Putting Rain to Work - Stratford, Prince Edward Island Rain Barrel Project Launches Today

STRATFORD, PEI, Sept. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) launched the first Atlantic Region study of the impact of collective rain barrel use with the Town of Stratford, Prince Edward Island today. Up to one thousand homes will receive rain barrels from IBC to assess their impact on relieving stress on water systems and keeping basements dry.

Water damage is a serious problem in PEI. Sewer backups can happen during intense rainstorms when aging municipal sanitary and storm sewers become overloaded. The forecast is also less than optimistic: ever-increasing amounts of rainfall due to changing weather patterns.

"IBC is delighted to be partnering with the community of Stratford for the first rain barrel project in Atlantic Canada," says Bill Adams, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. "Rain barrels are an important tool for adapting to the severe weather patterns that are becoming more intense and frequent."

"As part of our efforts at building a better community, Stratford is committed to adapting to the changing climate," says Mayor David Dunphy.  "Participation in this study in partnership with IBC is one significant milestone in that commitment. Thank you to the residents who are participating in this project which will help our community to better deal with the increased frequency and intensity of rain events caused by the changing climate," adds Dunphy.

IBC's first rain barrel study was in the town of Wingham, Ontario. Results showed that out of 1,000 homes, 72% of downspouts were disconnected from the storm and sanitary sewer system, providing immediate relief to that infrastructure. Even during heavy rains with direct downspouts disconnected and rain barrels in use, Wingham remained within its storm system capacity.

This second study will include a simple solution to the problem of some residents not emptying full barrels: a slow-release drain valve allowing the barrels to empty on their own over 24 hours.

Water damage claims have soared to $1.7 billion annually in Canada, surpassing fire as the leading cause of damage to homes. The increase in water damage claims and severe weather spurred IBC to investigate ways to help communities deal with excess water.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 114,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $40 billion.

To view media releases and information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca and for IBC on Twitter follow @insurancebureau.

SOURCE: INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA

For further information:

For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact:

Helen Lialias 
Media Relations Officer
Insurance Bureau of Canada
647-228-5730
hlialias@ibc.ca

Ellen Woodger
Communications Consultant
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-483-2358
Ellen.woodger@sympatico.ca

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INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA

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