Rain Barrel Giveaway Program
As part of its citywide stormwater management effort to reduce stormwater runoff and create a more livable, sustainable city, DEP initiated the Rain Barrel Giveaway Program in spring 2008 and distributed 250 barrels to homeowners in Queens Community Boards 12 and 13. Rain barrels capture stormwater from your roof and store it for future use such as watering your lawn or garden. Initiated by the Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan, DEP targeted neighborhoods with the watershed for the second phase of the pilot program in 2009 . The DEP received a tremendous response for the program and distributed 750 barrels in 2009.
Information for Current Participants
We hope you are enjoying your barrel! Please remember to disconnect by October 15th.
For more information on the rain barrel program please mail us at email@example.com, or call:
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 and Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan, plans for a greener, more livable city by 2030.
Results of Phase One of the Pilot Program
In 2008, DEP distributed 250 rain barrels to eligible homeowners in southeastern Queens. Homeowners attended DEP training workshops to learn how to install, use and maintain rain barrels and received a complete kit and instructions with their rain barrel to allow them to install the rain barrel to their downspout themselves. DEP has been following-up with homeowners to see how the rain barrel is working and collected homeowner evaluations in fall 2008.
Due to the overwhelming response among homeowners in the selected pilot areas, the program filled up quickly. Homeowner evaluation results collected over the past year have shown homeowner acceptance and excitement with the Rain Barrel Program.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a rain barrel?
Rain barrels capture stormwater from your roof and store it for future use such as watering your lawn or garden. Rain barrels connect directly to your existing downspout, so that as soon as the barrel is full, the excess stormwater drains normally to the city’s sewer system.
What is the Rain Barrel Giveaway Program?
During heavy storms, stormwater runoff can overwhelm the city’s sewer system, and, in some cases, cause street flooding. To reduce stormwater runoff, and to create a more livable, sustainable city, DEP is piloting several stormwater best management practices (BMPs) throughout the city.
How does your rain barrel help?
By capturing stormwater, rain barrels can reduce pressure on the city's sewer system during storm events. Rain barrels also help conserve water. Irrigation needs often account for a large portion of a household's summer water consumption, and using stored rainwater to water your lawn or garden can reduce your household consumption and, in turn, reduce demand on the city's drinking water system during the summer's hottest days.
How will a rain barrel benefit you?
Rain barrels can help you:
- Keep your plants healthy. Rainwater is one of the best ways to keep your garden or lawn healthy all summer long.
- Save water (and money). Some households devote almost 40% of their total water usage to watering their gardens or lawns. Rain barrels are a great way to use less city water - which may help save you money on your water bill.
What should you look for when purchasing a rain barrel?
If you are looking to purchase a rain barrel, the barrel should have a completely sealed lid with no openings that would expose standing water to prevent mosquitoes or insects from breeding. To be compliant with city codes and regulations, the rain barrel needs to be connected to the downspout on your home with a downspout diverter that directs the rain barrel's overflow (i.e., excess flow when barrel is full) back into the downspout to maintain the integrity of the homeowner's original drainage system.
Double check with the vendors that the downspout diverter and rain barrel you purchase are compatible to ensure secure and safe connections and use. Many rain barrel and downspout diverter vendors are listed on the web and service New York City.