Rain Barrel Program

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

The Stormwater Management Program provides 55 gallon rain barrels to schools and homes in Athens. Interested in rainwater harvesting? 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.


Free rain barrel workshops are scheduled every few months, depending on the availability of supplies. Pre-registration for the workshops is required to receive a free rain barrel, and space is typically very limited. Please email stormwater@accgov.com to be added to our mailing list or to find out about upcoming workshops.

If you have already attended one of our rain barrel workshops within the past two years, please 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. We hope to resume workshops or host another drive-thru sale in the late summer/early fall of 2021. 

Don't Miss Out!

To make sure you never miss a workshop sign up for the Stormwater Education calendar or newsflash. We always post upcoming workshops on the calendar and in our monthly newsletter. If you have any questions or would like to make a 55-gallon container donation, please contact us at stormwater@accgov.com or 706-613-3440 x6717.

Buy a Rain Barrel

If you cannot wait for one of our workshops, rain barrels can be purchased at most hardware stores and from online retailers like Amazon. You can also bid on a one-of-a-kind painted rain barrel at Roll Out the Barrels, an annual event that takes place in May and raises funds for the ACC Green School Program.

Do It Yourself

Download instructions to make a rain barrel on your own.

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, pressure wash the drive way, or other outdoor uses.
  • 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.