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Rain barrels help residents use water wisely

These flowers still look healthy and beautiful because of the watering Sue Farmer has been able to keep up with this summer thanks to her new rain barrel.


Danvers, MA -

Into each rain barrel a little rain must fall, and this past week the spontaneous showers did make rain barrel owners like Sue Farmer of Danvers very happy.

Farmer is a first-year owner of a town-sponsored rain barrel and she's very pleased with her acquisition.

"I've been using it all summer," Farmer said, as she recently filled her watering can one of the several times she needs to water the many beautiful flower gardens she's planted around her property. "Anyone who has a flower or vegetable garden almost has to have a rain barrel with the water bans we have in town. We can only water twice a week now."

But that mandate doesn't apply to people like Farmer who can tap into their own source of water, the one provided by Mother Nature. Even though a week ago, Farmer was down to a slow water trickle, one or two sudden rain showers this week have since filled the 55-gallon rain barrel. And that makes her husband, John, very happy.

"The water is all free," John Farmer said, indicating the use of a rain barrel is a no-brainer for the home gardener. "After all, this is the way they did it in the old days."

The Farmers' rain barrel is just one of 133 sold this year despite a rainy July, according to Pam Irwin in her role as water conservation adviser. Current rain barrel sales were bigger than any other year, she said. The program is now in its sixth year and though she hasn't an official accounting, Irwin estimates that more than 500 rain barrels have been sold to Danvers residents since it began.

"People are much more conscious of saving water," said Irwin, who noted that 1 inch of rainwater fills the 55-gallon rain barrel. "I think the green explosion is reaching out to the other sustainable issues. It's not just about recycling but saving water resources and using energy wisely."

Bargain offer

Pam Irwin, water conservation advisor, reminds residents that the new rain barrels are part of the town's rebate program. A $60 rain barrel will cost just $35, with the town picking up the other $25.

Call Norseman Plastic, 1-800-894-8397, ext. 824, and say you are a town of Danvers resident. Have your credit card ready for payment.

Pre-ordered, prepaid rain barrels may be picked up Oct. 3, at the Green Energy Fair at Holten-Richmond Middle School, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Courtesy of Salem News By Myrna Fearer

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