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Atlanta Garden Design

Planning for a Dry Summer

Posted by Stuart DiNenno on January 6, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Although the recent rains have alleviated the severe drought of 2007/8, the Atlanta area will still get dry months, and planning for a dry summer should start now. 


In recent years, because of the drought, a number of innovations in water saving systems have taken place.  The most common one is a simple rain barrel.  These have come a long way from the old fashioned wooden barrel that collected water on rural properties.  Fiskars have come onto the market with very acceptable designs that are easy to install and are available at larger hardware stores.


The barrels come complete with hardware, so that all you need to do is assemble and install.  Locate the collection system near a downspout, and on a level spot.  The assembly does require that you saw into the downspout at two different places so that the diverter hose can be inserted.  The hose carries water coming down the spout and into the barrel.  When the barrel is full, the hose becomes inactive and water continues down the spout to the ground drainage system.


The biggest drawback with the system as it stands right now is that the only outlet is a spigot.  This is fine for a watering can to refresh hanging baskets, but not so great for larger areas which need a soaker hose or other method of water delivery.  Putting a tap with a hose attachment onto the barrel is not difficult, but you will have to purchase the parts such as an outlet tap, connector, washers etc.



A Fiskars Water Collection System modified with a hose outlet as well as the spigot fixture.



By the middle of this season, a new version of the Fiskars rain collection system will be on the market, which includes a modified tap that has the threading to attach a hose.


For larger, more complex water collection systems you can use cisterns and underground tanks. For more about these systems visit .



Categories: Water Management