Rain Barrels and You: The why and how of using rain barrels

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Presentation prepared by Abington, PA Environmental Advisory Council for a public workshop held on October 13, 2010.

This presentation includes information on watersheds (including Abington Township's watersheds), stormwater, the importance of rain barrel along with how to install, maintain, and decorate a rain barrel.

Workshop funded by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund through a Section 319 federal Clean Water Act grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Primex Garden Center was a workshop partner.

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Rain Barrels and You: The why and how of using rain barrels

  1. 1. Welcome to the Rain Barrel Workshop Presented by the Abington Township Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) October 13, 2010 This workshop is funded by a grant from Water Resources Education Network , a program of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund through a Section 319 federal Clean Water Act grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Welcome </li></ul><ul><li>Watersheds and You </li></ul><ul><li>Water Cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Stormwater 101 </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of Rain Barrels </li></ul><ul><li>Using Your Rain Barrel </li></ul><ul><li>Rain Barrel Art Contest </li></ul><ul><li>Pledge and Survey </li></ul>
  3. 3. Welcome <ul><li>Commissioner John Carlin (Ward 15) and the EAC welcome you </li></ul><ul><li>Presented by Abington Twp Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) and Primex Garden Center </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by Water Resources Education Network </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A program of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund, through a Section 319 federal Clean Water Act grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://wren.palwv.org/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For more information, visit the EAC website: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.eac-abington.org </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What You Will Learn… <ul><li>What watershed you live in </li></ul><ul><li>Why you should use rain barrels </li></ul><ul><li>Our impact on the water cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of using a rain barrel </li></ul><ul><li>How to use a rain barrel </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why Use A Rain Barrel? <ul><li>Saves you money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On water bills and sewer taxes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Useful water </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gardening, outdoor washing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Less flooding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less stormwater runoff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Less erosion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces amount of water flowing off your property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces amount of water flowing into creeks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Less pollution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chemicals wash off streets & lawns and into creeks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excess fertilizers cause algae blooms & kill fish </li></ul></ul>It all adds up to a healthier world
  6. 6. Rain Barrels, Installed
  7. 7. Rain Barrels, Installed
  8. 8. Rain Barrels, Installed
  9. 9. Abington EAC – Upcoming Events <ul><li>Trees for Abington </li></ul><ul><ul><li>March 26, 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Living Streamside </li></ul><ul><ul><li>April 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Earthday Cleanups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>April 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Arbor Day </li></ul><ul><ul><li>April 30, 2011 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Abington EAC – Stay Involved <ul><ul><li>www.eac-abington.org </li></ul></ul><ul><li>www.facebook.com/Abington EAC </li></ul><ul><li>Public meeting the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30 in this room </li></ul>
  11. 11. Help Abington Go Green! Image courtesy of Sergiu Bascioiu  www.flickr.com/photos/sergiu_bacioiu/4525869478 .
  12. 12. Watersheds and You
  13. 13. What is a Watershed? <ul><li>An area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place – EPA </li></ul><ul><li>EVERYONE lives in a watershed!! </li></ul>
  14. 14. What is a Watershed? Includes water draining from rain, melted snow, draining pools, hoses, power washing houses, washing cars, etc .
  15. 15. Why Is Your Watershed Important? <ul><li>It is your natural community </li></ul><ul><li>It links you with all other living organisms in the watershed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What you do effects others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What others do effects you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water from your property affects stream level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is one part of the entire drainage system </li></ul>
  16. 16. Delaware River Watershed Map created by Karl Musser
  17. 17. Philadelphia Area Watersheds
  18. 18. Abington Township Watersheds <ul><li>Pennypack </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.phillywatersheds.org/your_watershed/pennypack </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.pennypackgreenway.org </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tookany/Tacony-Frankford </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.phillywatersheds.org/your_watershed/tookany_tacony_frankford </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.ttfwatershed.org </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wissahickon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.phillywatersheds.org/your_watershed/wissahickon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.wvwa.org </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Pennypack Watershed <ul><li>56.5 square miles </li></ul><ul><li>Drains into Delaware River </li></ul>Image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  20. 20. Pennypack Watershed Map courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  21. 21. Wissahickon Creek Watershed <ul><li>63.8 square miles </li></ul><ul><li>Drains into Schuylkill River </li></ul>Image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  22. 22. Wissahickon Creek Watershed Map courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  23. 23. Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek Watershed <ul><li>38.7 square miles </li></ul><ul><li>Drains into Delaware River </li></ul>Image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  24. 24. Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek Watershed Map courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  25. 25. www.phillywatersheds.org/your_watershed/find_your_watershed Find Your Watershed
  26. 26. www.phillywatersheds.org/your_watershed/find_your_watershed Find Your Watershed
