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How rain barrels can help prevent flooding in Milwaukee metro area

Posted: 6:58 AM, May 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-06 08:42:31-04
Rain Barrels
Rain Barrels
Rain Barrels

A 1-inch rainfall on the metropolitan Milwaukee area is equal to more than 7 billion gallons of water. A simple device can help keep that water from overwhelming the sewer system.

“Rain barrels are really important to us,” said Bree Plier, manager of sustainability for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. “They help us keep water out of the sewer system, and that helps us to reduce the risk of basement backups, flooding and combined sewer overflows.”

Rain barrels are popular in Brown Deer

It’s why MMSD has been pushing rain barrels for years. With more than 24,000 of them in the district, MMSD estimates neighbors capture more than 1 million gallons of water every time it rains. That rainwater can be put to good use.

“People are using them for their gardens, to wash their cars, things like that," Plier said. "Rainwater is great for your plants and your vegetable gardens."

“They help us keep water out of the sewer system, and that helps us to reduce the risk of basement backups, flooding and combined sewer overflows.” — Bree Plier, manager of sustainability for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District

MMSD sells rain barrels, as do some of our local community governments. A little effort on your part can get you one for free if you attend a workshop on how to install and use them. For more information, click here.