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Rain Barrel and Downspout Disconnect Pilot Program

Rain BarrelsIn the spring of 2009, the City of San Diego Storm Water Department began implementation of a Rain Barrel/Downspout Disconnect Pilot Program to study the effectiveness of rain barrel systems at reducing polluted runoff and harvesting water during dry periods. Twenty-four rain barrel systems of varying size and design have been installed at 8 sites throughout the City. Careful attention was made to match the proper type of rain barrel to the site and design of the buildings' roofs.

The pilot program measured the effectiveness of disconnecting downspouts and installing rain barrels to capture and divert rain water, fog vapor and water condensation from air conditioning units on rooftops to irrigate planter boxes and landscaping below. The pilot program was designed as a cost effective way to reduce polluted runoff from entering San Diego beaches and bays, conserve water, and supplement existing water harvesting efforts. Initial results and can be found in the Final Report below:

Other resources:

Rain Barrels throughout the City of San Diego

Site Number of Systems Description
Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center 2 2 solar-powered automated systems each consisting of one 54 gallon octagonal rain barrel below grade
Rose Canyon Operations Yard Service Building 4 4 automated systems each consisting of a 75 gallon rain box and planter
Scripps Institution of Oceanography 1 1 automated 75 gallon rain box and planter box
Rancho Bernardo Recreation Center 4 1 gravity flow system with a 55 gallon rain barrel, 3 gravity flow systems each with a 75 gallon rain box with downspout energy dissipater
San Ysidro Library 2 1 gravity flow system with a 55 gallon rain barrel, 1 gravity flow system with a 75 gallon rain box
Southcrest Recreation Center 5 1 automated system with 2 - 75 gallon rain boxes serially connected, 1 automated system with a 75 gallon rain box and planter
Mira Mesa Library 2 1 automated system with 2 – 75 gallon boxes connected serially,
1 automated system with a 75 gallon rain box and planter
South Bay Water Reclamation Plant 4 4 gravity flow systems each with a 75 gallon rain box and planter