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April 10, 2019
Contact:, (718) 595-6600

2019 Rain Barrel Giveaway Program Kicks off in Southeast Queens

2019 Rain Barrel Giveaway Kicks Off in Southeast Queens

Fishing brochure provides anglers with info about fish species throughout reservoir system

200 Homeowners Received a Rain Barrel at Roy Wilkins Park

Rain Barrels Collect Precipitation, Reduce Water Bills and Improve the Health of Jamaica Bay

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) partnered this past Saturday with State Senator Leroy Comrie, Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman, and Council Member I. Daneek Miller to kick off the 2019 Rain Barrel Giveaway Program and distribute rain barrels to approximately 200 homeowners in Southeast Queens. 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. Saturday’s event was held at Roy Wilkins Park in St. Albans and the rain barrels were provided free of charge.

“Rain barrels are an environmentally-friendly way for homeowners to save water and money, while also promoting sustainability and conservation,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Collecting the stormwater that falls on a home’s roof eases pressure on the city’s sewer infrastructure, thereby reducing localized street flooding and improving the health of Jamaica Bay.”

“The rain barrel program has made countless individuals and families throughout Southeast Queens and the entire city better stewards of our environment,” said Senator Leroy Comrie. “Rain barrels not only encourage gardening and the conservation of water, but are also a strong tool in our efforts to reduce soil erosion and lessen the strain on our sewer system. I commend Commissioner Sapienza for leading this tremendous initiative.”

“Rain barrels are invaluable tools that benefit homeowners by helping them to conserve water, reduce costs, and lessen damaging street flooding,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “Southeast Queens has been the epicenter of such damage during heavy downpours, which underscores the significance of our community’s participation in the Department’s Rain Barrel Giveaway Program. I thank Commissioner Sapienza and his team for conducting this year’s launch of the program at Roy Wilkins Park, in recognition of our continuing partnership to advance greater sustainability and conservation within the region as well as throughout our City.”

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 local waterways, including Jamaica Bay. Last year, DEP distributed approximately 8,300 rain barrels to New York City homeowners.

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 one billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than nine 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 $19.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year.For more information, visit, 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