Flood My Rain Barrel - Pilot Program
Green Venture is looking for homeowners in frequently flooded neighbourhoods to participate in a new pilot program called “Flood My Rain Barrel”. This is a study that will determine barriers to large 500-litre rain barrel use, and social marketing strategies that can be used to overcome these barriers.
In an effort to encourage residents to manage stormwater on their property, Green Venture will disconnect downspouts and install rain barrels for 23 homeowners at a fraction of the normal cost.
Climate change is resulting in more extreme weather events, and there have been an increasing number of storm events in Hamilton. In the summer of 2009 there were two 100-year storms, and in the summer of 2012 there was a 1000-year storm. Since 2004, there have been 19 weather events that have caused flooding to Hamilton homes.
Normally when rainwater flows over pavement it picks up a wide range of polluting materials, including motor oil, anti-freeze, tire residue, pet waste, and cigarette butts. These are delivered untreated through storm sewers directly into streams and lakes, threatening fragile aquatic ecosystems. Many people do not realize that the water that flows into the sewer grate on their street may not receive any treatment or filtration before entering a stream or lake.
This project will improve water quality in the Harbour by diverting thousands of litres of stormwater from the sewer system every time it rains. Connected downspouts contribute to the overloading of this system, which can cause both flooding and untreated sewage overflows into the harbour.
Each disconnected downspout will divert approx 23,000 litres of stormwater per year. Using a rain barrel to capture some of this will reduce outdoor water consumption in summer months.
- Installations will begin in the spring of 2013
- Requests are process on a first come first served basis. Limit one per household.
- We will assess your home for suitability (not all homes are appropriate for disconnects). We may ask you to send us a picture of your downspout.
- Preference is given to downspouts visible from the street
- RiverSafe rain barrels will be used. These hold 500L of water, and retail for $290+tax.
- The cost for this
service is heavily subsidized, and would normally cost between $600-$700
(including labour and materials). Instead
we are asking for a contribution of:
- $50 if your household income is less than $50,000 per year
- $125 if your household income is between $50,000-$100,000 per year
- $200 if your household income is $100,000 or more.
- Cost includes site assessment, downspout disconnection with all materials, rain barrel and installation. If your home turns out to be unsuitable, there will be no charge.
Requirements for participation:
- Be a homeowner
- Have a connected downspout (i.e. downspout goes into a pipe in the ground)
- Willing to place interpretive signage in front yard or garden for 3-year period
- Sign up for email notifications, which will be used to remind you of when to empty your rain barrel and what to do with your rain barrel in the winter
- Complete a follow up survey
- Allow pictures of the project to be used on Green Venture’s website
Primary goals of the project include:
- Study the barriers to homeowners using larger rain barrels
- Identify any issues with current rain barrel design
- Study various social marketing techniques and educational tools
- Identify the most effective techniques and tools for reminding homeowners to empty their rain barrels before rain events
Secondary goals of the project include:
- Improve lot-level stormwater management
- Reduce point source pollution entering Hamilton Harbour
- Reduce combined sewer overflows
- Reduce flooding in the most historically impacted neighbourhoods
- Reduce strain on infrastructure
- Reduce water consumption in summer months
- Education Hamiltonians about the effects of stormwater runoff
To sign up for this program call 905-540-8787 ext. 116 or email email@example.com.
Requests will be processed on a first come first served basis.
Funding for this project is generously provided by ArcelorMittal Dofasco and the Hamilton Port Authority.