Rain Barrels



NOTICE: The free rain barrel program ended on December 31, 2016. The MWRD will return to the previous program of selling rain barrels through this website.

Thank you for your interest in the MWRD's rain barrel program! Rain barrels are a type of green infrastructure that capture rainwater from your roof and save it for when you need it. By keeping this water out of the sewer system, rain barrels can also help prevent sewer overflows and flooding. You can use rain barrel water to wash your car, water your lawn, or clean work boots and tools. Rain barrel water is naturally free of chlorine, lime, and calcium and some gardeners swear their plants prefer it. However, since rain barrel water is runoff from your roof, do not drink it! 

A Part of Any Yard

Most homes can benefit from several rain barrels. If you have areas of unpaved, pervious ground near your downspouts, rain barrels should work in your yard. Homeowners throughout Cook County have incorporated rain barrels into their yards with great results.

Green and Recycled

While the appearance and design of our rain barrels may vary, there is no difference in their functionality.

  • Recycled barrels - 55 gallon plastic HDPE rain barrel; weight is approximately 17 lbs.

Barrels are made with 50-75% recycled content, depending on the resin color. All barrels come in four colors (black, blue, terra cotta and gray) and include leaf and mosquito filter screen, spigot/tap, overflow adaptor and overflow hose. Overflow adaptor permits rain barrels to be connected in series. Dimensions are approximately 24 inches wide and 36 inches tall.

Acquiring Your Rain Barrel

All Cook County residents can purchase a rain barrel for $45.78 (including tax) and this includes a flexible connecting elbow to attach your barrel to your downspout, a linking hose to connect it to a second barrel, detailed instructions, and free delivery to your home.

installing Rain barrel

Using/Maintaining Rain barrel

Painting Rain barrel


For technical and warranty information, please contact:

For round barrels, as shown at www.rainbarrel.ca, call toll free 844.422.7735
For squared off barrels, as shown at www.enviroworld.us, call toll free 877.634.9777

Disclaimer: With proper installation, maintenance and use, your rain barrel should function properly. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago assumes no liability for the installation, maintenance or use of your rain barrel. We are not responsible for any rain barrel malfunction; property damage or injury associated with your rain barrel malfunction; property damage or injury associated with your rain barrel, its accessories or contents.For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs 312.751.6633 or public.affairs@mwrd.org.