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red barrels.HEIC


This page will provide facts and tips on a variety of topics related to these important water storage and transportation vessels. From information on different types of barrels and tanks to recycling tips and best practices, we have everything you need to know.

Water Saver Rewards 

Introducing San Antonio Water Systems WaterSaver Rewards, where it pays to be a WaterSaver — literally! Earn points every time you go to a SAWS-approved conservation event or program, then cash them in for coupons to use towards our ever-popular rain barrels. Joining is simple and free!

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How to prevent algae buildup in your rain barrel:

During the warmer months when your garden is thriving, it's important to prevent algae buildup in your rain barrel. Algae growth can not only clog your system but also affect the quality of the water you collect. Here's how to keep your rain barrel algae-free:


  • Start by assessing your rain barrel. Check for any signs of algae growth, such as greenish or slimy residue inside.


  • Empty your rain barrel completely. Algae thrive in stagnant water, so it's crucial to remove all water to disrupt their growth cycle.


  • Disconnect the rain barrel from your downspout to prevent it from refilling. Ensure that the downspout converter is sealed or covered to prevent debris or insects from entering.


  • Once empty, clean the interior of your rain barrel thoroughly. Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar with a gallon of warm water and add a teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent. Pour the solution into the barrel and scrub the interior with a brush or mop. Rinse the barrel with clean water to remove any remaining residue.


  • Consider adding a preventive measure to inhibit algae growth. Some options include installing a dark cover over the barrel to block sunlight, using an algaecide specifically designed for rain barrels, or incorporating a mesh screen at the inlet to filter out organic matter.


  • Regular maintenance is key to keeping algae at bay. Check your rain barrel periodically for any signs of algae growth and repeat the cleaning process as needed.


  • Store your rain barrel in a shaded area away from direct sunlight when not in use. Direct sunlight promotes algae growth, so keeping the barrel shaded can help prevent it.


By following these steps, you can maintain a clean and algae-free rain barrel, ensuring that the water collected remains suitable for your garden and other outdoor uses.


Rainwater Harvesting Dates Back Millennia: The practice of collecting rainwater for later use has been around for thousands of years, with evidence of ancient civilizations like the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians utilizing various techniques to capture and store rainwater.

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