An undated photo from a past RainHarvest rain barrel program distribution event. Photo supplied, Utah Rivers Council.
An undated photo from a past RainHarvest rain barrel program distribution event. Photo supplied, Utah Rivers Council.

A popular water conservation effort is set to return for its 10th year.

The return of the Utah Rivers Council’s RainHarvest rain barrel program for 2024 was announced at a press conference Tuesday featuring several municipalities up and down the Wasatch Front.

“The Utah Rivers Council and 15 municipal partners are proud to announce the highly anticipated return of our popular RainHarvest rain barrel program,” a press release from the Utah Rivers Council stated. “As the future of the Great Salt Lake has generated record interest from Utahns, these municipalities are stepping forward to conserve water by incentivizing their residents to collect rainwater at their homes.”

According to the release, the rain barrels are being offered to residents of Millcreek, Salt Lake County, Cottonwood Heights, Murray, Sandy, Taylorsville, Herriman, Lehi, Orem, Park City, Summit County, North Ogden, Ogden and Weber County, as well as customers of Mountain Regional Water. They will be available for $55 as supplies last.

This will mark the first time Utah has participated in the program since 2016.

Zach Frankel of the Utah Rivers Council said the barrels — 11,000 of which have been sold in Northern Utah over the course of the program — have an impact.

“It does help reduce outdoor water demand,” he said. “It also improves water quality. The reason for that is because urban water runoff during storm events collects a number of pollutants and contaminants off of our roadways. … During rain storms, what cities across the United States have found is that the contaminant loads into local rivers and lakes increases  during rain events — and for that matter, the ocean as well. Collecting surface water during storm events and trying to prevent it from rolling over paved surfaces helps put that water into the ground to recharge our aquifers.”

He added that it is legal to collect rainwater in Utah up to 2,500 gallons with the proper registration.

“Some people think it’s not legal in Utah, and they might remember way back, I think, about 15 years ago when it used to be illegal in Utah to collect rainwater,” he said. “The Utah Legislature solved that problem with the passage of legislation in 2009, so it’s all good.”

During the press conference, several civic leaders from along the Wasatch Front spoke on the program.

This included Ogden City Council member Ken Richey, who likened the program to other water conservation efforts already in progress in the city.

“We’re excited to join this group and partner in this program,” he said. “We just look at this as one of the many steps our city residents can take to practice water conservation. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a great deal of interest in the Flip Your Strip program. We’ve implemented more water-efficient landscaping requirements in the city for new development. And across the city, of course, people are working to install water-efficient fixtures and appliances and things like that.”

Sean Wilkinson, director of community development for Weber County, said positive experiences with the program in the past brought them back to the table in 2024.

“Weber County was part of this program last year for the first time — had a great experience,” he said. “The county commissioners are solidly onboard. This is a great step in the way of water conservation.”

For more information on the RainHarvest rain barrel program, including how to purchase barrels and distribution information, visit

Standard-Examiner Reporter

Related Articles