Rain barrels are a popular method of collecting and re-using rainwater and are a simple, inexpensive way to help reduce water pollution in the James River. Using rain barrels reduces the amount of stormwater and nonpoint pollution (nutrients and sediment) leaving your property.

If you’re trying to decide if a rain barrel is right for you, consider these facts:

1. Rain barrel water is not safe for drinking, but it can be used for watering gardens, filling ponds and bird baths, washing cars and rinsing off muddy shoes and paws.

2. Using a rain barrel decreases your utility bills! Lawn and garden usage makes up nearly 40% to 50% of total household water usage during the summer.

3. Rain barrels come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be customized to fit your aesthetic needs.

4. Rain barrels are inexpensive to maintain. They don’t require pumps or moving parts. To winterize, you simply drain the barrel and move it out from under the gutter pipe.

5. Depending on where you live, your locality may offer an incentive or credit to homeowners who install rain barrels.

6. Installing a rain barrel can help you become a River Hero Home!  You’ll join other residents of the watershed in protecting the health and beauty of our local streams and rivers. Remember, every river-friendly action has a positive impact on the James!

Rain Barrel Workshops

Our partners are offering rain barrel workshops throughout the watershed this spring. Join them to learn how to build a rain barrel and meet other conservation minded folks in your area.

Newport News

Saturday, May 19th
10 AM – 12 PM

Click here for more information


Saturday, May 12th
Saturday, June 23rd
10 AM and 12:30 PM

Click here for more information


Tuesday, May 15th
Thursday, May 31st
Wednesday, June 20th
6:30 – 7:30 PM

Click here for more information

River Hero Home Kits for sale!

Interested in installing a rain barrel on your property? Purchase a $35 River Hero Home kit while supplies last and you’ll have everything you need! There are a limited number of kits available for pick up at Cross Creek Nursery in Chesterfield, Stone Brewing in Richmond, and at our James River Association Williamsburg Office.

Kits include:
• 55 gallon barrel (not pre-drilled)
• DIY Rain Barrel Kit (which includes a drill bit)
• Packet of native Rudbeckia fulgida (Black-eyed Susan) seeds
• Dog waste pick up bag
• River Hero Home flag
• Flag Pole
• River Hero Home sticker
• Soil test voucher and sample kit