Had a peek at your water bill lately?
Every glass of water, every toilet flush, every car wash or pavement hose-down adds to your tap tab.
There is, of course, free water. It falls from the sky, doesn’t it? And there’s a non-profit agency that will help you collect it.
Stephanie Clymer, who works for the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, was at a recent Frankford Civic Association session to talk up programs that will help residents save some dollars.
The Energy Coordinating Agency is giving away rain barrels, which collect water from residential downspouts, she said. There are numerous uses for what you collect, including watering lawns and plants, and washing down pavements or patio furniture.
Subtract those uses from your water bill and you see a good impact on your finances. There’s another kind of green benefit, too, Clymer said.
“By storing rainwater, there is a decreased impact of stormwater runoff on local streams,” she said. “This helps protect the environment and minimizes sewer backups.”
The barrels, like the rain itself, are free. Anyone who is interested can sign up by visiting the Web site: http://www.phillywatersheds.org/rain-barrel-notification-list or by contacting the watershed group at 215-844-8100.
The watershed group also is helping residents get “downspout planters.”
“A downspout planter is a decorative garden planter filled with gravel, soil and vegetation that uses rainfall from the roof as irrigation,” Clymer said. Each planter is connected to a downspout; it slows water as it enters the sewers.
The planters are free and installed for free. Low-income eligibility and other guidelines apply. The income of a single-person household must be less than $45,000, and less than $74,500 for a six-person household. To fill out an application, contact Mike Verla with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-965-0777.
If you want to hear more about rain barrels and downspout planters, Julie Slavet, the watershed group’s executive director, will speak at the Northeast EPIC Stakeholders session at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, in the second-floor conference room of Aria Health’s Frankford campus, 4900 Frankford Ave. ••For more information, visit http://ttfwatershed.org/about-us/staff/EndFragment