Rain Barrels

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What is a rain barrel?

A rain barrel is a storage container connected to a downspout that captures stormwater runoff from the roof.

You can use the stored water for your non-edible plants or outdoor cleaning. Reduce your water consumption and manage stormwater runoff at the same time!

  • Participant cost: Rain barrels $25 deposit

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About rain barrels:

  • Materials: Clean Streams, Clean Water uses clean, repurposed 55-gallon food-grade plastic barrels, which means they have been used in the past to carry food items or other non-toxic materials.

  • Dimensions: Each rain barrel is approximately 22.5” diameter and 36.5” in height. The barrels “bow out” in the middle to a diameter of about 24”. Exact dimensions may vary.

  • Installation: Is available for the $25 deposit. Resident's supply necessary diverter as directed.


  • Mosquitos: Rain barrels have a screened top to prevent mosquitoes.

  • Overflow: Once the barrel is full, excess water will flow throw back into your downspout, or the rain overflow may be directed towards a rain garden using an overflow hose.

Rain barrel maintenance:

Rain barrels are very low maintenance and only require a few easy actions:

  • Empty: Empty your rain barrel completely before each rainstorm (full barrels can’t capture stormwater!)

  • Clean: Clean out any sediment or leaves that collect at the bottom of the barrel using the removable caps on the top of the barrel.

  • Keep gutters clean: Keep your home’s gutters free from leaves and debris. Clogged gutters can keep your rain barrel from filling properly.

  • Winterize: In the winter, drain your barrel and detach it from the downspout. A winter plug is provided to seal the hole in your downspout.

Sign Up

To sign up for a rain barrel at your home, sign up for a workshop (attendance is required before installation).

Homeowner may install one rain barrel plus one other stormwater feature. 

Sign up for a workshop and request a storm water feature

Video credit: The Philadelphia Water Department