In the city of Chicago we very rarely have water usage restrictions, but in other cities and states, especially on the west coast, have restrictions constantly. Sometimes lasting months on end. this is where the rain barrel can be extremely useful not to mention eco-friendly. In the city of chicago you can actually get a rain barrel for free. The rain barrels that Chicago gives out are 55 gallons and actually are made from recycled plastic!The barrels are set up so they collect the rain that falls on your roof and into the gutters. Now we do not recommend drinking the water from the barrels, nor does the city, but there are tons of useful things that you can use that water for. One of the main uses is actually watering the lawn, as well as a garden if you have one. Not only is rain free it is also free of additives from the water treatment plants and plumbing lines, such as Lime, Chlorine, and Calcium. Some of the gardners in Chicago even swear that the plants grow and faster and stronger because of the natural unprocessed rain water. Another great thing you can use this water for is washing your car. Matter of fact you can actually take the water from the rain barrel, put it in your toilet tank and use it for flushing. By using rain water you dont even get charged for doing simple things like washing your car, watering the plants and even flushing the toilet. Just imagine the money you could potentially save.
For more information on the program refer to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago's website.
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