The city of Lawrence is holding a rain barrel workshop for those looking for an easy, inexpensive way to capture rainwater.
This is the third workshop that the city of Lawrence’s stormwater division has sponsored this year.
The workshop will be from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 1 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St.
The cost is $35 and covers all supplies needed to construct the barrel, including the 55-gallon drum. Rain barrels can cost as much as $80 at retail outlets.
For those who just want to watch, the workshop is free. An instructional handout will be given for people to take home so they can make barrels on their own.
The workshop will demonstrate how to install a downspout adapter and overflow hose on a rain barrel as well as provide the tools needed to drill the holes.
By collecting rainwater from roofs and other surfaces, rain barrels are a good way to cut down on water costs during the summer. The water gathered, known as gray water, can be used for everything from watering the garden to bathing the dog. It’s not suitable for people to drink or to bathe in.
Rain barrels also help divert stormwater runoff.
Space in the workshop is limited, so participants must register by Sept. 26. Registration information can be found online here or by calling 832-3136.
Crafting a rain barrel is far more complicated than simply putting a 55-gallon drum under a rain spout. And buying an equivalent one will likely cost you around $80.
So, it’s little wonder that the city of Lawrence’s workshop on how to build one tends to be popular.
After a several-year hiatus, the city offered two workshops in the spring and plans to hold another on Aug. 25.
For $35 and with two hours of training, participants can learn how to make rain barrels and then take one home. While it requires a little elbow grease, the class is a cheaper alternative to buying a barrel.
“People are really interested in (rain barrels) and want to do that and like the idea of using water that is already there and available,” said Shawna Trarbach, a storm water quality technician who is teaching the class. “But they don’t have the $80 to come and pay to get just one barrel.”
Along with showing folks how to install things like a downspout adapter and overflow hose, the workshop will provide the tools needed to drill the holes.
“You’ll leave with a ready-to-go rain barrel to actually get you up and running,” Trarbach said.
By collecting rain water from roofs and other surfaces, rain barrels are a good way to cut down on water costs during the summer. The water gathered, known as gray water, can be used for everything from watering the garden to bathing the dog. It’s not suitable for people to drink or bathe in. For those who want to build a rain barrel, pre-registration is required by Aug. 17. Information is needed on where and how the rain barrel will be used.
“It’s a fun process,” Trarbach said.
Those interested can contact Trarbach at 832-3136 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The class will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25 in Building 1 of the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St.