Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Ripple Effects

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We are no longer accepting rain barrel orders for 2023. Sign up for the Rain Barrels Back in Stock Email List to be notified when rain barrels are back in stock next spring. 

Order a Rain Barrel

Capturing rainwater from your rooftop is a smart way to lower your water bill, help protect our lakes, streams and rivers, and conserve water. Harvested rainwater is free of chloride, fluoride, and other additives often found in municipal tap water, making it a great option for watering your lawn, potted plants, or gardens. Slowly releasing water from your rain barrel after a storm allows it to seep back into the ground. This reduces the amount of polluted runoff that enters area storm drains and eventually washes into our waters.

Harvested rainwater is non-potable and should not be used for drinking, cooking, swimming pools, fishponds or bird baths.


Dane County and the Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership (MAMSWaP) are selling 50-gallon rain barrels for $74 (typically retails for ~$150). This program is open to all Dane County residents and businesses. You may be eligible for a $30 reimbursement if you live in a MAMSWaP community (see the "Reimbursement Program" tab for more details). In addition, your municipality may offer a rebate on your stormwater bill for installing a rain barrel.

Order a Rain Barrel (The order window has closed for 2023)

Pickup Locations

Pickup Locations

Rain barrels will be available for pickup at the Middleton Recycling Center or Deforest Yardwaste Collection Site during their respective hours of operation. Simply drive up and show your receipt to an attendee to receive your rain barrel!

Middleton Recycling Center

Address: 4330 Parmenter St; Middleton WI 53562

Pickup Times:

Saturday mornings (Year-round, excluding major holidays) from 8:00AM – 11:00AM

Wednesday evenings (May - September) from 5:30PM - 7:00PM


Deforest Yardwaste Collection Site

Address: 610 N. Stevenson Street; Deforest, WI

 Hours of Operation: March 30 through November 22

Monday               5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Tuesday              8:00 AM - 10:00 AM & 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Wednesday        5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Thursday            5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Saturday             8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Reimbursement Program

The Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership (MAMSWaP) is offering a $30 reimbursement for anyone who purchased and installed a rain barrel through Dane County (Ripple Effects) in 2024. You are eligible to apply if you meet the following:

  • I purchased a rain barrel through Dane County (Ripple Effects) in 2024.

  • I installed the rain barrel on a downspout within 60 days from the date of purchase.

  • The property where the rain barrel was installed is located within a MAMSWaP Community (see list of communities at the bottom of this webpage).

To receive a reimbursement, please follow instructions on the reimbursement form, below:

            Reimbursement Form


MAMSWaP Communities

Cities                                     Villages                                 Towns

Fitchburg                               Cottage Grove                      Blooming Grove

Madison                                Cross Plains                          Burke  

Middleton                              Deforest                                Middleton

Monona                                 Maple Bluff                           Westport

Stoughton                              McFarland                            

Sun Prairie                            Shorewood Hills

Verona                                   Waunakee


Installation and Maintenance

Installation Tips

  • Secure barrel by placing it on a stable, level base at least 15“ high, to provide a small head of pressure. Cinder blocks are a popular option for the base.
  • Check out this video for step-by-step instructions on how to install your rain barrel!
  • Install the barrel at your downspout closest to an area that needs water.
  • Position overflow so water doesn’t run toward the foundation of your house.
  • Remember to empty barrel between storms or allow a constant slight trickle flow from the barrel.

Prepare  barrel for winter

  • To leave the rain barrel in place over winter, disconnect the rain barrel from the downspout, and open all spigots and hoses so water will not accumulate. 
  • Add some weight to the bottom of the rain barrel (such as with bricks) to prevent it from blowing away. 
  • Ensure the lid is secure in the domed position.
  • Clean barrel annually or semi-annually, as needed:
    • Flush with tap water using nozzle on hose. OR
    • Use 1/4 cup bleach (or 1 cup vinegar) in 2 gallons of water; rinse well.

Helpful Resources

Contact Claudia Guy, P.E. at with questions regarding this program.