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20140530-AMS-LSC-9001 - Peoples Garden - Rain Barrel

00:15 Leslie Burkes: On rainy days, do you see…

00:17 rainwater run off the roof,…

00:18 onto sidewalks,…

00:19 along streets,…

00:20 and down drains,…

00:22 instead of on your prized plants!

00:26 Welcome to the United States Department of Agriculture, in Washington, D.C.

00:30 I'm Leslie Burkes, Project Manager for the People's Garden and, I'd like to talk about rain barrels.…so, come on in.

00:38 So whether your motivation is the cost of water, or just the health of your plants, a rain barrel may be a valuable addition to your garden.

00:45 Obviously, the size of your roof and where you live will determine your cost benefits to make it worthwhile. Now, let’s see?

00:51 Annual rainfall, inches of rain, roof area, volume of water, capacity and use…Got it!

01:01 As you can see here, it doesn't take a large roof to make a difference.

01:07 Your existing roof is the easiest way to capture water. Now, slanted roofs use a gutter and downspout. A flat roof may also have down spouts or a pipe to feed the rain barrel.

01:21 Now, lets take a close look at our roof in action. [Sound of water raining on plants.]

01:24 [Sound of water falling down vertical downspout and along plastic tube.]

01:30 [Sound of water flowing from tube into barrel of water]

And always have a sturdy lid fastened on it so only water goes into the rain barrel.

01:43 Ours, is store bought and we have it elevated. We can use the middle bib for clearer water, or the lower bib, which may have more sediment. Let’s see.

02:07 Both should be high enough to fill a watering can.

02:14 Now I like to attach a hose to either.

02:18 And, then use gravity flow… to water my plants.

02:30 [Sound of Leslie walking on gravel, extending garden hose to plants.]

02:35 [Close-up sound of water flowing from sprinkler hose nozzle, onto soil; and birds chirping]



Rain Barrels collect rainwater runoff from your roof, enabling you to water your vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees. By using rainwater from your roof, you can keep your lawn greener and

your garden lusher in the hot, dry summer months. You also will save money by reducing water usage. Stormwater runoff is rain that falls on the hard, paved surfaces and roofs of our urban

regions. When rain falls on a roof, it heats up and carries pollutants into the street and then into stormwater pipes which then discharge the stormwater directly into streams. Rain barrels and other rainwater harvesting methods (rain gardens, native plants, etc) really can help clean up the environment. For more information see: and please visit The People’s Garden website: USDA Multimedia by Lance Cheung.



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Uploaded on October 10, 2014