University of Maryland Extension

5 Easy Steps to Winterizing your Rain Barrel

This rain barrel needs to be prepared for winter
Image Credit: 
Krisztian Varsa

It only takes 15 minutes, but it could save you a lot of money and headache in the long run to winterize your rain barrel before Maryland’s cold winter sets in. These five easy steps will ensure your rain barrel will last for years to come, helping reduce stormwater runoff to your local waters!

1) Drain all the water out of the barrel before the first hard freeze

2) Detach the barrel from the downspout, and reconnect the downspout to send stormwater away from your home. Consider cleaning out your gutters at this time to remove leaves and debris

3) Remove hoses and spigots from the rain barrel as desired, remove and clean mesh components

4) Rinse the rain barrel to remove any debris built up over the year

5) Store the barrel. Bring it inside, or keep it out of sunlight and turn it upside-down to prevent water from entering

Enjoy some hot chocolate and admire your job well done! Depending on your location in Maryland, you can reattach your rain barrel in March or April, after the last hard freeze.

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