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RiverSmart Homes - Rain Barrels

Rain Barrel

Rain Barrel Rebate Now Available!

Do you want a barrel, but don't want to wait for the stormwater audit? Would you prefer a different type of rain barrel than the one offered through the RiverSmart Homes program? If so, the rain barrel rebate is for you. Homeowners can purchase one of twelve approved barrels and receive $50 or $100 back by submitting an application, receipt, and pictures of the installed barrel to DC Greenworks.

For more information about rain barrels qualified to receive a rebate, visit the DC Greenworks website.

Rain Barrels Defined

Rain barrels capture and store the rainwater running off your rooftop. The harvested rainwater can be stored for later use, released slowly over time to infiltrate properly, or used immediately for watering lawns and landscaped areas, filling ponds or fountains, or washing cars.

Rain barrels come in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit your tastes.  Improvements in their design eliminate the threat of basement flooding and also keep them from becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Benefits of Rain Barrels to the Homeowner

Rain barrels require little maintenance and—with the rising price of municipal water—are a great way to save money and conserve water as a natural resource. With a rain barrel you can:

  • Cut your household use of water during the hot summer months.
  • Water your plants with chlorine-free rainwater that they prefer.
  • Clean your car, bike, tools, etc. without ever using the faucet.
  • Save money on water bills.

Benefits of Rain Barrels to the District

The District is promoting the use of rain barrels because they collect runoff from rooftops that runs directly into our streets and storm sewers, carrying it (and the pollutants it collects) directly to the local waterways. Rain barrels also:

  • Decrease municipal water use, lowering demand for treated water – especially during periods of drought
  • Increase soil moisture levels for gardens
  • Assist in recharging the groundwater table when emptied after rain events
  • Mitigate the threat of urban flooding when used on a large scale.

How to Have a Rain Barrel

Rain barrels are connected to your downspout. They should be located in an easily accessible area and not too far from the intended use of the stored water (i.e. a garden or driveway).

To facilitate the use of gravity, rain barrels should be placed on the highest level that is workable, or on a small stand. Rain barrels should have an overflow valve that directs water away from the foundation of your house.

Want to have a rain barrel in your yard? RiverSmart Homes can help.

The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) RiverSmart Homes District-wide program offers incentives to homeowners interested in reducing stormwater pollution from their properties. Rain barrels are one of the environmentally friendly landscaping practices available through this program.

Related Services: 
Rain Barrel Maintenance2.2 MB