In urban areas, much of the water that falls as rain runs off the ground into local creeks and streams. Often, as the water travels over the ground it picks up pollutants, which are then deposited in streams and creeks, impairing the quality of local waterways.
Rain barrels prevent this water from running off your property, and allow it to be absorbed as gardens are watered after the rain event.
Though water pollution once was caused primarily by big businesses, the problem now stems from the actions of individuals. Common pollutants picked up by runoff after a storm include fertilizers, pesticides, dog waste, oil and litter.
Citizens can reduce their impact on local waterways by following these steps.
* Never apply lawn chemicals before a rain event.
* Apply lawn chemicals sparingly.
* Follow application instructions when applying lawn chemicals.
* Sweep extra lawn chemicals off sidewalks and driveways onto your lawn.
* Never pour anything down a storm drain. (That water is not treated; it runs directly into local waterways.)
* Pick up after pets, even in backyards.
* Maintain a car to prevent leaks.
* Don't litter. (That includes cigarette butts.)
Reducing pollutants is one easy way to reduce impact on local waterways. Reducing the amount of runoff is another. Less runoff means fewer pollutants carried to local streams and creeks. It also can mean less flooding. Reducing the amount of rain that runs off property also is simple. Direct gutter down spouts away from paved areas and install a rain barrel or several.
The rain barrels displayed in Danville are by the following artists: Karen Eugenia Mitchell LaBach, "Royal Spring Rain" displayed at the Community Arts Center; Roni Gilpin, "The Fish Bowl" displayed at Maple Tree Gallery; Chris Hunter, "The Clean Clear Ocean" displayed at the Boyle County Public Library; Kim Nicholson-Messmer and the Garrard County 4-H High School Environmental Club and Recycling Club, "Weaving Hearts with Common Threads" displayed at The Hub Coffee House & Cafe; and Phil Stivender and Fast Signs, "Wrapped" displayed at the Boyle County Extension Office.
The 23 artistic barrels on display throughout central Kentucky can be viewed at www.kentuckypride.com, where votes on the best design also are being accepted.
The barrels will be sold through eBay starting June 7. Bluegrass PRIDE also has information on purchasing an undecorated plastic rain barrel.
For more information about protecting local waterways, call Bluegrass PRIDE toll free at (866) 222-1648 or visit the stormwater section of www.kentuckypride.com.