A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams. Usually a rain barrel is composed of a 55 gallon drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to keep debris and insects out and other off-the-shelf items. A rain barrel is relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and can sit conveniently under any residential gutter down spout.
What are the Advantages of a Rain Barrel?
Lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40% of total household water use during the summer. A rain barrel collects water and stores it for when you need it most - during periods of drought - to water plants, wash your car or to top off a swimming pool. It provides an ample supply of free soft water to homeowners, containing no chlorine, lime or calcium making it ideal for gardens, flower pots and car and window washing.
A rain barrel will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months. Saving water not only helps protect the environment, it saves you money and energy by decreasing the need for treated tap water. Diverting water from storm drains also decreases the impact of runoff to streams. Therefore, a rain barrel is an easy way for you to have a consistent supply of clean, fresh water for outdoor use - free.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program
Fayetteville is a regulated Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4).
All regulated Small MS4s permitted under the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) general permit are required to develop and implement a stormwater management plan (SWMP) (PDF) to address each of the 6 minimum control measures that are contained in the federal regulation and Part V.B of the ADEQ general permit. These SWMPs must be developed and fully implemented no more than 5 years from the effective date of the permit. The SWMP must include best management practices (BMPs) for each of the minimum control measures along with measurable goals and interim milestones for each BMP.