Week 36: #Waves4Change 2020 Sustainability Challenge: Use Rain Barrels to Help with Water Sustainability

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Why Take This Challenge?

Stormwater (rain and snow) flushes material into storm drains, including trash, dirt, oil and other pollutants. Some stormwater goes to water treatment facilities and is treated and released into Lake Erie, clean and clear. However, when rains are heavy sewers can overflow, sending untreated water – including raw sewage and other pollutants – directly into the lake. An increase in the frequency of storms, as predicted for northeast Ohio in the future, means there will be more stormwater to manage.

Stormwater management practices are used to delay, capture, store, treat, or infiltrate stormwater runoff. Residents and businesses are encouraged to consider a variety of strategies to help sustain a dependable supply of clean, safe drinking water. Examples include the use of water efficient technologies (low flow toilets, waterless urinals, etc.), rain barrels, and green cleaning products.

How Does This Challenge Benefit Me?

Green space improves the quality of place and quality of life for its residents, a main driver in economic prosperity and a crucial factor in retaining and attracting residents to a city plagued with depopulation. In addition, stewardship of green spaces, such as parks and natural areas,
enhance the city’s potential to attract tourism and to increase its profile as a green-tourist destination. Green space also lowers the city’s footprint, improves air quality, preserves natural habitat and biodiversity, as well as strengthens the resilience of neighborhoods and increases
property values.

What If I Already Do This?

Get into other ways of water sustainability mentioned above, from low flow toilets through waterless urinals to turning the faucet off in the house when it is not absolutely necessary.