NEW BEDFORD — This spring, rainwater collection barrels offered by The Great American Rain Barrel Company will be available for residents of New Bedford.

Harvesting rainwater with a rain barrel can mitigate the irregular patterns of rainfall. To help homeowners and the City manage their water supplies and encourage water conservation, New Bedford is offering residents the opportunity to purchase rain barrels at a discount.

Saving rainwater helps homeowners hedge against the cost of water. Rainwater is a free healthy alternative; it is organic, has no chloramine, no fluoride and no chemicals. It is an excellent water source for plants, gardens, lawns and any non-potable use.

Regular use of a rain barrel can pay for itself in one season. One tenth of an inch of rain on a 1000-square-foot roof – about 25 minutes of moderate rainfall – will fill a 60-gallon rain barrel. New England typically receives 17 inches of rain during the growing season from May through September. This provides enough water to fill 170 rain barrels. At 2.78 cents per gallon, homeowners can expect to save about $280 worth of water (based on current New Bedford water rates).

Droughts stress residential landscaping and town water facilities; in 2016, 168 communities in Massachusetts faced restrictions on nonessential outdoor water use – a full 47% of the cities and towns in the state. There is no restriction on rainwater use.

The Great American Rain Barrel Co., a local food importing company, has been repurposing shipping drums into Rain Barrels since 1988. Last year, 30 percent of Massachusetts cities and towns partnered with The Great American Rain Barrel Co, selling over 3000 barrels. The Great American Rain Barrel Co. has been approved as vendors by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the state since 2010.

Barrels are being offered to residents for $69 – a savings of 40 percent off the retail price. To learn more about the barrels, and to order a barrel, please visit: and select New Bedford. Residents may also order a barrel by calling 1-800-251-2352. The deadline to order barrels is Sunday, April 29.

Once ordered, the barrels will be available for pick up on Saturday, May 5 at the New Bedford Department of Public Infrastructure’s office at 1103 Shawmut Avenue in New Bedford from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

About The Great American Rain Barrel Co.:

• 100% re-purposed rain barrels produced in Massachusetts.

• Most durable rain barrels on the market: 3/16” wall thickness.

• Last for years when properly drained & stored for winter.

• Screen filtered to keep mosquitoes out.

• Several rain barrels can be linked together — easy 5-minute setup

• Available Colors: Forest Green, Earth Brown, and Nantucket Grey. Also available unpainted.

Reasons to purchase:

• Save approximately $280 in annual water bills with a 60-gallon rain barrel.

• Help stressed trees and gardens during dry spells. In 2016, 48% of towns in Massachusetts had water bans.

• Rainwater has no chemicals, chlorine or fluoride – great for plants and lawn.

• One rain barrel can pay for itself in one season.

• You can help towns manage water supplies and storm water runoff.

--City of New Bedford

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