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Program FAQ: Getting, Installing, and Using your Rain Barrel

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Rebates and Discounts

Picking Up

Installation

Use and Maintenance


*Before purchasing, check for restrictions from your HOA or other housing organization*

Rebates and Discounts

How do I get a SoCal WaterSmart rebate?

  • Apply for the rebate at socalwatersmart.com. See our Rebate Information and FAQ for qualifications and details. Please note: Solana Center does not manage the rebate program, all further inquiries should be directed to SoCal WaterSmart: (888) 376-3314 

How do I get the Unincorporated County Discount?

  • Click "Check Address and Start Purchase" on the Rain Barrel main page and follow the prompts to enter your address. If your address qualifies for the discount you will be taken to the purchase page with the $30 per barrel already deducted from your balance. Even if you know you are in Unincorporated County, you must complete this step to proceed to purchase for $60. For further questions about the County Discount contact Solana Center at (760)436-7986 or water@solanacenter.org

How do I know if there are remaining available barrels of the 200 limited stock?

  • If the button to "Check Address and Start Purchase" for $60 is on the website, barrels are still available.

What is the difference between the SoCal WaterSmart rebate and the Unincorporated County discount?

  • The discount is $30 immediately deducted from your purchase total while the rebate is a $35 return that you must apply for after purchase.
  • The discount is only for residents of Unincorporated San Diego County while the rebate can be applied for by any San Diego County resident who meets the qualifications. See Rebate Information and FAQ.
  • Rain Barrel purchasers may get both the discount and rebate if they qualify for both.

Picking Up

When can I pick up my rain barrels?

  • If you selected pick up at Solana Center you can come at any point after purchase during our store hours: Thurs 12 PM - 5 PM and Sat 9 AM - 1 PM

  • If you selected pick up at an event, you pick up on the day of the event and will be sent more details the week before.

What do I need to have for pick up?  

  • Bring the receipt that was automatically emailed to you at purchase. The receipt will have a 5 digit order number in the subject line. You can have it on paper or on a mobile electronic device. 

  • Rain Barrels nest together tightly. You can fit two or three in the back seat of an average car.

Can someone pick up the barrel for me?

  • Yes, as long as they have the receipt with the 5 digit order number (printed or electronically).

Installation

Do I need to have rain gutters?

  • While rain gutters are not a necessity to use a rain barrel, they are a lot better for getting water into your barrel.

  • If your roof does not have rain gutters it must at least have a crease where water collects in a significant stream that you could position the barrel under. 

  • You may also want to consider getting rain gutters. Call your local hardware store for assistance and estimates. But don't forget to check with your HOA or landlord first!

  • If you do have rain gutters you may need to adjust them to work with your barrel. See installation video

  • If you have gutters but no downspout, consider installing a rain chain, an inexpensive easy alternative.

Will I need to purchase additional parts?

  • Rain Barrels come with all the necessary parts. Some customers purchase additional parts if they want a specific configuration.

  • Rain Barrels do NOT come with any rain gutter parts or a garden hose. These items can be purchased at any regular hardware store.

Will I need a pump? How do I get more water pressure?

  • Because the barrels work with gravity, the higher your barrel is in comparison to where you are trying to water the better. We recommend putting the barrel on cement blocks to give it height and accessibility to the spigot. 

  • If you are trying to run a hose uphill of your barrel you may need a pump or you can use a watering can. 

The overflow hose provided is not long enough, what can I do?

  • Overflow hoses are great for aiming excess water where you want water (trees!) and away from where you don’t want water (your house foundation). If the overflow hose provided does not accomplish this you can purchase a longer compatible hose in the Sump Pump section of any normal hardware store in: 1 1/4"D x 6'L.

Can I connect two barrels together?

  • Ivy Rain Barrels can be conveniently daisy chained together so you only need one downspout for multiple barrels. See installation video

Use and Maintenance

How much water will I get when it rains?

  • Each barrel holds 50 gallons and collects rain at the rate of 0.6 gallons per square foot of roof space per inch of rain. Depending on your roof configuration, a rain barrel may fill in just one heavy rain.

  • Water will also continue to collect just from heavy dew / mist

  • If your rain barrel is already full and it is raining, we recommend aiming a hose at a tree or other water needy area and leaving the spigot open to capitalize on the water divergence not just water capture.

Will 50 gallons really make a dent?

  • Yes! The wonderful part with rain barrels is you are diverting not just catching. When it rains hard, open up the bottom valve and point the hose at a tree and give it the long and deep watering that it likely needs.

  • With every drop of rain diverted from running down the street, you are doing your part in reducing water pollution. Runoff collects fertilizers and chemicals from our gardens and yards and flows directly into our creeks and oceans through our storm drains.

What should I not use the water for?

  • Never drink from your rain barrel.

  • Collected water should not come in direct contact with edible parts of your garden, especially leafy greens, and fleshy fruits as water is not sanitary to consume. Watering roots without contamination of edible parts is fine.

Will my barrel attract mosquitoes?

  • If your barrel is completely sealed off it will NOT breed mosquitoes. Make sure you have mosquito screens over all openings including where the hose attaches to your barrel because mosquitoes can fly up hoses to find water. Mosquito mesh screens are provided with your rain barrel.

  • Make sure to do routine checks that there are no holes or rips in your screens. 

Do I need to clean the water with chemicals or other?

  • Because the Ivy Rain Barrel has thick, light-proof plastic you should not get very much algae growth in your barrel. Use the full water supply regularly to ensure minimal algae. If water is left standing for a long duration algae will eventually grow.

  • Other elements that might be captured from your roof or barrel are not harmful to your plants but should never be consumed by humans directly or through contact with edible plants. Regular cleaning of your gutters is recommended as all trapped debris will be carried with the rain into your rain barrel.

What's the best way to clean the screen on top?

  • The screen on the top of your barrel pops out. Gently pry the plastic circle with cross beams off and remove any debris from the screen. Pop the screen and the plastic ring back on.

Water leaks out of the bottom nozzle and connecting hoses, what is wrong?

  • Most of the time this is because the rubber washer was not put in. Start by making sure your washer is securely in place between your nozzle and your barrel. 

  • Second thing to check is if your nozzle is in the right way. The tighter thread should point into the barrel with the looser thread on the outside for a hose. 

  • If there are still leaks call (760) 436-7986. You will likely be prompted for photo evidence submission so make sure to capture a picture if you can.

Does my barrel have a warranty?

  • Ivy Rain Barrels have a 2 year warranty for damages and replacement not due to misuse.

 

Still have questions, contact Solana Center:
water@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 x706

 

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