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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19-032
May 3, 2019
deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov; 718-595-6600

DEP Partners with Elected Officials and Community Board 5 to Distribute More than 300 Rain Barrels Across Kings County

Rain Barrels Collect Precipitation, Reduce Water Bills and Improve the Health of Jamaica Bay, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend Bay, and New York Harbor

New Yorkers Interested in Obtaining a Rain Barrel Should Contact Their Local Elected Official

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) partnered this past Saturday with State Senator Roxanne Persaud, State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Brooklyn Community Board 5 to distribute rain barrels to more than 300 homeowners in Brooklyn. 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 events were held at Senator Persaud’s district office, Marine Park, and the 400 Montauk Avenue Block Association Community Garden, 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, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend Bay, and New York Harbor.”

“Thank you to the Department of Environmental Protection for their valued partnership in our fourth annual giveaway; my constituents were delighted to receive their rain barrels and are eager to put them to good use,” said State Senator Roxanne Persaud. “Together, we are helping our environment by reducing the pollution of our waterways from rainwater runoff. We must all continue to do our parts in helping to save the environment. I am looking forward to next year's event.”

“Rain Barrels help people save water, save money, and reduce storm water pollution. The planet has reached a catastrophic tipping point and it’s our job to do what we can to correct course. My office was proud to host this event in partnership with DEP and looks forward to partnering on many more community based initiatives in the coming months,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes.

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, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend Bay, and New York Harbor. 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 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 $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 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