Rain barrels require very little maintenance. However, there are two things that you need to do:
If you are using a diverter, set it to divert water to the regular downspout.
Rain water is mostly free from the minerals found in tap and well water. This makes it ideal for watering plants, including indoor plants, as it helps prevent salt buildup in the soil.
Being very soft, it is also ideal for almost any cleaning application. This includes, vehicles, hair, windows, etc.. Just remember not to dump the used water into the storm sewers. It needs to go into the sanitary sewers.
Rain water should not be used for cooking or drinking. While very pure, it may have picked up chemicals or biological contaminents anywhere along the journey from the clouds to your rain barrel.
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