Rain Barrel Program

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Collecting rainwater is an easy way to conserve water — and save money on your water bill. During the drier season, when water consumption often doubles, using collected rainwater also reduces the strain on the water supply and keeps more water available for fish and wildlife.

Century-Old Solution

Rain BarrelRainwater is also naturally “soft” and free of minerals and chemicals, making it ideal for plants and lawns. Using a rain barrel to collect rainwater also helps reduce stormwater runoff that might otherwise run down storm drains and into our streams, rivers, lakes, and bays.

Stormwater runoff can cause flooding, erosion and carry pollutants into our waterways.

Purchasing a Rain Barrel

Skagit PUD sells rain barrels for $65/each that come fully assembled and ready for installation. These are recycled and repurposed 55-gallon, food-grade plastic barrels. Barrels are not in "perfect" condition and have scuffs and blemishes. Barrels may vary in shape and color.

Each rain barrel includes a 3/4-inch spigot, overflow valve, and 6-inch diameter mesh intake/debris screen. Please call (360) 424-7104 to ensure availability. Cash or checks only.

Rain Barrel Math

How much water runs off your roof? To calculate, use this formula: .623 gallons per square feet per inch of rain x Roof square feet x Inches rain per year.

So, if your roof is 1,000 square feet and you live in Mount Vernon, which gets 32.7 inches per year, you could expect 20,372 gallons of water running off your roof per year! (.623 gallons x 1,000 square feet x 32.7 inches rain = 20,372 gallons)

During the dry months, May to September, when most people think about gardening outside, you still could potentially collect 5,365 gallons of rainwater off your roof.

Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens Work Together

An excellent way to complement a rain barrel and increase your property’s ability to absorb runoff is through a rain garden.

Rain gardens can be a fun and easy way to learn about beautiful native plants, improve water quality, and reduce flooding.

Rain gardens typically absorb 30% more water than the same size lawn area; they are drought resistant and less prone to destructive insects and diseases. Rain gardens create a preferred habitat for birds, butterflies, and dragonflies. These specialty gardens are versatile — they can be any size or shape, but to maximize their benefit, they should be built in an existing low spot or near a rain barrel's drainage area.

A great resource guide is the Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington Homeowners.