RAIN BARRELS-Jackson Purchase Foundation


Why Use Rain Barrels?

Rain barrels collect and store rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams. There are many benefits from the use of rain barrels:

  • Helps to reduce runoff pollution - by storing rainwater in barrels, you are helping to reduce the amount of runoff and the amount of pollution that is picked up off the land surface and carried to storm drains, streams and rivers.
  • Conserves water - lawn and garden watering makes up nearly 40% of total household water use during the summer. Rainwater used from rain barrels helps to reduce the amount of water used from local sources.
  • Better for plants and gardens - rainwater stored in rain barrels is naturally soft and doesn't contain minerals, chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals, and plants respond well to this.
  • Saves you money - a rain barrel will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months.

Did you know...that 1 inch of rain falling on 1,000 square feet of roof can yield 600 gallons of water? Don't let this free water run away!

What's the Problem With Runoff?

As water runs across the land during precipitation events, it can pick up pollution that is on the land surface (litter, manure, chemicals, fertilizers, etc.).  Runoff containing pollution flows untreated directly into our streams or down storm drains. Runoff that enters storm drains then flows untreated into local streams we use for swimming, fishing, boating, etc.

As we increase the amount of hard surfaces that donít allow water to soak into the ground, such as driveways, sidewalks and streets, more water runs off. Because less water is soaking into the ground, underground water supplies are not replenished.

This increased runoff also leads to more frequent flood events, as there is less area for rainfall or snowmelt to soak into the ground. Not
only do these flood events occur more frequently, they are often more catastrophic.

Increased runoff also leads to increased erosion of stream banks because the velocity of water flowing through streams is greater. This causes more dirt to enter our streams, clogging habitat for aquatic life and making it difficult for aquatic life to survive.

Did you know...the hard surfaces of a city block can generate five times more runoff than a wooded area of the same size!

Artistic Rain Barrel Program
Through our Artistic Rain Barrel Program, we partner with other organizations to educate our communities about the importance of rain barrels. Participants learn about runoff pollution and the benefits of rain barrels, then are given all materials to design and paint the barrels. Painted barrels are then sold and proceeds are divided between the different organizations and the Foundation. 
To purchase a plain plastic rain barrel, click here.

To purchase an artistic rain barrel, click here