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Discounted Rain Barrels Available to Utahns to Help Drought of 2022

Post Date:03/16/2022

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Discounted Rain Barrels Available to Utahns to Help Drought of 2022

Collecting Rainwater Incentivized by 11 Municipalities Across Three Counties

 

The Utah Rivers Council is proud to announce the highly anticipated return of our popular RainHarvest rain barrel program. With the 2022 drought weighing heavily on Utahns, more municipalities than ever have signed up to incentivize their residents to purchase discounted rain barrels and collect rainwater at their homes, reducing demand on local water supplies and improving water quality.

Residents of Millcreek, Salt Lake County, Cottonwood Heights, Murray, Taylorsville, Herriman, Lehi, Orem, Park City, and Summit County and customers of Mountain Regional Water can purchase rain barrels for a greatly subsidized price of just $55, while supplies last. Residents can order discounted rain barrels at www.rainbarrelprogram.org/urc.

To purchase discounted rain barrels in these communities, individuals must go through a registration and verification process to ensure they are a resident of a participating municipality. Rain barrels are also available for just $83 for residents outside of these municipal boundaries.  Both prices are a significant discount from the American-made barrel’s $139.99 retail price. Purchased rain barrels will be delivered to several locations where residents will pick up their barrels after the sale closes in late-April. 

“The rain barrel program has been embraced by the Millcreek community as a water conservation measure to protect our precious water supplies,” said Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini.  “Millcreek residents love the idea that they can make a difference in their own backyards” said Silvestrini.

Rain barrels are one of many tools Utahns can use to reduce their water use. Over 5,700 barrels have been purchased through the Utah Rivers Council’s RainHarvest program over the last seven years, meaning every time it rains enough to fill a 50-gallon barrel, 285,000 gallons of water can be saved from municipal water supplies.

“Rainwater collection can be used for many outdoor purposes, including watering gardens and landscapes rather than allowing water runoff,” said Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson. “What a simple way for residents to learn about water conservation and make a difference one barrel at a time!” said Overson.

Capturing rainwater also improves water quality by preventing urban runoff from flowing over streets and gutters and washing pollutants into streams and eventually the Great Salt Lake. The environmentally friendly program uses the Ivy Rainbarrel, made in the U.S. of 100% recycled plastic.

“This program is a unique way to work toward goals in our city Sustainability Plan,” said Cottonwood Heights Associate Planner and Sustainability Analyst Samantha DeSeelhorst. “Although its primary focus is water conservation, we also appreciate the way it sources recycled materials and connects residents with sustainability in their own backyards,” said DeSeelhorst.

Rain barrels give residents the opportunity to become stewards of water conservation through a hands-on experience that past participants have said completely changed their perspective on water.

“Our community listened last year when we asked them to conserve water,” said Lisa Hoffman, Assistant General Manager of Mountain Regional Water in Summit County. “This year Mountain Regional Water is excited to participate in the RainHarvest program to help our customers and their families continue their conservation efforts,” said Hoffman.

“We are excited to be part of the rain barrel program in our area,” said Sherrie Ohrn of Herriman City Council. “We recognize the critical need to conserve water and believe every step we take is a step toward achieving our conservation goals.”

After the sale ends on April 23rd, residents who purchased rain barrels can pick them up at a designated date and location where volunteers will be on site to teach participants about the importance of rainwater harvesting and other water conservation strategies.

We're living amidst unprecedented drought and utilizing rain barrels to water our gardens and lawns is a straightforward, low-cost and convenient way to conserve water,” said Park City Councilor Max Doilney. “We must do what we can to conserve water. Any effort we make to do so, no matter how small, counts,” said Doilney.

We’ve saved millions of gallons of water through this program over the last seven years” said Zach Frankel, Executive Director of the Utah Rivers Council. “These eleven municipalities are leading us on a path through this megadrought that all Utahns need to follow. We are grateful to them for this leadership,”said Frankel.

 

For more information call 801-699-1856

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Home: Energy Myths

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Some ideas are so widely held that they generate little scrutiny or even a second thought. While often factual, such common wisdom can also be based on outdated or erroneous information—old-wives tales or urban legends. Widespread misconceptions about home energy use—often taken as fact—can cost homeowners on their energy bills and lead to unnecessary home maintenance and reduced comfort.

Following are some common home energy myths that may be costing you.

1. Setting the thermostat higher or lower will heat or cool the house faster.

 Many a homeowner has come home to an uncomfortable house and set the thermostat higher or lower than necessary, thinking it will warm or cool faster. In reality, a furnace or air-conditioner works at the same speed, no matter what the thermostat setting. A home will warm up to 68ºF just as quickly if the thermostat is set at 68ºF as it would if the thermostat was set at 80ºF. In such instances, energy may be wasted as the heating or cooling system continues to run after it  reaches your desired set point.

2. A heating and cooling system "works harder" to reach a comfortable temperature after setback or set forward.Many people do not adjust their thermostat at night or while the home is unoccupied because of the common misconception that the heating or cooling system must "work harder" or use more energy to reheat or re-cool the house. This is not how a thermostat works. The system turns on to reach a set level and then shuts off when that level is reached. It can be likened more to a switch that shuts on and off, rather than a gas pedal that accelerates faster the more you step on it.

3. Energy efficiency and energy conservation are the same thing.
Efficiency refers to using less to perform a specific task. Examples include replacing traditional lighting with LEDs (light emitting diodes), or installing a high performance appliance. Conservation refers to reducing your need for energy through changes in behavior, such as setting the thermostat lower or riding a bike to work.

4. When an appliance is turned off, it is off.
Many appliances and electronic devices—such as coffee makers and cell phone chargers—in the home continue to use power after they have been switched off. Sometimes as much as if they were on! This is known as standby power or “phantom load.” The only way to stop the power usage by these devices is to unplug them.

5. Leaving lights, computers and appliances on uses less energy than turning them on and off.
In most cases, the small surge of power needed to start a device is much less than the power that is wasted by leaving it on when it is not needed.

6. Duct tape is the best choice for sealing ducts.
Duct tape has very low durability when used to seal ducts, according to laboratory research. On new installations duct tape will not last long without extensive surface preparation, especially in dirty or dusty locations. Over time, duct tape will fall off as the adhesive dries out and the tape starts to wrinkle. Mastic or metal-backed tapes—available at your local hardware or do-it-yourself retailer—are better choices for duct sealing.

7. Purchasing an efficient air-conditioner or furnace will automatically reduce energy bills.
This is true to some extent, but optimal savings will not be achieved unless the system is sized and installed correctly. Installing an efficient, but over-sized, system can negate much of the potential savings, while a poorly designed duct system can also have an impact on efficiency and comfort. Windows, doors, and insulation also play a factor in heating and cooling efficiency. 

8. Dimming lights by 50% will cut lighting costs in half.
In reality, the relationship is not quite direct and the savings may be less than expected. Dimmed lights do use less power, but when lights are dimmed, the voltage drops and the filament becomes cooler. This causes a loss in overall efficiency.

9. Closing off vents will help to lower heating and cooling costs.
Closing or covering up vents is typically not a good way to save on energy costs. Heating and cooling systems balance their load throughout the duct system. If one vent gets closed off, it throws the system off balance. Pressure can build up in the duct work, causing leakage and less air circulating in your home. This reduces system efficiency and home comfort.