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MDC Encouraging Use of Rain Barrels

Metropolitan District (MDC) has set up a rain barrel demonstration at the Windsor Public Library, and is encouraging the installation of rain barrels to harvest rainwater as part of the organization's Clean Water Project.

Release submitted by MDC

The Metropolitan District (MDC) today announced the installation of a demonstration rain barrel at the Windsor Public Library. A component of the MDC’s Clean Water Project, the installation of rain barrels can help homeowners save money and preserve the environment. 

A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater from a house’s roof by diverting runoff from the downspout of the house’s gutter system. The stored rainwater can then be used as a free source of clean water for a number of outdoor uses, such as watering plants and gardens, or washing cars. Using a rain barrel can help the average homeowner save about 1,300 gallons of water during peak summer months, which in turn can lead to lower water bills.

In addition to saving money, the use of rain barrels provides a number of important environmental benefits, including reducing the amount of stormwater that enters the sanitary sewer system during rainstorms, which preserves pipe capacity for sanitary sewage, limiting sewage overflows into homes, streets and local waterways. Rain barrels can also help to curb pollution of local waterways caused by urban runoff.

“We are excited to be able to provide these examples of how MDC customers can take steps to not only reduce their water bill, but also contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment,” said Scott W. Jellison, MDC Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

Rain barrels are just one part of the MDC’s Clean Water Project, an ambitious project designed to both improve the environment and protect the health and safety of the community.  MDC’s aging sewer infrastructure, including pipes that in some places are more than 150 years old, allows sewage to back up into basements, overflow into neighborhood streets and spill out into local rivers and streams.

When it rains, stormwater enters the sanitary sewer system both through direct connections such as sump pumps and downspouts, as well as through cracks and breaks in the pipes.  This allows stormwater to mix with sewage, exceeding pipe capacity.  By collecting rain water that would otherwise enter the sanitary sewer system and be unnecessarily treated, rain barrels are a smart, green way to help manage stormwater in Greater Hartford communities. 

“The Town of Windsor was happy to have the opportunity to host a demonstration rain barrel at our public library,” said Emily Moon, Assistant Town Manager. “We strive to find creative ways to encourage water conservation and green technologies in our town facilities, businesses and residences. We hope that Windsor residents will learn more about rain barrels and the Clean Water Project by seeing the display at the library or by visiting the MDC's website.”

Rain barrels are available for purchase at Hartford-area hardware and home improvement stores. In addition, The MDC has a limited number of rain barrels available through a pilot project on a first-come, first-serve basis to residents of MDC member towns (Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Newington, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor).  To learn more about how you can get a rain barrel (one per household) from the MDC, please direct your request to Ellen Tedford with The Metropolitan District through email at cleanwaterproject@themdc.com or by calling (860) 278-7850 ext. 3224.

About the Metropolitan District Commission 

The Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) manages the water and sewer systems for several municipalities in the greater Hartford area.  Founded in 1929, the MDC provides its customers with safe, pure drinking water, environmentally protective wastewater collection and treatment and other services that benefit its member towns. For more information about the MDC please visit http://www.themdc.com.

Jennifer Coe June 20, 2012 at 11:49 PM
We got a free one. Just deciding where to put it.
Eliza Perry June 22, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I'm excited to see more and more people jumping on the rain barrel trend. I use this kit: http://www.rainbarrelparts.com/product_rbpEM_RSP_kits_rectangular.php. It's DIY and really, really easy to install. Believe me - you won't want to go back.

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