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We are fortunate enough to live beside a lake and all of our water comes from there. We have a filtration system and an ultra violet light to kill any bacteria (mandated by law in our area) and we haul water from the lake using watering cans for the garden. We are on a septic system so all of the waste water is "recycled" back into the earth. If a septic system is working correctly it should never need to be pumped out because the bacteria break down solid waste to liquid before it gets recycled. Note - the septic system needs to be far from the lake so the ground can further filter it before it reaches the lake. This is probably why our grass doesn't really suffer too much from not watering it. If you have a septic system you can't use bleach or anything that will kill off the bacteria in the tank. We also use earth friendly products since the water eventually ends up in the lake water that we use for drinking!

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We have used rain barrels for years to water the garden. My husband made them from plastic, cleaned and recycled food barrels and plumbing parts to attach faucets, overflow hoses, etc. Some are installed under an elevated deck out of sight and others that are exposed are painted to match the garage. I can attach a drip hose system to the faucet and drain water directly to the garden. If the Barrel is elevated on a stand or blocks, you can get enough pressure to run water uphill and you can get a bucket under the spout. The overflow spout is attached to a larger diameter hose to direct water away from the house. There are lids on the barrels and filters at the top of the downspouts which need cleaned since we have trees. There is screen where the downspout runs into the barrel lidto keep out fine dirt. We disconnect and drain the barrels in the winter as temps. here get below freezing. There are formulas on the internet to help you calculate how many gallons of water you can collect from your roof. With a little DIY skill you can make your own and save money as well as water.

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I live in Washingon State and collecting to rain barrels is now legal. As with all public policy decisions, the issues prompting legislation are not always obvious to the general public. Please read this short article to learn why there are concerns about rain collection, especially in rural arid areas of our state. Rain collection is now allowed in most circumstances.

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