Good to the Last Drop

Lively conversation, a few laughs about past adventures and plans for future escapades are things family, friends and neighbors might share over a cup of coffee.

Water Utilities Director Julie Hunt was hoping they would also be talking about rain barrels.

That’s a secondary benefit to the City’s long-term water conservation program Hunt envisioned when she had the idea of teaching people how to build their own rain barrels.

One Saturday morning in September 2011, residents with an Arlington Water Utilities account came together to do just that.

More than 400 participants enjoyed the Make A Barrel project at Ecofest Arlington 2011 for an investment of $10 and two hours of their time.

The class was taught by AgriLife Extension Program Specialist Dotty Woodson, and 250 families left with a better understanding of water conservation along with a 55-gallon rain barrel that captures free water for outdoor water use.

“After seeing how easy they are to make and use,” Arlington resident Danielle Call said, “it only seems logical that everyone should be using them all the time.”

Arlington Water Utilities and the Stormwater Division of Public Works & Transportation work together to communicate the importance water supply and water quality have on all of our lives, and this hands-on activity provided residents something they can enjoy for years to come.

“The Arlington Tomorrow Foundation grant was vital to providing the large-scale, high-impact event we were hoping for,” Conservation Program Coordinator Dustan Compton said.

The $5,000 grant from the Foundation’s Spring 2011 cycle was used to supplement the cost of the 55-gallon rain barrel and materials.

“My husband and I have been using it to water our garden ever since, and we actually need to make more,” Call said.  “It’s crazy how after just a couple of heavy rains, your barrel is full and ready to go.”

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