Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are an increasingly popular water conservation technique. They collect runoff from rooftops for irrigation and other non-potable uses. 

Collecting rain to water landscapes and gardens ensures healthier plants that are less susceptible to disease. It also increases the amount of treated water that is available for drinking, cooking and bathing and helps reduce utility bills.

Rain Barrels on Sale
As a community service, the Town of Wake Forest is selling 65-gallon rain barrels to area residents for $90 each.

Area residents may purchase rain barrels at Town Hall with cash, check made out to the Town of Wake Forest, or credit card. As a special service for electric and/or sanitation customers only, the Town of Wake Forest will deliver the rain barrels at no additional cost. Area residents who are not electric and/or sanitation customers, may pick up their rain barrel at the Wake Forest Operations Center, 234 Friendship Chapel Road.

How to Obtain a Rain Barrel

Rain Barrel Features
Each rain barrel comes with a brass spigot, two overflow valves that can be used to connect additional barrels, and a screen to keep out debris and insects. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding, keep the screen in good repair and replace it promptly if damaged.

Other rain barrel features include:

  • Instructions for easy installation (minimum assembly required)

  • Constructed with High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

  • Standard garden hose fittinigs - require no special hoses

  • The low-mounted brass faucet drains most of the barrel. It is recommended to install your rain barrel on a level and a raised surface

  • Lids can be secured for safety - highly recommended for the safety of children and pets

  • Concave lids channel rain to the center

  • Screened entry prevents debris and insects from entering

  • Dark green barrel blocks sunlight to prohibit the growth of algae

  • Overflow ports can direct water to nearby shrubbery areas

A quarter inch of rainfall provides enough runoff from the average roof to fill a typical rain barrel. Although rain water can be used to irrigate outdoor and indoor plants, including vegetables and fruit trees, and for such things as refilling birdbaths, it should not be used for human consumption. 

To order your rain barrel, contact Betty Pearce at (919) 435-9570.

Rain Barrel Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is rain barrel water drinkable?

  • What can the rain water be used for?
    Plants, flowers, gardens, shrubs, birdbaths, house plants, vegetables, and fruit trees. Rain water does not contain minerals often found in well water or chemicals found in municipal water services and is often referred to as soft water. Rain barrels help reduce the amount of run off water which collects materials that pollute creeks and rivers.

  • Can a soaker hose be used with the rain barrel?
    Yes, the barrel will provide just the right pressure for a soaker hose used on level ground or slightly downhill from the barrel. The barrel does not have enough pressure to use a sprinkler.

  • What is the purpose of the overflow ports on the sides of the barrel?
    In a normal rain, the barrel fills very quickly. A one inch rain over a 1,000-square-foot area will produce over 625 gallons of water. The overflow ports allow a standard garden hose to be connected to the barrel to drain the excess water into nearby shrubs and plantings to prevent the water from gathering at the foundation of your home.

  • Will special fittings be needed to connect to the barrel?
    The overflow ports and the brass faucet are made to connect with a standard garden hose. The barrel has these openings molded into the plastic. Each is drilled, tapped and threaded with a one half to full inch of plastic to securely hold the fittings. Unlike some rain barrels, no glue is needed to hold the fittings in place. So a damaged fitting can easily be replaced with a part from your local hardware store.

  • Can rain barrels be connected together?
    Yes, either type can be connected together. Instructions come with the barrels.

  • Do the rain barrels come in any colors other than dark green and black?
    Dark colors prevents sunlight from entering the barrel, unlike white or blue barrels. Without sunlight, algae and other organisms cannot flourish in the barrel. 

  • Can the rain barrel be used in winter?
    A barrel located with southern exposure will usually stay ice free in moderate winters.

  • Why does the barrel need to be set on cinder blocks or landscape stones?
    First, these level materials help stabilize a barrel which can weight over 500 pounds when full of water. The barrel can also be set on driveway concrete or a patio. Raising the barrel also permits easier attachment of a hose to the faucet.

  • How far can a garden hose drain water from a rain barrel?
    One customer has over 400 feet of hose from the rain barrel at his house to the soaker hose used in his garden.

  • Will a rain barrel water my lawn?
    A full 60-gallon rain barrel will cover no more than a 10'x10' lawn. Although our rain barrels are 65-gallons, they still do not hold enough water for most lawns.

  • Will a rain barrel save me money on my water bill?
    The City of Raleigh does not offer a reduced rate to customers who use a rain barrel. However, a rain barrel can help reduce pollution in creeks and rivers, grow healthier plants and flowers and let you water your plants whenever you wish during a watering ban.