Rain Barrels and Butterflies on Colby Avenue!

Rain barrel applications were extended until November 1st! There is still a chance to get one!

We just received this great note and picture from a Mar Vista homeowner who received a free rain barrel through LA Rainwater Harvesting. Who says rain barrels are ugly? Hopefully all of the enthusiasm in Mar Vista will push this project to go city wide! We'd love to hear more stories about how the water is used and also any blocks that have several participants - we have 2 so far on our block on Coolidge!

"I thought you might get a kick out of seeing our wonderful rain barrel, newly adorned with her butterfly tattoos! There are milkweed in pots around her so it seemed only natural. We’ll catch rain the next time as her paint was drying during last week’s rain plus we wanted the roof and gutters to get washed off. We named her Lluvia, BTW.
Just had to share,
A Green Committee minute reader,


  1. Not to spoil your excitment, but this program is seriously flawed. We too have taken advantage of the program and had a barrel installed in time to collect water during last week's rain event - even with our modest collection area we could have filled our barrel several time over. Nevertheless, there is a lot of confusion as to the goals of the project, which unfortunately affect how owners operate the system.

    The official goal of the program is to reduce storm water runoff which occurs in the first few hours after a rain event. To do this, we should empty the barrels into the soil fairly quickly - in time for the next rain event which in LA is usually only a day or two later once the rainy season starts. Since we get something like 18 rain events per year, this could happen at most 18 times.
    All the publicity and hype for the program though talks about saving the water itself. This will elad users so save the water from the rainy periods for use later on when the ground is dry. At most this will be 2 or 3 barrels a year.

    The official requirement for the program is for a downspout that originally discharges onto hardscape that leads to the street. Downspouts that discharge onto permiable ground are not supposed to qualify since water from those spouts is already diverted from the storm water system. Yet the installer of our barrel was unaware or did not care about this requirement and so our barrel will do little or nothing towards the stated goal.

    So do us all a favor, during the January/February rainy period - let the water trickle out slowly onto the already sodden landscape and don't try to save it until we are confident that this is the last rain for a while.

    I liked the butterfly decals though...

  2. You are right - the program is not perfect and we need to share ideas about how to disperse the water - thank you for starting the dialog! In my opinion, the most important part of the capture is diverting that first flush to keep it from going into the bay. I would love to hear from others how they are managing the water dispersal.
    On another note - have to share this really lovely community exchange that resulted from this posting! The Master Gardener program will be back at the booth on Dec 6th, and last time they were giving away milkweed starter plants.

    Hi Sherri - I have a lot of milkweed, some Monarchs, caterpillars and if you could
    forward this to the resident with the rain barrel featured on the site, maybe that
    person would like to exchange ideas on butterflies. I'm building up a habitat and
    there are a bunch of kinds of milkweed, etc. I've been giving plants to the MG,schools, etc. It's fun.

    Many thanks.


  3. Thanks for your comments. The purpose of this pilot program is to be able to assess what's working and what's not working before taking a program like this Citywide. For that reason, we really appreciate the feedback so please keep the comments coming!