Rain Barrel Program

Rain barrels
Rain barrel workshop participant

The Stormwater Management Program provides rain barrels to schools and homes in Athens. Here is the information you need to get started.

Why Rain Barrels?

Rain barrels are a simple way to conserve water and reduce stormwater runoff, both of which lead to healthier streams. Rain barrels catch the water coming off your roof before it hits the ground and turns into runoff.


Free rain barrel workshops are provided to the public every fall and spring. Please email stormwater@accgov.com to be added to our mailing list or to find out about upcoming workshops.

Don't Miss Out!

To make sure you never miss a workshop sign up for the Stormwater Education calendar or newsflash. We always post upcoming workshops on the calendar and in our monthly newsletter. If you have any questions or would like to make a container donation, contact us at stormwater@accgov.com or 706-613-3440 x6717.

Buy a Rain Barrel

If you cannot wait for one of our workshops, rain barrels can be purchased at most hardware stores and from online retailers like Amazon. You can also bid on a one-of-a-kind painted rain barrel at Roll Out the Barrels, an annual event that raises funds for the ACC Green School Program.

Do It Yourself

Download instructions to make a rain barrel on your own.

General Tips and Ideas

  • For every square foot of roof, expect to collect about half a gallon of water with every 1 inch of rain fall.
  • If your gutters drain a very large area of roof consider connecting several rain barrels together or installing a larger cistern.
  • If you connect rain barrels, connect them near the top so that 1 barrel is full before you begin filling a second.
  • Place your barrel carefully. Once it's full it will be very heavy and near impossible to move without emptying.
  • Raise your rain barrel onto cinder blocks or bricks to get more pressure.
  • Sump pumps can be purchased and added to have consistent water pressure.
  • In many cases you can use a soaker hose or drip line for irrigation.
  • In addition to watering your lawn or garden, consider using the water to wash your car, pressure wash the drive way, or other outdoor uses.
  • Redirect your overflow away from your house using a short length of hose.
  • Make sure all the barrel inlets are covered with window screen for mosquito proofing.

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