water conservation solutions

As spring kicks into gear (at least in the South), and yards and gardens start getting attention again, water conservation will become an important subject again.


Oh, Milo says hello.

While using a hose or a watering can is an easy way to keep your yard looking green and fresh, there are better, more environmentally friendly ways to achieve the same goal!


Rain barrels are becoming a popular option for storing collected rainwater to use for irrigation and in gardens. The benefits to using collected rainwater instead of tap water include saving money on your water bill, providing fresh, (mostly) chemical-free water for plants, and helping to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff entering the watershed system. While tap water does contain more chemicals than rainwater, I question the validity of rainwater being truly clean and free, thanks to the amount of pollution being dumped into natural waterways that gets sucked into the natural water cycle.

Rain barrels are large barrels that are either affixed to a gutter downspout, or placed under the lowest pitch on your roof. They come with a removable top; mesh screen to filter out leaves, bugs and other junk; overflow and drain valves; and a spigot. They can be used with hoses and watering cans; but don't provide enough pressure to work with a sprinkler system.

To help foster the use of rain barrels in Lafayette to improve water quality, Lafayette Utilities System is offering a deal to LUS customers to purchase a rain barrel from their chosen vendor at a group rate. The 55-gallon barrel comes in a choice of four colors and costs $54 - not a bad deal considering the size of the gallon and the water bill savings over a summer of lawn and garden maintenance.

To read the specific program information and to download the order form, visit the LUS website. Orders must be placed by April 25. All barrels purchased through the program will be available for pickup at City Hall on Saturday, May 3.

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