A movement toward storing rainwater for emergency use seems to be afoot throughout Japan. Sanei Build System has reported threefold demand for its user-friendly “Mini-Dam” rain barrels in the wake of the March 11 disasters. 

The manufacturer has suggested retail prices of 50,000 yen for the 200-liter model and 120,000 yen for the 1,000-liter model, but it adds that certain municipalities will subsidize as much as half the retail price.

The barrels are made of high-grade polyethylene that is light, strong and rust-proof. Installation is as simple as placing a barrel near a drain pipe and attaching a coupler to it.

Sanei Build System fashioned a lid on top of the Mini-Dam for easy access in emergencies. Users can dip a bucket into the barrel and use the water to fight fires until the fire department takes over, for example. The manufacturer recommends that the captured rainwater be used for watering gardens, washing cars and other everyday chores during normal times.

The pumps on the barrels can provide enough pressure to shoot the water 10 meters, or high enough to reach the third floor of a building. The barrels can come equipped with solar-powered electric pumps, but users can also choose to go low-tech with the hand pump option.

Sanei Build System began hot-dip galvanizing the metal barrel stands 18 years ago in an effort to facilitate use of the Mini-Dam in seaside locales, where baked finishes would rust easily in the salty air.

Source: Mynavi News