Rain Barrel

Instead of using municipality treated tap water on your garden and lawn, use rain water collected through a rain barrel. You save money on your water and energy bills and it is good for the environment. Rain barrel photo.

Why use a rain barrel? 

  • Reduces water consumption and diverts run-off
  • Saves money on your utility bill
  • Reduces energy demand on the local water distribution system
  • Environmentally friendly landscaping practice

Setting up your rain barrel

  • Locate a downspout most convenient for barrel placement.
  • Avoid locations with gas, power, or water meters.
  • Place rain barrel below downspout approximately 2 metres away from the house foundation.
  • Raise barrel to 350 mm (12 to 16 inches) in height (to maximize water pressure) by placing it on a smooth level surface such as plywood, cement block, or compacted ground.
  • Secure the empty barrel so that it won’t tip in a wind storm.
  • Position downspout to fit into screen opening.
  • Install the overflow connection/hose into threaded hole near the top of the rain barrel.
  • Install the brass tap into threaded fitting near bottom of the rain barrel.


  • Clean the screen periodically to remove leaves and debris. 
  • To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your barrel, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or dish soap to the water every 6 to 9 days.
  • In the fall, before the temperatures dip below freezing, drain the barrel and leave the valve open. Turn it upside down and move it away from the downspout or store in a covered location. Ice in the barrel can damage it. At the same time, replace the downspout extension to direct water away from your foundation.

Safety reminders

  • Don't let children or pets play on or around the barrel.
  • Keep the lid on the barrel at all times to keep insects, pets, wildlife, and children out.