Rain Barrel Rebate Program in San Diego

rain barrel rebate program drought san diego

With our city in an ever constant drought, we’ve taken quite a few steps over the years to reduce the amount of water we use in our home. But with the addition of two children in our lives, it’s been hard to stick with the conservation efforts we’ve made.

So when we heard about the rain barrel rebate program through the City of San Diego we knew we needed to investigate further. And we were so glad we did.

Then we found out that Dixieline was running a sale on 60 gallon rain barrels for $90. So our $75 rebate and $90 sale price meant that we were paying $15 out of pocket for each barrel. Now that rocks! We picked up two for our home and are considering going back to get two more (limit of 4).

rain barrel rebate program downspout

connected from the rain gutter to the rain barrel

Facts about Rain Barrel Systems

Did you know that one inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof can harvest 600 gallons of rainwater?

By implementing a rain barrel system, you can:

  • Reduce water pollution as a result of rainwater runoff which carries pesticides, fertilizers, sediment, oil, and trash into local rivers and lakes.
  • Reduce soil erosion and improve the ability of water to infiltrate the soil at a reduced intensity.
  • Reduce dependency on the municipal water supply and see a cost savings on your water bill.
  • Treat your garden, plants, and lawn to clean and free rainwater and help save energy by reducing demand on our drinking water supply!

(source: County of San Diego: Rain Barrel Information)

rain barrel rebate program connecting gutter

Rain Barrel Rebate Program for San Diego County

San Diego County homeowners can now get rebates of up to $75 on each residential rain barrel (up to 4 per home) as part of extensive regional efforts to promote wise use of water.

Collecting and reusing rainwater is an easy way to use water more efficiently. A rain barrel collects water from gutters and downspouts for use on your water efficient landscape while reducing the amount of water flowing into storm drains.

To be eligible for a rebate, the rain barrels must be a minimum of 50 gallons and be designed for the intended purpose of rain capture. Residential rebate program details are at www.watersmartsd.org/programs/residential-rain-barrel-rebates.

rain barrel rebate program full barrel

after one night of rain

There is also a program currently being run by the City of San Diego where City of San Diego (City) Public Utilities residential customers that are served by an individual water meter can receive a cash-back rebate when purchasing and installing a rain barrel and connecting it to the home’s rain gutter downspout.

Effective March 1, 2013 the rebate is $1.00 for every gallon of rain barrel storage capacity, up to 400 gallons and $400.00. The minimum rain barrel size is 50 gallons and multiple barrels are ok. This program is a bit more stringent than the one mentioned above (you have to submit before/after photos) but is great if you’re getting a larger barrel.

Rebates for this program will be distributed on a first-come, first served basis and funding is limited. Read through the guidelines (PDF) prior to filling out an application (PDF). You can find more information on the City of San Diego’s website here.

rain barrel rebate program san diego

Our next step in water conservation is to install a valve on our washer to drain all of our gray water from our second rinse cycle into our garden so that we can water our lawn.

When we tackle that project (and you know that by we I mean my husband) I’ll be sure to take plenty of photos and notes along the way!

How are you conserving water?

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  1. Great idea!

  2. Thanks for sharing this info. I’m off to do more research since we live just outside the city of San Diego…hoping there’s a County program similar to this one.

  3. I applaud your efforts and your thriftiness! We have rain barrels too. We have well water, here on the farm, and I do not believe in wasting a drop. Kids make it hard, but if you raise them conserving water, they’ll do it for their whole lives. More people need to raise their kids with a lean toward conservation. We need to take care of our Earth before we lose it!

  4. Nice! I wish our city had a rain barrel program. We have one though, my husband asked for one for Christmas one year. Its great to water all our plants in the summer. Every little bit helps! πŸ™‚

  5. Love this idea. I don’t know why I never thought of it. LOL Thanks so much for sharing. Off to tell my husband he needs to build me one.

    • There are awesome resources out there for building your own! But for $15 I couldn’t beat taking advantage of the rebate. Now we’re looking for ways to make them look pretty πŸ™‚

  6. Do you know, I’ve never heard of a rain barrel before. Love the idea!

  7. I’m not in a drought area (at all), but I still think it’s important to conserve water. I think the rain barrel program is a wonderful idea and I hope a lot of households use it!

  8. Wow, that is an awesome idea! I never really thought about trying to conserve my own water before!

  9. What a great idea! I need to get to Home Depot. πŸ™‚

  10. I’ve wanted a rain barrel for years! They are so expensive here and with our long Winters, we might get 3-4 months use of it – so paying $140 hurts! We need an incentive that that here!!

  11. I love this idea and wish I lived in a place where it did rain… or have a garden! πŸ™ I promise, when I move to a location that has 3 seasons (I’m skipping the snowy season) I will have a garden and a rain barrel system!

  12. This is awesome. Can’t wait to convince the hubs to do this at our house!

  13. This is very neat. What a great incentive.

  14. Thanks for the info Danielle! I’ve been wanting to install rain barrels for awhile now and just haven’t gotten around to it. This might just be the motivation I need.

  15. This is so on my to-do list. I love what your barrels look like, too, I’ve found some really awful ones in my search!

  16. This is on my todo list too! This spring it will happen!


  1. […] garden that feeds us still needs to be watered. So what do we do? Grab some rain barrels! Through a rain barrel rebate program in San Diego we were able to snag 2 60 gallon rain barrels for the front and back of our home for a very minimal […]

  2. […] the City of San Diego offered rebates for rain barrels, my husband went out and picked up two for our old house. After the first big rain storm both were […]

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