April 15 2019

Save the Rain: Burlington Offering Rain Barrel Program

By: Thaddeus Stephanak

The Town of Burlington is offering a rain barrel program through the Conservation Department. Rain barrels can be purchased from The Great American Barrel Company.

The same program was offered two years ago according to Assistant Conservation Administrator Eileen Coleman.

“We thought this year would be a good time to pick it up again, especially since Burlington is currently under a water ban,” she explained. “It’s going to offer people a nice way to feel reassured they can water their plants without sprinkling”.

Burlington is currently under an outdoor water ban because the town needs an emergency permit to connect to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority supply live via Lexington. To be able to connect to the MWRA system the town must be in a water emergency which requires a water ban.

Coleman stated the reason Conservation is heading up the project is because it aligns with the department’s priorities.

“Conservation deals a lot with storm water, and with reducing stormwater pollution and reducing stormwater runoff into streets,” she said. “We want people to be able to collect their rain water and divert it for good uses like watering your garden. This totally suits our mission”

Coleman said Burlington, along with approximately 280 other towns in the state, are under the new EPA MS4 permit which went into effect last year. The MS4 permit is required of towns of a certain population and deals with storm water and carries some strict requirements including; education and outreach. The rain barrel initiative helps satisfy some of the MS4 requirements.

“Even apart from that with Conservation, this is what we do, we want to get water into the ground, not flowing over impervious surfaces and causing flooding,” Coleman said.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a rain barrel you can find them on display that the Conservation Department, the Burlington Public library and at Town Hall, along with order forms. The Great American Rain Barrel Company offer the barrels in three different colors and also has galvanized steel water diverters that fit standard residential downspout, metal or plastic. Keeping it green the the barrels are repurposed pickle and olive barrels.  

For more visit The Great American Rain Barrel Company website at www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com or call 800-251-2352.


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