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Rain barrels offer old-fashioned solution to avoiding water damage

Global Administrator

A new study released in June by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and Wingham, Ontario concludes the humble rain barrel offers an old-fashioned solution to keeping home water damage down.

The Wingham Rain Barrel Study began with 1,000 rain barrels, one for each homeowner. In the past, the peak flow through Wingham's storm water system and sewage treatment plant has exceeded capacity during major storms.

"IBC found that rain barrels, if emptied regularly, could divert 4.5-million litres of rainwater runoff away from a municipality's sewer system and out of homes, which is great news," said Ralph Palumbo, vice president of Ontario at IBC.

"But research always takes interesting twists," he added. "We also learned that people don't like to empty their rain barrels. And really, a full rain barrel might as well not even be there."

The study showed that in the process of installing the barrels, an impressive 72% of Wingham's downspouts were disconnected from the storm and sanitary sewer system, providing immediate relief. Even during heavy rains with direct downspouts disconnected and rain barrels in use, Wingham remained within its storm system capacity.

Water damage insurance claims have soared to $1.7 billion annually in Canada, surpassing fire as the leading cause of damage to homes. The increase in water damage and severe weather spurred IBC to investigate ways to help communities deal with excess water.

Courtesy of Canadian

Note from editor – I recently picked up a used electric submersible pump, attached a piece of hose, the dropped it into our rain barrel. Now when we need water, just plug it in for a few minutes and the hose sprays it out. Great way of saving and using rainwater for the garden. PS. Don't forget to drain it in the winter as the frozen water will likely ruin your barrel.


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