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Stormwater Management

Rain Barrels

Rain Barrels

What is a Rain Barrel?

A rain barrel is an above-ground cistern or container that attaches to a downspout, harvests rain water from a roof, and stores the water for later use. The stored water can be used to water gardens and lawns.

Rain barrels are made from various materials, and come in different sizes and colors. Licking Soil & Water sells rain barrels that are durable food-grade plastic, 55-gallons, and white in color. Click here to order yours

Winterize Your Rain Barrel!

As temperatures begin to drop and leaves continue to fall it is important to take the time to winterize your rain barrel before winter temperatures are in full swing. To winterize your rain barrel simply drain the water, disconnect it from the downspout, and then store the barrel out of the weather in a garage, shed, or basement.

If an enclosed storage area is not an option, rain barrels can be left outside. The rain barrel must be stored upside down with the spigot open. Place a heavy object on top of the rain barrel to prevent it from blowing away in the winter wind. Remember to reconnect the original downspout to the house to drain roof water out and away from the foundation.

How Do Rain Barrels Help the Environment?

  • Rain barrels reduce runoff. When it rains, roof water travels down gutters and often runs off lawns faster than it can infiltrate the soil. In many cases, downspouts drain directly into the street. Utilizing a rain barrel will allow the water to be stored for later use, rather than letting the water runoff the property and quickly enter rivers and streams.

  • Rain barrels conserve water. Rainfall patterns are quite variable and often inconsistent in different seasons. During below normal rainfall periods, some communities have imposed water use restrictions (e.g. watering lawns and gardens, washing cars, etc.). A rain barrel, or a system of rain barrels, can provide the homeowner with a non-potable water source during dry spells and drought.

Links to Rain Barrel Resources: