DNREC to offer rain barrels at discount starting April 15 in Sussex County

March 17, 2014

To encourage water conservation and promote wise use of water throughout the state, the Nonpoint Source Program in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Watershed Stewardship is offering rain barrels at a discounted price to Delaware residents in April.

The 50- to 55-gallon granite-colored barrels are made from 25 to 35 percent recycled content. Regular retail price for these heavy-duty plastic rain barrels is $120 or more. However, by purchasing a large quantity of barrels, the Nonpoint Source Program can offer them to the public for $57.88 each. Payment can be made by check or money order to the State of Delaware.

Rain barrel pickups are scheduled for April in each county. For western Sussex County residents, rain barrels will be available for pickup between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (or until sold out) Tuesday, April 15, at the Seaford Public Works Building, 320 Virginia Ave.

For eastern Sussex County residents, pickup is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (or until sold out) Wednesday, April 16, at DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship Lewes Facility, next to the Lewes boat ramp at 901 Pilottown Road.

The barrels will fit in the back seat of most cars but not in the trunk, so buyers might want to bring a tarp or blanket to protect vehicle seats. A limited number of rain barrels are available and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Rain barrels are an innovative way to capture rainwater from the homeowner's roof and store it for later use. Water collected from rain barrels can be used to wash cars and water lawns, flower gardens and indoor plants.

“Without a rain barrel, this water would run off your roof and become stormwater, picking up pollutants on its way to a storm drain, stream, lake, bay or ocean,” said environmental scientist Sharon Webb of the Nonpoint Source Program. “By using a rain barrel, you can lower your water bill, conserve well water in the dry season and reduce polluted stormwater runoff.”

Rain barrels come with all the components for quick and easy installation and winterization. Customers simply drill a small hole in their downspout (hole-saw bit included with purchase) and insert the barrel’s FlexiFit  diverter. No horizontal cuts in the downspout are required; no additional parts, such as elbows or extensions, must be purchased. The included cover makes winterizing simple.

For more information, call the Nonpoint Source Program at 302-739-9922, or email To check on availability during distribution, call 302-739-9922.



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