Rain Barrel Sale Launched to Help Keep Water Clean
A limited supply of barrels is available for residents make good use of rainfall overrun and keep the village's water supply up to code.
After record-breaking rains throughout the Chicago area this summer, Wilmette is making an effort to help residents make good use of any torrential downpours to come.
The Village of Wilmette purchased 40 barrels from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and is selling them to residents to manage rainfall. Ultimately, officials hope the initiative will keep the community’s water supply clean.
“Not only does it help us comply with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency permit, but it helps improve the quality of water in general,” Alex Cease, assistant to the public works director, said. “It helps with flooding because it limits the amount of water that makes it way into the sewer system and allows residents to use the water in an environmentally friendly way.”
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency maintains storm water management policies to keep flood and rain overrun from polluting the water supply. In addition to regular street cleaning and proper leaf collection in the fall, the IEPA requires municipalities handle storm water properly, especially in years with more than average rainfall.
Initially introduced in 2009 by the Village Manager, the Wilmette Department of Public Works is bringing back the initiative in hopes that residents will see the benefits of the extra water.
Once installed, rain barrels promise to manage excess storm water and store it for homeowners to use on the gardens, lawns or for cleaning. Barrels can hold up to 55 gallons of water at one time and are easily attached to a garden hose.
Rain barrels sold out when the village introduced them in 2009, but this year, officials are waiting to see what the response will be.
“We just started advertising so it’s too premature to say what the response is,” Cease said. “Obviously the economy has changed since 2009, so it’s going to be interesting to see how fast they sell in comparison.”
Rain barrels can be purchase at the Public Works Facility for $55.46 while supplies last.
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