Is rainwater really better than faucet water for my plants?
Many municipal water systems put chlorine and other chemicals in the water. Chlorine is bad for soil bacteria, not to mention our air. Rainwater is oxygenated, un-chlorinated and warmer than tap water, qualities that make it a better source for plants and safer for the environment. Cold tap water can also “shock” your plants.
There is a growing movement to conserve water by collecting rainwater in plastic barrels. The watercollected this way is better for plants, plus you don’t have to pay for it. It also reduces energy consumption–every 1,000 gallons of tap water requires about one kilowatt hour of energy to be treated and pumped. Reducing such water use also slows the need to expand municipal water treatment and sewage plants.
If you decide to use a rain barrel, make sure it’s childproof. To be safe for kids (and inquisitive animals), it should have a secure lid that can’t be opened easily. You don’t want anyone using your rain barrel as a swimming pool!