Think of how much rooftop runoff water a rain barrel might have gathered just this month alone. Through Thursday, Myrtle Beach had tallied 1.76 inches, according to data from WPDE-TV 15, with more rain in store to start this weekend.
The Winyah Rivers Foundation’s Waccamaw Riverkeeper program, which focuses on the Waccamaw River and the Winyah Bay watershed, spanning parts of Horry and Georgetown counties, has put precipitation in the forefront for attention this winter through a sale of rain barrels, and long before Earth Day, April 22.
Sales of black, “Ivy” brand rain barrels, which can hold 50 gallons and are made in the United States, continue at www.rainbarrelprogram.org/riverkeeper through 11 p.m. Sunday, for $70. Pickup then will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 31 at Horry-Georgetown Technical College’s Grand Strand campus conference center, 950 Crabtree Lane, Myrtle Beach, near Farrow Parkway and The Market Common. That site also is host that morning for the 2015 Waccamaw Conference: CLEAN (Community Learning and Environmental Awareness Now), for which the public is welcome to attend, for $10 admission.
Connected to a home’s downspout, a barrel is gravity-fed, taking in rainwater from rooftops, preventing flow with potential contaminants into a storm drain, then instead, the water accumulated in a barrel can be used for watering gardens and lawns, especially through drip irrigation and soaker hoses, and for washing cars.
Paula Reidhaar, the Waccamaw Riverkeeper for about a year now, who is based at the Coastal Carolina University Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, shared insight for this rain barrel sales initiative — a project with the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium (also based at CCU, at 349-2839 or cwsec-sc.org) — all to encourage residents with another easy way to help protect and conserve water resources.