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 r this summer, Wilmette is making an effort to help residents make good use of any torrential downpours to come. 

The 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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Willie Wilmette September 20, 2011 at 04:41 PM
It is hard to imagine that 55 gallons would make much of a difference in "any torrential downpour".
Greenwood September 21, 2011 at 12:08 AM
If enough of us buy rain barrels, perhaps they will collect enough rainwater to keep Max's basement from flooding.
Deep Dish Pizza September 24, 2011 at 10:08 PM
@Gale - There are about 10,000 homes in Wilmette (based on the census) 55 gallons X 10,000 homes = 550,000 gallons There are typically 4 corners to a home w/ downspouts, so... 55 gallons X 4 downspouts per home X 10,000 homes = 2,200,000 gallons So yeah, 55 gallons (multiplied out) CAN make a big difference even in a torrential downpour. Just sayin'.
Willie Wilmette September 24, 2011 at 11:11 PM
Deep, each plastic 55 gallon barrel can catch 1/10 inch of rain from one average Wilmette home. At a cost of over $2 million for 40,000 barrels, one imagines that there are probably more cost effective ways and/or ways to collect more water. On the other hand, the mosquito breeding barrels will pay for themselves after 100 fills, if the water reduces your watering by 55 gallons.
Willie Wilmette September 24, 2011 at 11:22 PM
For $37 million we could have caught all the house runoff and for a few million more we could also catch the garage runoff. These 40 available barrels are a drop in the bucket of the 690,000 barrels required.
Willie Wilmette September 24, 2011 at 11:24 PM
That is $37 million for largest one day's runoff in 2011 or 2008. It may have also rained the day before & after.


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