Little things make a big difference when it comes to saving water . . . like turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth, washing full loads of dishes or laundry and fixing leaky faucets and toilets.
Outdoor water usage counts too . . .such as cleaning off deck furniture with a brush rather than hosing off, watering gardens from a rain barrel and allowing lawns to go dormant during dry spells.
For more ideas, visit the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Sense website.
Minimizing storm water run-off alleviates localized flooding, allows for the recharging of area aquifers and prevents the transport of contaminates such as oil, lawn chemicals and pet waste into nearby creeks and ultimately the Sangamon River and beyond.
On-site infiltration of storm water is promoted by directing downspouts to low areas with vegetation such as rain gardens and away from hard-scaped areas such as driveways.
The Macon County Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), a partnership between Macon County, Decatur, Forsyth and Mt. Zion, has educational resources and further information about storm water management.
Rain barrels are available for purchase for $75 each by Macon County residents and business owners by calling 217-425-4505. The rain barrels are offered in three colors – black, gray or terra cotta.
These rain barrels, which were originally used for shipping food stuffs such as olives and pickles, were repurposed by the Illinois based company Upcycle Products. Each barrel is fitted with a threaded spigot at the bottom for connecting a garden hose or filling a watering can. A screened opening at the top allows water to drain into the barrel from a downspout. A linking hose fitting near the top of each barrel may either be used to direct overflow through a garden hose or connect multiple barrels together.
Rainwater may be easily collected from a roof by directing a downspout to a rain barrel. Because roofs have such a large surface area, even a light rain can fill a rain barrel. The stored water may then be used to give landscape plants a drink during dry spells. As a benefit, the untreated water is filled with micro-nutrients for healthier plants.Rain Barrel Set-Up Instructions