A Rain Barrel is a barrel which captures and stores the rainwater running off a roof. Rain barrels require little maintenance and are a fantastic way to save money while conserving water. Through the capture and storage of rooftop rainwater runoff, the collected water can be used immediately or over time for a multitude of purposes including irrigation, landscaping, car washing, and even fountains. The simple act of collecting rainwater helps residents take part in decreasing stormwater runoff, recharging the groundwater, conserving freshwater, and improving local waterways.
Rain barrels connect to roof downspouts and should be placed in an easily accessible location near a garden or lawn. The barrel should also be elevated on a stand so gravity can generate pressure to lead the water down the hose.
Rain Barrels have many benefits and uses including:
Saving money on water bills
Decreasing stormwater runoff and erosion
Helping our local waterways, and thus the Chesapeake Bay
Enhancing stormwater runoff awareness
Homeowners may purchase any rain barrel as long as it meets the required criteria found on page 2 of the Homeowner Guide. Once a rain barrel is purchased and installed, homeowners can apply for a rebate by submitting the Rain Barrel Rebate Application to the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. After the rebate application has been received, reviewed, and approved by the Alliance, the homeowner will receive a reimbursement of $2 per gallon. There is a rebate maximum of $1000 per household, and the rebates may not exceed the price of the rain barrel (excluding tax and shipping). Thus, a 50 gallon rain barrel would yield a $100 rebate after installation. In comparison, a $75 barrel, at 50 gallons, would yield a $75 rebate.
If you need assistance in finding a barrel, check out pages 4 and 5 of the Homeowner Guide. You can also contact Annie’s Ace Hardware about their rebate-approved barrels offered online and in their Brookland and Petworth locations.
Assess the property (yourself or with a contractor) to determine the best location, volume, and type of barrel. For a list of recommended contractors, contact the Alliance.
Take photos of the designated rain barrel location before installing the barrel.
Purchase a barrel that meets the criteria outlined on page 2 of the Homeowner Guide.
Install the rain barrel DIY (do-it-yourself ) or hire a contractor to help with the installation.
Take photos of the final barrel installation, making sure all the required rain barrel criteria can be seen in the photos.
Submit your rebate application form with all required materials:
Application form (one per barrel)
Rain barrel purchase receipt
Maintenance Agreement, hand-signed (p.2 of application form)
RiverSmart Rewards sign-up sheet (p.3 of application form)