Supervisor Kate Murray's Rain Barrel Program: What Residents Should Know

About Supervisor Kate Murray's Rain Barrel Program

Kate Murray recently announced a home based rain barrel initiative to encourage residents to be more environmentally conscious. The barrel is sold by the town for $45 and is used to collect water from your home's gutters. Before you order one, you should consider some water usage facts.

The first thing is, this product is only useful for about seven months of the year, April through October.

Second, it is not really useful for watering a the lawn, unless you are watering by hand, because there is not enough pressure to run a lawn sprinkler. Yes you can use an electric pump, but this uses more energy than using the water you receive from your local water district.

Third, according to the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)1 it takes about 24 gallons of water to make one pound of plastic. The barrel the town is selling weighs about 15 pounds. This means it took about 360 gallons of water to produce the barrel.

Fourth, residents need to look at how much they could potentially save using the barrel. In Franklin Square, where I live, residents pay about .19 cents per gallon of water. If residents were able to collect and use an average of 50 gallons of water (one barrel) per week seven months of the year, they would save about $2.70 per year on their water bill. With the cost of the water barrel being $45, it will take almost 17 years to recoup your investment.

If Supervisor Murray really wants to conserve water, she should reduce Town mailings. It takes 2.6 gallons of water to manufacture one sheet of paper2. The Town of Hempstead sends out about 25 mailings per year or two per month. If Supervisor Murray eliminated just two mailings about 1.3 million gallons of water would be saved.

Supervisor Murray should also offer residents the option to receive town mailings by email.

For every resident that uses the email option, about 65 gallons of water and more than $4 in postage, would be saved each year.

1 http://media.mgbg.com/wkrg/photos/weather/downloads/Water_Facts.pdf

2  http://blog.docusense.com/environmental-solutions/01/how-much-water-does-it-take-to-print-a-sheet-of-paper/

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LLama August 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Wow, poor Kate. I guess she didn't see this coming. Frank, I commend you. You are clear and precise and have enough facts to prove your point. I just hope someone from the TOH see's this blog. Maybe they would learn a thing or two. As a Nassau County resident I would like to Thank You! And yes people need to step up and be proactive. Voltaire said it best.
The College Whisperer™ August 23, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Felix, you prove, yet again, that an educated consumer is the best customer. Or, as your well-researched missive demonstrates, the worst enemy of wasteful government! Plan. Prepare. Prevail! http://www.TheCollegeWhisperer.com
Susan August 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM
When I first read about the water barrel I thought it sounded insane. Common sense told me and now you have proved it. Thanks Felix.
S.M. January 06, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Yet we all keep voting her in
Vincent January 06, 2013 at 05:31 PM
S.M.: With many of the aeas surrounding the Town of Hempstead electing pols of the Democratic party ie: Kaiman, McCarthey, Ackerman (now retired thank God), Israel etc.. why do you think that this one Town keeps voting her in? Just asking.


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