Rain Barrels

Rain barrels and other green infrastructure store rainwater where it falls and retain it so that it can be released in drier weather. This helps prevent combined sewer systems from overflowing and polluting our waterways.

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.

Download TTF’s Rain Barrel Brochure here [.pdf]!

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! Learn more about the Philadelphia Water Department’s rain barrel workshops for Philadelphia residents here.

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. TTF rain barrel workshop attendees 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!

For a limited time, the Abington EAC is selling rain barrels at a discounted price.

Rain Barrel Resources:

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Rain Barrel Instructional Video: After watching this short video, you will have the skills to make a rain barrel for yourself and be able to teach all your friends how to do it! Also, make sure to download this PHS how-to guide [.pdf].

Garden Simply: Make Your Own Rain Barrel: This how-to guide includes what tools you need, plus tips for the effective use of a rain barrel you can make for about $20.

HGTV: How to Build a Rain Barrel: Paul James from Water Wise shows you how to save the on-average 40% of household water that Americans use on their yards in the summer months by building a rain barrel.

For an overview of everything residents can do to manage stormwater on their properties, visit the Philadelphia Water Department website or download the Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management.