As a person who resides off-grid I, like many others in mine situation, understand just how important water is. In America there is a broad diversity of environments, consequently this valuable resource that is plentiful in some locations is limited in others.

You are watching: Is collecting rainwater illegal in the usa

I to be fortunate, in that I have a spring, a boring hole, and yet I simply can’t let that infrequent rainwater circulation away without recording some the it.


However, once in 2012 Gary Harrington, a resides in Oregon to be sentenced to 30 work in jail and fined $1500 for harvesting rainwater top top his land rumors began to spread out that it was illegal to collection rainwater.

Can it probably be against the legislation to collection water that falls from the sky and also flows from your guttering as soon as it rains.

Is collecting rainwater illegal in America?

Collecting rainwater is no illegal follow to commonwealth law, however many states, have actually legislation that relates come water in general and an ext specifically how rainwater is accumulated and what it can be used for.

State law varies substantially according to geography location, climate, and also the levels of water that space available. Some states encourage rainwater collection whilst others have restrictions.

Rainwater is a part of the ecosystem that gives the water that passes along rivers and streams into underground aquifers that produce a supply that is easily accessible for anyone to use.

Water is together a valued source it is also a commodity. Utility providers utilize the water from secret aquifers and reservoirs both natural and those that have been created to sell through a network that pipes that supply household and Industry.

The average family in America will certainly consume in excess of 12 000 gallons every month and also Industry consume substantial quantities. Thus water utility suppliers gain huge revenue native this natural water that drops from the sky.

If we look at the particular case of Gary Harrington, the transpires that he built up 30 million gallons of water by structure 20 ft high dams and reservoirs on his very own property.

He to be diverting the flow of water indigenous watercourses the flowed v his property, and it was this the was illegal not the plot of collecting rainwater.

To know the complexities the collecting rainwater in the United states we must look at every state to watch what if any type of legislation is in place regarding the rights to harvest rainwater.

State Legislation


Alabama is just one of the states that does no have any kind of restrictions top top collecting rainwater as it considers the the appropriate of the home owner to collection the water that drops on the property. It does in reality encourage the collection.

The Alabama college published an extensive guide to demonstrate some really practical and also technical instructions about the ideal ways to collect and store rainwater.


Alaska is also a state the does not have restrictions regarding rainwater, or perhaps it need to be classed together snow. Because of the climate in Alaska the is daunting to establish a traditional water it is provided network.

Consequently, residents have actually only minimal options obtainable to them. Community water arsenal points are easily accessible as a water supply yet manually collecting and also transporting the water is challenging and can an outcome in contamination.

It is much simpler and cost efficient to collection rainwater ~ above site. Environmental protection organ studies show that rain water gathered on website is a safe supply the unpolluted water.


The state of Arizona does not have any kind of restrictions about collecting rainwater that drops on your very own property. The state recognizes that through a dry climate and an increasing populace that water resources are limited.

Consequently, they would certainly prefer inhabitants to collect rainwater to supplement existing gives rather 보다 collecting water native rivers or underground.

The college of Arizona have created a an extensive guide that gives information regarding how to build a rain water repertoire system.


Although the state of Arkansas is happy for inhabitants to collection rainwater the does place limitations on what the water have the right to be supplied for and also how the is collected.

Rainwater can not be used for drinking, however it is fine because that bathing cooking and of food irrigating gardens and crops. The state does also insist that any type of collection device be mounted by a licensed professional who is may be to download the mechanism using the relevant installation codes.

Clearly the state has concerns about potential Health and Safety worries that an inadequately designed system could present.


Home owner in California deserve to collect rain water from your roofs without any kind of restrictions.

However, a see contractor that is offering a rain water collection system for a swim pool, outside food preparation facilities or a decorate water function such together a pond or fountain is required to hold the necessary certificate the qualification together prescribed in the 2012 Rainwater record Act.

Any delivery of this type of landscaping make by a homeowner or a non-licensed contractor would certainly be taken into consideration illegal.


Historically Colorado had some the the strictest legislation regarding water and much more specifically the collection of rainwater. The state has adjusted the legislation considerably in 2016 ~ a study confirmed that only 3% of water that dropped as rain do its way into streams and also underwater aquifers.

