SPRINGFIELD – While cutting the ribbon to officially open the 2009 Conservation World, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced an effort to help Illinois residents do their part to conserve water and protect a vital resource.
As part of Governor Quinn’s ongoing effort to make Illinois a “green leader” throughout the United States, Illinois residents can now register for one of three chances to win a free 55-gallon hand-painted rain barrel. Registrations are now being accepted online at www.cleanwaterillinois.org. The public can also register in person at either the Governor’s Tent on Main Street at the Illinois State Fair or the IDNR Director’s Tent located just inside the main entrance to Conservation World on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The fair runs through August 23 and online registrations will be accepted through September 12.
“Fresh, clean water is one of the greatest natural resources we have,” said Governor Quinn. “Rain barrels help conserve water while saving your home from unnecessary water damage and your pocketbook from excessive bills.”
“Illinois residents in every corner of the state have seen the effects of neighborhood flooding and periodic drought in recent years,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “Using a rain barrel to collect rainwater for use on the lawn or in the garden is a great way to conserve a valuable resource, save on your water bill, and perhaps divert some stormwater runoff that can damage your home.”
Collecting water in rain barrels can:
• Reduces the amount of stormwater flow on city and neighborhood drainage infrastructure
• Lower monthly water bills by using collected water to irrigate gardens, house plants and lawns
• Reduces pollution from runoff in your local lakes and streams
One inch of rainfall on a typical residential roof can produce 625 gallons of water – enough to fill 11 rain barrels. Because Illinois typically receives 36 inches of rainfall a year, a standard 55-gallon rain barrel could be filled 400 times in a 12-month period. That’s especially helpful during the summer months, when nearly half of all water usage goes toward watering lawns and gardens.
Illinois State Fair visitors are encouraged to visit Conservation World’s “Permeable Pavement” and “Pervious Concrete” displays. These displays provide additional examples of efforts to reduce stormwater runoff, which helps minimize the risk of flooding.
The three painted rain barrels were donated by Austin Grammer of Prairie Rain Harvester out of Farmer City, Illinois (www.prairierainharvester.com). The artists featured on the barrels are Felicia Olin of Springfield, Sharon Jackson of Urbana, and Erin Dady of Champaign.