Rainwater Collection Program

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Rain barrels and cisterns are containers that connect to existing downspouts to collect and store rooftop rainwater for later use. The containers can be made of plastic or wood and come in various colors and designs. Rain barrels and cisterns vary in size and can be linked to increase storage capacity. The collected water can be used for landscape irrigation, washing cars, or watering gardens.

Rainwater Collection Rebates

The City of Gaithersburg offers rebates to eligible single-family residential property owners, homeowners associations, private education facilities, nonprofits, and multifamily dwellings who install rainwater collection systems on their property. There are two rebate tracks based on property size and type. Rebates vary in amount, and project applications must be pre-approved before installation.

Program participants who follow application guidelines are eligible for a rebate of $1 per gallon of rain collected, with a minimum collection volume of 40 gallons. A maximum rebate of $250 per property is available to single family homeowners and eligible properties smaller than half an acre. Complete eligibility requirements and design criteria are included in the rebate application.

Rebates for Large-lot (larger than .5 acre) HOAs, Private Education Facilities, Nonprofits, and Multifamily Dwellings:

Program participants who follow application guidelines are eligible for a rebate of $1 per gallon of rain collected, with a minimum collection volume of 55 gallons. A maximum rebate of $1000 per property is available to eligible properties larger than half an acre. Complete eligibility requirements and design criteria are included in the rebate application.

Rain Barrel Benefits

By installing a rain barrel at your home you will:

  • Reduce flooding in your yard or basement. Rain barrels and cisterns collect water that could otherwise contribute to the flooding of your property. The water collected can be used to water plants or can be released slowly, allowing it to sink into the ground.

  • Provide your plants with better water. Unlike treated water, which is "softened" with dissolved minerals, rainwater is naturally soft. The water stored in a rain barrel or cistern is better than municipal water for washing cars and watering indoor or outdoor plants.

  • Save money and water. Instead of water from the tap or faucet, you can use the water you have saved to keep your home landscaping healthy and growing through the summer. You will also reduce your municipal water bill.

  • Protect the Chesapeake Bay. Water stored in your rain barrel or cistern is water that will not empty into local streams. By decreasing the volume of storm runoff, rain barrels also help moderate stream erosion and the resulting pollution that is impairing the Chesapeake Bay.