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What is a Rain Barrel?

 A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams.

  • Usually a rain barrel is composed of a 55 gallon drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to keep debris and insects out, and other off-the-shelf items.
  • A rain barrel is relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and can sit conveniently under any residential gutter down spout.
  • These devices are not only helpful to citizens; who can water gardens and yards in times if little rain, but also lessen the amount of stormwater runoff received by the City's storm drain system. 

 

great american rain barrel

Example of a rain barrel

What are the advantages of a rain barrel?

  • Collect water for gardening, car washing, or any other activity that can safely use "soft water" free of chlorine, lime, and calcium. 
  • Reducing stormwater runoff
  • Saves money and energy

 

How does a rain barrel work?

rain barrel diagram

* All info courtesy of EPA

 

 

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea