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Residents Can Buy Sustainable Rain Barrels at Reduced Price

UPDATE - June 16, 2010: Black rain barrels are currently back ordered through mid July. Blue rain barrels are still available.


March 29, 2010                                                                                                                                                     
PORTSMOUTH –   The City of Portsmouth is offering its water customers the opportunity to purchase 60-gallon rain barrels at a reduced price, which will allow them to collect and store rainwater for such uses as irrigating lawns and flower gardens while saving on water bills and reducing stormwater runoff.

Thanks to $55,000 in federal stimulus funding distributed by the NH Department of Environmental Services, Portsmouth water system customers can now conveniently preorder up to two of the recycled plastic barrels for $30 each–half the market price–online and the cost will be added to their water and sewer bill.  The Portsmouth water system services residents of Portsmouth, Newington, Greenland, New Castle and parts of Rye.

Portsmouth officials say placing a rain barrel beneath the gutters of a home can save about 1,300 gallons of water during the summer months. A typical half-inch rainfall can fill a 60-gallon rain barrel, which can be connected to a soaker hose or used to fill a watering can to water flowers or wash a vehicle. The water is free of chlorine, calcium and lime.

“By intercepting rain before it flows off a property, rain barrels also reduce stormwater runoff to local streams, storm drains and the Piscataqua River,” said David Allen, deputy director of the Department of Public Works. “In addition, conserving water this way lessens the impact on the City’s wastewater facilities, reducing the amount of water that must be processed and chemicals required to do so.”

Rain barrels must be preordered at and are available only to Portsmouth water system customers. The cost will automatically be added to the customer’s next water and sewer bill. Once the barrels arrive, they may be picked up at the Department of Public Works facility at 680 Peverly Hill Road between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 Allen said the City of Portsmouth is dedicated to supporting water conservation, empowering property owners to reduce water used for irrigation, and to reducing peak demand on the water system through the use of rain barrels.