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This summer, BBC and the City of Cleveland Office of Sustainability will again be providing free rain barrels to residents of the Central, Kinsman, and Garden Valley neighborhoods.

A rain barrel is not only a great addition to your home, but it benefits you as well as the environment.  By using water collected in a rain barrel to irrigate your lawn, you will reduce your water bills and decrease maintenance cost. Rain barrels also reduce water pollution by decreasing the amount of rain that enters our sewage treatment facilities, which if overflowed will send untreated sewage into Lake Erie.  Rainwater also contains nutrients great for plants and does not possess the chemicals of water from the tap.

The barrel itself is a large plastic container that connects to a downspout from a roof and has a spigot at the bottom to which a hose can be attached. The barrels are specially constructed to keep out mosquitoes and other pests. The collected water should not be used for drinking. During the spring and summer months, 2,100 gallons of water can be collected in a single rain barrel.

Residents who sign up for the program will work with BBC to have a downspout diverter installed on the downspout next to where they will the new rain barrel. The diverter is a device that captures water from the gutters and transfers it to the barrel for storage. Residents will coordinate with BBC to have their diverter installed before the rain barrel. Cost of entire project is free.

By enrolling in the program, residents may be able to have the storm water surcharge, which takes effect this summer, reduced or eliminated from their water bills.

BBC has a very limited number of free rain barrels and diverters, and will accept participants on a first-come, first-served basis.  Applications will be available for pick-up at BBC at 7201 Kinsman Road during business hours.

For more information, please call (216) 341-1455 or email [email protected].

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