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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-37

May 5, 2016

Contact:

deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov (718) 595-6600

Department of Environmental Protection Will Join Congressman Daniel Donovan to Distribute Rain Barrels to Staten Island Homeowners

Rain Barrels Collect Precipitation, Reduce Residential Water Bills and Help to Protect the Health of New York Harbor

Homeowners Must Pre-Register for Saturday’s Giveaway

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Saturday will join Congressman Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. to distribute rain barrels to up to 200 homeowners on Staten Island. The 60-gallon rain barrels are easy to install and connect directly to a property owner’s downspout to capture and store the stormwater that falls on the rooftop. The water collected in the rain barrel can then be used to water lawns and gardens, or for other outdoor chores. Rain barrels can help reduce a homeowner’s water bill as watering lawns and gardens can account for up to 40 percent of an average household’s water use during the summer months. They also help to reduce the amount of stormwater that enters the City’s sewer system, which helps to protect the health of New York Harbor. Over the last several years, DEP has distributed more than 5,100 rain barrels to New York City homeowners. Saturday’s event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Friendship Club parking lot in Mount Loretto, located at 6581 Hylan Boulevard, and the rain barrels will be provided free of charge.

“By using the water collected in a rain barrel for gardening and other outdoor chores, Staten Islanders can help to reduce their water bills,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “In addition, rain barrels help to mitigate localized flooding and protect the health of New York Harbor.

“A rain barrel will save you money, help conserve water, and come in handy if you ever travel to a deserted island. Be sure to swing by Mount Loretto on Saturday morning to pick one up. Thank you to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection for providing rain barrels at no cost to Staten Islanders,” said Congressman Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.

Participation in DEP’s Rain Barrel Giveaway Program is by reservation only. Staten Islanders seeking to secure one of the 200 rain barrels slated for distribution should RSVP by contacting Congressman Donovan’s office at (718) 351-1062.

DEP’s Rain Barrel Giveaway Program is part of New York City’s Green Infrastructure Plan that aims to capture stormwater before it can ever enter the sewer system and thereby reduce combined sewer overflows into local waterways. DEP has committed to invest $2.4 billion in green infrastructure projects as well as other source controls, such as rain barrels, to significantly reduce combined sewer overflows by 2030.

The rain barrel program also builds upon DEP’s efforts to conserve water as part of a $1.5 billion initiative to ensure clean, reliable, and safe drinking water for more than nine million New Yorkers for decades to come. As part of this initiative, DEP has begun a project to repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct that supplies roughly half of the city’s daily drinking water. In order to complete these repairs to the Aqueduct, the tunnel must be temporarily shut down in 2022. Ahead of the planned shutdown, DEP aims to reduce citywide water consumption by five percent.

In addition to encouraging homeowners to conserve water, DEP is installing activation buttons on spray showers at 400 playgrounds around the city that will save 1.5 million gallons of water a day during the summer months. Work is also underway to install new, high efficiency fixtures in the bathrooms of 500 City schools to reduce water consumption by nearly 4 million gallons each school day. And, DEP has partnered with hotels, restaurants and hospitals across the city to reduce water use at these facilities by five percent annually.

Installation of rain barrels is easy and they require little maintenance. Each homeowner who receives a rain barrel on Saturday will be provided with an installation kit and 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.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which will allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600