River des Peres Watershed Coalition Rain Barrel Initiative

Have you watched recent rains send rivers down your sidewalk? Or stepped over small ponds in your backyard? If so, perhaps you’ve contemplated harvesting this rainwater for later use. The wet summer weather is a perfect reminder that the River Des Peres Watershed Coalition (RdPWC) is continuing its Rain Barrel Initiative to improve water quality by reducing run-off. Coalition rain barrels are priced at $60, with a $10 discount for Missouri Stream Team members. Proceeds benefit the non-profit’s efforts to improve, protect, and maintain the River des Peres and its watersheds through habitat restoration, community engagement, and stormwater mitigation projects.

The barrels hold up to 60 gallons of rainwater and are designed to be easy to install, clean, and use. The rain barrels are made from emptied syrup containers donated by the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Maryland Heights. By attaching a rain barrel to your home’s downspout, you will have a great source of mineral-rich rain water for your garden. Unlike the water from your hose, the water from a rain barrel is free of chlorine and other chemicals. Using harvested rainwater in your garden may also reduce your water bill.

In addition to the above benefits, you will also improve your community by preventing 60 gallons of rainwater from being contaminated with polluted runoff and sewage, and then overflowing into your local waterway. Many people are unaware that during even moderate rains, sewage overflows release clean rainwater from rooftops, together with polluted runoff from streets and parking lots and raw sewage directly to local streams. Using rain barrels also reduces the strain on the regional sewer system, one of the most important systems in our urban infrastructure and the one most in need of maintenance and reconstruction.

To order a rain barrel, please visit www.riverdesperes.org for a downloadable form. Orders may be submitted by email, mail, or by contacting the RdPWC by phone at (314) 640-2429.

River Des Peres Watershed Coalition, 8025 Blackberry Ave., St. Louis, MO 63130. Email: riverdesperes@yahoo.com.