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Salt Lake City kicked off its new rain barrel program Friday — the latest addition to the municipality's water conservation program.

For $68, Salt Lake City residents and others on the city's water system can purchase a recycled plastic 60-gallon rain barrel. It's designed to capture water from residential rain gutters for use on lawns and gardens.

The initiative is designed to encourage efficient use of the area's limited water resources, said Mayor Ralph Becker. "This is part of a broader program to reduce water use," he said.

The barrels are available to homeowners who have participated in the city's Water Check Program, which provides expertise on how to increase water efficiency.

Five other municipal governments in northern Utah offer rain barrel programs through Rain Harvest, affiliated with the Utah Rivers Council. Those 50-gallon rain barrels cost homeowners $40 and are subsidized by local government.

The Salt Lake City Public Utilities Department has 207 barrels for sale. The first one was purchased by Laura Briefer, the deputy director of public utilities.

"It is a simple education opportunity for my kids and the community," she said. "There is huge value in this program."

To purchase a rain barrel, eligible households should contact Stephanie Duer, water conservation manager, at 801-483-6860 or by email at

Barrels are available on a first-come, first-served basis.