How to Install Your Rain Barrel
Step 1: Choose where to install your rain barrel
Find a location near a rain gutter down spout.
Look for places where water can overflow from the rain barrel and be diverted to your garden.
Step 2: Place your barrel on a stable, raised surface
Use a level to prepare the ground and to align the base. This will ensure the barrel is stable.
Choose materials to elevate your rain barrel such as cinder bricks or a constructed base to allow gravity to assist your irrigation with saved water.
Secure the rain barrel with metal/all-weather earthquake straps and secure to the building.
Step 3: Install the downspout
Your downspout will likely need to be shortened and have pieces or elbows added.
Identify where your downspout needs to be shortened and cut as needed, using a hacksaw.
Attach the elbow(s) over the downspout.
If your down spout connects to a subsurface drainage system you will need to install a diverter.
Step 4: Do a test run
Run some water through your gutters with a hose into the rain barrel to check for any issues.
Advantages to Saving the Rain
Rainwater harvesting is the practice of collecting and using rainwater that falls onto your rooftop or other hard surfaces to water your garden, wash your car or even your pets. Since rain is so rare in our region, rainwater harvesting is a great way to reduce demand on our drinking water system.
Rain barrels can be a start to your landscapes transformation from a water guzzling garden to a water efficient landscape. The storage and later use of free rain water contributes both to a beautiful garden and minimizing stormwater runoff. By capturing stormwater on your property you reduce drainage to streets and storm drains, which ultimately drain into local streams and then the ocean.
Outdoor Water Conservation
A survey conducted in the LVMWD service area shows that nearly 70% of the water we serve is used outdoors, primarily for landscaping.
Outdoor conservation is particularly important in our service area, because excessive irrigation not only wastes water but also results in urban runoff, polluting our local creeks and streams.
How to reduce your outdoor water use:
- Convert your water-guzzling lawn to a drought-tolerant landscape. View LVMWD’s native plant guide.
- Irrigate before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m. to minimize loss of water due to evaporation.
- Install a rain barrel or cistern to capture rainfall.
- Use recycled water instead of drinking water to maintain trees, shrubs, gardens and lawn areas. FREE recycled water is available to customers of LVMWD or Triunfo Sanitation District / Oak Park Water Service every Saturday, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. More information.
- Switch to a Weather Based Irrigation Controller (WBIC). Click here for rebate information.
- Use water-efficient rotary nozzles and/or drip irrigation system.
- Do not turn on sprinklers within 48 hours of measurable rainfall.