A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater from rooftops to use later for lawn and garden watering. Water collected in a rain barrel would normally pour off your roof directly or flow through roof gutter downspouts and become stormwater runoff.
Depending on your yard, this runoff can travel onto paved surfaces and eventually into a storm drain. Rain barrels conserve water and help lower costs (a rain barrel can save approximately 1,300 gallons of water during peak summer months). Rain barrels reduce water pollution by reducing stormwater runoff, which can contain pollutants like sediment, oil, grease, bacteria and nutrients. Rain barrels are inexpensive and easy to build and install.
A rain barrel can be used to save water for plants during dry periods. Rain barrels can also be arranged to slowly release the collected rain fall to areas that can soak up the water, reducing stormwater runoff and increasing groundwater recharge.
For more information on how to get your own rain barrel, or on how you can reduce stormwater runoff from your property visit the Scott SWCD's website.