Rain Barrel Program
As part of our work to protect the natural resources of the Granite State’s coastal environment, the New Hampshire Coastal Protection Partnership actively promotes the use of rain barrels through:
- Free Rain Barrel Days at local farmers’ markets and public events
- “Make your own rain barrel” workshops and publications
Our rain barrels are handmade from recycled food grade plastic drums by staff and volunteers!
Rain Barrel Benefits:
“In the summer months, outdoor tasks such as watering lawns and gardens typically make up about 40% of household water use,” according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. This seasonal jump in household water consumption can lead to an increase in water withdrawals from our coastal rivers and reservoirs.
Rain barrels are a free source of non-potable water that can be used as a substitute for town, municipal, and well water when performing a variety of household and garden tasks, from watering flowers to washing windows.
Saving Energy and Money:
“Nationwide, about 4 percent of U.S. power generation is used for water supply and treatment,” according to the Department of Energy.
Rain barrels are a zero energy source of non-potable water.
“Electricity represents approximately 75 percent of the cost of municipal water processing and distribution.”
The water that comes out of a rain barrel is free!
Runoff pollution, also known as nonpoint source pollution, occurs when rainfall or snowmelt moves over and through the ground. As runoff travels, it accumulates pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground sources of drinking water. These pollutants can include:
- Excess fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas;
- Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production;
- Sediment from construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding streambanks;
- Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines;
- Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes, and faulty septicsystems;
Locally, nonpoint source pollution is contributing to the problem of nitrogen pollution in the Great Bay Estuary and its tributaries. Nonpoint sources account for 65 percent of the total nitrogen load to Great Bay, according to the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership.
Installing a rain barrel is one way to take a small chunk out of your stormwater footprint. Each NH Coast rain barrels typically stores 50-60 gallons of stormwater when full. Directing the overflow from your rain barrel drain into a rain garden, dry well, or soakaway pit will enable excess stormwater to infiltrate into the ground, just as nature intended.
Hager, Mary Catherine. 2003. Lot Level approaches to stormwater management are gaining ground. Journal of Stormwater Management, January/February 2003
Piscataqua Region Estuaries Report. 2009. State of the Estuaries Report 2009
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1994. What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?