Maintaining Your Rain Barrel (Pt. 4 of 4)

Uploaded by cityofrockville on 07.12.2011

SONG: Water water everywhere and not a drop to spare. Water on the ground, water in the air.
Though it may evaporate it never goes away. Snows onto your mountain tops, flows into the bay.
Animals need water, people need it too. Keep it clean for me and I will keep it clean for you.
Animals need water, people need it too. Keep it clean for me, and I'll keep it clean for you.
Let's get into maintaining your rain barrel!
Taking care of your rain barrel is easy.
One, use the water regularly.
If your storm water is going to sit for longer than a few days, use a soaker hose to help
disperse it slowly to your garden, lawn, or shrubbery.
In order to maximize your investment in your rain barrel and your environment, you want
to make sure that you use the water from the barrel between storm events.
Two, keep out debris.
If your barrel uses a screen, check it for dirt and debris. If it uses a filter rinse
it regularly.
If your barrel has a lid, make sure it's on tight.
Keep your gutters clean, and you'll certainly find less debris in and around your barrel.
Standing water is always an attractive place for mosquitoes and other insects to breed.
So, Three, check inside your rain barrel regularly for evidence of mosquitoes.
Make sure your screen or lid is on properly to help reduce the chance for mosquitoes to
develop in your barrel.
If you do spot mosquito larvae, you can use bleach, mineral oil, or larvicides such as
mosquito dunks or pellets.
Managing for mosquitoes in your rain barrel is pretty easy to do. I think that the best
options to use are the larvicides, you can buy mosquitoes dunks or mosquitoes pellets
and the mosquitoes will eat these,eat this larvicide and it will actually kill the mosquitoes.
Any of these solutions can suppress mosquito populations for up to a month.
Larvicides are safe to use in rain barrels, and break down quickly, so they're safe
on your lawn, garden, and indoor plants.
Four, prep your gutters and rain barrel before a storm.
That includes using up as much rain barrel water as possible, to make room for the new
Check gutters for debris.
In a top-filling barrel, debris can clog your filter or screen.
On a side-filling barrel, debris in your downspout can prevent water from even entering your
Double check that all of your rain barrel parts are set up correctly.
Five, preparing for winter.
Keep an eye on local temperatures.
If it looks like temperatures are going to fall below freezing for several nights in
a row, empty your rain barrel.
Freezing water may not damage your rain barrel right away, but it will degrade your barrel
over time.
Once the barrel is disconnected, make sure you reconnect the bottom of your downspout
and ensure water flow is directed away from your home.
If possible, store your rain barrel in a protected space such as a garage, shed, or basement.
If you can't store your barrel indoors, flip it upside down and secure it with rope
or weights to keep it from blowing away.
Downspout diverters also make storm and winter preparation easier. Some barrels come with
diverters, but you can also add them to your downspouts.
This allows us to change the directional flow of the water away from the tank, so summer
time we flip the lever the water is now coming towards the tank. In the winter time we'll
change the directional flow and where ever your downspout went before that's where its'
gonna go now.
If a friend ask me weather or not they should install a rain barrel, I'd defiantly tell
them to do so. It's wonderful, It's easy, It takes very little maintenance and you don't
have to be garden genius to do it.
And that's it!
We like to say, Make a splash! Save some water, save some cash!
For more information, please call us at the City of Rockville, RainScapes Program, 240-314-8870.
You can also write to us at
Be sure to ask about rebates and other incentives!
And thank you for caring about Rockville!
Really clean water is getting mighty rare if we want to save it people have to care
Animals need water people need it too keep it clean for me and I'll keep it clean for