Rain Barrels Now Available from the District
|Why harvest rainwater
with rain barrels?
Rainwater stored in rain barrels helps reduce
the amount of stormwater runoff and the amount
of pollutants that are picked up and carried to
storm sewers, creeks and rivers.
Using the water from your roof reduces the
amount of water you pay for!
Conserves Water Supply
Resources Rainwater used from rain barrels helps
reduce the amount of water used from underground
aquifers and community / municipal supplies.
Better for Plants and
Rainwater stored in rain barrels is naturally
soft water and devoid of minerals, chlorine,
fluoride, and other chemicals. For this reason,
plants respond very well to rainwater. After
all, it’s what plants in the wild thrive on!
Helps Inform Your
One of the best reasons to start harvesting
rainwater with rain barrels is to teach and
encourage others to do the same. You will help
to spread the culture of rainwater collection
and in turn, help your larger community and the
environment. It is always important to remember
that every living thing on the planet needs
water to survive so, we as humans must expand
our idea of community to the plants and animals
that surround us.
|Using rain barrel
your flowers, trees, shrubs, and lawn.
► Wash your
car; rinse tools or muddy boots.
► DO NOT DRINK
WATER from your rain barrel.
► DO NOT COOK
OR BATHE with water from your rain barrel. All
barrels are made from re-cycled food grade
barrels. The rain barrels have a screw on top
with drainage holes, screen mesh to keep out
debris and mosquitoes, an overflow male hose
connection, a spigot and another connection to
attach additional barrels. Styles & shades may
vary with supply.
|► It is a
good idea to put your barrel up on a flat,
stable platform (wood pedestal, concrete blocks,
landscaping blocks or other solid support). The
added height increases the water pressure and
allows you to put a bucket under the spigot to
bring water to your indoor plants. A full 55
gallon rain barrel weighs over 450 pounds.
Provide overflow hose to direct water to a
vegetated area, away from your house foundation,
for times of high rainfall.
► Locate and
install your rain barrel to keep kids safe. Keep
your rain barrel lid tight at all times to
prevent children, animals and insects from
entering or falling in.
► Measure and
cut the downspout. (Keep the cut off for
reattachment in the winter). Use existing elbow
or a flexible elbow attachment to direct water
to the top of the barrel. The end of the
downspout should be cut 2-3 inches above the top
of the barrel. Downspouts can be cut with a
hacksaw. Flexible elbows can be purchased at
hardware stores, home centers or from the
District. Most homeowners do not require a
flexible elbow. However, you may choose to use a
flexible elbow to hide a barrel around the
corner of your building.
► In Fall, open
spigot and unscrew connector cap to drain
barrel. Store as is, flip over or bring inside.
If removing from the downspout, replace
downspout you saved for the Winter.
► Diverters can
switch downspout from filling to normal
operation once the barrel is full. Fits 2x3 inch
|Your rain barrel will be equipped with a
mosquito screen under the lid to keep mosquitoes
and other insects out.
your barrel on a pervious (landscaped) surface
so that overflow water soaks into the ground
instead of pooling on paved surfaces.
► Keep your
rain barrel lid tightly closed.
► Keep your
barrel free of organic material.
► During the
rainy season, every 3-4 days splash off any
water that may collect on top of the barrel.
Mosquitoes need at least 4 days of standing
water to develop as larva. If you believe
mosquitoes are breeding in your rain barrel,
empty your barrel completely by opening the
spigot at bottom. Only tip when draining is
complete and barrel is nearly empty. This will
kill all mosquito larvae that may be in your
|If your mosquito netting is intact and there
are no leaks where mosquitoes can enter the
barrel, your rain barrel should be
|With proper installation, maintenance and
use, your rain barrel should function properly.
The North Cook County Soil and Water
Conservation District assumes no liability for
the installation, maintenance, property damage
or injury associated with your rain barrel.