*The date for people to pick up rain barrels through this program has been corrected in this story.
COLUMBIA — Storm water educator Mike Heimos is enthusiastic about rain barrels.
"Our goal is to have everyone in the county to eventually own one," he said.
These barrels look like residential waste bins, but their sole purpose is to collect rain and cut down on the run-off entering local streams. The water collected could then be recycled and used for watering a yard or a garden.
The city of Columbia is currently offering a program that allows both residents and nonresidents to purchase rain barrels at a discounted rate. Through June 23, 50-gallon barrels from Rain Water Solutions are available for purchase for $62, slightly more than half the normal retail price of $119.
Heimos chose Rain Water Solutions based on references, quality of product and experience, as well as because the reduced-price barrel can be built in as little as 15 minutes.
As of 5 p.m. Monday, 204 orders had been placed.
Pickup will take place from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on June 28* at the Boone County Health Department, 1005 W. Worley St.
The program is expected to continue in future years, Heimos said.
"This isn't a one-time shot. This is something we'll do every year."
For more information, including an installation video, go to rainbarrelprogram.org/como.
Supervising editor is Jake Kreinberg.