Lonely L.A. Rain Barrels Seeking Green Homes

If only it rained more in Los Angeles. (Photo: barb howe [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

Live in Los Angeles? Got a roof? Looking to cut back on water used for landscaping around the house? Like free stuff? Are the LA “water cops” hot on your tail?

If any of the above apply to you then keep on reading ...

Yesterday, I wrote about the Etsy-based Adoptobot Orphanage where dozens of whimsical characters created from salvaged household junk are waiting to be placed in loving homes (for a price, of course, since it is, after all, a retail operation). Today comes news that the city of Los Angeles is seeking homeowners willing to adopt 55-gallon rain barrels and use them as intended to help curb water use in the parched city that’s enduring its fourth consecutive drought year.

In July, Los Angeles launched the $1 million pilot program with the goal to outfit 600 homes with a rain barrel, free of charged and installed by the city. Anyone in LA is encouraged to apply but homeowners in the Sawtelle, Jefferson, and Mar Vista neighborhoods are given priority. As October nears, 430 homeowners have signed up for the program leaving 170 lonely rain barrels in need of loving homes.

Here’s the thing: there are only 18 “rain events” in LA each year meaning that these rain barrels aren’t going to see as much action as their brethren in let’s say, Portland. Still, with 600 55-gallon rain barrels up and running, the city estimates that 584,100 gallons of water will be saved annually. If all 800,000 residential parcels in LA installed a single rain barrel, an estimated 800 million gallons of agua would be saved.

The 200-pound barrels used in the pilot program are made from repurposed food grade plastic so that chemicals won’t leach into the water in the event that it’s used to grow food in residential gardens. Each barrel comes equipped with wire mesh up top to prevent debris from entering, a spigot, and a connector down below in case homeowners want to hook up additional barrels via an overflow valve.

The city aims to complete all 600 installations this fall so that they may proceed with a citywide rain barrel installation program in the fall of 2010.

For more info on this excellent pilot program and to apply for a free rain barrel (a $250 value!!), head on over, post-haste, to the larainwaterharvesting.org.

Via [Los Angeles Times]