The Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District is hosting a rain barrel workshop at 6:30 p.m. on June 6.
We will be meeting at the Village of Galena Municipal Building, 109 Harrison St. The workshop fee is $85 per family, and each family will take home one rain barrel. Galena, Sunbury, Shawnee Hills and Powell are offering a discount to a limited number of their respective residents (first come, first serve) at $65 per family. The rain barrels come in charcoal or black, are made from recycled plastic, hold 50 gallons, and include all parts needed to make a complete rain harvesting system.
Why install a rain barrel? Here are several household and community benefits from this old idea that has come around again.
• Save money. Rain barrels capture water from a roof and hold it for later use — free water that you can use for your flower pots, vegetable gardens and flower beds! According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, garden and lawn irrigation accounts for 40 percent of residential water use during the summer.
• Reduce pollution and erosion. By intercepting roof water, less water is running off the surface and into the storm sewer or road ditch. Surface runoff collects a whole host of pollutants on its journey — fertilizers, lawn chemicals, animal waste, motor vehicle fluids such as oil and antifreeze, and bare soil. Storm sewers and road ditches deliver their water, along with the accumulated pollutants, into the nearest stream or river.
• Better plant health. Tap water can contain inorganic ions and fluoride compounds that accumulate in the soil over time and potentially harm plant roots and microorganisms in the soil. Rainwater does not contain such additives and is better for your plants because it cleans the soil of salt build up, promoting an environment conducive to root development.
• Water conservation. With Ohio’s unpredictable summers, periods of mild drought are possible so having water stored in your rain barrel can help. For those like me who depend on a well and have lived through a power outage lasting a few days, the stored water can help keep your landscaping plants alive until power is restored.
We all know that water is a precious resource. Even though approximately 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of the world’s water supply is considered freshwater and much of that freshwater is tied up in glaciers and ice caps. This leaves less than one percent for use by humans for drinking, bathing, or other household uses. To learn more about the rain barrel workshop, visit www.delawareswcd.org to download a flyer/reservation form, which includes details about the limited number of discounted rain barrels available for Galena, Sunbury, Shawnee Hills and Powell residents.
In addition to the rain barrel workshop, we will be offering a variety of conservation programs and events throughout the summer and fall. You can find us at our website, on Facebook and on Instagram. Check out our “What is it Wednesdays” on Facebook. We are here helping you help the land.
Bonnie Dailey is deputy director of the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. For information, go to www.delawareswcd.org.