Program Update

The MDC is now taking requests for the 2014 Rain Barrel Program.

 

Recycle Water, Save Money and Reduce Pollution!

How can I get a rain barrel for my house?

The MDC is once again offering a Rain Barrel Program for 2014.  A limited number of rain barrels are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to residents of MDC member towns (Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Newington, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor). Customers are limited to one rain barrel per household and must show identification when picking the barrel up at a future scheduled distribution date.  Rain barrels are not available to customers that have already received one from a previous MDC distribution program. 

To request a rain barrel, contact Ellen Tedford of the MDC via email at etedford@themdc.com with your name, address and phone number.  You will receive an email a week prior to pickup with instructions/location.

Rain barrels are also available for purchase at area hardware and home improvement stores.

What does a rain barrel do?

A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater from your roof by diverting runoff from the downspout of your gutter system. Using a rain barrel can help the average homeowner save about 1,300 gallons of water during peak summer months.

What are the benefits of rain barrels?

Rain barrels offer many important benefits including:

  • Saving money by reducing the amount of water you use
  • Offering a free source of clean water for a number of outdoor uses, such as watering plants and gardens, washing cars, etc.
  • Reducing the amount of stormwater that enters the sewer system during rainstorms, which can help prevent sewage overflows into homes and local waterways
  • Providing an extra source of water in times of drought
  • Reducing pollution of local waterways caused by urban runoff

Installation

Installing a rain barrel is a quick and easy process. To start capturing rainwater, all you need is a barrel, diverter or downspout elbow, about an hour of your time and a few tools your probably already own. To get started:

  1. Locate a downspout from which to collect rain

  2. Place leveled cinder blocks where your rain barrel will sit. The blocks should be tall enough for a watering can to fit below the spigot

  3. Determine a location to cut the existing downspout and cut with hacksaw

  4. Attach a flexible diverter or downspout elbow from the existing downspout to the top of the rain barrel

  5. Place the rain barrel on the center of blocks; you’re now ready to harvest rainwater!

Maintaining your rain barrel

Like most things around your home, your rain barrel needs a little attention to keep working properly. Following these tips will ensure that your rain barrel will provide you many years of reliable service:

Regular Maintenance:

  • Empty your rain barrel once a month
  • Clean the rain barrel’s interior once a year with a nontoxic cleaner & rinse completely
  • Clean gutters regularly to minimize debris collected in rain barrel

Seasonal Maintenance:

  • Disconnect the downspout & return it to its configuration prior to the barrel’s installation
  • Remove and store hose
  • Drain rain barrel completely to prevent freezing & cracking & store upside-down