During these typical New England days, bookmarked by a 60-degree day at the start of the week and a threatened storm at the end, Haverhill says that means it’s time to think about home rain barrels for spring.
Haverhill Solid Waste Manager Gunther Wellenstein says the city is ready to take online orders for both painted and unpainted rain barrels, but there is a deadline of Wednesday, March 30.
“We encourage homeowners to use rain barrels because they help the town manage its water resources by reducing runoff, lowering municipal water demands, saving energy at treatment plants and improving residential stormwater management. Rain barrels also help residents to reduce water bills. Both the community and the homeowner win on this one,” Wellenstein says.
Officials say “more frequent and severe droughts are expected as climate change continues to increase temperatures, raise evaporation rates and dry out soils—even in spite of more precipitation and heavier rainfall events.” Those with rain barrels have water available in many cases despite any water bans.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 30% of daily water use is used outdoors. Using the rain barrel’s stored water around the landscape saves water resources and reduces the amount of water purchased from municipal sources. Droughts create challenges for local water supplies by reducing surface water storage and the recharge of groundwater supplies, including private wells.
Those wishing to purchase a barrel may visit the Great American Rain Barrel Program at greatamericanrainbarrel.com/community/ and select Haverhill. Barrels are $79 for painted and $74 for unpainted and will be available for pick up on Saturday, April 9, between 9 and 11 a.m., at the Haverhill Wastewater Treatment Plant, 40 South Porter St.
The Great American Rain Barrel is a local food importing company that has been repurposing shipping drums into rain barrels since 1988.