Rain Barrels and Cisterns

Rain barrels are an old idea that has been recycled. They temporarily store rainwater runoff from rooftops, reducing the flow of water into our streams, rivers, and the Bay. Rain barrels are drums that are connected directly to a downspout and are easily installed.  Water is collected in the drum for later use.  A soaker hose or garden hose can be attached to easily use water from the rainbarrel. 

Rain barrel water can be used to water lawns, flower beds and to wash cars. Of course, rain barrels must be emptied before the next storm to function properly, but that lets you control when and how fast the water is released.Rain barrels can be made at home, or purchased locally or online.

Follow Stephen Barry from Arlington Echo as he shows us how to easily and properly install a rain barrel on a home downspout.  Installing rain barrels is a very effective method of helping to reduce urban/suburban stormwater runoff pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Learn more at www.chesapeakebay.net Produced by Matt Rath


rain barrel maintenance 

Rain Barrel Maintenance Guide 

Disguise your Rain Barrel

WSA Resources

WSA Rainscaping Manual - Rainwater Harvesting

WSA Rainscaping Manual - Site Assessment

WSA Stormwater Runoff Calculator 

Purchase Rain Barrels 



     Home Depot

Purchase Rain Boxes 


Useful Resources 

Low Impact Development Center 

Penn State Extension

Rain Barrel Installation and Maintenance

For information on funding your project, please visit our Resources Page to view our Grant Assistance Cheat Sheet