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Rain Barrels

Rain Barrel Information | Upcoming Workshops
Rebate Program | Past Workshop Photo Galleries

What is a rain barrel?rain barrel

A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from a roof that would otherwise be runoff diverted into storm drains, streets, or streams. A typical do-it-yourself rain barrel is made out of a 55-gallon plastic drum; however, rain barrels of various other shapes, sizes, and materials can be purchased and are ready-made. In addition to the barrel itself, rain barrels consist of a facuet, an overflow, a screen to keep insects and debris out of the barrel, a modified downspout, and a raised and level base.

Advantages of Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are used to water landscaping features without depleting a potable water supply, which saves money. Rain barrels also disconnect home downspouts that transport water to storm drains and eventually streams. This disconnection reduces the volume of water that can carry pollutants to streams, rivers, and other waterways.

Rain Barrel Resources

How to Build and Install a Rain Barrel
Benefits, Use, and Care of Rain Barrels
Rutgers Rain Barrel Fact Sheet I - How to Build a Rain Barrel
Rutgers Rain Barrel Fact Sheet II - How to Install a Rain Barrel

Instructional Videos from Rutgers Cooperative Extension

How to Build a Rain Barrel Video
How to Install a Rain Barrel Video
How to Paint a Rain Barrel Video

Rain Barrel Workshops


Additional workshops may be scheduled for Summer 2017. Dates will be updated when they become available. Please email Kathy Hale, khale@raritanbasin.org for more information.

Workshop Location


Date and Time

Registration Information

Workshop Cost

Visit Rutgers' Water Resources Program for other rain barrel workshop opportunities.

Raritan River Rain Barrel Rebate Programperson with barrel

The Regional Center Partnership of Somerset County and the New Jersey Water Supply Authority are offering rain barrel rebates of up to $200 for residents of Somerville, Bridgewater, and Raritan.

Rebate Program Information and Application

Past Workshop Photo Galleries

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