A rain barrel installed outside of a Philadelphia Home

Free Rain Barrel

by Sharon Hale Jenkins

I have to admit I was rather skeptical at first about Philadelphia’s new Rain Barrel Program. My first thought was here is yet another rule or requirement about how to live my life in the city. However, after going through the process of actually installing a rain barrel, I see the benefits of the program.

We can all agree, I think, that it has been an unusually wet summer and that unwanted storm water runoff is a real problem in the city and its’ surrounding counties.

A rain barrel installed outside of a Philadelphia Home
A rain barrel installed outside of a Philadelphia Home.

Flooding has been a major problem in many parts of the city and in the country as a whole. It appears that our summers will continue to get wetter. The rain barrel program can help deal with this situation by removing some of the excess water from our storm drains and storing it for use at a later time.

There are many places you can purchase a water barrel, but I took advantage of the city’s FREE rain barrel program. The city’s rain barrel program is the best way to obtain and get a free rain barrel installed through the City of Philadelphia’s Water Department.

There is a required workshop that you must attend and you must also bring several forms showing you live in the home where the rain barrel is to be installed. If you are a renter, your landlord must provide the required forms that may be downloaded, completed and brought with you to your scheduled workshop.

Workshops are offered four times throughout the program season. However, it is best if you place your contact information on the program list to ensure you will be notified early in the beginning of the season.

After attending the one hour workshop and submitting the required forms, I was called for a Saturday appointment within three weeks. I connected my garden hose to the barrel after the installation. The savings on my monthly water usage were seen and felt IMMEDIATELY!!

To get more information about the City of Philadelphia’s rain barrel program, contact Aaron Slater at:  @ecasavesene

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