Rain barrels are one of the easiest and most cost effective green infrastructure concepts.
Using a rain barrel will allow you to capture water that is otherwise lost to storm drains, divert stormwater back to the landscape, conserve tap water and energy use, and lower your water and utility bills. By diverting the runoff from your roof, there will be a reduction in stormwater runoff into nearby waterways and eventually Long Island Sound. Rain barrels can also help control local flooding, recharge local ground water resources, protect rivers and streams from erosion, and keep pollutants from entering waterways.
Rain barrels are designed to hold about forty to seventy-five gallons of water from the downspout of a rooftop gutter. They usually have a screen or closed top for keeping debris and mosquitoes out. The bottom of the barrel is outfitted with a spigot that attaches to a garden hose that can be used to irrigate your lawn, water indoor/outdoor plants, or fill outdoor fountains.
You can purchase ready-made barrels from hardware and garden supply stores and/or online and have them shipped to your door. An average rain barrel costs between $55 and $120, but you can save money by making your own.