Around 20 people showed up at 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway on Saturday morning to attend a class on how to properly use rain barrels they pre-ordered, which were offered by the city of Santa Clarita through a purchase program.
The program had completely sold out of their city-subsidized stock, which maxed out at around 100 barrels, but still had a few left over to purchase at full price.
Customers were able to choose barrels that could hold between 50 to 60 gallons of water, for $40 each if it was city-subsidized or just over $70 if they had to pay full price.
The program was launched by the city in an effort to curb excessive water use on lawns and gardens during times of drought.
The Santa Clarita Valley and the state of California are experiencing the worst drought in over 1,200 years, which has sparked discussion by the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency’s Water Resources and the Watershed committee to consider entering “Stage Two” of water conservation, which would limit watering days for residents.
The class, taught by Cindy Berglund, a Rain Barrels International representative, showed customers the various ways they could collect rainwater and how to property store, use, maintain, or modify their barrels.
“These barrels, they serve two purposes. One is we keep them out of our country’s landfills, because originally they were a food-based product,” said Berglund. “And then after they were dumped, we go ahead and we use it again and give it a second life. We’ve retrofitted them and made them into a rain barrel.”
Most of the barrels are originally from Greece, having been used as food transportation vessels. The barrels were modified to fit their new purpose: collect as much rainwater as possible and use that water for watering, gardening and other yard-related needs.
“Does it save me money? No. But it does help the environment,” said Berglund.
Berglund said that although she has not seen much evidence that this could markedly reduce a homeowner’s water bill, the barrels can be extremely useful in helping the environment.
Even some of the customers have acknowledged this fact and seem to mostly be doing it to help curb the use of water.
“The problem a lot of people have is that they think there’s a magic bullet. That if we just do this, all of our environmental problems will go away,” said Valencia resident Lynn Wright. “It’s all incremental and it’s all changing our life just a little bit. Small changes that can have really big impacts when enough people do it.”
The rain barrel program has sold out of all its stock each time the city has put them up for sale. The next rain barrel sale will be this fall, at a yet to be determined date.
To find more information about the city’s rain barrel rebate program visit https://bit.ly/35DXviQ.