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Control Your Stormwater and Save Money, Use a Rain Barrel

2010 June 24

Did you know that lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40% of total household water use during the summer? Rain barrels provide free water to use during these high water usage periods, saving most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water as well as saving money and energy. A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams. Usually a rain barrel is a 55 gallon drum with a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to keep debris and insects out, and other off-the-shelf items.


Rain Barrel connected to a gutter downspout

Rain Barrel connected to a gutter downspout

It’s relatively simple and inexpensive to construct one and it can sit conveniently under any residential gutter down spout collecting and storing water for when you need it most — during periods of drought — to water plants, wash your car, or top off a swimming pool.

Do you use rain barrels? If so, we invite you to comment to us about it. If you don’t currently use one, would you ever consider installing one? If not, why not?



Check out some of these projects in Maryland, Virginia and other Mid Atlantic States.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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15 Responses leave one →
  1. July 6, 2010

    This is a great article!

    The average American uses 80-100 gallons of water per day. (And probably more in the summertime) Imagine how much water we could save if everyone used a rain barrel.

    http://www.raintankdepot.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. July 6, 2010

    Are those safe?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. July 7, 2010

    Tq for this gre8 idea. As an architect this is good for my design.
    Really appreciate this innovation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. July 17, 2010

    That looks like a great idea, we could all pinch a penny or two in this economy

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. October 19, 2010

    most people ignore this fact but you can actually save a good amount of cash and help save Mother Earth by using rain barrels

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. October 25, 2010

    Thanks for the great blog. I think the Government should share more information like this with the public. I think it will get the people to be more involved, interact and share their opinion more online.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. November 24, 2010

    Good post this will help me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. November 29, 2010

    Thanks for the knowledge… appreciated… been reading for awhile, and simply needed to let you already know I continue to get pleasure from your writing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. January 12, 2011

    Great article. Waiting for more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. January 12, 2011

    Very interesting points you have mentioned , regards for putting up. ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. January 19, 2011

    I found here something new and interesting. Thanks

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. January 21, 2011

    Superbly written article, if only all website owners offered the same quality information as you, the internet would be a far better place. Please keep it up! Cheers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. February 9, 2011

    Very interesting, I’m sure that those of us who spend most of our lives outdoors in the fresh air would agree!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. May 25, 2011

    I don’t currently have one set up, but will be doing so within the next month or two. I’m curious how much gravitational force the 55 gallons will produce, do these require an electric pump?.
    Food for thought: These are inherently ugly, I wonder if there are any companies making rain barrels out of galvanized metal or something else more attractive than plastic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. mike permalink
    September 15, 2014

    It depends on which state you live in according to whether or not you are allowed to collect rainwater.

    Copper gutters are a great way to collect water because the copper kills bacteria, making it a clean surface to do collection with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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