Cost depends mostly on the size of the rain barrel/cistern and its material. The most common type of rain barrel (approximately 50 gallon plastic containers) typically retail for $90-140. Wooden barrels of similar capacity can cost up to $400-500. Larger cisterns are priced up to $1,000 plus installation and pump costs if located underground but hold significantly more water – many from 500 to over 1,000 gallons.
Los Angeles residents can qualify for a $50 rebate per barrel (limit two) and up to a $500 rebate for a cistern (limit one) with a minimum capacity of 200 gallons. Other customers in the Metropolitan Water District’s service area can apply for similar rebates starting at $75 and $300, respectively. Details and requirements can be found at socalwatersmart.com.
Tree People of Los Angeles is also offering a program to provide 55 gallon rain barrels from Rain Barrels International for a discounted price of $85, making the barrels free when combined with the LADWP rebate.
Interested in learning more? Sign up for TreePeople’s rainwater harvesting workshop.