Make the Rainy Season Work for You

Homeowners throughout Los Angeles know firsthand what a dry climate we live in. Periodic droughts can make everyday needs like watering your plants and maintaining your swimming pool difficult and costly. Fortunately, there is an easy, green solution available that can help you get the most out of your rain gutters and maximize the little bit of rain we do get here in Los Angeles: rain barrels.

You may have seen rain barrels around your neighborhood and not even known it. These durable, timeless-looking pieces are usually placed against the outside of your home, below the downspout on your rain gutters. They usually come with a removable crown planter, which can be placed on top to make your rain barrel resemble a potted plant. When it rains, the rain barrel collects water from your rain gutters and holds it for later use.

According to the EPA, the use of rain barrels can help the environment in more ways than one. In addition to saving homeowners money on their water bills and providing much-needed water for things like irrigation, rain barrels can also help reduce urban runoff. In cities like Los Angeles, pollutants often make their way into storm drains when it rains. Oil, litter, and other harmful materials get washed away, with much of it ending up in the Pacific Ocean. Rain barrels reduce runoff by simply collecting and storing the vast majority of rain that falls on your roof.

Rain barrels come with a screen to keep pests out and a four foot hose for irrigating. Rain water is considered "soft water," which means it's free of chlorine and other additives. This water is ideal for keeping your yard green, topping off your pool, or even supplying cooling systems. Combining simplicity, low cost, and style, rain barrels are the common sense environmental solution that every homeowner in Los Angeles needs.

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