Put Rainwater to Use

According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, during an average rainstorm more than 700 gallons of water run off the roof of a typical home. That’s enough water to take 17 baths or 58 showers!

Do you know what happens during and after a rainstorm? Chances are all that water is rushing right off of nearby buildings and pavement and back into the local waterways, bringing a whole lot of pollution with it. By capturing rainwater with strategies like rain barrels and water gardens, you can put it to use to water your plants or flush the toilets.

Remember to track your impact in gallons of water saved this year. Estimate your impact by adding up the amount that will likely be saved by using water from the barrels instead of the hose or spigot.

Get started:

  • Learn more about your local watershed: where the school’s water comes from and where it goes in storm sewers when it leaves the site.
  • Identify a level area near a downspout on the school or campus grounds to install a rain barrel, and get approval from a school administrator for the project. 
  • Find a large waterproof container that you can use to create your rain barrel. Install a downspout diverter that will allow the water to flow into the barrel from the downspout but divert out to the storm sewer if the barrel gets full.
  • You can have fun decorating the barrel, and then you're ready to install it at the school! 
  • Encourage teachers to incorporate water education into their lesson planning using in-depth curriculum resources from Learning Lab.

Get help in making and using the rain barrel with these resources: