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TMCNet:  California American Water Donates Rain Barrels to Monterey Peninsula Schools and Community Gardens

[May 02, 2014]

California American Water Donates Rain Barrels to Monterey Peninsula Schools and Community Gardens

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. --(Business Wire)--

Building on the 2012 California American Water Environmental Grant to Monterey County Business Council's Rainwater Catchment and Greywater Recycling Outreach Program, California American Water recently donated rain barrels to MEarth, Pacific Grove Middle School, Walter Colton Middle School, Pacific Grove Adult School, Ord Terrace Elementary School and King Elementary School. The rain barrels were installed throughout April and May, and save a minimum of 8,500 gallons of water during an annual rainfall year on the Monterey Peninsula. California American Water also sponsored the building of garden beds at the Pacific Grove Lighthouse Preschool, replete with a supply of native, edible plant seeds and soil.

By harvesting rainwater using rain barrels, these educational centers and community gardens will be able to cut their water usage and save money on their water bills while still maintaining beautiful, water-friendly grounds and gardens. California American Water contacted local community gardens and schools in the Monterey Peninsula, Pacific Grove and Carmel Unified School Districts. Each institution had specific water needs based on the garden's location and adjacent structures for water catchment. Local rainwater catchment specialist Roger Manley with Garden Solutions Landscaping helped to assess these needs and determine the type of water barrel donation necessary for each location.

"By donating rain barrels, California American Water hopes to reduce the schools' and community gardens' water usage while still maintaining beautiful gardens for students and community members to enjoy," said California American Water general manager Eric Sabolsice. "At these educational centers, saving water and caring for our environment is a lesson that can be learned early in life."

MEarth, an environmental education nonprofit center in Carmel, receive a 1,500-gallon barrel to complete the site's original project scope for a total of four 1,500-gallon barrels to source water for the building's living roof. California American Water donated 1,100-gallon rain barrels to Ord Terrace and King elementary schools in Seaside and Walter Colton Middle School in Monterey for use with the middle school's raised garden beds recently constructed by local Eagle Scouts. Pacific Grove Middle School's existing, flourishing garden for native pollinators and adjacent edibles garden received two 550-gallon rain barrels. Each of these schools will use the rain barrels as educational tools in their gardens. Students will learn how they can use the existing resource of rain to grow food and other plants, while saving water. Each rain barrel has a water level indicator and spigot that allows the students to draw water directly from the barrel.


"We are very grateful for this water catchment system as it will allow us to capture rain water to use in our garden. The garden is incorporated into our STEM program here on campus in studying agriculture, weather patterns, and technology," said Greg Enterline, Science Teacher at Walter Colton Middle School.

Pacific Grove Adult School, home to Pacific Grove's Community Garden, houses 60 garden plots maintained by community members. With California American Water's donation of a 2,600-gallon rain barrel, complete with a submersible pump and filtration system, a full water catchment system was installed. Rainwater can now be collected from the roof with the option to pump the water to the various garden plots. California American Water also provided garden beds, soil and native and edible plant seeds to complete the garden at Lighthouse Preschool, a parent cooperative preschool under the umbrella of Pacific Grove Adult School.

"Pacific Grove Adult School is striving to do all things possible to conserve water during the drought," said Pacific Grove Adult School principal Barbara Martinez. "Thanks to Cal-Am, these rain barrels will reduce our water usage, helping us maintain beautiful gardens for the Pacific Grove community."

After the water barrels were placed, watering cans were provided to each location to encourage use of rainwater throughout the sites. Tularcitos Elementary School in Carmel Valley and Foothill Elementary School in Monterey also received watering cans for use in their existing, flourishing gardens.

For more information on rain barrels and other water- and money-saving tips, visit www.montereywaterinfo.org.

California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 600,000 people.

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states, and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.


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