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Old tech can mean new savings on water bill

July 29, 2011
By JOHANNA BOYLE ( , Journal Ishpeming Bureau

MARQUETTE - When it rains, water falls on your lawn and garden, providing water for the plants around your home. But the rain also falls on your roof, falling to the ground and then your street or driveway.

Now Marquette city residents can take advantage of that water by collecting it in a rain barrel system. The Superior Watershed Partnership is now offering rebates for rain barrels through a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Installed to collect water from a home's gutter system, rain barrels can provide water for outdoor uses like gardening without driving up your water bill.

Article Photos

Thanks to a rebate program through the Superior Watershed Partnership and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Marquette city residents can purchase a 50-gallon rain barrel at a reduced price. The rain barrels, such as this one recently installed in Marquette, collect water from a home’s gutter system, which can then be used to water a lawn or garden. (Photo courtesy of Vicki Baldini)

"It's saving the water that would just run down the road," said Vicki Baldini, office manager for the SWP and administrator of the grant. "It's an easy way to save water and reduce your water bill."

Marquette city residents can purchase a 50-gallon rain barrel at a bulk discount price of $100 (normal cost is $165). Once the barrel has been installed, the buyer takes a picture of the barrel and submits it to receive a $50 rebate. The program provides funding for 120 rebates, although those who are interested can still purchase the barrels at the reduced price after all the rebates have been collected.

"It's still a good bargain if you didn't qualify," Baldini said.

To purchase a rain barrel, Marquette residents can go to and click on the rain barrel rebate program link. The website also includes a link to the site where barrels can be purchased. The program only offers rebates for the Rain Wizard 50 model rain barrel, which includes a spigot at the bottom that can be hooked up to a hose.

Marquette residents can put in a code provided on the website when purchasing their barrel online. Rebate forms are also available online.

Those without Internet access can contact the SWP at 906-228-6095 to learn how to participate.

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401.



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