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Rain BarrelsRain Barrel

Lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40% of total household water use during the summer.  For every 1000 square feet of roofline, one inch of rain equates to over 632 gallons of water.  This water can be stored and used later to wash cars and windows, water plants, fill ponds, or feed a garden during periods of drought. 


Rain barrels or cisterns are above ground water storage vessels. They capture rain runoff from the roof using gutters and downspouts. Rain barrels are considered a Best Management Practice (BMP) because they help prevent stormwater pollution by preventing runoff from yard and gardens from entering stormdrains. The barrels collect the first flush, the most critical rain that is loaded with pollutants, and then slowly releases the water, allowing it to absorb into the soil where most of the pollutants are filtered out.


Rain barrels can be purchased from many garden catalogues or you can make your own following the directions posted on many websites. You can even attach a soaker hose to your rain barrel and deliver nutrient rich rain water directly to your plants. Rain water is softer than tap water; it has no chlorine, lime, or calcium and is healthier for your plants than tap water.


Links and Resources

How to Build Your own Rain Barrel (City of Portland)

Make your Own Rain Barrel (City of Bremerton)

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