A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores the water from roofs and downspouts for future uses such as watering lawns, gardens, and house plants; cleaning off gardening tools; and washing your car. Rain barrels help to lower your water bills, particularly in the summer months by collecting thousands of gallons of free water a year that you don’t have to buy!
Rain barrels are also important for our environment because they help reduce water pollution by decreasing the amount of stormwater runoff reaching our streams and rivers. Think about it. The average rainfall of one inch within a 24 hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that run off a typical house! While it’s running from our homes and lawns, this stormwater picks up anything on the ground such as litter, excess fertilizer, pet waste, and motor oil and transports it to storm drains that DO NOT treat the water before dumping it directly into our waterways. So, rain barrels play an important role in protecting our water resources by collecting the stormwater runoff from our homes before it reaches our local streams and rivers.