More Green Stormwater Alternatives – Rain Barrels

There are a number of things that can be done in addition to building rain gardens. By combining some of these proven techniques you may be able to reduce all the runoff on your property.

Take a look and try them out.

Downspout Disconnection
Rain Barrels
Reduced Pavement or Use of Porous Paving Material
Green Roofs
Plant Native Plants
Plant Trees


Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are containers that collect rain water from rooftops via a downspout.

Rain barrel - Rain Garden Network

Rain barrel by Rain King

The water is used later to water plants inside and outside the home. Rain barrels can be made from new heavy-duty, plastic garbage cans, food grade plastic containers or can be purchased from rain barrel maker. They can range in price from $15 if you make your own or $200 for a specially designed wall hugging, 80-gallon rain barrel. The average size is 55 gallons and can cost between $90.00 – $120.00.

Rain barrels can be used individually or linked together to capture large amounts of rainwater. Rain barrels should have a fill area at the top with a mosquito and debris proof screen, a valve at the bottom to empty the barrel, a valve about 7”- 10” from the bottom of the barrel to use to fill a watering can  and an overflow valve near the top of the barrel so water can flow out of the barrel if necessary.

Remember:  A 1” rain on a 20×25 square foot roof can move over 300 gallons of water which would fill most barrels 4-5 times. Although rain barrels are helpful and convenient rain barrels alone are not a complete solution to reduce stormwater pollution.

More information in Rainwater Harvesting

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