For the last few weeks we have had some really drizzly weather, but I can assure you it is not about to rain anytime soon!! How can I be so sure?
Well, because we had a rain tank installed yesterday!!
Along with applying for a free tree from the city council, a couple of months ago we also signed up for a highly rebated "rain barrel" through DDOE and the RiverSmart Homes Program.
The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is responsible for the natural and indoor environments in the District of Columbia (aka Washington DC). The Department was formed in 2006 – it is a combination of the Dept of Environmental Health Administration and the DC Energy Office and incorporates policy functions of the Tree Management Administration and the Office of Recycling.
Their programs are designed to facilitate cleaner air and water, "green" neighbourhoods and building space and to assist with the management of hazardous and toxic waste disposal. They hold community outreach programs where they attempt to increase public awareness of environment and energy related issues.
A couple of weeks ago a "Rain Barrel Technician" (seriously!) from DC Greenworks contacted us to say that they were ready to schedule a time to install our rain barrel.
Yesterday they arrived and installed it: - I would call it more of a rain tank or a cistern than a barrel but I'm sure it will be just as successful at capturing the water from our roof no matter what it's called. As soon as some rain falls!!
For a total cost of $30 …. the tank will hold 132 gallons (500 litres) of water and will be more than adequate to water our little garden.
It was hard to get a good picture as the tank is under our deck and it is difficult to get back far enough to fit it in nicely framed. Those thick chains are an indication of our neighbourhood - they anchor our bicycle rack under the deck and our outdoor furniture on the deck. The tank is not crooked – my aim is!:
Next will be solar hot water panels - but we have to wait until they up their rebate program for that one!!
If anyone is interested in more information it can be found at the following sites:
DC Success story: http://www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/nps/pdf/success/dc/DC319SuccessStory2008.pdf