Posted Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

If your water bill has you over a barrel, the Morris County Soil Conservation District suggests you put that barrel to good use.

Joseph Dunn, Soil Conservation District Manager, said his agency is offering discounted rain barrels to Morris County residents to help them capture and store rainwater from their home’s roof gutter system for later use.

“A rain barrel can reduce your water bill by reducing consumption,” Dunn said. “It can also help reduce pollution from the chemicals water run off picks up before the water washes into our streams and rivers.”

The 55-gallon rain barrels being offered by the Soil Conservation District are designed for watering flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees either by connecting a garden hose to a spigot on the rain barrel or by filling a watering can.

“It only takes a quarter of an inch of rain run off from an average roof to fill a barrel,” Dunn said. “One inch of rainfall on a 1,000-square-foot roof will yield about 600 gallons of water. By using a rain barrel, we can conserve this vital resource and still keep our plants and shrubs watered, even if we live in a community that has imposed restrictions on the outdoor use of water.”

The rain barrels are made of safe, recycled food-grade plastic for extended use, and come sealed with enough room for a down spout to be inserted into the top.

While commercially advertised rain barrels can sell for $125 to $300, Dunn said the Soil Conservation District is offering them to Morris County residents for $60. A downspout kit is also available for $15.

The rain barrels may be ordered by calling the Soil Conservation District office at 973-285-2953 or by e-mailing the office at [email protected]