Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Winthrop DPW - Rain Harvesting Project

Department of Public Works
100 Kennedy Drive, Winthrop MA 02152

David J. Hickey. Jr., Director
Phone: 617-846-1341
Fax: 617-539-1545

Press Release – For Immediate Circulation

Rain Barrels are Coming, Make your Deposit Soon!

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is very pleased to announce a rain harvesting project that proposes to provide our residents with rain barrels for $20. As our residents are aware the cost of our water is amongst some of the highest in the country. Possibly more important is the imbedded hard cost and energy costs of protecting, treating and pumping that water especially when the end use is for irrigation. In response the DPW has worked for several years to create a rain harvesting program that is environmentally sound and appropriate for the urban conditions of our Town and are happy to announce that the day is finally here!

What is rain harvesting all about? Well here in New England we receive about 44” of rain per year. Spread evenly over the course of the year and amongst the days of the month, this would normally be adequate to provide us with ample drinking water, as well as adequate irrigation for all of our crops, our trees, our farms, in short our landscapes. However, much of our rain comes in the spring and the fall and we approach arid conditions by mid summer. It is also common to have several wet days followed by numerous dry days. Rain harvesting provides a method of capturing the rains of spring for use in the summer and from wet days for use on dry days.

There are other environmental benefits associated with rain harvesting, including a more consistent groundwater infiltration process, a reduction in energy from water treatment and pumping systems, a reduction in the use of chemicals and an ability to balance the rain and water use cycle within our own communities.

Most importantly rain barrels have the ability to save our residents and our community money. The program we have developed is based on a 55 gallon durable plastic drum, with removable lids, screen guards and downspout diverter. The DPW has estimated that if all 300 barrels are well utilized, our residents can save between 450-550 cubic feet, or 3,600 gallons of water per year or about $65 per year. Collectively that is over $18,000 per year and 1 million gallons! The barrels were formally used in the import of olives, pickles and other “food grade” shipments and their re-use as rain barrels further decreases the “cradle-to-grave” cost.

There will be limited number of barrels available and they can be secured with a $20 advance pay, non-refundable deposit at the DPW. The checks should note “EPA rain barrel” in the memo line. Proof of residency is required. The barrels will be disturbed to the first 300 Winthrop residents that have made the advance deposit on Saturday June 12th between 8 and 11 am. No money will be accepted during the distribution. All sales must be done before June 10th. This first disbursement will be limited to 1 per household.

This project is undertaken in connection with the settlement of an enforcement action taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for all of our mutual goals to live in more sustainable communities.

1 comment:

  1. To Our Friends in Winthrop: After you have purchased and installed your rain barrel(s) and you should buy more than one, don't forget the most important project that will profit you most while participating in rainwater harvesting. That is the chore of keeping your rain gutters clean all year long to insure that your rainwater stays clean of mold, moss, mildew, bugs, virus, debris and stagnant stale water lying dormant in your gutters. You can do this easier and safer with the use of a Gutter Clutter Buster tool that keeps you on the ground all the while you are cleaning your gutters. Check it out on-line, as we did, as see for yourself how you can benefit by saving time, energy, money, and water that is excellent to flow constantly without clogs into your rain barrels. Happy Rainwater Harvesting to you all. God bless America!