Strathmore received a heavy downpour of rain this past weekend and residents got creative by bringing out their rain barrels.

The town is currently under Stage 4 outdoor water restrictions and voluntary indoor restrictions following a serious water main break in the City of Calgary.

Strathmore relies on Calgary for its water and using rain barrels has been a good alternative for those who still want to water their plants and lawns.

Mayor Pat Fule says he knows the situation is tough but is encouraging residents to keep up with restrictions.

"The choices we're all making to conserve water aren't always easy or convenient, but they remain essential."

Staff with the town say there are precautions you can look out for if you do plan to use the water from your rain barrels:

  • Watch out for shingles as they can bring lead into the water that runs over its surface during a rainstorm.
  • Chemical reactions can happen between the water and the material of roofing which can cause water molecules to bind to substances, ending up in your rain barrel.
  • Bacteria, viruses and parasites from animal waste can get washed into your rain barrel from your roof and multiply. Consider using a rain barrel with a cover and direct catchment.
  • If you choose to use rain barrel water on your vegetable and fruit plants, the safest way to do so is by watering the soil and not the plant itself. Direct contact of water from the rain barrel on the harvestable portion of the crop could result in chemical or pathogenic contamination.
  • If you plan on using the rain barrel water to irrigate plants that can be eaten, wash the food well with potable water before consuming any part of the plant to reduce the risk of harmful pathogens or chemicals.
  • Make sure your rain barrel is on a stable surface to prevent it from being pulled or knocked over and ensure you have a safe cover.

No word yet on how long work will take to fix the water main in Calgary.

StrathmoreNow will provide you with any updates once they become available.