Rainwater Rebate

(Posted May 16, 2024) Thanks to funding from the Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program, North Marin Water District is currently able to provide enhanced incentives for residential and commercial customers who install rain catchment systems at their properties. Through this partnership with MCSTOPPP, North Marin Water District is offering customers $0.75 per gallon of water stored with a cap of $2,000 per customer. The rebate cannot exceed system equipment and materials cost.

Apply Here: Rainwater Harvesting Rebate Application

Purchasing your rain barrel and making it functional

Many hardware stores and other retailers offer ready-made rain barrels for purchase. These are fully functional rain barrels that are then ready to connect to your roof drainage system, following best practices ( see the connection tips outlined in the next section below).

For those wishing to take a more DIY approach, which typically involves converting a plastic drum or other storage container into a functional rain barrel, many retailers offer easy-to-install kits. Rain barrel diverter system “kits” come with all of the parts and instructions necessary to create a functioning rain barrel. These kits can often be purchased online too. The following short list links to various commercial retailers that provide kits and how-to resources.

Connecting your system to your roof drainage system and putting it to use

Once you’ve selected your preferred rainwater catchment system, connecting it to your roof drainage system and putting it to use can be a breeze using best practices for these water-saving systems!

Some tips to get you started

  • Choose a downspout on your house or garage that is close to the plants and garden you water most.
  • Choose a downspout where your rain barrel’s overflow will soak into your own yard, and not your neighbors’ property.
  • To direct water into your rain barrel, downspouts can be sawed and modified with an elbow or a downspout diverter kit can be installed.
  • Barrels can be used by opening lids (if removable) and dipping watering cans in, or a spigot can be installed near the bottom to attach hoses and fill watering cans.
  • Consider placing your rain barrels on concrete blocks to help with pressure if you’re going to use a hose directly from the barrels to water your garden, as gravity will help move the water. It also raises the barrels to make spigot access easier for filling watering cans. Please do not install pumps in your catchment systems as this may lead to the requirement of a backflow prevention device at the water meter.
  • Make sure rain barrels have an overflow pipe or downspout diverter to direct excess water away from your home when they’re full.
  • All openings should be screened with 1/16” mesh to keep-out mosquitos and other debris.
  • “Nonpotable Rainwater, Do Not Drink” signage is required by CA Plumbing code.

Tools needed for installation

Once you’ve decided the best system setup for your site, determine what tools and materials are needed to get the job done. Many systems provide the parts and tools needed for installation. These might include:

  • Hacksaw
  • Electric or cordless drill with hole saw and bits (various sizes)
  • Caulking gun
  • Hose bibb
  • Overflow pipe
  • 1/16″ mesh for screening holes
  • Silicone sealer or similar adhesive


  • Keep your rain barrel secured tightly to prevent children or animals from entering or falling in.
  • Do not drink water from your rain barrel. Harvested rainwater should be used for irrigation purposes only.
  • Regularly check rain barrel screens to remove accumulated debris.

This is a cooperative program with Marin Water and the Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program. For information on Marin Water’s rebate of if you are a customer of Marin Water, Click here for more information: https://www.marinwater.org/CatchTheRain