Rain Barrel Giveaway Program
About the NYC DEP Rain Barrel Program
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.
Our giveaway program began as a pilot program in 2008 with the distribution of 250 rain barrels to homeowners in the Jamaica Bay watershed. The program was expanded in 2009 due to the public’s overwhelmingly positive response. Last year over five thousand rain barrels were given to NYC building and homeowners, schools, and community gardens in all five boroughs. We partner with elected officials and city agencies to organize distributions events throughout the city. Contact your local elected official to see if they have or are scheduling a rain barrel event this spring and summer.
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 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.
How Can I Get a NYC DEP Rain Barrel?
Contact your local elected official to see if they have or are scheduling a rain barrel event this spring and summer. Sign up here to join a list of people interested in knowing more about Rain barrels.
Did you receive a free rain barrel from the NYC DEP Rain Barrel Giveaway Program? Watch informative videos about setup, maintenance and winterization information plus register your rain barrel to maintain your warranty by clicking here.