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Two happy rainwater harvesters
Two happy rainwater harvesters

Whether you're a Northwest gardener looking to ensure that your plants don't suffer in the long dry summer, or a business owner looking to manage stormwater runoff from your large roof, you may want to consider an old-fashioned technology: rainwater catchment with barrels or cisterns.

Not only will harvesting rainwater safeguard your garden, you’ll also be helping to keep our waterways clean, safe and full of life!  When storms occur and large quantities of water go down storm drains, it can pollute local waterways. In some neighborhoods in Seattle, storm drains flow directly into sewer pipes and heavy storms can cause overflows. In the rest of King County, storm drains flow into streams and local water bodies and heavy storms can cause pollution. In both cases, by harvesting the rain that falls on your roof, you are helping keep our waterways clean!

You can buy or make a catchment system. If you have a very large roof or a lot of plants to care for, consider upgrading to a large-volume cistern which can store more water, thus providing for larger gardens and doing even more to safeguard natural ecosystems.

See the Frequently Asked Questions and resources below for more on the benefits of installing your own rainwater catchment system and steps on how you can get started!

Cisterns can fit anywhere
Cisterns can fit anywhere!

Grants and rebates available 

If you live in certain parts of King County, you may qualify for a rebate which will cover most or all of your installation costs!

More information/general resources

Rain tanks come in all shapes and sizes.
Rain tanks come in all shapes and sizes
(Photo courtesy of Rain Dog Designs)

Rain barrel and cistern (rain tank) sources

Following is a list of some sources to purchase rainwater catchment equipment for pick. You can also try calling your favorite local garden center and ask if they stock rain barrels or cisterns.

*Note: King County maintains this list as a courtesy to the public and does not endorse or guarantee the quality of the service offered or provided.

For questions about the Rain Barrel Information and Resources in the Pacific Northwest, please contact Jo Sullivan, Water Quality Planner/Project Manager.