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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2012 Archives > May 2012 > Mayor Brown Starts A New Rain Barrel Pilot Program In Hamlin Park

Mayor Brown Starts A New Rain Barrel Pilot Program In Hamlin Park

Contact: Lorey Schultz

Mayor Byron Brown launched the start of a new Rain Barrel/Downspout Disconnect pilot program in the Hamlin Park neighborhood with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.  This program is part of Mayor Brown’s commitment to green infrastructure as a cost-effective way to reduce overflows into local bodies of water. 

“This is an important step to improve Buffalo’s water quality in a cost-effective, low maintenance manner,” said Mayor Brown.  “I encourage residents to lend us a hand in this effort.  By capturing stormwater in rain barrels, the city can reduce pressure on its sewer system during heavy rain or snow melt events, and also help save residents money on their water bills.”

In Buffalo, many downspouts from roofs convey rain water directly into the sewer system because the downspout is connected to the sewer system.  During heavy rains or snow melts, the sewers become overwhelmed and they discharge polluted water into the Buffalo River, Niagara River, Scajaquada Creek, and many other water ways.  The goal of the Rain Barrel\Downspout Disconnect program is to reduce the over-flow, as well as water pollution.

The Buffalo Sewer Authority will work with up to 150 homeowners who live in the Blaine, Hedley, Meech and Hughes neighborhood by either installing a rain barrel or disconnecting their downspouts, allowing that water to flow into a green area in their backyard.

This pilot program is one of a number of projects that Mayor Brown has implemented as part of his commitment to study the effectiveness of green infrastructure in removing stormwater from the sewer system.  Before the program began in Hamlin Park, meters were installed to measure flows without the barrels.  With the program in place, post construction monitoring will continue to determine effectiveness.

For a one inch City-wide storm event, assuming 60% participation City-wide in this program, this program would remove about 59 million gallons from the system.  During the peak summer months, a rain barrel has the potential to save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water, with an approximate savings of $34.  Rain barrels also conserve 60 gallons of rain water for later use of outdoor chores. 

Buffalo Sewer Authority staff will provide the rain barrels and perform the downspout disconnect at no cost to the residents as part of the Mayor’s commitment to green infrastructure in fighting sewer overflows.