The Limited Uses of a Rain Barrel


Here’s why you should choose a rainwater storage tank instead.

With rainwater harvesting becoming a trend among homeowners around the world once again due to climate change, many are wondering if a rainwater storage tank is worth the purchase. To know if a rainwater storage tank is actually worth getting, it’s important to explore the limits of the rain barrel first. These limits are mentioned below.

Limited Capacity

The typical blue barrel can only save up to 208 litres (or 55 gallons) of water. While enough for at least one household chore, like watering the plants in the garden, washing the driveway, and flushing the toilet, this amount is only suitable for watering many plants in a small space, washing probably part of the driveway, and a few toilet flushes.

Once all the water in that barrel is consumed, you’ll need to wait for a second round of rain to collect rainwater you can use in place of mains water for at least one chore or task. To prevent this exact scenario from happening, you will need to get more barrels to set up in your system. This kind of arrangement consumes a lot of space in your home.

In other words, if you opt for the rain barrel, you limit your experience of the benefits of using rainwater in two ways: you’ll need more barrels in order to save more rainwater, but since you’ll lose a lot of precious space in your residence in the process, you won’t experience the abundance of a blooming garden.

Limited Applications for Water Stored

There are two ways in which water stored in a rain barrel can only be used for limited applications. The first, mentioned above, has to do with the limited number of litres a barrel can hold. The second is a possibility if the right number and types of filters aren’t installed in your barrel system. Untreated rainwater is only great for use in gardening, washing the driveway, and washing tools and heavy equipment. It is not safe for consumption and is not recommended for doing the laundry and dishes.

Since even without the second limitation, you will still experience the first limitation with the water barrel, you are much better off with a water tank instead of a number of barrels.

How Do You Keep Several Barrels Clean?

This is yet another disadvantage with a setup composed of a number of barrels. It’s challenging enough to clean a rainwater storage tank, let alone a number of barrels. Remember that cleaning a tank involves a lot of scrubbing and chemical cleaning. How can you get every single barrel in the system clean without spending so much time on all of them? More importantly, how do you ensure the cleanliness of each without spending time on that task alone? Keep in mind that if even one of the barrels isn’t clean, stored rainwater will eventually become unsafe to use for almost every single chore or task.