As part of BBEMAs climate change adaptation goal we are introducing projects focused on reducing the negative impacts of climate change in our watershed. One initiative to achieve this is to promote opportunities to increase water conservation and improve stormwater management. Stormwater management focuses on improving water quality by reducing stormwater runoff. An effect of Climate change is an increased severity and frequency of storm events, precipitation, and flooding. This will have a negative impact on water quality and sever impact on urban areas.
Stormwater in natural environments infiltrates soil and is absorbed and filtered by vegetation before it enters streams rivers and groundwater. In urban areas stormwater is unable to be absorbed through impervious surfaces like driveways, roofs, and roadways. This water accumulates and collects pollutants like chemicals, oil, fuels, and heavy metals. These pollutants are carried to storm drains which enter our local streams and rivers. These pollutants negatively influence water quality and aquatic wildlife.
Ways to reduce stormwater runoff include planting trees, rain gardens, bioswales, and installing rain barrels. The main purpose of a rain barrel is to reduce the amount of Storm water runoff that is created by your roof. It collects the water that runs off the roof and stores it for future personal use like watering gardens and lawns. By removing water from storm runoff, you reduce municipal water usage and reduce the number of pollutants and other chemicals from reaching rivers and streams.
With the average rain fall and size of a houses roof 140,000 L of water can be lost to storm water runoff. One rain barrel can hold 200L multiple barrels can be set up together, collecting a greater amount of water diverting it from the municipal storm wastewater facility.
BBEMA will be selling Rain Barrels to residents of Summerside to reduce stormwater runoff and conserve water usage. Rain barrels will be sold for $34.99. The cost is tax-deductible and includes a BBEMA membership giving you access to exclusive workshops, newsletters, and events. Retail price of this barrel and the BBEMA membership would be $120.
In conjunction with the rain barrel program, BBEMA will be holding a rain garden workshop where we will demonstrate how to build your very own rain garden to help filter and absorb excess stormwater from roofs and impervious surfaces. As a community the use of rain barrels, rain gardens and other green infrastructure can make a significant difference on how climate change impacts Summerside in the future.
If you are interested in purchasing a rain barrel or have any questions, please call BBEMA at 902- 886-3211. The barrels will arrive in the spring and people who register for a rain barrel will be notified when they are ready to be picked up.