• November 22, 2014

Residents learn how to save water, money

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Posted: Monday, June 30, 2014 11:15 pm

BELTON — About 40 people learned how to save water — and money — at The Wet and Wild Frenzy Water Conservation Workshop on Monday at the Bell County Master Gardening Building.

Representatives from the Texas Master Gardeners Association and Texas A&M Ag Extension explained affordable and creative ways to save water.

In spite of recent rains, drought conditions continue and water conservation remains a statewide issue, explained Ursula Nanna, a rainwater harvesting specialist with the association.

One of the featured presentations was a rainwater harvesting system demonstration. Many attendees took notes as they learned how to gather, store and use rainwater for gardens, pets and livestock.

Behind the building, Nanna showed the audience a variety of rainwater collecting systems. Storage containers for the systems ranged from an ordinary 55-gallon barrel to a 3,000-gallon, custom-made tank to suit the needs of farmers, city dwellers and everyone in between.

Although the water in the tank is not potable, meaning it is not safe for people to drink directly from the tank, it can be filtered for human consumption. Most people use the tank water for their gardens, farms and animals.

Carla Harmon, the grounds chairman for Master Gardeners, noted that some Texas residents obtain their water, including drinking water, entirely from their rainwater harvesting system.

Mann said someone could obtain about 921 gallons of water from an inch of rain, which might mean a rapid return on money invested in the system as well as in water bills. The state also offers incentives to people who would like to own a rainwater harvesting system by not charging sales taxes for the equipment, she said.

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