Purchase a rain barrel from the City of West Allis for a discounted price of just $20. The City sources rain barrels from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. To order a barrel, the following criteria must be met:
- You must be the property owner at your address
- The rain barrel must be installed and used in West Allis.
- You must agree to maintain and use the rain barrel on your property for five years from the date of purchase.
Order your rain barrel today. Note delivery may take up to three weeks.
RAIN BARREL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY WOULD I WANT A RAIN BARREL?
Easy to install, easy to use
Collect free water by the barrel
Rainwater is great for gardens, houseplants, auto cleaning, window washing, and many other household chores
It provides a source of water during droughts and periods of water restrictions
It reduces stress on municipal storm and sanitary sewers
Prevents rain water from becoming pollution that harms our rivers and Lake Michigan
ARE THERE ACTIVITIES THAT SHOULD NOT USE RAINWATER?
Rainwater is not suitable for human or animal consumption.
HOW MUCH WATER WILL BE COLLECTED FROM MY ROOF?
The rule of thumb is that a 1000 square foot roof can provide approximately 600 gallons of water during a 1" rainfall, 300 gallons in a 1/2" rainfall, or 150 gallons in a 1/4" rainfall. It's common for about 1/8" inch of rain to fall each hour during a moderate rainstorm. That means that a 500 square foot roof can fill a properly installed 50-gallon rain barrel in about one hour.
HOW DOES THE RAIN BARREL CAPTURE WATER FROM MY DOWNSPOUT?
Our rain barrel includes a diverter kit that has everything you need to install the barrel to your downspout. The kit includes a hole saw enabling you to drill a hole into your downspout that the diverter piece fits in. Once in, the diverter is able to begin capturing some of the rain water from your downspout, while allowing it to still function as it normally would.
WHERE SHOULD I PUT MY RAIN BARREL?
It's important to place your rain barrel on level, solid ground so that it remains stable — a full 50 gallon rain barrel weighs about 500 pounds. The collection hose that comes with your kit extends to approximately 30 inches. Before placing the barrel, be sure to level the surface. If needed use crushed gravel to level. Place some pavers or cinderblocks on the level surface beneath the barrel to improve water pressure and ensure you can hook your hose to the spigot.
IS IT DIFFICULT TO DRILL THE HOLE IN MY DOWNSPOUT?
Installation is EASY! Follow the instructions on the user guide included in the diverter kit. It has step by step instructions for getting the barrel installed. To make drilling easier, look for a corrugation spot near the center of the downspout that will help to center the hole saw on your downspout. If you have the standard 2 x 3" downspout drill into the center of the FRONT of your downspout. If you have the larger 3 x 4" downspout, drill into the center of the SIDE of your downspout.
When drilling apply even pressure, holding the drill firmly, horizontal, and square to the face of the downspout as you drill. Be careful not to push too hard to avoid damaging the opposite side of your downspout. Continue to drill until the hole saw cuts completely through the front wall of the downspout, then remove the drill by slowly pulling back. Always wear your safety gear while drilling (glasses and gloves)
CAN I ATTACH A GARDEN HOSE TO THE RAIN BARREL?
Yes, the threaded spigot allows for garden hose attachment. Water pressure from a rain barrel will not be sufficient for use with sprinklers, but is effective with soaker hoses.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY RAIN BARREL?
You can clean your rain barrel using a mild soap and a pressure washer or garden hose.
DO I NEED TO TAKE ANY STEPS WITH MY RAIN BARREL IN COLDER WEATHER?
When temperatures fall below 40°F (4°C), winterize your Rain Barrel by removing the barrel and diverter from your downspout and placing the winterizing cap over the hole. Then, disconnect, drain, and store your barrel inside.
I HAVE YOUNG KIDS AND/OR PETS. ARE THERE ANY PRECAUTIONARY STEPS THAT I SHOULD TAKE WITH MY RAIN BARREL?
Select a flat and solid surface for your barrel so that it remains stable. You should make certain that children and/or animals do not climb into or onto the rain barrel. In addition, ensure that no people or animals drink water from the barrel.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
MMSD periodically hosts rain barrel workshops where you can learn about water conservation and using rain barrels. Visit MMSD for more information.