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Rain Barrel

Please note that the City of London does not distribute or sell rain barrels at this time.


Green ideas for green thumbs                           

Rain barrels are an excellent way to conserve water and save money on your water bills. And they have lots of other advantages:

  • They're easy to install and relatively inexpensive.
  • Harvested rain water is better for your lawn and garden than tap water.
  • Using a rain barrel reduces water pollution by minimizing the storm water runoff, which can collect pollutants from your landscape such as nutrients, sediments, chemicals, and bacteria.


  • Empty rain barrels before rain or install a diverter to prevent overflow
  • Ensure overflow is directed to an absorbent area at least 2.4m (8’) away and down slope from your foundation
  • Disconnect and store rain barrels in late November and reconnect in May

Small things you can do to make a big difference:

  • Rain water from your rain barrel is great for washing the car and other outdoor water uses
  • Design your garden so rain water from your downspouts flows directly to your plants
  • Ensure the rain barrel is equipped with an appropriate screen or cover to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the standing water
  • Remember, water from your rain barrel is not suitable for drinking

Small things you can do to make a big difference:

  • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants.  Bark, organic mulch or peat moss slows down evaporation and helps keep the soil moist
  • When possible, use native or other low-water use vegetable species.  Check with your local nursery for the best native or low-water use plants
  • To decrease the risk of overwatering, try grouping plants with similar water needs together
  • Harvest rainwater or position downspouts and other runoff towards shrubs and trees
  • If rainwater is not available to water your garden, water by hand or use a drip irrigation system to water your vegetables, ornamentals, and fruit trees
  • Consider planting your vegetables in closer rows.  This will make better use of the water you apply to the root zone
  • Consider creating a vegetable rain garden. Rain gardens are built in a depression in your property that collets rain run-off naturally.  It also traps storm water that would normally enter the storm sewer system
  • When watering, ensure to water the base of the plant and its roots; not the leaves
  • Water your plants by hand, a soaker hose or other water-efficient irrigation systems

Rain Barrels - Did you know?

  • A moderate storm of 25 mm (1 inch) of rain produces over 2000 litres of runoff from a roof surface of 93 square metres of water.
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