Today's rain barrels are more user friendly - New York News

Today's rain barrels are more user friendly

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Chris Merucci waters his plants using water from a rain barrel.  (Credit: WJBK | Chris Merucci waters his plants using water from a rain barrel. (Credit: WJBK |

As far as the plants know it's raining, and they'll never know the difference because Chris Merucci is watering them with recycled rain.  He owns Great Lakes Rain Barrel in Livonia, a rain barrel distributor for the company EarthMinded.

"Rain barrels can help you reduce the water usage and storm water runoff into the waters and sewers," he said.

The water people collect and reuse can help lower their water bill.  While the concept is not new, today's rain barrels are from the way they hook up to the gutter and into the side of the barrel to the way the barrels are sealed.

"It won't allow harmful sunrays to create stagnation, mold and whatnot.  Mosquitoes will not get inside," Merucci explained.

He also says they won't overflow thanks to their special design.

"The water level will raise up to [the] point where it's full and then ... it won't accept any more in, so it will naturally all go down the downspout."

During a regular rainfall, Merucci says the barrels will fill to capacity in less than an hour.  They hold 60 gallons. They're made of a large percentage of recycled materials, and if you want to make your own, they sell do-it-yourself kits.

You can actually go pretty high tech with these barrels.  The company also sells a solar powered pump which mounts onto the barrel so people can use a pressurized hose for watering.

To top it all off, the tops of the barrels can double as a planter.  They usually sell for $100, but this weekend they're on sale for $65 plus tax Saturday at Ecofest in Farmington Hills and Sunday at Summer in the Village in Lathrop Village.

To preorder or learn more, visit

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