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3,000 rain barrels distributed to northern Utahns

By Ashtyn Asay - | May 7, 2022

Courtesy Utah Rivers Council

The Ivy Rainbarrel was distributed to residents of northern Utah.

Amid severe-to-extreme drought conditions throughout the state, the Utah Rivers Council sold and distributed a record-breaking number of rain barrels to residents last week.

Nearly 1,500 residents showed up to receive 3,000 of the up to 2,500-gallon storage rain barrels distributed by 11 municipalities in Utah, Summit and Salt Lake counties between Wednesday and Saturday. According to the Utah Rivers Council, it was the most barrels they have ever sold.

The retail price of the Ivy Rainbarrel, the brand distributed to residents, was lowered to $55 by the cities to incentivize residents to purchase them. Lehi and Orem were the participating Utah County cities.

All subsidized rain barrels have sold out, and a waitlist for more had over 150 people as of Friday. The next sale is expected in spring 2023.

Although collecting rainwater will not solve Utah’s drought issues — with current water restrictions — these rain barrels will provide residents with free water that they can legally collect and store. This can make all the difference for lawns and gardens.

“We’ve saved millions of gallons of water through this program over the last seven years,” Zach Frankel, executive director of the Utah Rivers Council, said in a press release. “These eleven municipalities are leading us on a path through this megadrought that all Utahns need to follow. We are grateful to them for this leadership.”

Residents in areas that did not participate were still able to purchase rain barrels for a subsidized price of $83.

This effort is part of the Utah River Council’s RainHarvest program, which is in its eighth year. Over the span of the program, 8,700 rain barrels have been distributed by the Utah River Council in partnership with Rain Water Solutions, saving 435,000 gallons of water, enough to fill a 50-gallon barrel, from municipal water supplies each time it rains.

“Capturing rainwater also improves water quality by preventing urban runoff from flowing over streets and gutters and washing pollutants into streams and eventually the Great Salt Lake,” reads a press release from the Utah Rivers Council. “Rain barrels give residents the opportunity to become stewards of water conservation through a hands-on experience that past participants have said completely changed their perspective on water.”

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