ROLL OUT THE BARRELS
By HASANI GITTENS, NY Post
The city is thinking outside the box - or, rather, inside the barrel - over water demand this summer.
A pilot program by the Department of Environmental Protection will hand out 250 rain barrels this month to Queens residents to collect storm water from rooftops for lawn-watering use.
The DEP estimates that up to 40 percent of some households' summer water consumption goes to irrigation.
The barrels will be handed out in the lawn-heavy neighborhoods of Rosedale, St. Albans, New Hyde Park and Floral Park.
Those areas have been prone to heavy flooding, another target of the program since water used on lawns doesn't find its way to sewers that can't handle heavy storms.
Similar programs are in effect in European cities and other American cities - particularly in the Northwest - and have proven effective, the DEP said.
"Improved storm-water management is an important component of DEP's efforts . . . to help mitigate the city's storm-water runoff going into the sewer system," said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd.