San Mateo Countywide Program Announces Record Year For Rain Barrel Sales

January 26th, 2023 – South San Francisco, CA – Submitted by Flows to Bay

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Mateo Countywide Program Announces Record Year For Rain Barrel Sales

Residents throughout San Mateo County are showing up to respond to our changing climate, says City Senior Stormwater Specialist.

A San Mateo County resident poses as his rain barrels are loaded into his car.

A San Mateo County resident poses as his rain barrels are loaded into his car.

San Mateo, CA. January 26, 2023– Flows To Bay, the San Mateo Countywide Water Prevention Program, today announced a record year for sales of its Countywide Rain Barrel Program. Following the immense success of last year’s pilot program, an impressive 825 barrels were sold over the course of four distribution events (11/12 in Daly City, 11/19 in Millbrae, 12/3 in Redwood City, and 12/10 in San Mateo), indicating that the San Mateo County residents who participated in the fall 2022 rain barrel program are doing their part to harvest and conserve rainwater and are eager to make the most of the torrential rainfall that has poured down throughout the Bay Area over the last month.

Flows To Bay partnered with Rain Water Solutions to acquire barrels in bulk directly from the manufacturer allowing Flows To Bay to offer barrels at $80 each (pre-tax)—a significantly reduced price below the retail amount, which makes installing a rain barrel at home a much easier and more accessible option for anyone living in San Mateo County. Qualifying applicants can also apply for the countywide rain barrel rebate, further reducing the unit price at up to 100% of the cost reimbursed (pre-tax).

Shaleen of Redwood City with her 50-gallon rain barrel.

Shaleen of Redwood City with her 50-gallon rain barrel.

The program was created as a water capture and conservation strategy to address California’s ongoing drought conditions and to provide water quality and environmental benefits. By capturing rainwater during the current and upcoming wet months, rain barrels help cut back potable water used for irrigation by offsetting some landscape watering needs during periodic dry spells through fall and winter. The 825 50-gallon barrels sold will capture 41,250 gallons of water each time they are completely filled!

Redwood City Public Works staff prepare rain barrels for distribution.

Redwood City Public Works staff prepare rain barrels for distribution.

“Residents throughout San Mateo County are showing up to respond to our changing climate,” said Reid Bogert, City/County Association of Governments Senior Stormwater Program Specialist. “The recent storm events seem to be stirring up community action in two significant ways – on the one hand, by encouraging residents to play an active role in water management and mitigating all that downpour, and on the other by inspiring action to capture and save water for when the rain dries up. This is very exciting to see,” said Reid.

Beyond water conservation, capturing rainwater also improves the water quality of our local creeks, the San Francisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. As rainfall funnels from building roofs, properties, and sidewalks into streets, it collects urban pollutants from all surfaces along the way. These pollutants then flow into storm drains and nearby waterways without a cleaning or treatment process. In many communities throughout the nation, stormwater runoff is the number one source of pollution in our waterways. But, rain barrels reduce this impact by capturing rain before it becomes a pathway to pollution. This means the 41,000+ gallons of rainwater now being collected in San Mateo County each time the rain barrels are filled is not only going to be a valuable water resource but also will avoid the storm drain system where it would otherwise become polluted and harmful to our waterways!

Flows To Bay partnered with various city Public Works Departments to distribute pre-purchased rain barrels at 4 distribution events

Flows To Bay partnered with various city Public Works Departments to distribute pre-purchased rain barrels at 4 distribution events

Lastly, this program is an important component of making C/CAG’s communities more connected and resilient in the face of climate change and in leading the way toward a sustainable future in San Mateo County. Davina Hurt, the Chair of the C/CAG Board of Directors and Vice-Mayor of the City of Belmont, shares “C/CAG’s mission is to ensure the success and healthy livelihood for everyone in San Mateo County. The Rain Barrel Rebate Program really demonstrates how our residents, in partnership with their local governments, can work together and rise to the challenge of changing our everyday actions and ways of living to support a more sustainable path forward.”

This year’s program was made possible by the Public Works Departments that hosted this year’s distribution events, which include the City of Daly City, Millbrae, Redwood City, and San Mateo. Their assistance, paired with resident excitement and support, enabled us to double the number of distribution events compared to last year’s pilot program! Learn more about the countywide rain barrel rebate program and view recordings of relevant webinars on Flows To Bay’s “Rain Barrels & Rebate Program” web page.

Do you have a rain barrel? You can make a positive impact by helping show the importance of this simple action in San Mateo County!

Share a photo of you with your rain barrel setup, tag @Flowstobay in your caption on Instagram and Facebook, and be sure to include the hashtag #FlowsToBarrel.

Add yourself to our interactive map to join the San Mateo County Rain Barrel Movement!

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Flows To Bay, the public outreach arm of the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program, is a program of the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, a joint powers agency of the County and the 20 cities and towns in San Mateo County. In addition to funding green infrastructure projects, C/CAG supports its member agencies in achieving State-mandated stormwater pollution reduction requirements through countywide and regional collaboration on stormwater planning, water quality monitoring, community outreach and engagement, and public education.

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steve m
steve m
7 months ago

how about a little fun fact. the state uses 38 billion gallons a day.
agriculture uses 80% . citizens only use 20% for those that can’t do math.
don’t know how much 41k gallons saved will do? like peeing in the wind .
guess we can stop growing food. love this bandaid fix . if you want to call it that.

victor carboni
victor carboni
8 months ago

With due credit given to those trying to conserve, its a shame that 3rd world conservation techniques need to be resorted to in the 5th largest economy in the world with more technology resources available than anywhere. Shame on California elected leaders since Gov. Brown for ignoring water needs while the population since then has tripled and all we have to show for it is an unfinished and probably never to be finished high speed train system.

steve m
steve m
7 months ago
Reply to  victor carboni

well put . not only that they should be giving out those rain barrels for free .
if we have to resort to 3rd world / hillbilly methods of conserving water.
still remember saving bath water to water the lawn in the 70’s . ended
up giving up on the lawn. 50% of the rainfall just goes in the ocean/bay.
the morons in sacramento are a laughing stock. they can’t get anything done.
half steps at best. stupid at worst.