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350 South 5th Street
RM 203 City Hall
Minneapolis, MN  55415-1390

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Rain Barrels

Recycling Water or How to Reduce Runoff

Did you know that a 1" rain storm produces about 600 gallons of runoff from a roof surface of 1,000 square feet? Imagine the number of rooftops in your community and you can see how much runoff is headed toward storm drains, picking up pollutants along the way, discharging into our lakes, creeks and the Mississippi River. Rain barrels can trap some of this runoff. They are not only ecologically responsible, but they also help conserve water.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rain Barrels

Can I install a rain barrel without a permit?

You do not require a permit from the City of Minneapolis to install a rain barrel on your property.

Can you drink water stored in a rain barrel?

No! Rainwater collected from roofs is not safe to drink, as chemicals from the roof may leach into the water. This rainwater may contain dangerous bacteria and material unsafe for ingestion.

Is water from a rain barrel safe for my garden and lawn?

Absolutely. Rainwater collected in your rain barrel is ideal for flowers, native gardens and lawns. However, the Minnesota Department of Health recommends that it not be used for vegetable gardens or food crops.

Is there a danger in installing a rain barrel?

There’s a risk of children climbing into or tipping over a rain barrel. It is recommended that you provide a tight fitting lid or screen on the barrel. This will reduce the chance of collecting organic matter, preventing it from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.

Will I save water and money by installing a rain barrel?

While rain barrels are ecologically friendly, you may not see a significant drop in your water bill. Rain barrels help reduce stormwater runoff and provide water for your gardens, and work best on small landscape gardens or to direct water to a rain garden.

Last updated Feb 20, 2018

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