Rain Barrels and Gardens

RAIN BARRELS
Join your community’s efforts to save and protect Florida’s waterbodies by harvesting stormwater runoff from your roof with a rain barrel or cistern.

Benefits 

  • Reduce use of drinkable water - Harvesting stormwater for landscape irrigation can reduce the use of Florida’s drinkable water up to 50%.
  • Reduce water pollution - Stormwater runoff contains nitrogen – a pollutant of concern in the Tampa Bay Estuary and local springs. Rainwater harvesting will reduce the amount of runoff from your property and help protect these waterbodies.

Design Tips

  • Tanks should be placed next to the downspout.
  • One inch of rain will yield approximately 600 gallons for every 1,000 square foot of roof.

Additional Resource
University of Florida/IFAS Extension https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/barrels.htm

RAIN GARDENS
Beautify your home, help the environment, and conserve water by incorporating a rain garden into your home’s landscape. These type of gardens are shallow, planted depressions, which contain filter and treat stormwater runoff from roofs, driveways, sidewalks, and other impervious areas.

Benefits

  • Provide an attractive source of food and habitat for birds, butterflies, and other pollinators.
  • Contain suspended solids and reduce nutrient export through infiltration and uptake by plants.
  • Established vegetation requires minimal supplemental irrigation as these gardens capture and retain stormwater.

Design TipsPhoto of a rain garden

  • Select a variety of plants to improve biodiversity.
  • Place in a well-drained area near the runoff source; at least 10 feet from buildings.

Additional Resource
University of Florida/IFAS Extension
https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/design/types-of-gardens/rain-gardens.html