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City implements rain barrel pilot program

Did you know that rain travels over the tops of roofs, across paved areas and into storm drains, which lead to San Diego's creeks and rivers, and eventually to the ocean, affecting our beaches and bays? Along the way, this runoff picks up metals from roofs and other pollutants from paved areas and carries them directly to the ocean untreated, where they can harm our precious marine ecosystem.

As part of its primary mission to prevent pollutants from flowing to local beaches and bays, the City of San Diego Storm Water Department is implementing a Rain Barrel/Downspout Disconnect Pilot Program. The pilot program will reduce polluted storm water runoff by capturing and storing rain and condensation from roofs at carefully chosen municipal sites throughout the city. The runoff will be used to irrigate planter boxes or nearby landscaped areas during dry summer months, effectively filtering the runoff before it drains untreated to our beaches and bays.

In April, rain barrels were installed at seven municipal facilities throughout the city. In an effort to determine the most effective rain barrel system, several different types of rain barrels were selected to match the site and design of the roof. During the rainy season, water quality samples will be taken to determine the effectiveness of the rain barrel systems in reducing polluted runoff and conserving water.

Installing rain barrels at your home or business is an excellent, cost effective way to help reduce storm water overflow during rainy periods and prevent pollution of our local waterways. Rain barrels also help conserve water and can save money by storing rain and roof condensation, which can be used for irrigation during the summer months. All of the rain barrels installed as part of the city's pilot program were obtained from hardware stores and garden shops. A variety of rain barrel styles and options are available, making it easy to choose one that works best for your home or business.

For additional information on the citywide project, contact the Storm Water Department at 858-541-4300.

Submitted by the City of San Diego Storm Water Department.

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2 UserComments
sje 6:09pm October 22, 2009

We got a couple of rain barrels from www.aqaubarrel.com - We got the 80 gallon ones and they work really well

Gordon Wagner 12:30am October 22, 2009

Great idea. Which models work best for small detached homes? How much rainwater can I plan on collecting here in San Diego from a 1200' sq ft home's roof?