|Screengrab from the first hype post.|
|This is what happened to mine within the first year of its use.|
|No bueno. The shell cracked under the weight of the water contained within it.|
However, what I can locate is a perpetually soggy spot adjacent to my slab as the stupid thing slowly bleeds out after every rain. Not only is that not useful, it's actually worse than useless because you don't want to have any areas of differential moisture around your slab. That could lead to uneven soil settling, which could eventually lead to slab damage.
So now my warranty replacement follows its older sibling straight out the window, and not only have I not achieved anything "eco-friendly" with this effort, I've actually generated a lot of wasted plastic, wasted money, and wasted time.
I've looked at other consumer-grade rain barrels on the market, and I don't have sufficient confidence in what I'm seeing to purchase any of them. I bought the Systern because I did the research and concluded that it was one of the more robust models on the market. You have to remember that a full rain barrel will weigh 8.34 lbs/gal * 55 gal = 460 lbs!! Four hundred and sixty pounds!! I look at some of the thin plastic brand names being sold in big box stores and other places and I don't believe they would stand up to that kind of a weight loading for very long. If the Systern can't take the heat, I doubt that any of the others could either.
I do believe there are non-consumer options out there that could work very well in a residential setting, but I will save that discussion for a subsequent post. In the mean time, I suggest that you take the continuing flow of local news stories like this one with a grain of salt.