by Shane Ross
Last March, when it was raining in Los Angeles…seems so long ago…rain water poured from our roof onto the sidewalk by the back door. This being an area where water is a rare commodity, my wife and I figured we should get a rain barrel (plastic garbage can) to collect this runoff and use it to water the garden. Well, the day I bought it, it filled up half way and we used it the next couple days to water the plants.
But ever since that day, it has not been used as a “rain barrel,” as we have had very little rainfall.
Cut to July…middle of a dry spell, and we are running our air conditioning a lot. My wife went to spend time in the new Alice Garden and noticed that by the little door at the end of the rock path, there was a jungle of green plants. Our grass was dying due to lack of water (we are in a drought and therefore have watering restrictions)…yet back in an area that we don’t want any plants, we have a small rain forest.
The cause of this was the runoff from the condensation from the air conditioner. It was pouring off of the roof.
Hmmmmm…the gears were beginning to turn.
I ripped up the unwanted greenery, and put the rain barrel in their place. Yes, it really ruins the look of the Alice Garden, but it was so hot, we weren’t spending time out there anyway. I just wanted to see how much water I could get.
After 3 days…it was full. This is a 20 gallon garbage can. So that was a LOT of condensation and runoff. No wonder, the AC was on often. I grabbed a small bucket and scooped out the water, and watered all of our fruit trees and other garden plants
So now we have an AC barrel. Now I just need to divert the water so that the barrel isn’t squarely in the Alice Garden. Gutters, or something up on the roof. I’ll keep you updated.