As the dry season starts, Miami-Dade County wants locals to conserve water and resources with rain barrels.
Florida receives 56 inches of rainfall per year, according to the county. Most of this water washes over lawns and pavement carrying fertilizers and other chemicals into local waterways.
“Our dry season lasts about seven months,” said Barbara McAdam, a program assistant with the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program. “We can only put so many straws into the Biscayne aquifer before we start pulling up salinity.”
The Biscayne aquifer is our primary source of water, said McAdam, and it is in danger of getting tapped out due to increased demand. McAdam added that the aquifer sits close to the surface making it vulnerable to contamination when people dump oil and other chemicals onto the ground.
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McAdam is calling for locals to help reduce pollution by each installing a 55-gallon barrel which provides about 440 pounds of free, non-chlorinated, soft water to irrigate gardens.
The conservation workshop is free. However, the county sells each rain barrel for $40, which includes various fittings including a spigot.
For information on how to arrange for a conservation workshop at your school, club or workplace, please call 305-248-3311 ext. 242.
The rain barrel program is sponsored by the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program, and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.