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Rain Barrels

We are currently holding no-contact rain barrel pick-up events. Check our Events page to see when they are scheduled. If you want to be put on a list for when we schedule these events, email aroskilly@cuyahogaswcd.org. Thanks for your patience! Stay safe, everyone!

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 stormwater pollution and it is a hands-on workshop where attendees build their own barrels to take home to use in their lawns and gardens.

Video: Intro to Rain Barrels

Downspout Diverters:

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 kits.

Garden Water Saver diverter:
Video: How to hook up your Garden Water Saver diverter
PDF: Making a rain barrel using the Garden Water Saver diverter

Rain Brothers diverter:
Video: How to hook your Rain Brothers diverter
PDF: Making a rain barrel using the Rain Brothers diverter

If you do not want to install the diverter yourself, Rain Barrels N More can install the diverter on your downspout for $75. Tell them which diverter you are using and were referred to them by Cuyahoga SWCD.

How to get a rain barrel:

Go to our events page and pick a date/time that works for you when our events are scheduled. Fill out the registration information.

When you order a barrel for a workshop, please do your best to be at the workshop or let us know 48 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.

How much do they cost:

$60 rain barrel system
55 gallon recycled food-grade barrel from Container Compliance (dimensions 3' tall x 2' wide), downspout diverter, spigot, hose barb (to hook up to diverter hose to barrel).

$20 extra rain barrel
55 gallon rain barrel to hook up to a full system to make a two-barrel system. Includes two hose barbs to connect barrels (hose connection not included but can be cut from hose of Garden Water Saver diverter if used, if not, you will need to get a connector hose)

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.

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: one of the diverters we use at our workshops

  • Rain Brothers: one of the diverters we use at our workshops

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