The Issue: Polluted Runoff and Residential Flooding
Looking to reduce flooding in your neighborhood and cut down on the amount of polluted stormwater that ends up in local streams? A rain barrel on your property is a great way to start!
Polluted Stormwater Runoff
Rainwater needs to go somewhere. When rainwater cannot soak into the soil, it instead travels across the ground and becomes stormwater runoff.
As the stormwater flows from higher to lower elevation, it picks up whatever it comes in contact with, such as pet waste, fertilizer, pesticides, oil from cars, trash and soil. The runoff is eventually channeled into storm drains that connect directly to rivers and streams. Since stormwater is not treated like wastewater, all the pollutants it picks up along the way are brought into local rivers and streams.
Water that is not absorbed into the ground can cause trouble for homeowners as well. Stormwater runoff can overwhelm the storm sewer system and local waterways, which can lead to flooding in our homes.
What can you do? Get a Rain Barrel!
When we catch and keep the rainwater that falls on our houses, we reduce local flooding and stress on storm sewer system infrastructure, keep pollutants out of our rivers and streams. We also end up with a bunch of clean water that is perfect for watering lawns and gardens, washing cars or the family dog, and offsetting household water usage in many other ways.
One simple, efficient, low-cost method to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from your property is to use rain barrels. Estimates indicate that a quarter-inch of rain falling on an average home yields over 200 gallons of water. Rain barrels are simply large containers that capture stormwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost as runoff. Modern rain barrels are sealed, safe around children and insect resistant – they can even be painted or decorated to your liking. You can divert water from your downspout to fill your rain barrel and a hose spigot on the front makes the water easy to access and use.
Around 40% of total household water used during the summer months is for watering lawns and gardens. Rainwater doesn’t contain chlorine, lime or calcium which makes it ideal for watering your flowers and vegetable garden or washing your car or windows. You may even notice a decrease in your water bill!
Even if you don’t have an intended use for the water, emptying the rain barrel after a storm reduces the rate and volume of stormwater the storm sewer system and our rivers have to manage at a peak time.
Benefits of Rain Barrels at a Glance
- Reduce polluted stormwater runoff from entering our local rivers and streams by collecting water than would have flowed over surfaces and collected pollutants.
- Help alleviate local flooding by keeping water out of the storm sewer system and rivers.
- Save money by using the captured rain water to water your lawn and garden.
How Can I Get a Rain Barrel?
The Conservation Foundation sells rain barrels year-round through a partnership with Upcycle Products, Inc. The 55-gallon rain barrels are made of recycled food-grade plastic, come in a variety of colors and can be purchased online for $60 (plus tax). Pick up the rain barrel at The Conservation Foundation’s McDonald Farm or pay an additional $18.50 for home delivery. Barrels can also be purchased in person at McDonald Farm or area events for $65 (includes tax).
Rain barrels are available for purchase and pick up every Thursday from 2 to 4p.m. April through September at:
The Conservation Foundation’s McDonald Farm
10S404 Knoch Knolls Rd
Naperville, IL 60565
If you are a Joliet resident use the link below – the first 150 orders will receive a discount :