Rainbarrels – What’s In It For Me?

Cut Water Cost: Use your rain barrel to water your garden plants while decreasing the amount of city water use. If your municipality is like most, that means saving money. – a little more each year!


Prevent Storm Water Run-Off:

Storm water running off your roof, lawn, and/or driveway picks up debris, chemicals, and other pollutants. These pollutants, suspended in the rainwater run-off flow into storm sewer systems and end up untreated in our lakes, streams, rivers, or wetlands.


Decrease The Loan On Water Treatment Plants:

When we use rain water for our plants instead of relying on the municipal system, we are decreasing the load on that system. Doesn’t it seem foolish to pay the dollars we do for the chemicals, manpower and energy needed to treat our water in order to make it safe for drinking – and then pour it on the ground? Use rain water for your gardens instead.


Decrease the Demand For Increased Water Capacity:

As municipalities grow, the demand for water grows with it. and those demands oftem mean water treatment facilities must be enlarged.


Make Your Plants Happy!

Water that has been through the municipal purifying system just isn’t as good for plants. Your plants would prefer untreated water. Rain barrel water contains the good things water can carry, without the chemicals from the purifying plant. Make your plants happy – collect rain in a rain barrel and use that water for your plants.

How Much Water Can I Catch?

The average me in Ontario receives approx. 28 inches of annual rainfall. (See the table below). One average rain event might be ¼ inches of rain.


Here’s how to calculate the amount of water you could capture from one rain event.


Step 1 – Find the area of your roof (Length of the house by the width)

Example – a house with 40 feet by 30 feet. The area of the roof would be around 1200 square feet


Step 2 – Plug it in the formula:

Inches of rain X .6* X the area of the roof = rain caught

*One inch of rain falling on a square foot surface yields about .6 gallons of water


Example = .25 X 0.6 X 1200 = 180 Gallons of rainwater!  


Step 3  - Allow for evaporation, splashing, etc., by considering that you may only catch 90% of that rain that falls on your roof. The equation would be:

0.25 X 0.6 X 1200 X 0.9 = 162 Gallons


Over a year averaging 28 inches of rain, this house could potentially collect:

28 X 0.6 X 1200 X 0.9 = 18,144 Gallons!


Just think of the savings to your water bill if you used this 18,144 gallons n your garden!


City                  Inches              Millimeters

Toronto            27                    689

Windsor           28                    700

Hamilton           28                    700

Ottawa             29                    701     

Niagara            34                    861

Oshawa            29                    759

Barrie               28                    700

Sudbury           34                    861