The San Mateo Countywide Rain Barrel Program Returns for a Second Year

South San Francisco, CA  November 22, 2022

Rain barrel advertisement


On Saturday, November 12, 2022, Flows To Bay held an event to distribute 165 USA-made, 50- gallon rain barrels to San Mateo County residents as part of the Countywide Rain Barrel Program. Residents from 17 of the county’s 20 cities, towns, and unincorporated areas picked up their barrels at the Daly City Public Works facility located at 798 Niantic Ave, Daly City, CA.


Building off the large success of last year’s pilot program, the Countywide Rain Barrel Program and bulk-order distribution campaign was re-launched in late October. The program was created as a water capture and conservation strategy to address California’s ongoing drought conditions and to provide water quality and environmental benefits. By capturing rainwater during the upcoming wet months, rain barrels help cut back potable water used for irrigation by offsetting some landscape watering needs during drier periods through fall and winter. Larger harvesting systems, called cisterns, could potentially help with spring and summer irrigation when rainfall is very sparse. Captured rainwater is ideal for outdoor use, but can also be used to offset some indoor water use, such as taking care of houseplants.


Beyond water conservation, capturing rainwater also improves the water quality of our local creeks, the San Francisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. As rainfall funnels from building roofs, properties and sidewalks into streets, it collects urban pollutants from all surfaces along the way. These pollutants then flow into storm drains and nearby waterways without a cleaning or treatment process. In many communities throughout the nation, stormwater runoff is the number one source of pollution in our waterways. But, rain barrels can help reduce this impact by capturing rain before it becomes a pathway to pollution!


At a 50-gallon capacity per barrel, the 165 rain barrels sold at the Daly City event could collectively capture up to 8,250 gallons of water each time the barrels are filled—which would only require an eighth of an inch of rain falling on a 500 square-foot roof area for each barrel.


Partnering with Rain Water Solutions to acquire barrels in bulk directly from the manufacturer allows Flows To Bay to offer barrels at $80 each (pre-tax)—a significantly reduced price below the retail amount, which makes installing a rain barrel at home a much easier and more accessible option for anyone living in San Mateo County. Qualifying applicants can also apply for the countywide rain barrel rebate, further reducing the unit price for all residents.


There will be three more rain barrel distribution events this year. Inventory for the Nov. 19 event in Millbrae has sold out.

However, residents can still purchase rain barrels for pick up at the Dec. 3 event in Redwood City or the Dec. 10 event in San Mateo! Rain barrels must be pre-purchased, which residents can do by visiting




Flows To Bay, the public outreach arm of the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention
Program, is a program of the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, a joint
powers agency of the County and the 20 cities and towns in San Mateo County. In addition to funding
green infrastructure projects, C/CAG supports its member agencies in achieving State-mandated
stormwater pollution reduction requirements through countywide and regional collaboration on
stormwater planning, water quality monitoring, community outreach and engagement, and public

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M Watson
M Watson
1 year ago

I wish they would instruct or help people re-use their old water like from dishes and laundry – the gray water. I don’t know how to do that but I think it would be a good idea too.