Posted Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Joseph Dunn, Morris County Soil Conservation District Manager, promoted the concept of using rain barrels to conserve water to the Morris County Board of Freeholders at the board’s Aug. 10 work session in Morristown.

Dunn said his agency is offering discounted 55-gallon rain barrels to homeowners to help them capture and store rainwater from their home’s roof gutter system to be used later to water flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees.

“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.”

Dunn told the freeholders that while commercially advertised rain barrels can sell for $100, the Soil Conservation District is offering them for $85 pre-assembled. A do-it-yourself version is $65, and comes complete with detailed instructions and all of the attachments that are needed for assembly, Dunn said.

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

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]