Rain barrel user guide

rain barrel image

Care and maintenance

Rain barrels require very little maintenance. However, there are two things that you need to do:

  1. Keep the filter clean. Once a year, take a hose to the filter to wash out any debris that may have accumulated.
  2. Winterize the barrel. Each fall, drain any remaining water from the barrel and ensure that no more gets in. Leave the spigot open. You can store the rain barrel in a shed or garage if you have one available. Alternatively, you can invert the barrel or leave it on its side over the winter. Or you can cover the top. However you do it, make sure water doesn't get in and freeze.

    winterized rain barrel

    If you are using a diverter, set it to divert water to the regular downspout.

Uses for rain water

Rain water is mostly free from the minerals found in tap and well water. This makes it ideal for watering plants, including indoor plants, as it helps prevent salt buildup in the soil.

Being very soft, it is also ideal for almost any cleaning application. This includes, vehicles, hair, windows, etc.. Just remember not to dump the used water into the storm sewers. It needs to go into the sanitary sewers.

Rain water should not be used for cooking or drinking. While very pure, it may have picked up chemicals or biological contaminents anywhere along the journey from the clouds to your rain barrel.

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