Connecticut has seen its share of rain in recent weeks, and the Regional Water Authority is encouraging Connecticut residents to utilize every drop by using a rain barrel.
The agency believes it is a simple solution that can save you money and help the environment.
“Particularly as the climate changes, we're going to have longer and more severe periods of drought,” said Patrick Comins, Executive Director of the Connecticut Audubon Society in Milford.
The Connecticut Audubon Society in Milford is doing its part to use water wisely by utilizing rain barrels.
“It works just like your hose,” Comins said. “You hook your hose right up to it and there’s a little lever on the bottom and gravity does the rest.”
A one-inch rainfall on an average size roof can yield up to the 700 gallons of water.
Forty percent of the average homeowner's water use comes from using water outdoors. The water is used for activities such as watering your garden or lawn and washing your car.
Rain barrels aren’t just budget-friendly, they also help keep our local water clean.
When rain runs off into storm drains, it picks up pollutants like oil, spilled gas, and fertilizer that then contaminate Long Island Sound and other waterways.
“Instead it’s going to be infiltrated into the ground it’s going to go into the plants, the plants are going to transpire some of that back into the atmosphere, and it’s going to treat that water and purify it before it reaches any critical habitat,” said Comins.
The Regional Water Authority has been selling rain barrels at a significant discount for the past five years, typically selling 100-200 barrels. But last year they sold out all 300 they had in stock and they’ve already sold nearly half their supply this year just in the past few days.
“Unfortunately, we did try to request more from the manufacturer but we’re being told that there’s even a shortage of rain barrels,” said Kate Rayner, a spokesperson for the Regional Water Authority. “They are very popular not only here in Connecticut, but nationwide.”
The rain barrel manufacturer believes the increase in sales is a result of the ongoing pandemic and people spending more time at home gardening, taking care of their lawn and being more conscious when it comes to the environment -- and their wallet.