How can I get a rain barrel?

Julie Slavet
Jun 11, 2012

Many watershed residents are excited about installing rain barrels on their properties. Are you wondering how to join them? Read on to learn about some of the many options available to you!

Rain barrels are containers that store rainwater. The water can then be used to water gardens and lawns or to wash patio furniture and cars. This allows the owner to save money by using less tap water. Rain barrels also serve an environmental purpose by decreasing the impact of stormwater runoff on streams, which helps to minimize flooding and sewer overflows.

Painting Rain Barrels -- Girls
Germantown Friends School students pose with a hand-painted rain barrel

If you live in Philadelphia, you can sign up with the Philadelphia Water Department to be notified about upcoming rain barrel workshops in your area. After attending one, you will be eligible to have a FREE rain barrel installed on your property!

If you don’t live in Philadelphia, never fear! There are options for you as well. To start out, you can visit your local garden center to purchase a rain barrel. They come in many shapes and sizes. For a limited time, guests at TTF rain barrel workshops will receive coupons to purchase a rain barrel at a discounted price at Primex Garden Center. Check the TTF Events calendar to find a workshop near you!

Additionally, you can check if any local neighborhood organizations make and sell rain barrels. In Abington, the Environmental Advisory Council is selling rain barrels for the bargain price of $35. Proceeds benefit Abington Township parks.

Feeling adventurous? For those who prefer the do-it-yourself method, there are plenty of websites and online videos explaining the steps in making a rain barrel. All you need is: 1) a container to hold water, 2) a place for the rain water to enter, 3) an overflow, and 4) a faucet with a hose. Make sure the container is sealed well and that any openings are covered by mosquito-proof screening. To learn more, download this how-to guide from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society [.pdf].

Learn more about rain barrels here. Download the TTF Rain Barrel brochure here.

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