When It Rains, It Pours – Into Chesnut’s New Rainbarrels!

At Chesnut’s February Clean & Beautiful Day, Chesnut Changers added a new element of sustainability to Chesnut’s grounds: four 60-gallon rainbarrels. The water they collect is not for drinking (we labeled them as such) because rainwater coming off the roof may be contaminated; rather our vegetable and butterfly gardens will be the happy recipients of the rainfall the rainbarrels capture.

These were graciously donated by two local environmental heroes:  Advance Drum, Inc. in Marietta who provided the drums, and the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeepers (UCR). who gave the kits necessary to daisy-chain the barrels off the downspout. Our thanks go out to these organizations, as well as Chesnut parent Daryl Pitts, who nearly single-handedly leveled, assembled and secured the four rainbarrels on Clean and Beautiful Day.

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Advance Drum helps the Earth by recycling or reconditioning industrial containers to be reused. In a previous life, our rainbarrels were containers that carried syrup for Coca-Cola. Now they have a healthier purpose:  conserving water and growing vegetables!

Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeepers (UCR) — whose Headwaters Outreach Manager Bonny Putney orchestrated these donations — generously provided the EarthMinded installation kits, which are specially designed to keep out mosquitoes, and to allow the normal flow of water to continue out the downspout once the rainbarrels are full. UCR works to protect and preserve the Chattahoochee River, its lakes, and its tributaries through its programs, one of which is a Rainbarrel Workshop!

AT-HOME ACTION: Install your own rainbarrel(s)! Save yourself upwards of 5 laundry loads’ worth of water by watering your outdoor garden with captured rainfall. While a rainbarrel drum and installation kit goes for more than $100 on the Internet, taking UCR’s Rainbarrel Workshop gives you the rainbarrel, installation kit and informative crash-course on Atlanta’s watershed – all for $40! Have room to add more than one rainbarrel? Bonny Putney may have extras you can purchase at her UCR workshop, or go to Advance Drum, who sells the 60-gallon drums for $25 (1835 Dickerson Drive, Mableton, Georgia  30126).

Questions about rainbarrel installation? Email us at ecology@chesnutcharter.com.

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