Rain barrels collect the water that falls onto roofs. An inline diverter installed in the downspout directs rainwater from the roof and gutters into a large storage tank or barrel, where it can be reused for lawn or garden irrigation, in addition to other non-potable uses such as washing vehicles. Installing a rain barrel will cut down on personal water use, increasing self-sufficiency and minimizing environmental impacts. A typical two-hour rain shower will provide enough water to fill a rain barrel a couple of times.

Where to buy

Rain barrels are available locally from most large hardware/household goods stores.

  • Ensure the rain barrel has a secure lid or netting to keep out mosquitoes, children and animals.
  • Raise the barrel off the ground to allow water to flow out of the barrel to target areas or into a smaller container (i.e. watering can).
  • Ensure your barrel is placed on a secure, stable base. A 45-gallon (200 litre) rain barrel full of water weighs 200 kilograms (440 pounds).
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