Stratford, Prince Edward Island to participate in rain barrel study

SASKATOON, June 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Following the release of the first rain barrel study by Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and Wingham, Ontario, the next participating town has been selected. Stratford, Prince Edward Island, with a population of 8,500, will begin the rain barrel initiative later this year.

The goal of the study is to measure how the collective use of rain barrels can help reduce stress on storm water and sewer systems and help keep basements dry during intense rain storms.   One rain barrel can collect about 45 gallons of water. "While this seems like old technology - it is part of the solution to dealing with a 21st century problem," said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Atlantic Canada, IBC.   "Collecting rainwater will provide relief to the storm water and sewer system infrastructure which is dealing with ever-increasing amounts of rain water due to changing weather patterns."

Years ago, storm water and sewer system design was based on weather patterns that predicted intense storms would occur every five years. But these intense storms are now occurring every two years. Rain barrels will capture and hold storm water until it can be safely processed, reducing the stress on the storm and sewer systems.  The rain barrel could be one of a number of innovative solutions allowing municipalities to use their existing infrastructures more efficiently until they can be updated.

To encourage participation, IBC is providing free rain barrels to all Stratford homeowners. The Wingham Rain Barrel Study found that out of 1,000 homes, 72% of downspouts were disconnected from the storm and sanitary sewer system, providing immediate relief. 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 full barrel problem: 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.

To view an interview clip with Ralph Palumbo Vice-President, Ontario with IBC, please click: http://youtu.be/Kb3bGrb4g58

To view a clip about the Wingham Rain Barrel Study, please click: http://youtu.be/Ee2q8763_7Y

To learn about how to install and use a rain barrel (with drainage cap), please click: http://youtu.be/OaJ_mFHVzaA

A copy of the Wingham study and other background materials are available on ibc.ca.

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:

Helen Lialias
Media Relations Officer
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 ext. 4312
hlialias@ibc.ca

Steve Kee
Director of Media Relations
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-841-5669
skee@ibc.ca

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

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