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EPA encourages homeowners to explore the benefits of rain barrels
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging homeowners to explore the opportunity of introducing a rain barrel next to their homes this summer to help save precious water and control storm water runoff.
A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from the roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams. A rain barrel is relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and can sit conveniently under any residential gutter down spout.
“Rain barrels are a way for homeowners to save money by saving water,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Not only can they use the water collected in the rain barrel to water their gardens, they are also actively helping the environment by reducing pollution in local streams and rivers.”
EPA’s Public Information Center at 1650 Arch St. in Philadelphia is showcasing a new exhibit called the Art and Science of Rain Barrels through Sept. 20. As visitors to the exhibit will see, rain barrels do not have to be boring. The rain barrel exhibit includes examples of decorated rain barrels from the Mt. Airy Art Garage, the Philadelphia Water Department and the Energy Coordinating Agency, which are coordinating the exhibit with EPA.
Visitors also will get a quick education on how using rain barrels can help the environment.
Last year, EPA and the city of Philadelphia embarked on a new Green City, Clean Waters partnership to transform many of Philadelphia’s traditional hardened surfaces to green areas, ultimately making local waters cleaner and communities healthier, vibrant and more attractive places to live and work. Since then, the city has been encouraging its residents to install rain barrels to help reduce storm water runoff.
EPA’s Public Information Center is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All visitors who are 18 or older must show a valid photo ID and go through security before entering the exhibit area.