The First Rain Barrel

StormWorks, the social enterprise rainwater management extension of Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, installed the first rain barrel in Summerset at Frick Park this May. Luke Stamper, Sales Manager for StormWorks, invited Summerset Living to come along on the installation.

 

Prior to installation, StormWorks met with the homeowners for a property consultation to determine placement of the rain barrels. At a consultation, StormWorks calculates exactly how much water is generated during different sized rain events at each downspout, and then determines what management tools are needed to maximize collection and control. After the consultation, they received approval from the neighborhood review board to ensure that the new rain barrels met neighborhood guidelines. Mr. Stamper is happy to see the neighborhood getting its first rain barrel. He notes, “It’s really nice to have folks that live so close to the the stream doing what they can to help make an impact and help keep the stream ecosystem healthy and thriving.”

Collecting rainwater helps manage rainwater in the watershed by reducing the runoff to storm drains and streams when it rains. It’s an easy way to do your part. The rainwater collected can be used to water gardens. Since outdoor watering can account for 30% more water used in the summer months, using a rain barrel saves money and limits wasting water.

Rain barrels are clearly beneficial to the environment and save homeowners money on their water bill, but they are not particularly attractive. Mr. Stamper suggests that rain barrels can be easily disguised to fit into an existing landscape. They can be strategically placed where they are hidden by landscaping, placed behind two trellises with flowering vines growing to create a living wall, painted to match the color of a house, or you can simply place a potted climbing vine next to them and let nature do the camouflaging.

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Those interested in using rain barrels can contact StormWorks. For a $75 consultation fee (that fee is then deducted from the purchase price of a rain barrel), they will meet with residents to determine capacity requirements based on the area of the roof and the downspout locations. They will make recommendations based on the homeowner’s needs and the neighborhood guidelines. Currently, the Review Board has approved a 65 gallon container for rain barrels as long as the overflow is tied back into the current water drainage system. Mr. Stamper hopes that “this rain barrel will be the first of many at Summerset at Frick Park.”

For more information on rain barrels, visit the rain barrel section of the Stormworks website.