Redirect your gutters into a rain barrel and help prevent storm water runoff

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Property owners are encouraged to voluntarily reduce the amount of rain water running off their properties. Why? Polluted storm water runoff is the leading source of pollution to our local water bodies, especially our Indian River Lagoon.

Rain barrels are a great way to capture nature’s bounty and keep some storm water runoff away from driveways and streets. The goal is to reduce the amount of visible and invisible pollutants that are carried in storm water runoff and that enter our Lagoon untreated. Our lagoon has been designated an” impaired water body” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – i.e., it’s really polluted!

The barrels can provide a good source for watering your plants and lawn. Collecting rainwater offers the opportunity to collect chemical free water (with no chlorine) versus treated water that has chlorine. Also, it has very little calcium carbonate, salts, or other minerals that may be found in water that has filtered through the ground. And It’s FREE.

If you irrigate using treated potable water, lawn and garden water use typically makes up about 40% of your total water bill in dry spring and summer months. View a Rain Barrel animation at

You can reduce irrigation costs and soil erosion by installing a rain barrel or by creating a rain garden at the base of a downspout or edge of your property, mulching the site, or creating a berm before the rainy season begins (June – November). The best scenario is when the rain barrel overflow is diverted into a rain garden that retains and percolates all of the roof runoff.

This and other articles regarding storm water runoff pollution prevention are available in the County’s monthly storm water newsletter, Turning the Tide. To subscribe for this free electronic newsletter send your email address to


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