Deadline to purchase Rain Barrels nearing

60 gal. Rain Barrels for purchase through the city for $69 from the Great American Rain Barrel Co. community program come in different colors. (Great American Rain Barrel Co. photo)

WESTFIELD – What better way to water your garden or your lawn than to use collected rain water? The City of Westfield has once again partnered with the Great American Rain Barrel Co. to buy discounted rain barrels, but the deadline to purchase one through the community program is fast approaching.
Globally, rainwater collection is an important and environmentally friendly source of water. The barrels themselves are made from re-purposed shipping drums into a complete water collection system right at a food importing plant in Hyde Park, MA, something they have been doing for 20 years. The idea originally came from two local school teachers in the 80’s, from ones they had seen in English gardens.
Rain water is an excellent water source for plants, gardens, lawns and any non-potable use. Regular use of a rain barrel can pay for itself in one season. One tenth of an inch of rain on a 1000 square foot roof — about 25 minutes of moderate rainfall– will fill a 60-gallon rain barrel. New England typically receives 17” of rain during the growing season from May through September. This provides enough water to fill 170 rain barrels. At 2 cents a gallon,  homeowners can expect to save $204 worth of water.
Harvesting rainwater can also help carry home gardeners through dry weeks in the summer, especially if water restrictions are called into play. “Rain fall is hard to gauge. Harvesting rain water with a rain barrel can mitigate the irregular patterns of rainfall,” said Joe Kietner, stormwater coordinator at the Westfield DPW. In 2016, 168 communities in Massachusetts faced restrictions on nonessential outdoor water use – 47% of the cities and towns in the state. There is no restriction on rainwater use.
Last year, 30% of Massachusetts cities and towns partnered with The Great American Rain Barrel Co, selling over 3000 barrels. Great American Rain Barrel Co has been an approved vendor by the MASSDEP for the state since 2010. The barrels are being offered for $69, and the deadline for purchase is Wednesday, May 16 by midnight.
The rain barrels are on display this week at the DPW and at the Annual Plant Sale by the Horticulture department at the Westfield Technical Academy.
Barrels will be available for pick up on Wednesday, May 23 at the Westfield DPW, 28 Sackett St., Westfield, MA. To participate in the Rain Barrel Program and find out more about the barrels, please visit: www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com/community/ and select your town.

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