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Rain Barrel Demonstration Project

Year Awarded: 1999
Awarded: $95,000
Team Leader:  Friends of the Rouge

This team implemented a rain barrel demonstration and monitoring project in the Rouge River watershed. The team helped users install rain barrels on residential downspouts to capture stormwater runoff and reduce overflows into the river. Team members distributed 183 rain barrels during the project. Because smaller barrels were deemed aesthetically pleasing to by users (and thus were installed more often than larger barrels), the total volume of stormwater collected at the test site was not enough to impact combined sewer overflow. Despite this setback, the public response was positive and the team succeeded in bringing attention to the issue of stormwater management. Creative solutions to reduce stormwater discharge volumes will improve flow regime and reduce erosion, sedimentation and pollutants.