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Power to Save: Rainwater

Heavy rain can help with the drought but not all of that rain soaks into the ground and runoff can pollute our waterways.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Using rain barrels is an effective way to manage stormwater runoff.  They are also useful in times like these when rain has been hard to come by.

"We're in a good bit of a drought. I think the Lackawanna River is as dry as I've seen it in 40 years," said Bernie McGurl, LRCA Director.

Thanks to a grant from the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Program, Bernie's Lackawanna River Conservation Association office in Scranton is giving out 18 rain barrels Monday, October 5, and Tuesday, October 6.

"We've got the kits here. We'll show them how to drill the holes, how to put it together, and off they go."

We had Bernie show us step-by-step on how to set up these rain barrels. 

"We'll just lay it all out here," he said. 

You start by drilling a hole in your gutter.

"You'd drill this hole here," added Bernie. "Then, this whole unit gets squeezed inside."

Then, you connect that hose into the top of your rain barrel. "We recommend that you not just put it on the ground. But maybe if you've got a couple of cinder blocks to mount it on."

The last step is to drill a hole in the bottom. "You can use it to fill a bucket, or a watering can, or a small hose." 

Another way to help with stormwater runoff is to create a rain garden near your home.  Rain gardens help prevent that stormwater from rushing right down into the river.

"Create a shallow depression, put plants in there that like to get their feet wet.  They can help soak up some of that rainwater and divert your rain leaders into that area."

Due to the limited availability, you will need to register for your rain barrel in advance.  Pickup times for rain barrels on Monday, October 5, and Tuesday, October 6, is between 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. It will run you $25 for the rain barrel kit.

Click here to register for your rain barrel.