By Julie Kane-Ritsch
Special to The Outlook
Why pay for water to sprinkle the garden, wash your car, clean a dirty patio or rinse off muddy tools or feet? Capture rebates as well as rainwater this winter by installing a rain barrel.
The Foothill Metropolitan Water District will sponsor a rain barrel distribution event on Sunday, March 17, from 10 a.m.-noon at Foothill’s office at 4536 Hampton Road in La Cañada Flintridge.
“The rain barrel rebate is a great incentive program,” said Nina Jazmadarian, director of the water district. “A customer can receive a rebate for up to two rain barrels and locate them in different areas to water different parts of the yard.”
Jazmadarian said customers must pre-order the barrels at RainBarrelsIntl.com. They must also apply for the $35 state rebate to reduce the cost of each 50-gallon barrel from $65 to $30 for customers in La Cañada Flintridge, Crescenta Valley, Burbank and Glendale.
Using rain barrels helps residents save money on water bills. It’s estimated that each barrel will capture 3,258.51 gallons of water over its five-year life span, said Ursula Schmidt of Pasadena Water and Power, which also has sponsored barrel distributions. Jazmadarian said rebates for 340 rain barrels in LCF in the last five years will provide more than 1 million gallons.
Residents needn’t worry that a rain barrel will create a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Each barrel is equipped with mosquito screens.
Schmidt said a customer can always add cooking oil to the barrel to create a film that inhibits mosquito breeding.
Installation of a rain barrel is simple and requires only basic tools. For aluminum downspouts, only a hacksaw and six screws are required. For PVC downspouts, a resident needs only PVC cement.
Water-wise residents also should consider installing a cistern with a capacity of 200 gallons or more. With the passage of Proposition 72 last November, any cistern installed after Jan. 1 will not trigger a reassessment of the homeowner’s property taxes. In addition, Jazmadarian said that rebates range from $250 to $350, depending on the cistern’s size.
Jazmadarian said customers will drive through and pick up the barrels.