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Rain barrels collect dust

Posted May 2, 2008

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— As the levels of Falls Lake have gone up, rain barrel sales have fallen sharply.

Two months ago when the drought was still in full effect, hardware stores had a difficult time keeping the barrels in stock. Since then nearly 10 inches of rain has fallen.

“Two months ago we were selling 20 to 30 on a good day. Now a good day may be five,” said John Burke of Burke’s Hardware.

Rain barrels are stacking up at most hardware stores in the Triangle.

The uptick in the rainfall has some neighbors purchasing additional rain barrels to keep up with rainfall.

Alexandra Sokoloff, of Raleigh, said she can’t imagine maintaining her yard without the extra rain barrels.

“When you have a small yard like this, it’s flat. You can walk around and water in about a half hour,” Sokoloff said.

Ed Buchan, of Raleigh Utilities, said though recent rainfall continues to ease drought conditions; it isn’t time to ignore the benefits of rain barrels.

“Three or four months from now, it could be a different story. Water restrictions could be severe and if you have a rain barrel, you can do whatever you want with it,” Buchan said.

The Triangle has faced three droughts – the most recent being the worst – in the last ten years.

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