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Free rain barrels go to Norman residents

A rain barrel giveaway over the weekend was so successful that Norman city officials plan more for the future.
BY JANE GLENN CANNON Published: January 24, 2012

— A rain barrel giveaway over the weekend was so successful that city officials in Norman plan more for the future.

One hundred rain barrels provided by Recycle America were given away Saturday at Forest Lumber Co., 1051 W Rock Creek Road.

Those receiving rain barrels participated in workshops to learn how to use them to capture rain water for reuse, said Debra Smith, the city's environmental service coordinator.

Smith said this is the fifth giveaway the city has sponsored in the past year, and more are planned for the future.

“We will continue to offer them as often as we can get the barrels,” she said.

Besides Recycle America, barrels have been donated in the past by Great Plains Bottling Co. of Oklahoma City. The city also used grant money to buy some for one giveaway, Smith said.

“Our first giveaway we had 80 barrels, and 450 people showed up wanting one,” she said.

The city played “catch-up” until all those residents were able to get a rain barrel. The giveaways are limited to one per household.

When barrels are available, the city now holds an online registration before the giveaway event.

Stored rain barrel water can be used to water lawns and gardens, wash cars or for similar uses, Smith said.

On average, one inch of rain on a 1,000-square-foot roof yields 635 gallons of water, enough to water a garden for several weeks.