For two hours, citizens, who were lucky enough to snag a spot for one of the rain barrel workshops co-sponsored by Arapahoe County, became familiar with emitters, diverters, downspouts and spigots.
The 25 citizens who attended the Oct. 21 workshop at the gleaming new Greenwood Village Public Works facility were given a comprehensive tutorial on everything to know on how to effectively capture and harvest rainwater by Jessica Thrasher, who is the director of education and outreach for Colorado Stormwater Center at Colorado State University.
Thrasher’s engaging presentation includes rain barrel installation, components, maintenance, winterization and tips to cleaning and decorating barrels. The most important tip Thrasher gave is for citizens to use the rain barrel water after storms.
“Don’t let the water sit too long,” Thrasher said. “We want to use the barrel over and over to capture water by using it consistently.”
At the conclusion of the presentation, citizens were given a donated 55-gallon rain barrel and kit needed for installation.
“This is a fantastic outreach to the community,” Centennial resident Rick Linsky said as he rolled his barrel to his vehicle. “We need to do more to conserve water.”
Arapahoe County Environmental Manager Lisa Knerr is impressed with the interest in the initial workshops held Oct. 21 and Oct. 28. Both workshops filled fast as citizens were quick to register for one of the 25 spots reserved for each session.
“Interest has been so amazing, and people are so excited to attend the workshops,” Knerr said.
To offer the workshops, the County is partnering with Southeast Metro Storm Water Authority, and Greenwood Village along with Stormwater Permittee for Local Awareness of Stream Health.
Because of the interest, Knerr said the partners have compiled a waiting list of citizens who missed out on these two workshops as they are planning for more sessions next Spring.
The fee for the workshop is $20 and includes a rain barrel and water collection kit. Anyone interested in joining the waiting list or a scholarship can contact Lisa Knerr at 720-874-6525.
Rain collection is legal in Colorado. Citizens can install two 55-gallon rain barrels per property. Colorado gets an average of 16 inches of rain per year, and a 1,000-square-foot-roof can yield more than 600 gallons of water, which is plenty of rain to fill two 55-gallon barrels.
Colorado Stormwater Center also offers comprehensive information about rain barrel collection at http://stormwatercenter.colostate.edu/resources/rain-barrels/