Rain. Your grandparents probably collected it you may even remember your parents collecting it. But over the years we have gotten dependant on wells and municipal water to supply us with all of our watering needs, including needs that don't require fresh clean drinking water. Using a rain barrel is a perfect way to provide nice soft water to your plants, conserve fresh water, and help correct stormwater runoff problems. Water is collected off your roof and used later for your non-potable water needs. An average home with a roof size of 1,000 square feet will generate approximately 600 gallons of water from a 1-inch rainfall. With our Save it FROM a Rainy Day program we are offering RainReserve Diverter kits. An instant rebate is available to Greene County residents thanks to the City of Springfield, Greene County Resource Management, and City Utilities.



RainReserve Diverter Kit:

 The Habitat for Humanity ReStore  (2410 S. Scenic, Springfield MO carries The RainReserve Diverter kits that come with everything you need to turn barrels into rain barrels. Its features include:

  • Automatic Overflow and maintain original drainage system.
  • Filters debris from roof into yard
  • Resistant to mosquito and algae infestation
  • Adaptable to any 2"x3" or 3"x4" gutter system
  • Easy Maintenance and winterization
  • For more info, view this YouTube video.


How it works:

1. Fill out rebate form and purchase at Habitat ReStore or Smiling Sun Lawns

2. Attach to existing gutter system

3. Using provided kit, turn barrels into rain barrels and attach to diverter

4. For more info, view this YouTube video.

Or view the: 

Make Your Own Rain Barrel Brochure (Inside & Outside) 


Why use a rain barrel?

An average home with a roof size of 1,000 square feet will generate approximately 600 gallons of water from a 1-inch rainfall. Collecting and using this water with rain barrels helps reduce the demand on public and private water supplies, and reduces pollution, flooding, and erosion in local waterways by reducing storm water runoff.

How do I use the water?

The water that you collect in your rain barrel can be used to water indoor and outdoor potted plants and landscaped areas, clean off gardening tools, wash your car, and for other non-potable uses.

How do I install the barrel?

Rain barrels are easy to install. The method varies depending on the type of barrel you purchase. It typically involves either shortening your downspout and using an elbow or section of flexible downspout if needed to direct the water into the barrel, or removing a 5 inch section of your downspout and replacing it with the diverter. Elevating the barrel on blocks will create increased flow.

Will the barrel be a source of mosquitoes?

As long as the screen mesh is small enough and in good condition, it should prevent adult mosquitos from entering the barrel to lay their eggs. However, if mosquitos are a concern you could place a mosquito "dunk" or "donut" in the barrel to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. These products are non-toxic, inexpensive, and widely-available. Placing a cap full of vegeteble oil in the barrel periodically can also serve as a prevention from keeping the mosquitos from hatching. Using a ‘closed system' such as the RainReserve Diverter kit can further reduces the risk of mosquito infestation.

What if my downspout is 3" x 4"?

Adaptors may be available. Contact tfrey@missouristate.edu or 836-6183 for info.

Can I link barrels together?

Yes, you can. Most every barrel style allows for linking of barrels to collect more water from one downspout. This is call daisy-chaining.

What about debris from the roof?

The premade/premolded barrels have a screen to keep debris from entering the barrel. The diverter kit is designed to allow the debris to continue down the downspout while the water is diverted to the barrels. The majority of the pollutants found on the roof are found in the first flush of rain. Roof washers divert the first flush away from the barrel and they are widely available on the internet.

Contact Tiffany Frey for more information 417-836-6183 or tfrey@missouristate.edu

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