Rain Barrels

What is a Rain Barrel?

Downspout connected to rain barrel

A rain barrel is a specialized stormwater storage container connected to an eavestrough downspout from a house or building. 

The use of rain barrels for rainwater collection is an effective way to reduce the demand for water during the peak summer season. It is estimated that lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40 percent of total household water use during the summer months.

A typical 1/2-inch rainfall will fill a 50- to 55- gallon barrel. It can be estimated that approximately a half gallon of water per square foot of roof area can be collected during a 1-inch rainfall. A 2,000-square-foot roof can collect about 1,000 gallons of water (accounting for about 20 percent loss from evaporation, runoff and splash).

It is important to winterize your rain barrel annually. It should be emptied out prior to freezing temperatures. Allowing the water to freeze inside the rain barrel can cause the plastic to crack.

What can Rain Barrels do?

Some researchers on the subject of rain barrels and rainwater storage have identified the following benefits:

  1. Decreases water consumption, resulting in energy, operational, and capacity savings from the wastewater and water treatment and pumping processes for both consumers and the municipality.
  2. Decreases storm water runoff at peak storm times, reducing chance of basement flooding resulting from an exceeding of sewer capacity and associated pollution of watercourses.
  3. Decreases the burden on City's wastewater treatment facilities and drainage systems during periods of heavy rainfall.
  4. Provides naturally softened, chlorine-free water for greener lawns and gardens, delicate houseplants, auto cleaning, and window washing.
  5. Directs water away from foundations.
  6. Conserves water during hot, dry summer months.
  7. Prevents mosquito growth and captures debris.

Phone: For general information, call 311. For detailed inquiries, call (519) 253-7217
Email: 311@citywindsor.ca