Join Broward County Citi-Science -Water Quality Rain Harvesting Project

Article by UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Urban Horticulture Agent Lorna Bravo

Did you know?

South Florida is one of the wettest areas of the country. South Florida’s rainfall is often enough to meet the annual water needs of South Florida landscapes. Broward County averages 50-60 inches of rain annually. What are you doing with all that FREE water? You can capture it with a rain barrel.

What is a rain barrel?

A rain barrel serves as an efficient system that collects and stores Florida’s rainwater from your roof. Rainwater that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams. Recycled watertight food-grain barrels collect rainwater from the top of a building via the gutter and downspout. One can use any container; food grade is not necessary as water is not potable. However, be sure the barrels have not previously stored chemicals harmful to plants, animals, or humans. Recycled watertight food-grain barrels collect rainwater from the roof of a building via the gutter and downspout. You can watch our rain barrel installation video

Rain barrel Installation Video

Is it safe to use roof runoff for a vegetable garden?

Rainwater runoff from your roof contains a mix of materials deposited by pollution, animals, and chemicals used to manufacture the roof materials. Roof runoff can have high levels of Pathogens, zinc (Zn), and lead (Pb). If you are using your roof runoff for watering your vegetables, you can make the practice safer.


Roof Runoff Vegetable Watering Guidelines

Created by: Lorna Bravo
Created by Lorna Bravo




Interested in testing your rain barrel water quality?

Join UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Citi-Science -Water Quality Rain Harvesting Project

If you live in South Florida and you have a rain barrel in your yard connected to your roof gutter, we want to invite you to join our Broward County water quality project. Do you want to know how safe is your roof runoff water? It’s FREE. All you have to do is fill out the Rain Barrel Collection Data form. Form Link: Please email it to Lorna Bravo at or Anthony Gross @

Rain barrel Water Testing
Rainbarrel Collection Data Form

UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Rain barrel Program

Do you need a rain barrel? Broward County has a rain barrel program. Contact our Broward County Extension office. Watch our video: UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Rainwater Harvesting- The Rain Barrel Project – YouTube

Interested to have your yard recognized as a Florida-Friendly Landscape?

Florida Friendly Landscaping in South Florida.

The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) program operates under the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation & Ecology (CLCE). The Florida Friendly Landscaping program is an educational outreach program informing homeowners and professionals how they can be more environmentally friendly with their landscape care practices. The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program’s mission is to educate Floridians about science-based, environmentally friendly landscaping practices and encourage them to conserve and protect our water resources by applying its nine principles. Recognizing the home landscape as part of a more extensive natural system will help us make sound decisions in creating a Florida-Friendly yard and help protect Florida’s natural environment for future generations. Contact UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program. Email: Lorna Bravo or Marcy Lambert


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Posted: September 27, 2021

Category: 4-H & Youth, Agriculture, Clubs & Volunteers, Community Volunteers, Conservation, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes, Horticulture, NATURAL RESOURCES, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Research, Water, Work & Life
Tags: #IFASWater, Edible Landscaping, Florida Friendly Landscapes, Food Safety, Gallons Of Water, Rainbarrels, Safe Water, Stormwater Management, Vegetables, Water Quality

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