Rain Barrel Rebates

Rain Barrel


Rain barrels are containers (typically sized between 50 - 60 gallons) that are connected to a downspout on your home, office, or garage. The purpose of these are to capture some of the precipitation that lands on the roof and store the rainwater for future use.  

Download the Rain Barrel Rebate Form (PDF).

Submit your Rain Barrel Rebate Request Electronically.

To qualify for the Rebate you must:

  • Be a home / rental property owner
  • Certify installation on a property inside City limits
  • Have a City water account in good standing
  • Provide us with a receipt for the rain barrel
  • Purchase the rain barrel after April 20, 2009
  • Rebates are funded as monies are available; once depleted no more rebates are available

You can apply for this rebate up to two times for each service address. Each rebate will be for up to $30, where $30 is the maximum and any barrel bought for less will be rebated for the qualified purchase amount. 

Homemade barrels DO NOT qualify for this rebate, which includes rebate requests for parts. Your receipt must mention that the purchase was for a rain barrel to verify this is not a part. 

Rain barrels can be purchased from any vendor, so long as a valid receipt is presented (includes purchase is for a rain barrel, date, vendor, rain barrel amount). We encourage you to look first to local vendors for rain barrels. 

Rebate FormImagine a Day without Water 2018 7th and 8th Grade Winner Bryce Yates

Charlottesville Rain Barrel Rebate Form (PDF)

Rebate forms with receipt can be returned to:

  • In Person: the Office of Utility Billing at City Hall or Public Works Department
  • By Mail:
    Charlottesville Water Conservation
    305 4th Street NW
    Charlottesville, VA 22903
  • Fax: (434) 970-3659
  • Form to submit electronically using our electronic Rain Barrel Rebate Form.
    Note- You must have a copy of your receipt electronically (clear photos of receipts are ok) to use this method. 

Do you live in the County?

Go to the Albemarle County Service Authority website for their rebate information.

Other Details

Some Other Considerations:

  • You’ll want your barrel at least high enough that you can easily fit a watering can or bucket under the spigot.
  • Consider connecting a soaker hose to your spigot. Run it to a mulched plant bed and leave in the "on" position during the rainiest weeks.
  • Spruce up your barrel with a pretty paint job, or camouflage behind shrubs.
  • Remember to empty and disconnect your rain barrel in winter, to prevent damage from freezing
  • There are diverter valves on the market that can be used to direct barrel overflow back into your downspout system (configurations vary).
  • If mosquitoes are an issue, use a product like Mosquito Dunk for added control. You may also try adding a little vegetable oil to the barrel. It will create a coating at the water surface that disrupts the mosquito life-cycle.
  • Rooftops made of asbestos, asphalt or composite shingles, galvanized metal and sheet metal may leach toxins into your rainwater runoff. It is not recommended that you use such runoff for irrigating food crops.
  • This water is non-potable: do not use collected water for drinking, cooking, or bathing.
  • Keep the barrel lid secure so children or animals cannot fall in.

Conservation Benefits of Using a Rain Barrel

Using harvest rainwater can reduce the amount of treated water pulled from the community’s water supply. Consider all the ways you use water outside: washing your bike or car, watering potted plants, irrigating a landscaped bed, or any number of other activities. The water you use for these do not need potable water (treated to the standard of drinking water). Therefore, capture rainwater will do the job just as well. In addition, rainwater captured in a barrel can still be used outdoors even when we are under drought restrictions. 

Runoff Reduction

Stormwater runoff is rain or snowmelt that flows over the ground and into the City’s stormwater system or directly into creeks and streams. As this runoff flows, it can pick up oils and greases, heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers, trash and debris, sediment, animal wastes, and other pollutants. Since our storm drains do not connect to water treatment facilities, but rather drain untreated into local waterways, these pollutants are carried along with stormwater runoff into the Rivanna River. As a result, contaminated stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution to our local waterways. By capturing some of that precipitation and redirecting it to a slow dispersion over our yards, where soil and plants can filter toxins, we reduce pollutants and slow the surge of water that can cause flooding during an intense storm.

Interested in trying to make your own rain barrel 

(remember these do not apply for rain barrel rebates)
Follow along on these directions on how to make your own rain barrel (PDF).

Questions about our Rain Barrel Rebate Program? Please use our Contact US Form