As part of the Rain Check Buffalo Downspout Disconnect and Rain Barrel Program, we have distributed two different type of rain barrels to city participants. One is the Great American Rain Barrel, which can hold up to 60 gallons of water. The other is the RiverSides RainBarrel, which can hold up to 132 gallons of water.

A Great American Rain Barrel
A RiverSides RainBarrel

Below is information for the RiverSides RainBarrel. If you are looking for information on the Great American Rain Barrel, click here.


The rain barrel you received is called a RiverSides RainBarrel. Your barrel can hold up to 132 gallons of water and is made of recycled, UV-stabilized HDPE plastic, which resists fading, warping and cracks.

This model has an easy-to-use diverter control handle on the side of the barrel. This handle has two positions, “collect” and “bypass.” By turning the handle to the collect position, the diverter will direct water into the barrel to collect for your use. When you want to use the water in the barrel, use the spigot at the base to fill water cans, or attach a hose or drip irrigation system.

By turning the diverter control handle to “bypass,” you are directing the water away from the rain barrel and through the disconnected downspout instead. You want to turn on the “bypass” option when it starts getting cold out. Collecting water in your rain barrel during the cold months could lead to freezing and cracking, making the barrel unusable during the warmer months.

When you know a storm is approaching, make sure to empty your barrel by using the spigot or drain at the base. This will make sure you collect as much rainwater as possible!

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.20.46 AMTo keep your rain barrel nice and clean, check on it regularly and clear any leaves or debris that collect around it or in your gutters. Once a month, you should clean out the filter bag located in the diverter drum (the piece of equipment where the diverter control handle is). Remove the drum, turn the filter bag inside out and rinse, then replace.

Click here to download an installation and operation guideline from the manufacturer of the RiversSides RainBarrel.