SOMERVILLE, NJ – The 2017 Raritan River Rain Barrel Rebate Program for homeowners in Bridgewater, Raritan, and Somerville is accepting applications for the 7th year of the program.

Rebates are available in the amount of $50 for rain barrels that hold 40 to 70 gallons and $100 for those that hold more than 70 gallons. Rebates are available for multiple rain barrels that meet all criteria.

The program is sponsored by the Somerset County Regional Center Partnership, utilizing a grant from the New Jersey Water Supply Authority.

Sign Up for E-News

Homeowners who have previously purchased rain barrels remain eligible for rebates. Those within the Peters Brook Watershed who purchased and installed rain barrels after July 1, 2011 remain eligible providing documentation is available. Residents outside the Watershed but within the boundaries of the three municipalities must have purchased the rain barrel after January 1, 2014. Sufficient documentation including proof of purchase and installation is required.

Rain barrels provide homeowners with financial and ecological advantages by conserving water, easing stream erosion by reducing the volume of runoff entering to streams and rivers during storms, and reducing pollutants accumulated from impervious surfaces, particularly roofs. In established urban areas like the Regional Center, rainwater runoff from hard surfaces flows directly into streams, depositing these pollutants.

Rain barrels must have a closed design or screen top; have a system to direct excess water away from the home’s foundation; have a spigot not higher that 3” from the bottom of the barrel; and must be made of a sturdy material and installed on a solid level base. Homeowners must pledge to maintain the rain barrel for at least two years to be eligible for the rebate.

“A rain barrel is a simple and effective way of practicing environmental responsibility,” said Troy Fischer, chair of the Somerset County Regional Center Partnership. “Homeowners in the Regional Center communities have a unique opportunity to recoup their investment twice, once through the rebate and multiple times through re-use of rain water.”

Rebates will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, and funding is limited. Detailed information can be found on the Regional Center Partnership’s website at www.regionalcenterpartnership.org, by calling 908-730-0270 x233 or sending an email to rainbarrel@raritanbasin.org.

The Somerset County Regional Center is the strategic center of the County consisting of 12.6 square miles encompassing Raritan Borough, Somerville Borough, and a portion of Bridgewater Township. The Center is bisected by U.S. Route 206, U.S. Route 202, U.S. Route 22, NJ State Route 28, and I-287 with public transit options and serves as the focal point of County government and the regional economy.