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Rain Barrels

Improving water quality is absolutely essential to help restore the Chesapeake Bay. Much of the rain water that hits the Chesapeake Bay watershed runs off the land, collecting bactiera, chemicals and nutrients along the way. A common misconception by most people is that water that goes down their stormdrain is cleaned before being released back into the environment. This however is not the case, and untreated polluted water makes its way into local streams and rivers that eventually end up in the Chesapeake Bay.

Rain barrels capture excess water from rain events, storing it for a time when the groundwater can soak it up and filter it. For individual homeowners who install rain barrels as part of their gutter system, this water can be used to water lawns and flower beds or wash cars during dry periods. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, rain barrels can save a homeowner 1300 gallons of water during peak summer months, and therefore electricity as well.

Interested in installing one on your property? Check out the Chesapeake Bay Trust's Rain Barrel Instruction Kit for information on cost, where to place them and materials lists.

For a step by step instructions on how to install a rain barrel, check out this video from the Chesapeake Bay Program:

Rain barrels have become so popular that many for-profit companies offer them for sale in many styles from simple to artistic. As rain barrels are not technically complicated, you can also build (and decorate!) them yourself.


Online tools:

Several non-profit organizations offer rain barrels for purchase or construction guides, including:

Other companies that sell rain barrels:
(Please note this list does not constitute an endorsement by the Trust.)