Three Easy Ways to Reduce Rain Barrel Flooding

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Rain barrels can be extremely effective at reducing stormwater pollution and our clients love them!  But they are not always trouble-free.

Rainbarrel Overflow

Have you been having any issues with your rain barrel in the recent storms? After we experienced a storm that produced over one inch of rain in one hour or less we heard about flooding related to  residential rain barrels.

Problems like this seem to be occurring more frequently now than ever. We suspect that changing weather patterns are playing a large role.

In addition to weather, there may be other contributing factors:

  • The overflow hose is not wide enough to convey a high volume of water during extreme weather events
  • The roof area draining to the barrel is too large for a normal 55 gallon rain barrel
  • The overflow hose is not directed away from the house

If you have you experienced any flooding around your rain barrel, please take this short survey and tell us about it. We are continually revising our advice and techniques, and your stories will help us do that. Reducing stormwater pollution is too important to let a minor problem with rain barrel setup get in the way!

Meanwhile, there are three things you can do right away to prevent issues:

  • Check your gutters, downspouts, and any pipes for debris
  • Be sure your barrel is empty before the storm
  • Hook up a hose to the spigot and leave open during the next rain event

Looking to install another barrel to collect additional water from your roof? Register for a Blue Water Baltimore Build-a-Rain-Barrel workshop on September 15 or October 19 and leave with a fully constructed barrel ready to be hooked up at your home.

And, always, don’t hesitate to contact  me (Erin McVey) at emcvey@bluewaterbaltimore.org or (410)254-1577 x106 with wquestions or concerns about rain barrels.