Residents construct free rain barrels

Kimberly Cannon | The Valdosta Daily Times Angela Bray, stormwater manager, helps participants construct rain barrels at the Make-and-Take Rain Barrel Lunch and Learn recently at the City Hall Annex. 

VALDOSTA — The City of Valdosta Stormwater Division recently held its fourth Make-and-Take Rain Barrel Lunch and Learn workshop May 26, allowing residents to construct rain barrels. 

The 55-gallon rain barrels, which were re-purposed barrels from car washes, and other supplies were provided for free.

Angela Bray, stormwater manager, provided instructions on how to build the rain barrels, and Mike Pieper, city marshal, and Scott Nobles, stormwater supervisor, helped with drilling holes in the barrels. 

Rain barrels collect rainwater from the roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff, which can become a problem when runoff collects pollution, Bray said.

The collected rainwater can be used to water plants or for washing cars or pets, reducing one’s water bill and helping the environment.  

One inch of rain on a 1,500-square-foot roof equates to about 935 gallons of water, Bray said. 

“This is free water, so why not use it,” Bray stated.  

Bray explained why the Stormwater Division held the workshop.  

“We wanted to do something different, something fun, something to engage the citizens and also have citizens take back something for free because, if you live within the city, you all pay a stormwater utility fee,” Bray said. “So, I think it’s very important that we give back, and it also helps the environment.”  

Jennifer Lockhart, office manager at the Children’s Advocacy Center, attended the event with her daughter.  

“It’s a great opportunity for the city and for citizens to get involved and improve the environment,” Lockhart said.

People interested in making a rain barrel can find building and installation instructions at valdostacity.com/education-outreach or call (229) 259-3530.

Kimberly Cannon is an Intern Reporter with The Valdosta Daily Times. Her extension is 1376.

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