Rain barrels are designed to capture and store rainwater coming off a roof, typically attached to a downspout. They consist of a storage container (usually plastic), a system for diverting downspout water into the barrel, and an overflow that diverts water safely away from the house to percolate into the soil.
Benefits of Rain Barrels
Water Conservation – The water stored in rain barrels can be used to water your lawn, garden, or household plants.
Reduced Storm Water Runoff – Rain barrels can divert storm water from roofs, reducing the strain on our sewer system during major rain storms.
Happier Plants – Rainwater is free of additives like chlorine that can be found in tap water. Plants do not need or want such additives. Rainwater is also slightly acidic which helps plants to access soil nutrients.
MWRD Rain Barrel Program
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s (MWRD) free rain barrel program ended on December 31, 2016; however, the MWRD offers Wilmette residents discounted rain barrels for $45.78, which includes tax, a flexible connecting elbow to attach your barrel to your downspout, a linking hose to connect it to a second barrel, and free delivery to your home. Click here for more information.