PORTLAND, May 11, 2023 – Residents worried about water quality and algae blooms in the Rideau Lakes and nearby waterways can now take matters in their own hands.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) has partnered with Rideau Lakes Township, Cataraqui Conservation and Big Rideau Lake Association to sell rain barrels this month as part of its ongoing sustainable drainage project in Portland and surrounding areas.
Installing a rain barrel is an easy, inexpensive step residents can take to reduce runoff and keep contaminants out of their lake. The barrel is placed under an eavestrough or gutter to catch rainwater as it drains off roofs and other hardened surfaces. During dry periods, the stored water can be used to water the garden.
This storage system stops stormwater from carrying harmful chemicals, sediments and excess nutrients into our lakes and rivers.
“When rainwater rushes across roads, laneways and fields, it picks up all sorts of nutrients and possible contaminants that can hurt our lakes,” said Mike Yee, an RVCA planner and committee member on the sustainable drainage project. “When we slow stormwater down or store it for later, we see fewer algae blooms, fewer unwanted aquatic plants and better overall water quality.”
Rain barrels and accessories can be purchased at www.rainbarrel.ca/rvca for pickup at Portland Bay Conservation Area on Friday, May 26 from 3 to 7 p.m. Residents can see a demonstration rain barrel in action while they’re on site, which also features a rain garden to help soak up runoff from major storms.
Money raised from the sale will support continued sustainable drainage efforts in Portland and the surrounding area.
For program information and for sustainable drainage resources visit https://www.rvca.ca/sustainable-drainage-pilot-project-portland.