Raindrops fall by the thousands throughout the spring and summer months, only to roll down the pitch of the roof, stream across the gutter, cascade through the downspout and finally puddle at the ground. The travel seems a bit mundane if you ask me. Fortunately, there is something you can do to make that journey seem a little more worthy of appreciation, and that is by replacing a ho-hum aluminum downspout with a beautiful copper rain chain.
What originated in Japan hundreds of years ago, thekusari doi, or “chain gutter,” is a simple way to carry rain to the ground in an aesthetically pleasing manner. The Japanese have used these chains on temples and homes over the years with the sole purpose of embracing the beauty of a rain-filled day.
A rain barrel would be a nice addition at the bottom of a chain, especially in a heavily planted area like this one. Rain barrels collect and store rainwater from rooftops to use later for watering plants and gardens. Water collected in a rain barrel would normally pour off your roof directly or flow through roof gutter downspouts and become stormwater runoff. Depending on your yard, this runoff can travel onto paved surfaces and eventually into a storm drain.
Rain barrels conserve water and help lower costs (a rain barrel can save approximately 1,300 gallons of water during peak summer months).They also reduce water pollution by reducing stormwater runoff, which can contain pollutants like sediment, oil, grease, bacteria and nutrients.Rain barrels can also be arranged to slowly release the collected rainfall to areas that can soak up the water, reducing stormwater runoff and increasing groundwater recharge.