  27. 27. The Water Cycle Natural Water Cycle Urban Water Cycle Re-establishing the Natural Water Cycle
  28. 28. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  29. 29. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  30. 30. Natural vs. Urbanized Water Cycle Images courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  31. 31. Pennypack Watershed Land Use <ul><li>56.5 square miles </li></ul><ul><li>14.4% forest cover </li></ul><ul><li>74.3% urban development </li></ul><ul><li>~25% impervious </li></ul><ul><li>Per PA Stream Stats and PWD </li></ul>Image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  32. 32. Wissahickon Watershed Land Use <ul><li>63.8 square miles </li></ul><ul><li>26.8% forest cover </li></ul><ul><li>57.3% urban development </li></ul><ul><li>~25% impervious </li></ul><ul><li>Per PA Stream Stats and PWD </li></ul>Image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  33. 33. Tookany-Tacony/Frankford Watershed Land Use <ul><li>38.7 square miles </li></ul><ul><li>4.6% forest cover </li></ul><ul><li>89.2% urban development </li></ul><ul><li>~59% impervious in Philadelphia </li></ul><ul><li>Per PA Stream Stats and PWD </li></ul>Image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  34. 34. Stormwater 101 Photo courtesy of thirteen of clubs
  35. 35. Stormwater <ul><li>Runoff from roads, houses, parking lots, lawns, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Impervious surfaces increase volume and rate of runoff </li></ul><ul><li>Carries pathogens, nutrients, pollutants </li></ul><ul><li>Can cause erosion and flooding </li></ul>
  36. 36. How to Manage Stormwater & Re-establish A Natural Water Cycle <ul><li>Slow down and infiltrate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct into vegetated areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plant trees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rain barrels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rain Gardens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Porous pavement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Infiltration trenches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Green (vegetated) roofs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep it clean </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pick up pet waste </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain your vehicle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean up spills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use pesticides and fertilizers correctly </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. You Can Make A Difference <ul><li>Find your watershed </li></ul><ul><li>Think about your neighbors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Upstream and downstream </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t put anything into storm drain </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it clean </li></ul><ul><li>Slow down and infiltrate </li></ul>
  38. 38. Rain Gardens
  39. 39. Benefits of Rain Barrels Benefits – community & environmental Benefits – personal Potential Impact
  40. 40. Community Benefits Environmental Benefits <ul><li>Reduces water flowing off your property </li></ul><ul><ul><li>stormwater runoff volume </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reduces combined sewer overflows </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces stream bank erosion </li></ul>Lower image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  41. 41. Community Benefits Environmental Benefits <ul><li>Decreases pollution going into local waterways </li></ul><ul><li>Increases water quality </li></ul><ul><li>Restores suitable habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes understanding of the amount of runoff generated by a single home </li></ul><ul><li>Visibility can educate other neighborhood residents </li></ul>Lower image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  42. 42. Personal Benefits <ul><li>Save $$ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Water bill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sewer bill </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Save water </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Watering lawn and gardens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outdoor washing and cleaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Car </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Outdoor/patio furniture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gardening containers & tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watering compost pile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filling bird bath </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watering indoor and outdoor plants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Topping off pools & ponds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Save time (spent watering plants) </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces neighborhood flooding </li></ul>*Note – Water from rain barrels should NOT be used as drinking water Images courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  43. 43. How much water? Potential Impact <ul><li>V = volume of rainfall (gallons)     </li></ul><ul><li>A = surface area roof (square feet)   </li></ul><ul><li>R = rainfall (feet)   </li></ul><ul><li>0.90 = losses to system (no units)    </li></ul><ul><li>7.5 = conversion factor (gallons per cubic foot) </li></ul><ul><li>V = A x R x 0.90 x 7.5 </li></ul>Courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department Type of House Average Roof Square Footage Gallons produced during 1/2&quot; rain storm # of 54 gallon barrels that would fill Row Home 800 225 4 Single Detached in the city 1900 534 10 Single Detached in the suburbs 2500 703 13
  44. 44. Using Your Rain Barrel Installation Operation & Maintenance Real Examples
  45. 45. Rain barrels on the market Images courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  46. 46. Achla rain barrel <ul><li>Achla design RB-01 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>54 gallon capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Height 32”, diameter 24” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weight 20 lbs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 faucet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overflow hose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Debris screen keeps out insects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child-proof lid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UV-stable polyethylene </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linking kit included (to link to other barrels) </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. Rain Barrel Installation Courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department Screen lid Screen Lid Collects rain Allow 1 or 2 inches space between lid and downspout Overflow opening and directional hose (located at back)
