RiverSmart Homes: Rain Barrels

Funded by the District’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), the RiverSmart Homes Rain Barrel program helps reduce stormwater runoff in Washington DC, improving the quality of local streams and waterways. Residents of the District can receive up to three reduced-cost barrels, information about stormwater issues, and signage for their yard. In addition, the Alliance coordinates and trains local contractors to install rain barrels in the city.

By aiding in the coordination and installation of barrels, the program allows for easy and accessible environmental solutions on your property!

Before and After Rain Barrel Installation

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The Rain Barrel Program offers two pathways for participation

  1. Residents sign up for the RiverSmart Program on DOEE’s website and receive a free stormwater assessment of their property.
  2. If the assessment recommends barrels to be installed, the Alliance will collect this information from DOEE and create an installation plan for the property
  3. Residents pay a $50 copayment per barrel at the time of the installation and sign a maintenance agreement.

*The installation program is currently experiencing incredible popularity and wait times. It may take up to 9 months to receive a barrel after your assessment is complete.

Download the Rain Barrel Resource and FAQ Guide

  1. District residents can find, purchase, and install their own barrels at their own speed and capacity through this do-it-yourself program. (RiverSmart does not sell or install rebate barrels).
  2. Once the barrel is installed, residents can apply for a one-time rebate by filling out an application and supplying the supporting documentation to the Alliance.
  3. A rebate check will be issued to the resident and sent to their home address. The rebate rate is currently set at $2 per gallon, based on the volume of the barrel and not to exceed the price paid. The rebate does not cover taxes, shipping, install costs, or extra materials.

*A RiverSmart assessment is not required to participate in the rebate program.

Rebate Criteria

In order to qualify for a rebate, a rain barrel must:

  • Hold a minimum of 50 gallons
  • Have an overflow mechanism that is at least 2 inches in diameter
  • Include a screened inlet or filter that helps prevent leaf debris and mosquito larvae from entering
  • Have a spigot within 3 inches of the bottom of the barrel
  • Be elevated at least 8 inches

Please see the Rain Barrel Resource and FAQ Sheet for more information or questions about rain barrels.