Courtesy of NYC Department of Environmental Protection
More than 200 rain barrels were given away to homeowners in southeast Queens to collect stormwater to lower costs and help the environment.

Several elected officials partnered with the city Department of Environmental Protection last weekend to kick off the 2019 Rain Barrel Giveaway program and distribute rain barrels to more than 200 homeowners in southeast Queens.

The 60-gallon rain barrels are easy to install and connect directly to a property owner’s downspout to capture and store the stormwater that falls on rooftops.

“The rain barrel program has made countless individuals and families throughout southeast Queens and the entire city better stewards of our environment,” state Senator Leroy Comrie said. “Rain barrels not only encourage gardening and the conservation of water, but are also a strong tool in our efforts to reduce soil erosion and lessen the strain on our sewage system.”

The water collected in rain barrels can then be used to water lawns and gardens, or for other outdoor chores. Saturday’s event was held at Roy Wilkins Park in St. Albans and the rain barrels were provided free of choice.

“Rain barrels are an environmentally friendly way for homeowners to save water and money, while also promoting sustainability and conservation,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said.”Collecting the stormwater that falls on a home’s roof eases pressure on the city’s sewer infrastructure; thereby reducing localized street flooding and improving the health of Jamaica Bay.”

Rain barrels can help reduce a homeowner’s water bill as watering lawns and gardens can account for up to 40 percent of an average household’s water use during the summer months. Last year, DEP distributed more than 8,300 rain barrels to New York City homeowners. Each rain barrel contained an installation kit with instructions.

“Rain barrels are invaluable tools that benefit homeowners by helping them to conserve water, reduce costs, and lessen damaging street flooding,” Councilman I. Daneek Miller said. “Southeast Queens has been the epicenter of such damage during heavy downpours, which underscores the significance of our community’s participation in the Department’s Rain Barrel Giveaway Program.”

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