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Using Rain Barrels to Conserve Water (and Money!)

Thanks to the Maynard Community Gardeners for sharing this info with us!

With the potential for climate change to cause severe droughts and significant rainfall events, rain barrels have numerous benefits for many climate change–induced weather impacts, and they will save you money on your water bill.

Did you know, for instance, that 1 inch of rainfall within a 24-hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that run off a typical house? When residents use rain barrels, they can then use this captured rainwater for outdoor irrigation purposes, whether water restrictions are enacted or not. Though not potable, rainwater can significantly offset lawn and garden irrigation needs when towns restrict outdoor water use.

Need more reasons why you should get a rain barrel? Metrowest towns like Maynard may be able to delay water restrictions if enough rain barrels are installed by residents. And when less water is used, municipalities can save on operating costs and infrastructure costs with fewer new wells, pumping stations, and treatment facilities that need to be built.

Environmental Benefits

When towns use less municipal water, the impact on the environment is reduced as well. Drawing water from an aquifer faster than it naturally regenerates can adversely affect every living creature in the area.

Beyond droughts and water restrictions, rain barrels also provide benefits during significant rainfall events. This is especially important given the Concord, Sudbury, and Assabet Rivers which flow through our region. Usually, stormwater doesn’t soak into the ground but instead flows over impermeable surfaces like roofs, pavement, bare soil, and sloped lawns into storm drains or directly into water bodies such as our area rivers. And as stormwater flows, it picks up soil, animal waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and grease, debris, and other potential pollutants.

In addition to reducing the number of pollutants that enter our local rivers and waterways through stormwater runoff, promoting rain barrels can also help control local flooding and protect rivers and streams from erosion while also reducing the impact on aging stormwater infrastructure.

Rain Barrel Pre-Purchase & Distribution Program Through Maynard Community Gardeners (Discount is available through Nov. 27, 2022)

For these reasons and because we need water to enjoy gardening during spring and summer, the Maynard Community Gardeners has partnered with the Great American Rain Barrel Co (TGARB) based in Hyde Park, MA, to promote and distribute re-purposed, BPA-free food grade plastic resin barrels that are modified to be used as rain barrels. Though rain barrels will be distributed in Maynard, you do not need to be a Maynard resident to participate. Residents of all local area towns are encouraged to participate. TGARB sells their re-purposed 60-gallon plastic resin rain barrels at prices that are significantly lower than retail outlets. Here are the prices (not including tax).

Painted Barrel in Green, Brown or Gray: $79

Unpainted Rain Barrel: $74

Discounted Terra Cotta: $70

All barrels come with a lid, screen, threaded spigot, and overflow valve, and each barrel measures 24-inch diameter, 39-inch high, and weighs 20 lbs. empty. Optional accessories are also available.

Order online at by selecting “Massachusetts” and “Maynard” in the dropdown menus. You can also order by calling (800) 251-2352.

You must pre-purchase barrels by midnight on Sunday, November 27. You will be able to pick them up on the evening of Thursday, December 8, from 4:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m. at the distribution site in the Elks Lodge Parking Lot at 34 Powdermill Road in Maynard. You must pick your barrel up or have someone pick it up for you at the distribution time. Barrels cannot be stored overnight at the distribution location.

Proceeds from purchased rain barrels do not go to the Maynard Community Gardeners. The Maynard Community Gardeners have generously undertaken this opportunity to benefit area residents.

Learn how to connect your rain barrel to your home’s downspout in this video.

Make Your Own Rain Barrel

If you’re handy and would like to make your own rain barrel, there are plenty of instructions online, including this great step-by-step tutorial and video from Better Homes & Gardens.

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