If you would like to use the water for a vegetable garden, avoid using overhead irrigation. Use drip or trickle irrigation at the base of the plant. This prevents contamination of edible above ground plant parts that are hard to clean, such as lettuces, spinach, and other greens. Prior to eating any vegetable irrigated with rain barrel water, thoroughly wash the produce in drinkable water first. Never use rain barrel water to wash fresh vegetables and fruit.
This I am looking forward to reducing my water bill and saving water by converting some unused garbage cans I have sitting around the house.
Anne Lenox Barlow has had experience in the agricultural field as a horticulture educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Clinton County. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.