Rain Barrel Giveaway Program Reduces Stormwater in the Sewer System, Cleaning New York City’s Waterways
Program Helps Homeowners Conserve Water and Save Money by Storing Rainwater for Gardening and Lawn Care
Council Member Joseph Borelli, State Senator Andrew Lanza, and Assembly Member Ron Castorina, in conjunction with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), will hold a rain barrel giveaway event at the Blue Heron Park Nature Center located at 222 Poillon Ave on this coming Saturday, June 25th from 9am-noon. More than 300 free rain barrels will be distributed to single-family homeowners who have pre-registered for the event by calling the offices of NYS Senator Lanza or Council Member Borelli.
During the spring and summer months, watering lawns and gardens can account for up to 40 percent of an average household’s water use. The 60-gallon rain barrels given away at the event will help conserve drinking water and save homeowners money by capturing rain water that can be used for gardening and lawn care. Rain barrels can also help mitigate street flooding and keep stormwater from entering the sewer system, reducing the volume of water carried to the wastewater treatment plants during storms and easing pressure on the system.
DEP’s Rain Barrel Giveaway Program is part of New York City’s Green Infrastructure Plan. Launched by Mayor Bloomberg in September 2010, the Green Infrastructure Plan aims to capture rainfall from 10 percent of the impervious surfaces in areas served by combined sewers, which carry stormwater and wastewater through a single pipe and can overflow into New York’s waterways when they are overwhelmed by heavy rainfall.
By 2030, DEP plans to invest an estimated $2.4 billion of public and private funds in green infrastructure to capture stormwater before it ever enters the sewer system and significantly reduce combined sewer overflows.
Rain barrels connect directly to the homeowners existing downspout. Installation is easy and the rain barrels require little maintenance. Each homeowner will be provided with an installation kit and installation instructions. Rain barrels should only be used for non-potable purposes such as gardening and must be disconnected from the downspout during the winter months to avoid freezing.
There are still a number of rain barrels that will be available on Saturday; to reserve one, simply call Council Member Borelli’s office (718) 984-5151 or NYS Senator Lanza’s office (718) 984-4073. Due to limited supplies and extraordinary interest, rain barrels will only be distributed to those that have reserved one in advance of the event.
“Rain barrels provide a smart method to collect storm water to be used on your lawn or garden and will help to reduce your water bill,” said Council Member Joe Borelli. “I am proud to say I use a rain barrel in my yard, and I want to thank the New York City Department of Environmental Protection for making these available to our constituents at no cost.”
“Using barrels to capture rainwater creates a more sustainable city by alleviating the burden that excess storm runoff has on our sewer system, decreasing floods and reducing the demand on drinking water during hot summer days,” said Senator Andrew Lanza. “Further, since most households devote almost 40% of their water to their lawns and gardens, rain barrels save residents money by allowing them to store rainwater for future use outdoors. I am proud to partner with DEP and Councilman Borelli in bringing this Rain Barrel Giveaway Program to Staten Island.”
“The Department of Environmental Protection is benefiting our community in more than one way by providing these rain barrels,” said Assembly Member Ron Castorina Jr. “Not only is it a cost effective measure for constituents, but it will also serve as an eco-friendly instrument much needed for the preservation of our precious environment.”