Rain Garden

Rain gardens consist of native plants that have adapted to our climate. They have deep, dense root systems that can capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff. Rain gardens keep stormwater out of our sewer systems and reduce pollution that enters our waterways. This helps achieve safe, clean waterways for our community.

Rain Garden Handbook 4th Edition

Rain gardens infiltrate storm water runoff by catching runoff before it reaches the storm drains. Diverting storm water into rain gardens from our roofs and other hard surfaces such as driveways or patios, helps improve the water quality of our local streams and at the same time creates functioning gardens which support biodiversity.

When sized and constructed properly, rain gardens are able to handle the amount of storm water produced in an average event. One inch of rain, covering an average 30’ X 50’ roof surface = 1,500 square feet or 935 gallons of water!

MSD gathered information from other communities that are known for their rain garden programs and developed a Rain Garden Manual specifically for the Louisville area. A 3rd Edition is now available to download (, 5.3M) or a hard copy version can be obtain at MSD's Main Office or by calling Customer Relations at 587- 0603 and requesting one.

If you are interested in seeing a rain garden, visit the gardens below:

  • MSD Main Office, 700 W Liberty Street
  • 2105 and 2107 Dorothy Street
  • 1850 and 1852 Harvard Street
  • 2379 Gladstone Avenue
  • The Louisville Nature Center, 3745 Illinois Avenue
  • The Americana Community Center, Southside Drive
  • 2817 Brownsboro Road
  • 3213 University Road
  • Brandeis Apartments/New Directions, 26th & Date Street
  • Jackson Woods Apartments/New Directions, 1013-1039 Jackson Street
  • John Paul II Elementary School, Goldsmith Lane


Rain Barrels

Rain barrels collect and store rain water from your roof top to use later for watering your garden or lawn. Since introducing the concept of rain barrels in April 2006, MSD has placed approximately 400 throughout the community. Each barrel provides storage for 58 gallons of water.

Due to an increase in demand for rain barrels, MSD has partnered with a local vocational group, Louisville Youthbuild to convert the food-grade barrels into rain barrels. The process allows Youthbuild students to gain construction skills. MSD provides the barrels, parts, and adaptors for construction.

Through the Louisville Nature Center rain barrels are assembled for public sale. To assist with sale and distribution of the barrels MSD has partnered with the Louisville Nature Center (LNC) to reserve, sell, and schedule pick up times. Each rain barrel comes with installation and maintenance instructions. The LNC phone number is 458-1328 and is located across from the Louisville Zoo at 3745 Illinois Avenue.

While MSD doesn't promote specific rain barrel vendors, company names and contact information is being provided to assist the public in their rain barrel purchase.

In the Metro Louisville area, contact:

For an out of state contact:

For a source of used whiskey and wine oak barrels that are suitable for use as rain barrels, Kelvin Cooperage. Contact: http://www.kelvincooperage.com

Of course we encourage research of the Internet for other sources, outlets and other information on rain barrels. Contact: http://www.kentuckypride.com