water

Rain Barrels

Rain Barrel Workshops

Started in 2008, the district has sold over 3,000 rain barrels to the public and conducts 20-25 rain barrel workshops a year. A rain barrel is a container used to collect and store rainwater that would otherwise be lost to runoff and likely diverted to a storm drain. Collected rainwater may then be used to water lawns and gardens. At a workshop, the instructor explains the importance of rain barrels in curbing storm water pollution and it is a hands-on workshop where attendees build their own barrels to take home to use in their lawns and gardens.

Downspout Diverter Information: The system we use requires you to cut your downspout. We go over this in the presentation and there are further directions in the diverter box you will get at the workshop. You can follow this video to install your diverter (click here), although we recommend installing the diverter on the wider side of the downspout versus the narrower side as is shown in the video. Or, if you are stuck and do not want to install the diverter yourself, Rain Barrels N More can install the diverter on your downspout for $75. Tell them you are using a Garden Water Saver Diverter and were referred to them by Cuyahoga SWCD.

When you order a barrel for a workshop, please do your best to be at the workshop or let us know 72 hours in advance if you cannot make it. We get the barrels shipped to the site and if we have someone who does not show up, we are left with the barrel. Thank you!

If you order online and cannot make the workshop, you may apply your payment to a future workshop. There is a $5 processing fee for any refunds from on-line orders.

$60 rain barrel system
Includes a full system: 55 gallon rain barrel, downspout diverter, spigot, hose barb (to hook up to diverter hose to barrel). You will assemble this during the workshop.
The barrel we use is a 55 gallon, recycled plastic white drum that has been cleaned out and is food grade, its dimension is 3' tall x 2' wide.

$20 extra rain barrel
Includes one 55 gallon rain barrel to hook up to a full system to make a two-barrel system. Includes two hose barbs (used to connect hose at bottom of barrels - the hose section needed can be cut from the diverter from the full rain barrel system)

Why use a Rain Barrel?

Water Conservation
Approximately 60% of our municipal water supply goes directly to watering our lawns. By using rain barrels, you lessen the amount of water flowing into our storm drains, sewer systems, and ultimately local waterways. This water can then be used during hot or dry spells to water your garden.

Protection of Local Watersheds
Seventy million pounds of pesticides are applied to lawns each year, contaminating storm water (rainwater) runoff. Fertilizers and pesticides are a primary source of water pollution. By collecting rainwater, you prevent that runoff from picking up and carrying these harmful pollutants into our local waterways.

Natural Gardening
Using rainwater to water your garden in natural and healthy. Plants and beneficial microbes in the soil like rainwater because it is naturally soft - free of chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals.

How Do I Make and Install a Rain Barrel?
Click here for our handout on rain barrels which describes the system we use and how to build it/install it.

For other frequently asked questions, click here.

Additional information on rain barrels:

Other ways to get a rain barrel:

  • Residents within the Cleveland Division of Water and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District service area are eligible for rain barrels free of charge through the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability’s Summer Rain Barrel Program. Click here for more information.

  • Purchase a pre-made rain barrel many places locally - they are usually more expensive than our workshops, but this option may be more convenient and aesthetic for your taste. Or google rain barrels to find where they are sold in your area.

  • Garden Water Saver: the Rainwater Downspout Diverter we use in our workshops

  • Rain Barrels N' More: you can purchase a system here as well - they offer different sizes, colors and types

Note: If you know of a local company that sells or installs rain barrels, please let us know so we can add them to this list.