  48. 48. Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 1 Courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  49. 49. Downspout Diverters switches Courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  50. 50. Hose Attachments Soaker hose (drip irrigation) Courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  51. 51. Elevating Your Barrel <ul><li>Optional </li></ul><ul><li>Rain barrel stands </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong, 450 pounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do-It-Yourself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cinder blocks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wood </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Purchase, about $50 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plastic stands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wooden stands </li></ul></ul>
  52. 52. Elevating Your Barrel <ul><li>Optional </li></ul><ul><li>Rain barrel stands </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong, 450 pounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do-It-Yourself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cinder blocks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wood </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Purchase, about $50 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plastic stands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wooden stands </li></ul></ul>
  53. 53. Elevating Your Barrel <ul><li>Rain barrel stands </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong, 450 pounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>DIY </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cinder blocks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Purchase, about $50 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plastic stands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wooden stands </li></ul></ul>
  54. 54. Operation <ul><li>Allow the barrel to capture the rain water. Then: </li></ul><ul><li>Use water in barrel after each rain event (typically 3-4 days) </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Allow water to drain to the ground </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave spigot always cracked open </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attach soaker hose </li></ul></ul>Image courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  55. 55. DO NOT use rain barrel water on edible plants if you have… <ul><li>Roof of wood shingles or shakes that has been treated with chemicals to resist rotting and moss growth </li></ul><ul><li>Zinc anti-moss strips on your roof </li></ul><ul><li>Copper roof or copper gutters </li></ul><ul><li>Asphalt shingles with zinc embedded in the surface </li></ul>If you have recently re-roofed, check shingle specifications before using a rain barrel Courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  56. 56. Maintenance <ul><li>Keep screen free of debris </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure attachments are correct and tight </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure gutters and downspouts are clear of obstructions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Optional: Mosquito dunk </li></ul><ul><li>Recommend that barrel be winterized </li></ul>Images courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department
  57. 57. Winterize your barrel <ul><li>Before Nov 15 </li></ul><ul><li>To winterize: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Empty all water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turn barrel upside down </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check gutter and redirect as needed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Start re-using in spring </li></ul><ul><ul><li>After March 15 </li></ul></ul>Image by Gilbert Garcia www.flickr.com/photos/36667795@N00/361667885 /
  58. 58. Expanding to more rain barrels <ul><li>Consider adding barrels to other downspouts </li></ul><ul><li>Connect multiple rain barrels in series </li></ul><ul><li>Linking kit included </li></ul>Courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department Series connector for Spruce Creek Rainsaver
  59. 59. Abington Twp EAC / WREN Rain Barrel Voucher <ul><li>This voucher verifies that </li></ul><ul><li>_________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>has attended the Abington Twp EAC/WREN Rainbarrel Workshop, has paid $35.00, and is entitled to receive one green Achla design RB-01 </li></ul><ul><li>54-gallon rain barrel from Primex Garden Center. No substitutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Limit one barrel per voucher/household. </li></ul>*This workshop is hosted by the volunteers of the Abington Environmental Advisory Council (EAC), and is funded by a grant from Water Resources Education Network , a program of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund through a Section 319 federal Clean Water Act grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Present this voucher to: Primex Garden Center 435 West Glenside Ave Glenside PA 19038 215-887-7500
  60. 60. Pick Up Your Rain Barrel <ul><li>Between now and November 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Take voucher to Primex Garden Center </li></ul><ul><li>Present voucher at main checkout </li></ul><ul><li>They will load barrel into your car </li></ul>
  61. 61. Rain Barrel Art Contest <ul><li>Use your creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Decorate your barrel </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended primer: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Stix” white exterior grade primer, made by INSL-X </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recommended paint: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enamel for metal and wood, exterior grade </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recommended varnish: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spar varnish, exterior grade, glossy or non-glossy </li></ul></ul>Image by Katie Elzer- Peters www.flickr.com/photos/ktplant/4398222559/
  62. 62. How to paint your barrel <ul><li>Wipe clean. </li></ul><ul><li>Draw design with chalk. </li></ul><ul><li>Paint “Stix” primer on design area. Let dry 12 hours. </li></ul><ul><li>Paint design with colored enamel. Let dry 12 hours. </li></ul><ul><li>Paint entire barrel with spar varnish. Let dry 12 hours. </li></ul>Image by F. Delventhal www.flickr.com/photos/krossbow/4573155886/
  63. 63. How to Enter Contest <ul><li>Send entry form and photo of your decorated barrel to: </li></ul><ul><li> Abington Township </li></ul><ul><li> c/o EAC Rain Barrel Art Contest </li></ul><ul><li> 1176 Old York Rd </li></ul><ul><li> Abington PA 19001 </li></ul><ul><li>Or email entry form and photo to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Entries accepted until April 30, 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Winners announced in June 2011 </li></ul>Image by Clyde Robinson www.flickr.com/photos/crobj/4041028125/
  64. 64. Questions?
  65. 65. Pledge
  66. 66. Survey
  67. 67. Turn in your Pledge and Survey to receive your voucher = + This voucher verifies that _________________________ has attended the Abington Twp Abington Twp EAC / WREN Rain Barrel Voucher Primex Garden Center 215-887-7500
  68. 68. Thank you for helping Abington Go Green! Blades of grass photo courtesy of Sergiu Bascioiu  www.flickr.com/photos/sergiu_bacioiu/4525869478 .

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