The 2016 law does however still impose several restrictions. The main limitations specified in the law is the a best of 2 rain barrels stop 110 gallons in full can be stored. The water cannot be provided for drinking just garden irrigation.

There is also a need for homeowners to use finest practice as stated on the state website concerning control of disease and pests. It also suggests that any kind of collection devise need to be aesthetically satisfaction to others in the community.


The inhabitants of the state Connecticut likewise do no have any type of restrictions concerning the arsenal of rainwater and also the state execute encourage its arsenal by publishing a document that provides advice on the benefits of rainwater harvesting together with some very an excellent suggestions on just how to install a rain barrel in addition to the benefits of making use of this water.


Whilst Delaware state has extensive legislation regarding the installation operation and also maintenance that rainwater harvesting solution it is legitimate to collection rainwater in this state.

In the previous the state has encouraged the repertoire by arranging competitions based on the painting of rainwater barrels.


The state the Florida, recognizing the importance of an excellent practice in utilizing water is proactive concerning the conservation and collection of water.

Some locations such together the ar of Manatee offer various grants and other jae won incentives for those that wish come install equipment that assist with conservation.

This county does offer a rainwater harvesting collection mechanism for house owners under that Rain Barrel routine with its policy to carry out citizens with effective ways to implement water conserving measures.


Rainwater harvesting in the State the Georgia is permitted providing it is only going to be used for irrigation purposes and not for any type of indoor purpose.

The state has comprehensive legislation concerning the installation of all plumbing equipment and services. Any system that is installed for rain water collection is administer by the state pipes code, and must adhere come this code for it come be deemed legal.


Hawaii is an additional forward-looking state the does not discourage the repertoire of rainwater in its law policy.

In 2008 resolution 172 requested that each county performed feasibility research studies with regard to introducing programs to maintain water and actively encourage the installation of rain harvesting equipment as a component of this program.

The state known that its growing population and the geographical and geological instance of the state would practically certainly typical that need would outstrip its sources within 10 years.

The report recognizes that rainwater collection currently being used in country areas should be expanded into residential communities.


The inhabitants of Idaho are free to collect rainwater with particular provisos. Water the does not flow into a currently or river can be collected on private property offering it does not reason interfere with any type of existing water civil liberties of various other property owners.

Once the water get a organic water reason such together a currently or river it i do not care the property of the state and also cannot legitimate be sail to any kind of other warehouse facility or use.


The state the Illinois has a environment-friendly Infrastructure for Clean Water Act that basically motivates a holistic environmental technique that uses eco-friendly methods come control and also maintain the natural environment within the state.

The act does encourage rainwater collection for usage as garden watering as a part of the scheme. Over there is yet other regulation within Illinois that requires the application and adherence come an energy policy statement that defines and also restricts the ar design and architectural needs of any type of structure the is come be offered for rain water harvesting.


Indiana recognizes the importance of collecting rainwater for use garden watering in the it reduces the reliance and also usage that water that has actually been treated and supplied by utility companies.

It does supply some minimal information top top its website. There is no legislation that would certainly make this task illegal.


Iowa understands the as areas of impervious surfaces increase because of urban advancement run turn off from rainfall will cause an enhancing risk the flooding and also hence damages to water courses, and indeed buildings.

Traditionally the danger of flooding was lessened by the construction of storm drains. The state does however recognize that by encouraging separation, personal, instance homeowners to build rain gardens the impacts of flooding have the right to be lessened further.

The state does therefore not place any kind of restrictions ~ above rain water collection and also offers advice top top how best to construct effective rain gardens.


The state that Kansas has several legislative measures in ar to defend water sources so that it is easily accessible for its occupants to enjoy. Any type of urban or commercial construction that has an result on water resources or supply calls for the crucial permit under the Kansas water appropriation Act.

However, a homeowner who wants to collection rainwater for use domestically ~ above a residential property up come 2 acres is able to perform so there is no the requirement to apply for a permit.


The citizens of the state the Kentucky are free to collection rainwater and also use together they choose without any restrictions.


The state of Louisiana has no constraints for rainwater harvesting for homeowners except if the water is to be supplied for drinking or is being sold.

The state categorizes the revenue of polluted or impure water together illegal and stipulates that any type of cistern because that collecting water because that this function must have actually an sufficient cover to protect the water.


