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The City Journals

Harvesting Rainwater Made Simple

Sep 09, 2015 11:24AM ● By Bryan Scott

Haresting Rainwater

By Aimee L. Cook

You may not be aware of the fact that in Utah, we lead the nation in the most municipal water usage per person. To help reduce our numbers, both nationally and on our water bills, Sandy City has teamed up with the Utah Rivers Council and now offers a rain barrel program, which collects re-usable rainwater.

“For a one-time investment, I think it’s a great idea,” Erick Cook, Sandy resident, said. “Even if I was only able to use the water I collect in my rain barrel to water my planted pots, I would think it would be worth it.”

The 50-gallon, 100 percent recycled Ivy rain barrels are placed directly under a downspout. The top has a small hole, covered by a fine mesh screen to keep out bugs and debris, which lets the water pass. There is also a spout at the bottom to release the water, and each barrel comes with a connectable hose so that you can water your plants directly from the barrel if desired. The barrel works with a gravity feed: no pump is required. They are child proof, and two can be linked together using the overflow hose. 

Rain harvesting seemed to be an opportunity the residents were waiting for. As part of the conservation budget for the city, Sandy City was offering two sizes at a discounted rate to offset the cost to residents. They sold out of more than 300 of the barrels in a very short time.

“Residents like the idea of collecting their own water and using it to water plants,” Kimberly Bell, from the Sandy City public works department, said. “Plants also prefer natural water, and people understand they are making a difference by using natural water.” 

According to Save Something Utah, these are the top five reasons to harvest rainwater:

Protect our rivers, streams, and ponds from runoff pollution

Divert water from the municipal storm drain system

Conserve this vital natural resource and reduce your water bills

Use rainwater to grow healthy and lush plants

Control moisture levels around the foundation of your home

You can purchase the barrels at