It’s springtime and rain barrel workshops are again scheduled across the region in preparation for the coming growing season.
Starting a rain barrel program makes good environmental and economic sense. On the one green hand, diverting and collecting your downspout runoff lessens the amount of rainwater entering sewers and decreases the risk of backups and floods. And on the other green ($) hand, the homeowner/gardener benefits from the reduction seen in their water bills when using the rainwater for various yard needs; watering gardens, flowers, trees or lawns, washing walkways, etc.
Sponsored by the Energy Coordinating Agency and the Philadelphia Water Department, the workshops are free and open to city residents and will be held at various locations from April to June. Attendance at the workshop is required in order to receive a rain barrel. Space is very limited and registration is required.
For a complete listing of locations, phone numbers and times, click here.
The Campbell Soup Foundation in conjunction with the Camden Smart Initiative are inviting city residents to attend rainwater harvesting workshops. Participants will need to pay $5 for their materials, which include step by step instructions on building a rain barrel from scratch and attaching it to your home’s downspout. Rain barrel diverter kits will be available for purchase for an additional $10.
You should only use food grade 55-gallon drums to make a rain barrel. Seek Industrial size food purveyors the likes of which I listed below for used barrels. Grapevine had it that Pepsi Co. used to give theirs away but has since stopped the practice. Be nice when/if you call as there are no guarantees of receiving anything or even if they have anything to give. Be nice!
Regional Industrial Food Purveyors
Del-Val Food Ingredients – Moorestown, NJ (856) 778-6623
Catelli Brothers – Collingswood, NJ 08103 (856) 869-9293
Campbell Soup Company – Camden, NJ 08103 1-800-257-8443