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Let the Rain do the Watering!

This week we are excited to have a guest post by Lana Findlay, former ILACSD staff member who now works with the City of San Diego’s Think Blue Program!

City Provides Rain Barrel Rebate to Promote Conservation and Prevent Pollution

Many of us enjoy green lawns, beautifully landscaped yards, and fresh produce from our backyard gardens.  Unfortunately, thriving lawns and gardens can take up a lot of water.  In fact, a typical San Diego household spends about 50% of its water use on landscape irrigation. 

In addition, when too much water is used to irrigate yards this excess water can travel over contaminated surfaces (sidewalks, gutters, parking lots) to enter our storm drains. Here in San Diego our storm drains connect directly to our creeks, rivers, bays and ocean.  This water does not get cleaned. 

A quick and easy way to both conserve water and reduce the amount of runoff entering our storm drain system is to capture rainwater from your roof using a rain barrel.  If you have always wanted to add a rain barrel to your yard, now is the time.  Rain barrel rebate incentives are now being provided by the City of San Diego’s Water Conservation Program and the Transportation & Storm Water Department.

The rebate is simple, Public Utilities customers who install rain barrels on their property can receive a $0.50 rebate for every gallon of storage capacity their rain barrel holds – up to $200! To qualify for a rebate, applicants need to take pre- and post- installation photos and submit them with a completed rebate application and their receipts for rain barrels purchased after January 1st, 2012. 

For more information about the rebate and to download an application, please visit:

About Rain Barrels

Rain barrels connect to a home’s rain gutter downspout and are designed to capture rain water flowing from the roof to help irrigate gardens and landscaping.  

When you supplement your irrigation water with water from your rain barrel, you:

  • Conserve water – A 1000 ft2 roof collects 625 gal for every 1 inch of rain that falls 
  • Save money – Rainwater is free!
  • Save energy – Rain Barrels decrease your demand on the municipal water supply 
  • Prevent pollution – Less water flows over contaminated surfaces to our waterways

Residential rain barrels can store from 50 gallons of rain water up to 400 gallons or more and come in many different shapes and designs.  A standard rain barrel system consists of a rain gutter and downspout, a storage container, a locking lid and screen grate (to keep out debris and insects), an overflow pipe, and an outlet faucet.   From the outlet faucet you can either collect your stored water using a watering can or connect it to a gravity-feed system of irrigation hoses that carry the water to your landscaping or garden. 

If you would like to speak with someone about the installation process or about rebate guidelines, please contact a Conservation Representative directly at (619) 533-4126 or via email at  In addition, a Rainwater Harvesting Guide is also available on the rebate program’s website. 

Do your part to conserve water and prevent pollution – Install a rain barrel in your yard and let the rain do the watering! 

Phone:   (619) 533-4126
Residential Rain Harvesting Website   
Rain Barrel Pilot Program Information


  1. Can we get a rebate on home-made rain barrels, like trash cans turned barrel with a spigot at the base?

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