Rain Barrel Workshop

Arvina Menako receives a rain barrel from Alderman Robin Dunn after a workshop on how to install them.

Early Saturday morning last week, several Tullahomans looking to decrease the flow of stormwater on their property gathered in Jefferson Street Park to learn how to install a rain barrel from Alderman Robin Dunn.

Dunn, who chairs the Go Green Committee for the city, held a special workshop in the park to interested citizens looking to help keep the city’s waterways from overflowing after significant rain events through the use of rain barrels. The event also saw composters given away by the Interlocal Solid Waste Authority.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, rain barrels capture water from roofs or gutter systems and store it for later use. Some of the ways the collected rain water can be used are to water lawns, gardens or indoor plants. By collecting the roof runoff, rain barrels reduce the amount of water that flows from homeowners’ properties into local waterways, which can help reduce flooding after heavy rains.

During her workshop, Dunn fielded questions from citizens about how to properly install the barrels in order to maximize their usage or to keep their foundations from getting wet after rains. She then gave away nearly a dozen rain barrels to attendees.

For instance, she said, the rain barrel kits that were provided through a grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority provided all the necessary accessories for homeowners to install their rain barrels – all they would need is a drill, she told attendees. The kits included drill bits, a spigot, tubing and the necessary attachments for gutter systems. Barrels were provided by Coca-Cola Bottling Works in town, Dunn said. They formerly held corn syrup for Coca-Cola.

Dunn recommended that the rain barrel kit be attached at a slight angle so that the water would naturally fall into and collect in the barrel—installing the tubing too flat would prevent the flow from collecting in the barrel.

Additionally, Bob Bates a master gardener also with the Go Green Committee, recommended that the rain barrels be installed up on a platform of some kind, which would allow gravity to increase the flow of the water from the barrel once it was let out.

For more information about composters, rain barrels or how to receive one, contact Dunn at aldermandunn@tullahomatn.gov.

Managing Editor

Erin McCullough has won awards for her news reporting, community lifestyles and education reporting in the three years she's been a journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Tullahoma with her cat, Luna.

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