WAKEFIELD - The Wakefield Department of Public Works (DPW) is encouraging residents to take advantage of the opportunity to not only harvest and save rainwater, but to also save money by reducing their water consumption.

“This is the time of year to start thinking about water conservation,” Claire Moss, Stormwater Project Manager for the Wakefield DPW said. “Rain fall is difficult to gauge. Harvesting rain water with a rain barrel can not only help mitigate the irregular patterns of rainfall but also reduce the amount of runoff that enters the Town’s waterbodies.”

For a limited time, Wakefield residents can purchase a 60-gallon Great American Rain Barrel Co. rain barrel through the Wakefield DPW at a discounted price of $40, $44 and $49 per barrel, a 60% discount off the retail price. Residents can purchase a rain barrel through the Great American Rain Barrel Co. website: www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com/community/ and then selecting Wakefield from the dropdown menu. The offer is available until midnight, May 24th, with pick up on May 30th.

According to Moss and Great American Rain Barrel Co., capturing and storing water at the home and the use of rain gardens are two effective ways to minimize stormwater runoff. The water collected by a rain barrel is an excellent water source for plants, gardens, lawns and any non-potable use, and the regular use of a rain barrel can pay for itself in one season.

One tenth of an inch of rain on a 1000 square foot roof --about 25 minutes of moderate rainfall-- will fill a 60-gallon rain barrel. New England typically receives 17” of rain during the growing season from May through September. This provides enough water to fill 170 rain barrels. At 2 cents a gallon, homeowners can expect to accumulate $204 worth of water, according to figures compiled by a 2017 MWRA rate survey.

Great American Rain Barrel Co., a local food importing company, has been repurposing shipping drums into Rain Barrels since 1988 and has been an approved vendor by the MASSDEP since 2010. Last year, 30% of Massachusetts cities and towns partnered with the company, selling over 3000 barrels.

Information about the Wakefield DPW/Great American Rain Barrel Co. offer, including the benefits of using a rain barrel and ordering information (including specifications, color choices, etc.) can be obtained on the website www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com/community and on the Wakefield DPW website www.wakefield.ma.us/public-works.

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