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BOX OF RAIN: If you’re wanting a rain barrel from Oklahoma City, better act fast

Photo provided by the City of Oklahoma City.
A rain barrel being offered to citizens as part of conservation efforts.
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OKLAHOMA CITY — For many Metro residents concerned about water conservation and pollutants reaching our lakes and rivers, the city of Oklahoma City has started offering 55-gallon rain barrels to collect water from rainfall. Residents have until April 9 th to take part of this program.

“These particular drums have been used to bring over peppers, olives, things of that nature and they have been repurposed to make rain barrels,” Raymond Melton, City of Oklahoma City Environmental Protection Manager said. “We then use them to collect rain off of a downspout from a house or business and that rainwater can be used to water your plants, wash a vehicle if you wanted to…I use mine at home to water my trees.”

In addition to helping to promote sustainability in our community by limiting the amount of drinking water used on lawns and gardens save water around the house, the barrels do a double-duty by saving pollutants from entering area bodies of water, many times in ways that don’t even occur to most people.

“The barrels actually keep that water contained,” Melton said. “It keeps it from running off your sidewalks, running off your street, running across your yard and picking up pollutants that way. The main message I really want to get out is rainwater is never treated before it goes into the creek. Just because it says “storm sewer” doesn’t mean it’s going to the treatment plant. It goes in the storm drain and actually ends up in the Oklahoma River or the Canadian River.”

Melton also said that in times of drought, the rain barrels have come in handy in keeping many residents lawn and gardens alive, alone making them worth the cost.

The City of Oklahoma City has partnered with the Central Oklahoma Storm Water Alliance to offer rain barrels to Metro residents for $63.50. The barrels come with screens to keep “critters and mosquitoes out,” as well as water hose hook-ups and overflow valves.

To purchase a barrel of your own, visit by April 9th. You can pick up your order from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 14 and 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. April 15 at the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, 1621 S Portland Ave.

“I think it’s a program that good for the environment,” Melton added. “We’re under an EPA mandated program, we have been since 1995, but the more we can do this to help the environment and protect that water from picking up pollutants, the better. Every little bit helps.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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