Get Greener with a Free Rain Barrel

Yuck! Each year more than 27 billion gallons of raw sewage and polluted stormwater discharge out of 460 combined sewage overflows (“CSOs”) into the New York Harbor. Although water quality in NYC has improved significantly over the last few decades, many parts of the waterfront and its beaches are still unsafe for recreation after it rains. As little as one-twentieth of an inch of rain can overload our city’s outmoded sewer systems, which combines sewage from buildings with dirty stormwater from streets. This type of pollution imposes steep environmental, human health, and economic costs.

Yeah! In an effort to support green infrastructure and create a more livable city, the DEP is giving away 1,000 rain barrels.

From the DEP:

The Rain Barrel Giveaway Program is a key part of DEP’s broader, citywide effort to better manage stormwater using a variety of innovative, sustainable techniques known as best management practices, or BMPs. Improved stormwater management is an important component of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative, his plan for a greener, more livable city by 2030. For more information about stormwater in New York City, visit DEP’s website at

Rain barrels capture stormwater from your roof and store it for future use. By capturing stormwater, rain barrels can help you conserve water by storing rainwater for future use, such as watering your lawn or garden. This will keep your plants healthy–and save you money–since households devote almost 40% of their water to watering lawns and gardens. And you’ll be doing your part to reduce demand on New York City’s drinking water system during the summer’s hottest days.

Please note: Rain Barrels will be given away on first come first serve basis, one per household. You must live in a single-family or attached two-family home to participate. DEP will provide detailed instructions on how to attach and use your rain barrel at the giveaway.

Saturday, April 16, 2011
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Marine Park Parking Lot at Avenue U, Brooklyn

pic from NYC DEP website

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