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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 17-63
July 19, 2017
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

Saturday’s Giveaway will be First Come, First Served

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 160 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. Last year, DEP distributed a record-setting 11,111 rain barrels to New York City homeowners. Saturday’s event will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 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.

“Using a rain barrel is a great way for property owners to reduce their water bills and mitigate localized flooding while also helping to protect the environment,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza.

“Thank you to DEP for this great program. Rain barrels are a simple and convenient way to conserve and reduce water bills. I’m proud to partner with DEP on this initiative, and I look forward to Saturday’s event,” said Congressman Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.

Participation in this DEP Rain Barrel Giveaway Program will be on a first come, first served basis. Staten Islanders seeking more information should contact 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 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.

Installation of rain barrels is easy and they require little maintenance. Each homeowner who received a rain barrel on Saturday was 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 approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 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. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. 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