1,000 rain barrels available Saturday

Published 5:28 am Friday, June 17, 2011

People looking for a way to capture the runoff water from their properties and use it in an efficient way may want to stick around Austin or Albert Lea this weekend.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, 1,000 rain barrels will available for Austin city and Shell Rock Watershed residents at less than half the normal price because of an initiative by local conservation sponsors.

The overall rain barrel effort is focused on promoting water conservation and giving homeowners a chance to store and use natural rain water, said Justin Hanson, resource specialist with the CRWD.

Email newsletter signup

For $60 a piece, the 55-gallon rain barrels will trap runoff that can be used on gardens and lawns, and the barrels also prevent sediment and chemicals from running into storm drains. Each barrel comes with a spigot on the bottom and overflow hoses to hook up multiple barrels, too. Sales will take place at the Oak Park Mall in Austin and Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea. Austin Utilities customers also can use a $10 rebate.

CRWD Administrator noted the success of a rain barrel rebate program that happened in Olmsted County, and she suspects the program can become just as popular in Mower and Freeborn counties.