Little Blue River Watershed Coalition

Rain Barrels and Gardens

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Rain Barrels                                                                                                                                                                  Purchase a barrel

What is a Rain Barrel?

A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores rainwater from downspouts and rooftops for future use watering lawns and gardens. Generally a rain barrel is made using a 55-gallon drum, a vinyl garden hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to remove debris and keep insects out, and other materials found at most hardware stores.

Rain barrels can be constructed in a number of ways, but they all serve the same purpose: to collect rainwater and decrease the amount of stormwater runoff that leaves your property. Using rain barrels is one way to decrease your household's impact on local waterways and to become a good steward of the local watershed.

Why Use Rain Barrels?
  • Rain barrels redirect water from your roof to your lawn or garden.

The average rainfall of one inch within a 24-hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that runs off the roof of a typical house. Much of this water runs from gutters onto surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground. These are called impervious surfaces and include concrete, asphalt, and compacted soil. Even commonly used sod has a very low infiltration rate and can be a major cause of increased runoff.

  • Rain barrels irrigate your lawn and garden.

    During the summer months it is estimated that nearly 40 percent of household water is used for lawn and garden maintenance. A rain barrel collects water and stores it for those times that you need it most  during the dry summer months. Using rain barrels potentially helps homeowners lower water bills, while also improving the vitality of plants, flowers, trees, and lawns.
Rain is naturally soft and devoid of minerals, chlorine, fluoride, and other harmful chemicals. The chemicals and hard water from many of our municipal water systems can add to chemical imbalances in soil and damage sensitive plants


The LBRWC sells ready-to-use rain barrels!  Contact Us for more info.

We sell rain barrels made from food grade 55gl plastic barrels (white, but can be painted).

Prefer to build your own rain barrel?  Check out How to Build a Rain Barrel.

Note: See our Rain Barrel Variations info about different types of installation options.


Rain Gardens

Complement with a Rain Garden:

A wonderful way to complement your rain barrel and increase your property's ability to absorb runoff is through a rain garden. Rain gardens can be a fun and easy way to learn about beautiful native plants and also help to improve water quality and reduce flooding. Rain gardens typically absorb 30 percent more water than the same size area of lawn, they are drought resistant, and are less prone to destructive insects and diseases. Rain gardens create a preferred habitat for birds, butterflies and dragonflies. These specialty gardens are versatile they can be any size or shape, but to maximize their benefit, they should be built in an existing low spot or near the drainage area of a rain barrel.

Learn all about Rain Gardens through the 10,000 Rain Gardens site! 

The LBRWC can design and install rain gardens!  Contact Us for fee information.

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