Two brief and unexpected showers just refilled my rain barrels. After a very wet April, this was the first rain we have had in May. As temperatures have been in the mid to high 80’s (near 30 C), I had used all the water I collect in three 55 gallon rain barrels. I have herbs and strawberries in containers as well as young transplants in the garden. The rain barrels are helpful, but really don’t last long in dry warm weather.
In addition to the barrels under downspouts, I collect the water that drains from my heat pump during air conditioning season. It is a very low tech collection set up. I dug a hole that I set a five gallon bucket in. A few feet of old hose from the heat pump to the bucket flows by gravity. In mid- summer I collect over 10 gallons a day. With municipal water costing about a penny a gallon I’m not saving much money. But it is simple, frugal, and environmentally friendly. And my collected water has no chlorine added.