1250 Broadway, 27th Floor New York, NY 10001


100 Rain Barrels Distributed to Homeowners from Morris Park City Island Van Nest and Pelham Parkway

Rain Barrels Collect Precipitation, Reduce Water Bills and Improve the Health of the Bronx River and New York Harbor

New Yorkers Interested in Obtaining a Rain Barrel Should Contact Their Local Elected Official

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) partnered this past Saturday with City Council Member Mark Gjonaj to distribute rain barrels to 100 homeowners in the Bronx. The 60-gallon rain barrels are easy to install and connect directly to a property owner’s downspout to capture and store the stormwater that falls on the rooftop. The water collected in the rain barrel can then be used to water lawns and gardens, or for other outdoor chores. Saturday’s events were held at Loretto Park and the rain barrels were provided free of charge.

“Rain barrels are a great way for homeowners to save water and money, while also promoting sustainability,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Collecting the stormwater that falls on a home’s roof eases pressure on the city’s sewer system, thereby reducing localized street flooding and improving the health of the Bronx River and New York Harbor.”

Rain barrels can help reduce a homeowner’s water bill as watering lawns and gardens can account for up to 40 percent of an average household’s water use during the summer months. They also help to reduce the amount of stormwater that enters the City’s sewer system, which helps to protect the health of local waterways, including the Bronx River and New York Harbor. Last year, DEP distributed approximately 8,300 rain barrels to New York City homeowners.

Installation of rain barrels is easy and they require little maintenance. Each homeowner who received a rain barrel on Saturday was provided with an installation kit and instructions. Rain barrels should only be used for non-potable purposes, such as gardening, and must be disconnected from the downspout during the winter months to avoid freezing.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $19.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year.