As a recent and first time home owner, I was amazed by the list of items picked up during the initial home inspection. Given that our 100-year old home has an unfinished limestone basement, we were advised that it may never be dry, regardless of any improvements to the foundation, and adjacent drainage system. That being said, our home inspector highly recommended that we re-grade the lawn around our humble abode so that the slope would carry water away from the foundation. He also mentioned something that I had previously considered purchasing for environmental reasons, which was to collect rain water coming from downspouts with barrels.
What a coincidence, as I’ve just learned that Utilities Kingston is once again offering discounted rain barrels for the low price of $32. Barrels are limited to one per household, and customers must bring a copy of one of their utility bills to take part in the 2008 Rain Barrel Program. Although the price isn’t totally rock bottom, it does offer some savings in comparison to pricier products offered through retailers such as Canadian Tire, Home Depot and Rona. However, if you’re concerned about how the $32 Utilities Kingston rain barrel will fit in with your backyard decor, perhaps you should consider alternatives such as the attention grabbing Waterbutt and Lumi, the glowing rainwater storage container.
Rain barrels are a simple, old-fashioned solution that have been keeping gardens watered for centuries. By attaching a hose or low-pressure sprinklers to your rain barrel, you can reduce the amount of perfectly clean drinking water you use on your lawn, and also reduce storm runoff. You could even use it to wash your automobile. With another potentially dry summer on the horizon, it makes good environmental and financial sense to participate in such conservation programs. In fact, it may encourage the city to implement more green initiatives down the road. Considering last year’s rain barrel demand, and the fact that only 1,000 rain barrels available this year, you’d better act now. To calculate how much rain water you could potentially collect, check out the formula offered in the rain barrel guide.