Rain barrels provide an eco-friendly opportunity to repurpose rain water while helping homeowners conserve water and save money. But homeowners must exercise caution when using rain barrels in their lawns and gardens.
Water collected by rain water should never be used for drinking, cooking or bathing. Pet owners should know that water collected by rain barrels also should not be used to bathe pets.
Rain barrel lids should also be tightly secured to prevent mosquito infestations. Secure rain barrels to also protect children and pets from falling in. Overflow valves should always direct water away from structures to prevent water damage to homes or sheds.
In addition, to reduce risk of falls and injury, homeowners should be certain that water is not directed toward sidewalks, driveways or other areas where foot traffic is common.
Before winter, homeowners should disconnect their rain barrels from downspouts to prevent the formation of ice.