Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are used to collect and store rain water that runs off your roof. This water can be used in your yard, reducing treated water use.
Recycle the Rain campaign image

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Rain Barrel Rebate Program

Residents who purchase and install a new rain barrel can apply for a rebate of 50 per cent of the cost of the rain barrel to a maximum of $50 per rain barrel. Participants who received one rain barrel rebate in past years are welcome to apply for one additional rebate. Maximum of two rebates per utility account for the lifetime of that utility account.

The Rain Barrel Rebate Program is open from May 1 - October 31.

Apply Now

Click here to access the paper application form. (pdf)

Who qualifies for a rebate?

You qualify if you:

  • Are a City of Red Deer resident.
  • Have a City of Red Deer utility (water bill) account.
  • Purchase a new rain barrel in 2024.
  • Install and operate the rain barrel at a property located in the city of Red Deer.
  • Include a copy of the receipt of your rain barrel purchase. The receipt must clearly indicate the name of the store, product name, price and date of purchase. Your name must be clearly written on the receipt.

The program runs from May 1 to October 31. A limited number of rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please allow eight to 12 weeks for the credit to be applied to your account.

For more information, please refer to our Rain Barrel Rebate FAQ (pdf) or contact Environmental Initiatives at 403-406-8820 or environmental.initiatives@reddeer.ca

Other rebate programs

What is a rain barrel?

Inexpensive and easy to install, rain barrels are a great way to conserve Red Deer’s drinking water supply. Rain barrels collect and store rain water that runs off of your roof. This water can be used in your yard, reducing the need to use treated water from the tap.

The average rain barrel holds approximately 200 litres of water and, depending on precipitation, will fill about three times in a typical summer, which saves about 600 litres of water! Savings will vary based on use of water in the rain barrel and the amount of precipitation.

Why should I use a rain barrel?
  • Reduces the need to use treated water for landscaping, helping to conserve water and potentially saving money on your utility bills.
  • Helps to reduce the volume of runoff and pollution into the Red Deer River.
  • Helps avoid the risk of household flooding by diverting water away from your home.
  • Provides a back-up source of water during low rainfall periods.
  • Decreases energy consumption normally required by The City to treat and pump water, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.

Harvesting rain water offers a sustainable way to lessen our potable water consumption, aligning with The City’s Environmental Master Plan.

Purchasing a rain barrel

Rain barrels can be purchased at most local home or garden stores.

With a diverse variety of rain barrels to choose from, ranging in prices, material and features, below is a guide of what to look for when purchasing a rain barrel:

  • Mosquito-proof screen and cover. Mosquitoes thrive in water so ensure they stay out of your rain barrel by using a screen top and cover.
  • Made of recycled or refurbished material.
  • Drain or spigot at the top of the barrel for overflow.
  • Drain or spigot at the bottom of the barrel for draining.
  • UV protection to prevent deterioration (if the barrel is made of plastic material).
  • B.P.A.-free material. Bisphenol-A is an environmental contaminant and is present in some plastics.
How to use your rain barrel

photo of a rain barrel  set up in a yard with a down spout feeding into itPhoto of a down spout feeding into the top of a rain barrel

  • Position the rain barrel on sturdy, level ground in front of a downspout close to the area you want to water.
  • To increase the water pressure, you may use a rain barrel stand. A stand elevates the rain barrel, making it easier to access the spigot.
  • Connect your downspouts directly to the rain barrel, or install a downspout diverter.
  • If desired, attach a hose to your rain barrel to hand water plants or to direct water to trees and shrubs.
  • You may also connect several rain barrels together using pieces of garden hose.
  • Ensure the overflow water is directed away from your home to reduce pooling water that could impact your home's foundation.
  • Rainwater is non-potable and should not be used for drinking, washing fruits or vegetables, or cooking.
  • Rainwater can be used for watering your shrubs, landscaping, flowerbeds and ornamental gardens.
  • Using collected rainwater on vegetable gardens or edible food crops should be done at your discretion. The runoff collected from roof tops may contain contaminants and currently there are no national or provincial guidelines in place for rain barrel water treatment.
Maintaining your rain barrel
  • Keep it covered to keep children, animals and insects out.
  • Empty it once a week to keep algae out and avoid placing it in direct sunlight. Emptying the rain barrel once a week also helps prevent mosquitoes from establishing.
  • Algae can be removed by emptying the water and washing the barrel with a five per cent (5%) bleach solution.
  • Before storing it for the winter, empty the barrel, drain the spouts and detach the hoses.
Winter maintenance for rain barrels

Rain barrels can be damaged by water freezing and expanding resulting in split hoses, damaged spigots or even a burst barrel.

Prepare your rain barrel for winter:

  • Drain it. Open spigots or hoses and let all the water drain out. You can also turn the barrel over to drain any remaining water.
  • Clean it. Debris left in the barrel may cause mold or fungus growth.
  • Store it. Storing it inside a garage or shed is recommended. If you do store your rain barrel outside – turn it upside down to prevent any water from accumulating.
  • Remove all hoses and leave all spigots open. Damaged spigots or split hoses will leak.

*Remember to reattach a downspout to direct water away from your home's foundation.