Bangor giving away rain barrels

Posted April 03, 2012, at 11:22 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor city officials and members of the Bangor Area Stormwater Group are hoping to capitalize on the popularity of this weekend’s Bangor Garden Show and promote stormwater awareness and conservation.

The stormwater group will give away a free rain barrel during each of its “Soak up the Rain in Maine” presentations at the Bangor Garden Show Friday and Saturday.

One 55-gallon barrel made of recycled plastic will be randomly given away at each of the shows, which are at 1 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday. There will also be a raffle at the stormwater group garden show display.

“It’s our mission to better manage stormwater, and if we ever get to the point where we have sustainable funding for our efforts, we could supply a barrel for every Bangor homeowner,” said Wendy Warren, BASG environmental coordinator.

The rain barrels, which were assembled with help by Penobscot Job Corps Academy students, collect rainwater and keep it more of it from flowing into ditches and catch basins that drain, untreated, into streams and rivers. The barrels would help improve water quality and lessen stormwater drainage.

Due in large part to more restrictive and further-reaching federal and state stormwater regulations and mandates, the Bangor City Council will soon be considering instituting a stormwater fee which would be similar to water and sewer fees paid by residents. The fee would pay for improvements to stormwater drainage and management that Maine municipalities are required by law to make.

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