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Downspout Disconnection Program

Drain the Rain Ad

Thank you for your interest and participation in DRAIN the RAIN to help clean the District's Rivers! 

Project Description

From 2017-2023, the DC Clean Rivers Project (DCCR) implemented a voluntary program for downspout disconnections with a rain barrel in select areas. The program resulted in 371 participants, 471 downspouts disconnected, and 282 rain barrels installed. We appreciate the DC residents that enrolled in the program and helped clean the District's rivers!

Downspout disconnection involves cutting the downspout, attaching an elbow and extension to direct the stormwater to flow away from the house onto the lawn or pervious area or into a rain barrel, and capping the standpipe.

If you would green infrastructure such as rain barrels, rain gardens, green roofs, and pervious pavers, the District's Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) RiverSmart Program may have options for you. Visit to learn about their programs for green infrastructure.

Did you know?

About one-third of the District is served by the combined sewer system. Downspouts connected to the combined sewer system contribute to combined sewer overflows (CSOs).

Downspout disconnection helps control CSOs and reduce stormwater runoff. It can also help you save money on water bills by reducing water usage, if you disconnect to a rain barrel.