Rain barrels capture and store the rainwater running off a rooftop. The harvested rainwater can be stored for later use; released slowly over time to infiltrate properly; or used immediately for watering lawns and landscaped areas, or washing vehicles.
Rain barrels come in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit a homeowner’s water needs. The rain barrel pictured on this page is the only type of barrel that is provided and installed by the RiverSmart Homes program. The RainGrid RiverSides rain barrel is designed to eliminate the chance for mosquitoes to breed and has an overflow to direct excess water away from a house’s foundation.
How a Rain Barrel Works
Rain barrels connect to the downspout from your roof. They should be located in an easily accessible area and not too far from the area where you intend to use the stored water (e.g., a garden or lawn).
To facilitate the use of gravity, rain barrels should be placed on the highest elevation that is workable or on a small stand. Rain barrels should also have an overflow device that directs water away from the foundation of your house.
The RainGrid RiverSides rain barrel provided by DOEE through the RiverSmart Homes program has the following features:
- 132-gallon capacity
- Made with recycled plastic
- UV-treated to resist fading, warping, and cracks from direct sunlight
- 27” diameter footprint
- Brass valve spigot
- Closed design is mosquito-resistant
- Diverter box to bypass or collect rainwater depending on season/need
- Mesh filter to keep barrel sediment and mosquito free
- Weighs approximately 35 lbs when empty
- Includes 30-foot soaker hose
Benefits of Rain Barrels to the Homeowner
Rain barrels require little maintenance and are a great way to save money and conserve water as a natural resource. With a rain barrel you can
- Cut your household use of water during the hot summer months
- Water your plants with the chlorine-free rainwater that they prefer
- Clean your car, bike, tools, etc. without ever using the faucet
- Save money on your water bill
DOEE’s RiverSmart Homes program offers two rain barrels per property for a $45 copayment per barrel. Homeowners must sign up and receive a stormwater audit. Learn more about the process.
DOEE also offers the Rain Barrel Rebate Program for homeowners who do not want to wait for the stormwater audit or want a different type of rain barrel than the one offered through RiverSmart Homes. Rebates are issued as a direct reimbursement to homeowners at a rate of $2 per gallon captured. For example, a 50-gallon rain barrel would yield a $100 rebate after installation. Rebates may not exceed $1,000 per property and rebate amounts may not exceed the cost of the barrel. More information, including rain barrel criteria and application materials are available at Rain Barrel Rebates.