West Virginia Conservation Agency  •  1900 Kanawha Blvd. E. •  Charleston, WV 25305  •  304-558-2204
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Rain Barrel Workshop

Why Harvest Rainwater?

Harvesting rainwater will save you money and help the environment at the same time. You can collect a substantial amount of rainwater with a simple system. This extra water can have a significant impact on your water bill.

Rain water is usually collected from the roofs of houses, it picks up very little contamination when it falls. That is, if you keep your roof clean of debris and potential contaminants to maximize purity. The material your roof is made of is also important in how much contamination the water will carry. The chemicals and hard water from many municipal water systems can produce an imbalance in the soil of your garden. Chemical fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides, and drought can also disrupt the balance and harmony of the soil. This imbalance causes trees and plants to weaken and makes them more susceptible to disease.

One of the best reasons to start harvesting rainwater with rain barrels is that if you teach and encourage others to do the same, you will help to spread the culture of rainwater collection and in turn help the larger community and the environment. It is always important to remember that every living thing on the planet needs water to survive!

The following video was a workshop presented by Mark Buchanan to show how construct your own rain barrel and why it is a good conservation practice, and can be a convenient and free way to help bring water to your plants, garden, or other uses.

He uses a presentation to tell some facts about water run-off and it can be downloaded as an Adobe PDF to view or follow along with the video from the following link: Harvesting Rainwater.

The construction of the barrel and attaching it to your downspout starts at 23:30.

The Watershed Resource Center has many helpful tips, brochures, and resources to help you become a responsible conservationist on our Publications Page.

Here a few topics and items form the Publications page you might find interesting and helpful:

Composting Rain Barrels Rain Chains
Create Your Own Compost Pile (PDF) Rain Barrel Facts (PDF) Rain Chain Fact Sheet (PDF)
Composting For kids (PDF)    
Other Water Conservation Ideas
Water Conservation Ideas (PDF)
Harvesting Rainwater (PDF)
Low Impact Development (PDF)


For more information, Contact the West Virginia Conservation Agency's Watershed Resource Center at:
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25305-0193
(304) 558-0382
(800) 682-7866 (in West Virginia)
Fax: (304) 558-1635


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