Rain Barrel Workshops

The Philadelphia Water Department and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) are providing rain barrels to residents of Philadelphia’s watersheds free of charge, in order to promote the reduction of stormwater flows to our sewer system and creeks.


Current workshops

PWD is currently transitioning the program management.  We anticipate workshops beginning again in August, 2014.  Please click on the link below to get on the Notification List.

Click here to be notified of upcoming workshops.

You must be a resident of Philadelphia in order to attend a workshop and receive a free rain barrel.

What is a Rain Barrel?

Rain Barrels are storage containers that collect rain water from downspouts. Downspouts lead the rain water from the roof to the ground or storm sewer. Rain barrels usually consist of a plastic storage container with lid, a system that diverts water into the barrel and a water spigot to which a hose can attach. The rain barrel is connected into the downspout system, in order to capture and store some of the rain water.

Why would I want a Rain Barrel?

This storage of rain water serves dual purposes. First, the water can be used for purposes such as gardening, washing down patio furniture, lawn watering, etc. that otherwise tap water would have to be used for. This ends up allowing the owner to use the collected water for these uses instead of paying for tap water. Second, the rain barrels serve an environmental purpose. By storing the rain water, there is a decreased impact of stormwater runoff to streams which helps to protect the environment and minimizes sewer back ups. Please be aware that residents who install rain barrels are not eligible for a discount on their stormwater bill.

How can I get a Rain Barrel?

The Philadelphia Water Department and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) are giving away rain barrels to people located within the watersheds of Philadelphia. In order to receive a rain barrel, it is mandatory to attend a rain barrel workshop to be educated on the installation process and use of the rain barrel. There is a one-per-household limit. Rain barrel workshops are held in locations around the city throughout the year.

This is a voluntary and free program.

You must be a resident of Philadelphia in order to attend a workshop and receive a free rain barrel.

Please note that by installing a rain barrel, you will not get a credit on your stormwater bill.