Summer Inspiration: Why Summer is the Best Time to Install a Rainwater Collection System

Summer is upon us and depending on where you live, rain may be the last thing on your mind. In the arid western United States, skies can be dry from May to October with only the occasional off-season storm.

In the rest of the country, however, rain falls much more regularly throughout the year, with summer storms recharging rain barrels at intervals – perfect for irrigating during the short “droughts” between rains.

USA Climate Precipitation Graph

The red line on the right shows precipitation in the arid west (San Francisco, to be exact!), with the green band showing the more even distribution of precipitation throughout the USA on average. The graph on the left shows those soaring summer temps!


Ice Cold LemonadeBut regardless of where you live, this article makes the case that summer is your absolute best bet for seeing your rainwater harvesting project through to completion.

Just imagine pitching your shovel at the end of a warm summer evening, drawing up a glass of cold lemonade (or brewed beverage of choice!), and admiring a rainwater catchment system that’s ready for the rainy season…. and every cell in your body exclaiming: Ahhhhhhh that feels good!

Knowing you’re protecting the environment, getting prepared for emergencies, increasing self-sufficiency and resilience in your garden, providing the highest quality water possible for your plants, and saving money on your water/sewer bill are all part of the equation; but finishing a well-thought-out summer project just plain feels great. With long days to think, plan, and play in the garden, now is your chance.


Why is summer the best time to build a rainwater catchment system?


1. You’ve got time to plan

It doesn’t need to be complicated, but some folks like to do a careful job sizing and siting a rain collection system. Find the perfect spot, figure out how much water is available from your rooftop, think through your layout, and order your materials! We surveyed our customers this year, and found that most spend 30 – 90 minutes on our website customizing their BlueBarrel System, so it’s best to get a head start. Summer days are long, and many of us have lighter work and school schedules during the summer holidays.

2. You’ve got dry ground to build on

Even though this project is all about rain, the truth is, nobody wants to be rained on while

Summer Garden Work

Summer’s the time for garden projects!

they’re working. Installing a BlueBarrel System is an intermediate-level DIY project. If you have any leveling to do, you’ll want dry ground to work with.

3. You’re all set and ready for fall’s first catch (in the west)… or the next summer storm (for the rest)!

At the solstice, summer can feel like a long lazy road stretched out in front of us. But as June turns over to July, suddenly August is near and it’s almost time to resume the busy autumn bustle. Once those fall rains return, you’ve lost your chance to harvest autumn’s first rainfall. Remember that cold lemonade (or brewed beverage of choice)? It’ll taste better in the summer after you’ve triumphed over this incredibly worthy project.

3. You won’t have to wait in line

Many folks contact us right around the time of the first autumn rain hoping to make the best of the year’s capture. The truth is by that time, once you figure your sizing, siting, budget, and path forward, you’ve missed the first set of storms. Then you have to find some dry days to install the system when everybody in the rainwater world is scrambling. If you’re opting for a professional installation, you might find yourself in line as many hopeful rainwater harvesters compete for winter’s dry days. Summer’s slower pace offers a much more spacious experience for rainwater-harvesters-to-be.

So why wait? Here are a few simple steps to get you going. Click the image to get started…. and remember that cold glass of lemonade awaits you!

Plan your rain barrel system

A BlueBarrel System™ for FREE?!

It sounds too good to be true, but it could very well be within reach—a FREE BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System™, that is!


If you live in a place that has a robust rainwater harvesting rebate program, you may actually get the cost of your BlueBarrel System fully refunded through a local incentive program.

Many municipalities, water districts, and conservation organizations are funded to incentivize home-scale water conservation and stormwater management, including rooftop rainwater collection.

Rainwater harvesting rebates come in a few different shapes and sizes:

  • Money back for each gallon of storage capacity installed (e.g.$1 per gallon for City of San Diego residents and $0.25 per gallon in the City of Santa Rosa, CA)
  • Money back for each rain barrel installed (e.g. $35 per qualifying barrel for SoCal MWD ratepayers)
  • A maximum lump sum to cover project costs (e.g. $500 per household in the American River Basin)

Each rebate program has its own structure and qualifying criteria.

But here’s the deal:

The BlueBarrel System is so cost-effective in terms of price per gallon that with many of these rebate programs, you may get the FULL cost of your system refunded!

Here are just a few examples of places where you can get a full refund on a BlueBarrel System!:

  • If you live in the county of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, or Ventura, you may qualify for $75 per rainbarrel through the SoCal WaterSmart residential rebate program. The rebate maxes out at 4 rain barrels (or so they say), which caps the rebate at $300 per household. When you price out your options at BlueBarrel’s online store, you can see that you could purchase a 7-barrel System for under $300.* What a deal!
  • If you’re lucky enough to live in San Diego, you are actually allowed to double-dip between SoCal WaterSmart and the City of San Diego‘s own $1 per gallon rainwater harvesting rebate, which maxes out at $400 per home. So with $700 to work with, you can now be fully refunded for up to a 20-barrel BlueBarrel System (1100 gallons of storage!)*
  • In northern California, those living in the American River Basin (Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado counties) qualify for $500 per household for water conservation projects. That’s up to a 13-barrel BlueBarrel System fully covered!*

We’ve posted links to each of these programs and more on our Rebates page. If your region isn’t listed, try a Google search, and if you still don’t find anything, it might be time to call your city or water district and encourage them to incentivize the collection of rain as an important water conservation and stormwater management technique!

*Pricing estimates based on BlueBarrel RainKit pre-tax pricing, including barrels, at the date of this post. Pricing is subject to change. BlueBarrel does not administer any of the rebate programs listed above. Contact each rebate agency to learn of current incentives and criteria.