Green Initiatives

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The City of Crystal Lake has several programs to improve the City’s environmental sustainability. These projects are designed to demonstrate the ease and importance of incorporating sustainable practices into our everyday lives.

Rain Barrels

Rain barrels have become a popular water conservation tool for many homeowners and business owners. A rain barrel is a manufactured container designed specifically to collect and disperse rainwater from a rooftop drainage system for later use on lawns, gardens and for other outdoor uses. Benefits from the use of rain barrels include reduced water bills, additional groundwater recharge, and general water conservation.

In April of 2012, the City Council passed an amendment to the original ordinance,  which regulates rain barrel installations in a manner that addresses potential property maintenance issues without discouraging the use of this environmentally friendly practice. The intent of the ordinance is to facilitate the use of rain barrels so that they remain functional without becoming unsightly or unsafe, such as insect breeding areas. Rain barrels are important tools in community sustainability.

Rain Barrel Incentive Program

The City of Crystal Lake is offering a one-time $25.00 water/sewer utility credit to water/sewer utility customers that purchase a rain barrel from a retailer located within the corporate limits of the City of Crystal Lake. The City of Crystal Lake Rain Barrel Incentive Program is designed to help reduce residential/business water consumption through the conservation of rainwater and roof runoff. Rain barrels are a cost-effective alternative to using potable water for watering yards and gardens. Rain barrels function by collecting roof runoff from gutters and downspouts and by storing the water for future use. In addition to water conservation, rain barrels help reduce storm water runoff to streams and storm sewer systems, and help reduce peak water demand during summer months.

This program encourages residents and businesses to purchase rain barrels to be used during lawn, garden, and water conservation activities. City of Crystal Lake water/sewer utility customers who wish to participate in the program should be aware of the following program requirements:

1. A Crystal Lake water/sewer utility customer who purchases a rain barrel from a Crystal Lake retailer will be eligible to receive a one-time $25.00 credit towards their water/sewer utility account.

2. Only City of Crystal Lake water/sewer utility customers are eligible for the water/sewer utility credit.

3. The water/sewer utility customer must be in good standing.

4. Rain barrel must be purchased from a retailer located within the corporate limits of the City of Crystal Lake.

5. A valid receipt must be attached to the Rain Barrel Incentive Program application to be eligible for the water/sewer utility credit.

6. Agree to maintain the rain barrel according to the manufacturer’s instructions and the City of Crystal Lake’s Rain Barrel Ordinance (City Code Chapter 424).

7. Agree to allow City staff to photograph the completed rain barrel installation for marketing and/or auditing purposes.

Please drop-off or mail your completed City of Crystal Lake Rain Barrel Incentive Program Application and original purchase receipt to:

City of Crystal Lake
Rain Barrel Incentive Program
Attn: Community Development Department
100 W. Woodstock Street
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014

Crystal Lake retailers that may sell rain barrels are: 

  • Ace Hardware 
  • Barn Nursery
  • Countryside Nursery and Flower Shop
  • Home Depot
  • Menards

If you have any questions, please contact the City of Crystal Lake at 815-356-3605. 

Sustainability Committee

For information on the City’s Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee, please click here.