Recycling is extra helpful during times of drought, which have plagued the area in many recent summers. There have also been periods of hard, persistent rain that when funneled out of troughs is apt to wash dirt into streams and cloud them.
The 50-gallon rain barrel, which is three and a half feet tall, helps in “reducing storm water runoff pollution from residential lots, allowing residents to store and use rainwater for irrigation and gardening during times of drought,” City Stormwater Quality Specialist Michael Huffman explained. In turn, using less water results in “lowering water bills, and reducing the demand on municipal water treatment and supply.”
Further, he said, it collects water that potentially can flood a basement or drench a low spot on one’s property. Rainwater that reaches the storm drain carries “potential contaminants and contributes to flash flooding” as it moves along, he noted. “The cumulative effect of rain barrels implemented throughout a geographic area can have a significant impact on storm water management and water quality.”
Indeed, the broader aim is for county-wide “residents to conserve precious water resources, as well as to protect water quality,” City Public Information Officer Tara Tinsley Ledbetter said.
Huffman said “The City of Hendersonville is committed to protecting our water quality, and managing storm water runoff. This program is an important step toward protecting clean water in our community. It offers an inexpensive and proven option, to help people make a difference in their own backyards.”
As he noted, the collected water can “be used for gardens, lawns, and washing cars or pets.”
The black barrel’s size is 42.5 inches high, 22 inches side and 18 inches long.
The price is $68, which is one-third off of the normal retail of $99, city officials noted. Barrels are purchased with a credit card, via the the program’s website.
They are sold first-come, first-bought with a limited number and a pickup of May 27 or 28 ahead of the usual rainiest season of summer. Pickup is 9-5, at the former Grey Hosiery Mill’s vacant parking lot at 301 Fourth Ave. E. near the courthouse in Hendersonville.
Ivy is the barrel’s model name. The barrels are made in the U.S. by Raleigh-based Rain Water Solutions, from 50 percent recycled plastic, Huffman said.
A downspout leads into the barrel, funneling rainwater down from roof-tops using gravity. Thus, no pumps are required. Two or more rain barrels can be linked, using an overflow hose. Ivy’s three-fourths inch ball valve “easily connects to garden hose” to use for watering, Huffman said. All parts are included, making the barrel ready to set up
The lid is “child-proof, and bug-proof,” Huffman said. He calls the barrel’s overflow setup “best in class.” And he said they are compact enough so two barrels “easily fit in the backseat of a mid-sized sedan,” for pickup.
To order rain barrels or for more information on the city’s program, check visit: http://www.rainwatersolutions.com/products/hendersonville.