Mendon Promotes Rain Barrel Water Conservation Program
May 29, 2015 06:00AM ● Published by Pamela Johnson
Sample of rainwater barrel (similar to those Mendon is offering).
Water shortage is a growing global concern. In New England, residential water usage can increase as much as 60% during the spring, summer and fall seasons from outdoor watering needs such as watering gardens and lawns, filling pools and washing cars. Barrels can offset that usage, saving homeowners money and helping the community manage water supplies.
Rain barrels can also reduce runoff. In watershed areas, runoff from homes and developments can harm existing water sources because overtaxed storm sewers discharge polluted runoff. Over time, this takes a toll on the fragile aquatic ecosystem that the area is dependent upon.
More and more communities nationwide, like Mendon, are bringing large scale programs to their towns, encouraging more residents to conserve water but also helping their town mitigate pollution in the water supplies on a larger scale.
The specs for the barrels: 60 gallons, stands 39" tall x 24" wide, weighs 20 lbs. empty, food grade, UV protected, firm wide mouth, screw top lid, mosquito screen, 2 x 3/4" overflow valves, threaded plastic spigot and choice of two port locations to place spigot, highly durable 3/16" polyethylene.
Homeowners can easily connect the barrels to their downspouts and significantly offset their watering needs. In this region, there is typically 16" of rain May 1—Sept. 30. For every inch of rainfall, a 1,000 sq. ft. surface can collect 620 gallons of water; that means that over the course of the extended summer months, an average roof of 2,400 square feet could see more than 20,000 gallons of fresh rainwater passing over its surface, a significant source of water that homeowners could be tapping into for free.
Just keeping a small 10' x 10' garden irrigated during the summer months can mean using up to 1,700 gallons of water. Based on the average roof size, more than two 60-gallon rain barrels would fill for every 1/10" of rainfall. The Great American Rain Barrel Company recommends one barrel for every 100 square feet of garden.
Mendon is offering the Great American Rain Barrel for $79 (versus the retail price of $119). Residents also have the option of purchasing a small diverter for $20, or a large diverter for $25. The barrels come in three colors: Forest Green, Earth Brown or Nantucket Gray. To take advantage of this community program discount, please visit www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com and look for “shop local programs” in the left side`bar, and find “Mendon Highway Department,” email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-251-2352.
The deadline for ordering is June 13, at 5 p.m.; barrels will be available for pick up on Sat., June 20, 9-10 a.m., at the Mendon Highway Department, 66 Providence Street.