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By Gig Conaughton
County of San Diego Communications Office 

County, Solana Center offer rain barrels for a drop in the bucket


Last updated 2/1/2019 at 6:29pm

Harvesting rain in barrels can help homeowners cut down their water costs.

January's rains have ended, but there are still a couple of potentially rainy months ahead in San Diego County.

And through Feb. 10, county residents can still get a discounted, top-of-the-line, $90 Ivy rain barrel to be ready to "harvest" the next rains, cut watering costs and protect beaches, thanks to San Diego County's Watershed Protection Program and the nonprofit Solana Center.

In addition that $90 cost could shrink even more – to as little as $25 – for residents who meet the requirements for rebates and discounts from the county and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

San Diego County residents can order a rain barrel online for $90 at the Solana Center's website,, through Feb. 10. County residents who get their water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – through the San Diego County Water Authority or its participating member agencies – can apply for a $35 rebate that can shrink the cost of their rain barrel to $55.

Meanwhile, the county is giving out its own $30 discount to residents living in unincorporated areas – on the first 200 rain barrels ordered. Qualify for the Metropolitan rebate and the county discount, and the rain barrel is just $25.

The rain barrels will not be shipped. Instead, residents can pick up their barrel from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Rincon Water District in Escondido at 1920 N. Iris Lane or from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays at the Solana Center's offices in Encinitas.

Having a rain barrel lets residents "harvest" rain right off their roof and use it to keep their gardens or lawns green the old-fashioned way. That can cut water costs and even help protect local beaches by preventing excess rain from washing pollution off roofs and yards and down streets to the ocean.

The Ivy rain barrels have a locking, child-proof lid, are made of 100 percent recycled material, have overflow ports, protective screening to keep mosquitoes out, a ¾-inch ball valve to connect to a garden hose or to another barrel, and they don't need pumps because they use gravity to dispense their collected rainwater.

Getting a discounted rain barrel is as easy as one, two, three. One, order a barrel. Two, apply for a rebate. Three, go pick up the barrel.

To order and buy a barrel, visit the county or Solana Center website. Scroll halfway down the page and choose one of the two locations to pick up the rain barrel – at the Rincon Water District in Escondido, or the Solana Center in Encinitas. Once a resident chooses a location, they can order and pay for the rain barrel with a credit card.

If they live in an unincorporated community or area and not in a city, remember to check the "unincorporated" box to make sure to receive the county's $30 discount. The discount will be automatically applied to the purchase price at check out. Solana Center officials will double-check after the purchase to make sure the resident is eligible for the discount.

Buy as many rain barrels as desired, but the Metropolitan rebate and county discount are limited to two per household.

Finally, remember that the rain barrel will not be delivered. Residents can pick it up at either of the two pickup locations.

Apply for the rebate.

The $35 rebate from the Metropolitan Water District is available within 90 days of ordering and buying the rain barrel, visit the SoCalWaterSmart link,, as soon as the rain barrel is ordered and click on the rain barrel icon under "available rebates." Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pick up the rain barrel.

At purchase, Rain Water Solutions will email a confirmation of the purchase. Look for the email with the subject line "Order#... confirmed." Residents should remember to bring that confirmation email when they go to their chosen location to pick up the barrel. And remember to leave room in the car for the barrel. Solana Center officials said that barrels fit easily in any four-door sedan or SUV and even into some two-door cars.

The Escondido pickup for rain barrels will be between 9 a.m. and noon, Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Rincon Water District at 1920 N. Iris Lane. Pickups at the Solana Center in Encinitas will be between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturdays at the center, located at 137 N. El Camino Real.


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