Water-Related News

Learn how to collect rainwater with Sarasota County’s virtual workshops

Sarasota County’s Rain Barrel program is hosting three virtual workshops on the benefits of owning rain barrels and conserving water.

Did you know that rainwater is one of several ways harmful chemical runoff enters Sarasota’s Bay and the Gulf Coast each year? Besides reducing lawn watering and fertilizer use, homeowners can also install rain barrels to reduce runoff, which collect and filter up to 55 gallons of rainwater. This summer, Sarasota County’s Rain Barrel program is offering free virtual workshops on how to install rain barrels on your property. Three separate workshops will take place on the county’s website on Saturday, July 18, August 15 and September 19. Participants can also purchase their own rain barrel kits, and pick them up at one of several convenient locations offered by the county.

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UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences horticulture specialist Wilma Holley will be hosting the workshops, and shares what participants can expect.

“The workshops will give a synopsis of rain barrel benefits, how to install your kit, Florida-friendly landscaping principles and the different ways that collected rainwater can be used,” says Holley. Each barrel contains a filter at the top, making water clean enough to water certain plants in your yard, wash your car or even fill the dog’s water bowl. Pumps and spigots can also be attached to barrels, allowing water to flow through a hose. The workshop will also discuss UF/IFAS’ extension purposes, and ways the program supports the community.