Rain Barrels

(Photo: Rain Barrel at a Home in Palo Alto)

Rebate Amount: $70/rain barrel
Size: 40-199 gallons

Cost: ~$80–$300 

Can be self-installed.

Popular for residential properties to irrigate small landscapes.

Not sure where to purchase a rain barrel? BlueBarrel offers a 10% discount on all first-time online purchases for Palo Alto applicants. Simply use the promo code “PaloAlto” at checkout!

Receive a $70/barrel rebate when you apply before your purchase! 

Applicants can receive $70/barrel on their rain barrel rebates. See table below for details. Applicants can apply for more than one rain barrel in one rebate. Each property is limited to a lifetime rebate cap as listed below for all stormwater measures in total. A lifetime rebate indicates the total rebate funding that can be issued to one property across that property’s lifetime for multiple rebates. For more information on Valley Water rebate caps, please contact conservation@valleywater.org or visit the Valley Water rebate page. For information on the City of Palo Alto (City) rebate caps, please contact the City. 

Type of Property Rain Barrel Rebate Palo Alto Lifetime Maximum Valley Water Lifetime Maximum
Total Lifetime Maximum
Residential $70/barrel
($35 from the City and Valley Water, each)
$1,000 $2,000 $3,000
(includes multi-family properties)
($35 from the City and Valley Water, each)
$5,000 $50,000 $55,000

Don’t stop at rain barrels! Applicants can receive up to $3,000 on residential properties and $55,000 on commercial properties in a variety of rebates offered by Valley Water and the City. You can browse these options on Valley Water’s Rebate Page.

Frequently Asked Questions


Minimum Criteria for a Rain Barrel Rebate

A rain barrel must have the following features:

  •  Screened inlet connected (directly or indirectly) to a downspout 
  •  Spigot at least 3 inches from the base of the barrel
  •  Be solid in color to prevent algal bloom
Rain barrel installations must meet the following specifications:
  • Rain barrel shall have a minimum of 40 gallons, but cannot be larger than 199 gallons.
  • Rain barrel must be placed on a solid and level surface for stability.
  • Rain barrel must be elevated at least 6 inches from the ground to allow for increased water pressure for discharge (from the spigot).
  • Rain barrel must be placed in a location that does not impede window egress or safe passages for travel.
  • Though not required, the City recommends that applicants strap their rain barrels to a foundation or other sturdy adjacent structure for earthquake protection. This is especially recommended for multi-rain barrel projects in seismically active areas like Palo Alto. More information can be found at BlueBarrel.

BASMAA Rain Barrel Fact Sheet
This short guide offers additional information about rain barrels and cisterns to guide new users in installation and maintenance. The City does not take responsibility for the material and recommendations made in this resource.

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