As rain falls on our roofs, driveways, sidewalks and streets, the water flows over the ground as stormwater runoff and picks up various chemicals, debris, and other pollutants, depositing them directly into our streams and Lake Michigan. Runoff is the leading cause of residential non-point source water pollution. Rain barrels can help hold back stormwater and reduce pollution by collecting and storing rainwater from rooftops to use later for watering plants and gardens.
Why Use Rain Barrels?

  • Rain barrels reduce water pollution by reducing stormwater runoff, which can contain pollutants like sediment, nutrients from fertilizers and yard waste, pet waste, oil and bacteria.
  • Rain barrels conserve water and help lower costs (a rain barrel can save approximately 1,300 gallons of water during peak summer months).
  • Rain barrels are inexpensive and easy to build and install.
  • Rain barrels can also be arranged to slowly release the collected rainfall to areas that can soak up the water, reducing stormwater runoff and increasing groundwater recharge.

Clean water is inextricably tied to every aspect of our lives–our health, our economy, our environment–without it we suffer. There is no time like the present to install a rain barrel. Purchase one today or easily create your own rain barrel out of any 50+ gallon water-tight container using a Rain Barrel Diverter and Parts Kit. Find these items at a local home improvement retailer, garden center, ALDI Food store or online. Learn more at or