Rain Barrels Manage Stormwater

What Is A Rain Barrel? A rain barrel is a container that captures and stores rainwater draining from your roof. Barrels usually range from 50 to 80 gallons and have a spigot for filling watering cans and a connection for a soaker hose. Combining the use of rain barrels with appropriate plant selection and mulching promotes water conservation. Rain barrels benefit your home, garden and community.

Rain Barrels help reduce the flow of storm runoff. So What? When it rains, runoff picks up soil, fertilizer, oil, pesticides and other contaminants from hard surfaces and landscapes. Storm runoff is not treated and flows directly into streams, lakes and other bodies of water nearby. Runoff fertilizers increase algae growth in lakes, and excess soil alters the habitat for fish. Bacteria can even make lakes and rivers dangerous for recreational activities. Rain barrels capture water that would have swept over a paved surface or lawn, thereby minimizing runoff pollutants.

Keep A Few Things In Mind when preparing your rain barrel: A rain barrel should include a screen to keep out debris. Ensure that your rain barrel has a cover and a tight connection where water enters the barrel to prevent mosquito breeding and algae buildup. Rain barrels should not be used if your roof contains asbestos. Also, your garden plants may love the rainwater, but water collected in rain barrels is not suitable for human consumption.

Rain Barrel Incentive Program

The Big Sandy Area Lakes Watershed Management Project began offering a Rain Barrel Incentive Program in 2015. Interested property owners were able to get a coupon good for $ 25 off the purchase price of a rain barrel. This program was offered until August of 2018.  Landowners were able to obtain their rain barrels locally at a reduced price. A total of 31 rain barrels were purchased through this program! 

Thanks to Groth Lumber Company in Wright for partnering with us on this program.  We’d also like to thank the EPA Section 319 Grant Program and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for providing the funding for this program.