Rain Barrel Program

Interested in rainwater harvesting?

The Stormwater Management Program provides 55 gallon rain barrels to homeowners and schools in Athens. Here is the information you need to get started.

Why Rain Barrels?

Rain barrels are a simple way to conserve water and reduce stormwater runoff, both of which lead to healthier streams. Rain barrels catch the water coming off your roof before it hits the ground and turns into runoff.

Rain barrel workshop participant
Roll Out the Barrels 2019 barrels on display

Sales

The Stormwater Management Program periodically hosts rain barrel sales. Barrel kits are $25 each and include a recycled 55-gallon plastic drum and RainRecycle installation kit from the Rain Barrel Depot, including a FlexiFit downspout diverter. Barrels must be pre-ordered and pick-ups are done in a drive-thru style.

Roll Out the Barrels

Bid on a one-of-a-kind painted rain barrel at Roll Out the Barrels, an annual silent auction style fundraiser that takes place in May and raises funds for the ACC Green School Program.

Workshops

Rain barrel workshops are scheduled every few months, depending on the availability of supplies. Pre-registration for the workshops is required, and space is typically very limited. We ask that if you have attended a workshop within the past two years that you refrain from registering again so others interested in attending have a chance to sign up. In-person workshops are currently suspended due to limited supplies and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do It Yourself

Download instructions to make a rain barrel on your own.

To make sure you never miss a sale or workshop, sign up for the Stormwater Education calendar mailing list. If you have any questions or would like to make a 55-gallon container donation, contact us at stormwater@accgov.com or 706-613-3440 x6717.

General Tips and Ideas

  • For every square foot of roof, expect to collect about half a gallon of water with every 1 inch of rain fall.
  • If your gutters drain a very large area of roof consider connecting several rain barrels together or installing a larger cistern.
  • If you connect rain barrels, connect them near the top so that 1 barrel is full before you begin filling a second.
  • Place your barrel carefully. Once it's full it will be very heavy and near impossible to move without emptying.
  • Raise your rain barrel onto cinder blocks or bricks to get more pressure.
  • Sump pumps can be purchased and added to have consistent water pressure.
  • In many cases you can use a soaker hose or drip line for irrigation.
  • In addition to watering your lawn or garden, consider using the water to wash your car or pressure wash the driveway.
  • Redirect your overflow away from your house using a short length of hose.
  • Make sure all the barrel inlets are covered with window screen for mosquito proofing.
Happy rain barrel customer