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Alexandria raffling rain barrels to help with stormwater runoff

Rain barrel (photo via Waldemar Brandt/Unsplash)

The City of Alexandria has a handful of irons in the fire when it comes to stormwater management, but one new approach is one of the oldest tactics: storing runoff in rain barrels.

The city announced yesterday that it’s planning to offer a limited supply of free rain barrels, with more available via raffle at the city libraries.

“The City of Alexandria Transportation and Environmental Services (T&ES) Stormwater Management Division will be offering a limited supply of free rain barrels to residents living in the City,” the city said in a release. “Complete the application form by July 31 to register for a free rain barrel. Additionally, a limited number of rain barrels will be reserved for raffles at each of the four library branch locations in the City.”

Those hoping to get a rain barrel must be city residents and have to demonstrate how and where the barrel will be used — presumably to collect rainwater.

“The City encourages the use of rain barrels which capture and store runoff from roofs that would otherwise be directed into the storm sewer network,” the release said.

The city said additional benefits include collecting water to use in gardening and the user is eligible for a credit towards the stormwater utility fee for installation and proper use of a rain barrel — the latter incentive is particularly relevant with stormwater utility fees going up this year.

“This program is in partnership with the Northern Virginia Rain Barrel Partnership Program, sponsored through the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District,” the release said. “The Partnership hosts build-your-own rain barrel workshops throughout the Northern Virginia area.”

https://twitter.com/AlexandriaVATES/status/1542221401582698501

Photo via Waldemar Brandt/Unsplash

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