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Friday, May 6, 2011

Decorated rain barrels support water conservation

A rain barrel at Green
Spring Gardens
If you’ve seen some artistic rain barrels around this spring, it’s because the agencies sponsoring the Northern Virginia Rain Barrel Program are hoping to draw homeowners’ attention to the benefits of rain barrels.

Rain barrels can be attached to a downspout to capture runoff from the roof. The water can be used to water plants and lawns or wash cars, cutting down on homeowners’ water bills. Collecting water in barrels also helps avoid flooded basements and decreases the volume of storm runoff, which helps reduce stream erosion and pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

Rain barrels hold approximately 50 gallons of water. They are covered so mosquitos can’t breed in them.

The rain barrels decorated by local artists, including the ones pictured here, will be auctioned off to benefit the rain barrel program on Saturday, June 11 at Green Spring Gardens.

This one is at Clare and Don's
in Falls Church
The Northern Virginia Rain Barrel Program holds rain-barrel-building workshops at various locations throughout the area.

The next one closest to Annandale will be Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m.-noon at Messiah United Methodist Church, 6215 Rolling Road, Springfield. The workshops are $52, which includes materials. You can also order pre-made barrels for $62.

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