Is Rainwater Harvesting Illegal? Everything You Need to Know

Is Rainwater Harvesting Illegal?

Is rainwater harvesting illegal where you live?

Rainwater harvesting is a good way to save money and help the environment. But some areas have restrictions. Find out if rainwater harvesting is illegal in your state and check out the special discount below to save money. 

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Is Rainwater Harvesting Illegal?

No, rainwater harvesting is not illegal. There aren’t any federal laws against it. Any rules and restrictions around rainwater harvesting are at the state-level.

Some states such as Delaware and Florida encourage residents to collect rain water and offer incentives to do so. However, some states have minor restrictions on methods and uses.

What Types of Restrictions Exist?

Residents in states with restrictions can still harvest rainwater, but there might be limits on how they collect it, how much they can collect, and how they can use it. Some examples are below.

1. Must Be Used for Non-Potable Purposes

For instance, Arkansas and Illinois don’t let residents drink the rainwater they collect. They can use it to water the lawn or wash the car, but they cannot drink it. 

Water hose

This restriction is to protect public health.  Per the CDC, rainwater can contain bacteria, parasites, viruses, and chemicals that could make you sick if it is not filtered properly.

2. Must Use Roof Surfaces

Some states restrict how rainwater is collected. For example, in Oregon, only roof surfaces may be used for harvesting rainwater.

Meaning residents can't simply put a free-standing rain barrel, bucket, or tarp to collect water. 

Free-standing rainwater collection bin

3. Capacity Limits

Lastly, some states have limits on how much rainwater their residents can collect. 

In Colorado, residents are allowed to collect rainwater in two rain barrels with a combined capacity of 110 gallons.

rainwater barrel filled with water

Are There Restrictions Where I Live?

Do a simple Google search to look up the rules and regulations in your area. 

  • Just type in the state where you live followed by "rainwater harvesting." 
  • For example, if you live in Louisiana, then google "Louisiana rainwater harvesting."

The answer will come up very quickly because other people have the same question!

Once you know the rules, it is time to purchase your rainwater harvesting system!

Best Rainwater Harvesting Barrels 

There are tons of rainwater harvesting barrels and downspouts available on Amazon! Protect your home from droughts and save money the eco-friendly way!

1. Highly Rated Eco-Friendly Rain Barrel Made of 100% Recycled Plastic

Black Eco-Friendly Rain Barrel

This is our favorite rain barrel! It is made of recycled plastic and can hold 50 gallons worth of water.

Your home will always be safe from a drought and the capacity and durability mean it will pay for itself! 

It has a plastic screen to keep out debris and a flat back, so it sits flush against the wall. It also has a spigot to turn the water on or off and hook up a hose!  

You can have convenient, eco-friendly rainwater storage in minutes!

2. Low-cost, Lightweight Collapsible Rain Barrel

black collapsible rain barrel

Beginners can try this low-cost, lightweight, collapsible option! 

This rain barrel is much cheaper but holds over 50 gallons! It is made of durable material that will last outdoors but is lightweight for easy assembly and transport

Furthermore, it is collapsible so you can store it away if you aren't using it. We think it is a fantastic option for people looking to try rainwater harvesting for the first time!

3. Classy and Stylish Nantucket Rain Barrel 

brown wicker rain barrel

Are you looking for a rain barrel that won't stick out like a sore thumb? Then this could be the perfect product for you!

rain barrel with flowers on top

Its wicker finish and planter top make it blend in with your home. Even better, you don't have to sacrifice quality or efficiency! It has all the bells and whistles, including a mesh screen to keep debris out and dual spigots to use the water you collected. Check it out!

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

Rainwater harvesting captures, diverts, and stores water for later use. It has many uses including, homesteading, gardening, lawn care, and general water preservation. It is an eco-friendly process that conserves resources and can save you money.

Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting?

1. Save Money

The average water bill for a family of four in the United States is $72.93 per month. Harvesting rainwater and using it for gardening, watering houseplants or the grass, washing the car, and flushing the toilet can reduce your monthly bill.

Every drop of water from your rain collection system is money in your pocket!

2. Conserve Resources

Furthermore, rainwater conserves resources. According to Scientific American, saving water is one of the most effective ways to save energy. 

It takes a lot of energy to gather, clean, and distribute water. The less water that comes from your faucets or hoses, the more energy you save!

3. Improve Plants and Gardens

Your plants and gardens will also benefit from rainwater because it has fewer treatment chemicals and minerals. Additionally, it contains nitrate which helps plants grow naturally. 

house plant

Rainwater is your plant’s favorite type of water! Make sure it is getting enough!

4. Reduces Soil Erosion

Heavy rainfall can cause soil erosion soil is carried along with the water. Soil erosion depletes land of topsoil and nutrients. 

Harvesting rainwater can reduce soil erosion and help maintain healthier soil.

5. Inexpensive and Easy to Maintain

Lastly, setting up a rainwater harvesting system is inexpensive and easy to maintain. There are collection systems for every budget, and they can often pay for themselves in the long run!

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About the Author Staff Writer

Our writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.

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