine, with many types of rooves not always being the best to handle a rainwater collection system. A thatched roof will never work as well as other rooves, while smaller rooves can never collect as much as larger rooves.

It is always best to use tiled or corrugated rooves to collect rainwater, this is because these rooves have no extra contamination and already have full systems that collect the water to specific points on the roof. This allows you to simply connect your new rainwater collection system into them, diverting the water away from the ground and into your rain barrel.

If you ever wonder why most vegetable garden owners are building smaller houses to have their rain barrels in them, this is the reason. If you have a large house it can be easier and more cost-effective to build a small house that is used to collect the water than anything else.

Conclusion

Rain barrels are some of the most effective ways of collecting water and reusing it to keep your garden looking good and continually growing. If you are ever wondering how to make your monthly spending a lot less, this would be the way to go, knowing that the water is completely safe to use for most household activities.

Just be that you aren’t drinking water from the bottom of the tank, there might be a few things floating there you won’t want.

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