Guideline No. 41 – Rain Barrels

 Rain barrels, or rainwater storage containers, capture rainwater and hold it for later use on lawns, gardens, and indoor plants. Collecting rain runoff in rain barrels reduces the amount of water that flows from a property, reduces erosion, and conserves water. An Exterior Alteration Application for consideration by the RHAC is required when placing a rain barrel on your property.

Application Requirements
  • A diagrammed (plot) plan showing the location of no more than one rain barrel located at each downspout on your property. Rain barrels shall be placed on a level surface and secured so as not to topple.
  • Rain barrels must not exceed a sixty-five-gallon capacity limit and may be constructed of either vinyl material to match the siding or trim of the house or unstained wood material.
  • Rain barrels must be maintained at all times and should be free of standing water on or around anything not used as part of the rain barrel system, must be conducted including the use of the collected water, mosquito screens or dunks (that kill mosquito larvae, but are harmless to birds, wildlife, and pets) to prevent breeding, and have an annual inspection for cracks, leaks, or debris.
  • A properly diagrammed plan to properly divert the drainage/overflow/runoff from the rain barrel onto the neighboring properties, common areas, or open space.
Approval

Your application will most likely be approved if the following criteria are met:

  1. The rain barrel is located on the property at a downspout.
  2. The rain barrel is secured so as not to topple.
  3. The rain barrel is placed on a level surface.
  4. The rain barrel does not exceed 65 gallon capacity and 48 inches in height.
  5. Vinyl barrels, match either the siding or downspout color.
  6. Wooden rain barrels remain natural, i.e. unstained.
  7. No more than two (2) rain barrels are proposed.
  8. Information is provided on how mosquitoes will be prevented.

NOTE: Rain barrels must be maintained at all times and should be kept free of standing water on or around anything not used as part of the rain barrel system. The rain barrel drainage must be properly diverted and may not flow onto neighboring properties, common areas or open space.

During the winter season, rain barrels should be stored and/or all water removed or maintained in such a way that water will not get into the receptacle and freeze. These steps will ensure prolonged barrel life and avoid maintenance issues.