Rain barrels

Water your plants and yard at home with a rain barrel.

How to reduce runoff by re-using rainwater

A 1" rain storm produces 600 gallons of stormwater runoff from a roof surface of 1,000 sq.ft. That runoff contains pollutants which empty into storm drains, before discharging into the waters of Minneapolis.

Rain barrels help by trapping some of this stormwater runoff, and also help conserve water.

Frequently asked questions about rain barrels

Can I install a rain barrel without a permit?

Yes. You do not require a permit in Minneapolis to install a rain barrel.

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, it not recommended to be used for vegetable gardens or food crops.

Is it dangerous to install a rain barrel?

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

Will I save 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 will provide water to use in your gardens, and work best on small landscape gardens or to direct water to a rain garden.

Contact us

Public Works


City Hall
350 S. 5th St., Room 203
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Office hours

Open to the Public by Appointment