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Conservation barrels available

Though the calendar is turning toward fall, participants can still collect rainwater to tend the gardens and even wash one’s cars is available at the Southside Soil and Water Conservation District in Charlotte County.

In light of tropical storm conditions that came through the area from Hurricane Florence, the rainwater could also be used for other purposes, such as flushing commodes.

The office, which is located at 250 Legrande Ave. in Charlotte County, covers Lunenburg and Charlotte counties.

Julie Hamlett with the Southside Soil and Water Conservation District said the organization has been selling the barrels for years.

A spigot at the bottom of the 55-gallon barrel can pour water into a smaller bucket, which can be used to water flowers or other plants.

The barrels do not have to be connected to rain gutters, but they can be.

“It’s all about conserving water,” Hamlett said.

The barrels come as a kit. Hamlett said the organization drills the hole for the spigot to be installed inside, and includes the washers in order to secure the spigot in place. The kit also comes with pre-cut netting to place on top of the barrel.

Some people can connect multiple barrels together if they have large gardens.

“It brings it back to the old pioneering days when they used to … collect the rainwater in the open rain barrels,” Hamlett said. “It’s really a cool concept.”

Hamlett said the organization used to hold workshops for people to build and install their own barrels.

Hamlett said people could use cinder blocks to surround the water barrels and keep them upright during storm conditions.