By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – With the first full spring and summer ahead where household rain barrels are legal in Colorado, students from Metropolitan State University hope to pioneer new technology that will eventually be used in the capture and use of rainwater.

Seven teams from Ted Shin’s Industrial Design Class are competing to propose a new 55-gallon rain barrel that will resolve problems seen with current designs.

“The rain barrels you see now in the marketplace are kind of old fashioned and have a lot of problems,” said Professor Ted Shin.

35 MSU Denver Students Hope To Design Better Rain Barrel

Students present new rain barrel designs in Ted Shin’s Industrial Design Class at MSU Denver. (credit: CBS)

“The main problems to mitigate with a new rain barrel design would be to eliminate mosquito breeding opportunities and the distribution of water in terms of gravity where the spigot is often too low. Quite often that spigot will leak water after several years in the sun, and the summer sun also tends to warp current rain barrel designs,” said Tom Cech, Director of the One World One Water Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship at MSU.

Designers are also taking into consideration that consumers would want an aesthetically pleasing rain barrel to fit their home decor.

The rain barrel designs are being judged by a panel of local professionals including representatives from Denver Water and a design firm that works with environmental issues.

216 MSU Denver Students Hope To Design Better Rain Barrel

MSU Denver students compete to design a new rain barrel. (credit: CBS)

The winning team will have an opportunity to present their design later this summer during an event at Denver Botanic Gardens.

Meteorologist Chris Spears writes about stories related to weather and climate in Colorado. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.


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