Rain Barrel Program
Reduce your water bill, divert the water coming out of your downspout and have a free supply of "soft water" (containing no chlorine, lime or calcium) with a rain barrel. Rain barrels attach to downspouts on your house or garage and collect run-off rain water. This water can then be dispensed through a hose - attached to the bottom of the barrel - to water plants, wash the car or a bike, clean muddy shoes, or wipe down windows.
Part of the stormwater management solution
Along with rain gardens, proper grading of your property, maintenance of gutters and swales and extension of downspouts away from your foundation, rain barrels can be a part of your own personal "stormwater master plan" and can help prevent flooding of your own property and your neighborhood.
- They slow down the speed with which water seeps into the ground around your foundation (even if the barrel overflows).
- They decrease the need for you to run your hose.
Get a rain barrel
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) offers rain barrels for sale. Residents can get a 55-gallon capacity frost-proof, durable plastic resin rain barrel directly from MWRD for $47. MWRD will deliver rain barrels directly to the resident's property, along with the necessary connection hardware; delivery can take several weeks. Installation is the responsibility of the resident.
Find the perfect spot
- Choose a downspout that's close to the plants and garden you water
- Make sure that any overflow won't soak into your neighbor's yard.
- Identify a "pervious" surface, that is, a landscaped surface
that allows seepage into the ground, for the ideal location. This not only helps prevent flooding caused
by pooling water, but cuts down on the mosquito population.
Installing rain barrels
Maintaining rain barrels
Rain Garden Program
Any Village resident who proposes a rain garden with a drainage benefit and a strong native planting plan can be eligible for a Village grant of 50 percent of the project costs up to $1,000.
Follow these steps
- Submit a Rain Garden Program Application along with 4 sets of proposed plans to the Village's Capital Projects Department. The proposed plans should reference the Village's rain garden standard detail and suggested plantings. Also, homeowners will be required to sign a document noting their agreement to maintain the installed rain garden for 5 years and allow the Village to monitor the rain garden's progress.
- Upon Village review to ensure a drainage benefit and a proper native planting plan, an approval will be granted.
- Upon approval by the Village, the rain garden can be installed by the homeowner's landscaper.
- Upon completion by the landscaper, an inspection should be scheduled by calling (847) 998-9500.
- Upon approval of the inspection, a paid receipt should be provided for Village review and a reimbursement of 50% of the project costs up to $1,000 will be processed.
If funding within this program becomes limited due to strong resident interest, then the Village will weigh projects on the following three criteria:
- Does the project provide benefits to multiple residents?
- Does the project provide benefit to the Village?
- Are there limited other options to address this drainage issue?
The rain gardens should be proposed on Village resident's private property out of the public right-of-way. (The pilot program was originally proposed in 2007.)
The many benefits of rain gardens
- Rain gardens absorb and filter water, typically from a roof downspout or sump pump, prior to running off a property and into downstream storm drains and ultimately receiving waterways.
- Rain gardens remove many of the commonplace pollutants within storm water.
- Rain gardens can be aesthetically pleasing landscape features.
- Rain garden plants create wildlife habitat and attract butterflies and birds.
- Rain gardens, once established, are low maintenance.