What is a Rain Barrel?

Rain BarrellA rain barrel collects and stores rain water from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff, and then diverted through storm drains to your local streams, and ultimately polluting the Chesapeake Bay.

Relatively simple and inexpensive to construct, a rain barrel sits conveniently under any residential gutter down spout and can be decorated to complement any home.

What are the advantages of a rain barrel?

Lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40% of total household water use during the summer. A rain barrel collects water and stores it to water plants, wash your car, or to top a swimming pool. It provides an ample supply of free ‘soft water’ to homeowners, containing no chlorine, lime or calcium – making it ideal for gardens, flower pots, and car and window washing. A rain barrel will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months.

Rain BarrellHow can I purchase a ready made rain barrel?

Ready-made rain barrels can be purchased from numerous companies.

Below are just a few:

  • Arlington Echo: http://www.arlingtonecho.net/Newsflash/Arlington-Echo-Rain-Barrel-Update.html
  • South River Federation: (410) 990-0628 www.southriverfederation.org
  • Spruce Creek Company: Produces the Spruce Creek Rainsaver. 1-800-940-0187 www.sprucecreekrainsaver.com
  • D&P Industries Incorporated: Produces the Urban Rain Barrel. (503) 286-9866 www.therainbarrel.com/index.html

-Sean McGuire
Director, Sustainability Policies, MD DNR

Get Involved

Take time to volunteer in your neighborhood or community. Volunteering is a great way to make new connections and find people who share your interests. There are many opportunities and your contribution will be appreciated.

Sustainability Events

Find out what is going on in your area. Links for event calendars from other agencies and organizations are included in our list. If you have a question about a specific event, make sure to contact the group hosting the event.

Take Time to Enjoy the Resources

Even living at the outer reaches of the state, one can make it from the beach to the mountains in a half-day. State Parks are a great way to get away and watch the leaves change color or get a quick history lesson.

Chesapeake Bay Health Information Maryland's Green Website

Sustainability Tip

Install a rain garden or rain barrel to catch rainwater. Stormwater rushing off of roofs and lawns carries pollution directly into streams and the Bay. Rain gardens and rain barrels slow the water down and keep pollution out of our waters. Click here for other helpful information.

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The Sustainability Network is a place where interested citizens, businesses and organizations can share ideas on projects and make connections between others who share their interest.