Rain barrel collection

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This page is maintained by the Sustainability Committee at the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). It is intended to provide information about sustainable practices for AIC members, conservation/preservation professionals, and other interested parties within the cultural heritage profession. Please send comments and suggestions to sustainability(at)conservation-us.org.

Jon Minyard, MFA, of Minyard Box Fine Arts Services [1] describes his system: His business is in an Art Deco gas station with a flat roof. He uses rain barrels to collect water and gets about 40-60 gallons after a good rain. The water can often be used as-is for cleaning of outdoor sculpture; the sculptures are exposed to rain water anyway. He recommends testing a small area first because some acidic rain can affect the patina. He also has a 3-stage reverse osmosis water filter to create purified water for drinking and conservation. He chooses not to buy jugs of distilled water in order to keep plastic out of the system. If you have any questions about creating a similar system, you are welcome to contact him. [2]