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Rain barrel sale helps Oklahomans save springtime showers for dusty summer months

Central Oklahoma Stormwater Alliance

The Central Oklahoma Stormwater Alliance is partnering with eleven communities to get affordable rain barrels into people’s yards.

Rain barrels capture water that would otherwise be runoff during soggy periods. That stored water can help people run their outdoor taps less during dry spells. Rain barrel water isn’t safe for consumption, but it’s handy for watering gardens and washing off outdoor equipment.

A rain barrel in action.
Central Oklahoma Stormwater Alliance
A rain barrel in action.

“It's a really fantastic way of irrigating your garden instead of just going out and using a hose,” said Jordan Peebles, Vice-Chair of the alliance, which aims to give Oklahomans tools to minimize stormwater pollution.

The organization hosts an annual rain barrel sale, where Oklahomans can order an upcycled barrel online or by mail. The barrels come with a built-in screen to keep mosquitoes and debris out. Accessories are also available for people who want to set their rain barrel on a platform or festoon it with flower pots.

You don’t need to live in a participating community to order — you’ll just need to pick up your rain barrel in one.

Peebles said these upcycled barrels have some flair leftover from their previous lives as containers for international food shipments.

“My favorite color is the terracotta,” Peebles said. “It's this really pretty rustic burnt orange color. And that was used to ship olives to the U.S. from Greece. So there's Greek letters and symbols on the barrel.”

Orders are open for the next two months or so (deadlines vary from community to community), and pickup dates are in late April and early May. Derek Johnson, Chair of the Stormwater Alliance, said the pickup process is user-friendly.

“We do all the legwork on our pickup days,” Johnson said. “We have staff members there that will help load those barrels.”

He said the barrels will fit in most cars; dimensions are listed online.

The Central Oklahoma Stormwater Alliance offers a fact sheet and other rain barrel resources on its website, where you can also find the link to order a rain barrel of your own.

PARTICIPATING COMMUNITIES
PICK-UP LOCATION
PICK-UP DATES
ORDER PAGES
Noble, Norman, & Moore
668 E Lindsay St., NormanApril 5 & 6
9 am - 1 pm
online order page
Edmond
Cross Timbers Municipal Complex
2012 Old Timbers Dr., Edmond
April 6
8 am - 12 pm
online order page
Bethany, Mustang, & Yukon
Yukon Development Services
334 Elm Ave., Yukon
April 19
9 am - 5 pm
online order page
Midwest City
8726 SE 15th St., Midwest CityMay 3
8 am - 5 pm
May 4
8 am - 12 pm
online page page
Stillwater
City of Stillwater Service Center
707 E 8th Ave., Stillwater
May 4
9 am - 1 pm
online order page
Muskogee
Muskogee Civic Center
425 Boston St., Muskogee
May 4
9 am - 1 pm
coming soon!
Oklahoma City
1621 S. Portland Ave., Oklahoma CityMay 11 & 18
8:30 am - 11:30 am
online order page

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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