NORMAN — Register online starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday for a free rain barrel at www.greennorman.org — limit one per household. The Norman Environmental Control Advisory Board and the Cleveland County Conservation District have scheduled a Rain Barrel Workshop and Distribution from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. July 13 at Forest Building Materials, 1051 W. Rock Creek Road. Only the first 50 who register will get a free barrel. The barrels must then b e converted at a workshop at Forest Building Materials, 1051 W. Rock Creek Road. Each resident must attend either the 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. workshop.
Forest Lumber will have parts available at a discount to convert the barrels to rain barrels. All interested parties are asked to bring a utility bill or other form of proof of residency in Norman. Enter the southwest doors for the workshops. For more information, call Environmental Services at 292-9731.
What is a rain barrel? In Oklahoma, we all realize that water is a precious resource in need of conservation. Harvesting rain in a rain barrel is simply collecting and storing rain water from your rooftop that would otherwise run off to local streams. The stored rain barrel water can then be used to water lawns and gardens, wash cars or for similar uses. Using potable water (water suitable for drinking or cooking) for these applications is a waste of an important resource that is an ever-increasing demand.
Rain barrels also help to address storm water pollution. Rain is relatively clean when it falls from the sky but it picks up pollutants as is flows across parking lots, streets and other areas. Storm water flows into drains and eventually into streams and ponds. Almost all the rain that falls on your rooftop runs off onto the landscape from gutters and downspouts. Discounting evaporation and leakage, and assuming a horizontal surface, just 1/10 of an inch of rain on a 1000 square foot roof produces about 62 gallons of water.