Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens

rain barrels

What is a Rain Barrel?

A rain barrel is a container used to collect and store rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted out onto your property or to a storm drain and eventually to local streams or rivers.

Rain barrels are also an economical way to store rain water to be used as a secondary water supply for indoor plants, flower gardens, lawns, fill the bird bath, and washing cars and windows.

Rain barrels are usually about 40-60 gallons and can be purchased or made with parts that are available at any hardware store.

*Stored water is not used for drinking or bathing*

Why should you use a rain barrel? What can they do for you? Learn more.

What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden is a specially designed garden, with a man-made depression, that collects and infiltrates runoff from impervious surfaces such as a roof, driveway, or parking lot.

Rain gardens are usually planted with native flowering, plants, and grasses. Each rain garden design is unique and dependent on the site condition and the owner's personal tastes.

The runoff diverted to the rain garden soaks into the ground and is used by the plants rather than being a potential cause of erosion and the carrying of pollutants (sediment, lawn fertilizers, and pet droppings) to the nearest creek, stream, or river.

Generally a rain garden is 6-8 inches deep with a level bottom allowing for rain water to collect evenly and have time to evaporate or infiltrate into the ground.

rain garden

What can I do?

As part of the City's stormwater management program, a Material Assistance/Cost Sharing Program is available to residents to encourage them to make improvements on their property.  The reimbursement program covers projects including, but not limited to, rain gardens, bio-retention swales, permeable paving systems, and streambank restoration.