Raleigh, N.C. — Every drop of water counts in the statewide drought, so a growing number of businesses and residents have started using barrels to collect and save as much rain as possible.
Eighty-gallon barrels positioned around Pullen Park in Raleigh, for example, have captured enough rain from showers Thursday and Friday to water flowers throughout the park for several days.
"You take what you can get," said Lisa Wallace, of Raleigh's Parks and Recreation Department. "Even though it has quit raining, we're still getting some runoff, still getting a little bit of rain into (our) barrel."
Rain barrels have become a hot commodity in area stores and with the city. Raleigh officials said the city has sold 60 barrels in the last 10 days.
The staff of Logan Trading Co., a nursery north of downtown Raleigh, took the concept a step further, placing a 55-gallon tub into a storm drain to collect runoff from the parking lot. A motor then pumps water from the tub into an above-ground tank.
"It's probably got about 800 gallons in it. We probably caught another 200 (Friday) morning," said Logan Bristow, of Logan's Trading.
That water is enough to water plants at the nursery for a week, Bristow said.
"This is just a way that we can avoid having to cut on the spigot," he said. "We knew, as precious a resource as water is becoming right now, we'd have to get creative if we were going to capture any of this rainwater."
Homeowners like Pete Huckins, who also is using a rain barrel in an effort to resuscitate his lawn, said conservation requires creativity.
"Conservation is something that we're going to have take a look at. If it gets so bad they have to start charging 10 cents a gallon (for water), people will start looking real hard," Huckins said.