When my brother and I were kids, we loved to jump into the old, 45 gallon, metal rain barrel that sat at the southwest corner of our farmhouse. The water was a bit rusty (because of the corroding metal!) but it was always nice and warm thanks to the barrel’s sunny location.
Since our well water was high in sodium, and therefore not suitable for use on our plants, the slightly rusty, rain barrel water was great to have on hand, and Mom used it on her flowerbeds during dry spells. Of course, one needs rainfall for a rain barrel to be of any use, but even fairly brief showers filled up the barrel rather quickly.
If you plan on getting a rain barrel for you home, don’t go with the rusty type that we had as kids. High quality, UV resistant Gardenware Canada plastic barrels that have a quality brass spigot at the bottom and overflow hose at the top are best. They also come with a mosquito-proof, and more importantly, kid-proof lid.
Yes, I know that I confessed to playing in a barrel when I was a kid, but the danger of drowning was minimal because the top of the barrel came up to my chest.
Let’s just say that my emotional maturity and physical maturity weren’t separated by a great span of time.