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Install Rain Barrels

Description

A rain barrel is a basin that attaches to the gutter on your home to catch rainwater that falls onto your roof. You can use the water to wash your car, top off your swimming pool and, most commonly, to water your garden or lawn. 

Using rain water is better for your plants and yard than treated water (it is free of salts, minerals and treatment chemicals, is slightly acidic, and contains nitrates), and collecting rainwater prevents runoff from polluting our water systems or contributing to flood events. Rain barrels can save up to 1,300 gallons of water during a growing season.

Steps 

  1. Decide on the location for your barrel. It’s easiest to place the barrel at the site of an existing gutter downspout.
  2. Prep the base. A full rain barrel can weigh more than 400 pounds, so ensure a solid stable base is available. Place blocks as necessary to level and stabilize the location. You may also want to elevate the barrel as the water outflow will be gravity fed, and spigots are typically at the bottom. Some retailers sell stands/pedestals specifically for rain barrels.
  3. Install the barrel according to its instructions, making sure the spigot/drain points away from your house. You will likely need to modify the guttering to feed into the barrel.
  4. Wait for rain and enjoy the water savings!
  5. Clean the rain barrel at the end of each summer to make sure the water inside stays clean. Drain the barrel and use a long-handled brush to scrub it inside and out. While you’re at it, check for cracks, and make sure your gutters are clean, too.
  6. Winter Maintenance: Disconnect your rain barrel in winter months so it doesn’t fill up with water that freezes and cracks the barrel. Drain remaining water into the garden, then open the spigot so that any additional water will drain out. 

Resources 

Helpful Rain Barrel Tips
stormworkspgh.com/rain-barrels/rb-tips

Rain Barrel Parts and Supplies
store.rainbrothers.com

City of Tulsa Rain Barrel Info Sheet
cityoftulsa.org/media/3317/rain-barrel-sheet.pdf

City of Tulsa Rain Barrel Instructions
cityoftulsa.org/media/3318/rain-barrel-instructions.pdf

City of Tulsa Discount Program
upcycle-products.com/tulsaok.html