Maine has invested greatly in adequate facilities to attend to storm water. The state does not have any type of restrictions about homeowners collecting rain water the does, however, encourage the environment of rain gardens together an addition resource to assist with this infrastructure.


This state has no restrictions regarding homeowners collecting rainwater. Some areas have rebate and reimbursement programs that reward and also encourage the ar for assisting in protecting and also supplementing water resources.


It is legit to collection rainwater in the state of Massachusetts, and also the state has actually a advantageous guide because that obtaining and also using Rain Barrels and also other water conservation tools.


Although the state the Michigan has comprehensive regulations regarding many different aspects of water resources it does not legislate against homeowners harvesting rainwater.

Interestingly, over there is concern that there is inadequate protection because that groundwater from air pollution from an estimated 160 000 leaking septic tanks and farming waste in the Michigan area.


The state that Minnesota recognizes the collecting rainwater in sufficient systems can aid to maintain and improve the watershed in the state by conserving water, to reduce pollutants and also consequently reducing the lot of power used.

The state takes an inter-agency technique to develop and also regulate water resources. The is legitimate to collection rainwater but there is substantial regulation that demands to be adhered to.

The state has actually on the website a Minnesota Stormwater manual that develops the regulatory communication of the use and reuse of rainwater.


Mississippi has actually no regulations regarding the harvesting of rainwater make it perfect legal come harvest rainwater in this state.


The state of Missouri has actually no legit objections to occupants collecting rainwater and have produced an extensive guide, The Rainwater Harvesting hand-operated that details a great deal the information about the benefits and also problems that have the right to be encountered when trying come harvest rainwater.

It additionally provides substantial advice on how to build a variety of solution from a straightforward rain barrel to one the is integrated into the structure of a property.


Montana has considerable legislation concerning water usage in the state. The legislation is based approximately old historic water rights. The state considers the it owns every water in the state for the advantage of the citizens of the state.

The citizens do not very own the water they use but have the right to usage it. Lot of the legislation pertains to water reservoirs and is administered through a water court.

The state walk however administer guidelines because that building and also operating bigger cisterns for storing water from rain or one more source.


The state that Nebraska has no legislation to prevent the collection and use of rainwater. The university of Nebraska recognizes the prominence of using rainwater to assistance water reserves as soon as rain is not abundant.


Nevada, as among the driest says recognizes the the it is provided of sufficient water because that its residents is finite and also fragile in ~ times. It has encouraged plenty of measures that help to reduce wastage.

The state declares that water belongs come the people and also that rainwater harvesting have to be beneficial. The legislation requires anyone wishing to use water must have actually water rights.

Consequently, if an separation, personal, instance does not have water legal rights the arsenal of rainwater i do not care illegal. Return this is the situation there have actually never been any type of legal action taken versus anyone that has gathered rainwater.

New Hampshire

The state of new Hampshire has no regulation to discourage rain water collection and does offer advice come encourage collection. The state considers that if people are harvest rainwater the will help with the overall aim of reducing pollution and damage brought about by rain.

New Jersey

New Jersey encourages individuals to collect rainwater. In 2016 it presented a scheme that detailed rebates and also rewards up to $2 500 to those that participated in its regimen to maintain water and control storm water runoff.

New Mexico

With rain loss cycling in between highs and also lows over the previous ten years, the state of new Mexico establish the prominence of water conservation and also the component that rainwater repertoire plays.

Many counties offer comprehensive information regarding why arsenal is necessary for now and the future. They also offer comprehensive information as to how ideal to harvest the water.

New York

The state of brand-new York is another proactive state, that permits and also encourages the collection and also use of rainwater v its Rainwater harvest Guide.

North Carolina

Recognizing the importance of managing water sources the north Carolina room of Environment and also Natural Resources supplies support and also advise come communities concerning best management practices because that water conservation and also efficiency including collecting rainwater.

North Dakota

The state of phibìc Dakota has numerous laws, many of i m sorry date ago to 1900s the relate come water and also its usage. The state does not but legislate versus the collection of rainwater.


Ohio is a state the does regulate against the arsenal of rainwater as it has health considerations for this water being supplied to it is provided drinking water come a certain number of people.

The public health authority can require the carriers to be licensed and also registered, and retain the appropriate to examine the facilities. For water that is come be offered for farming or irrigation there is no need for registration.


When Oklahoma pass the Water because that 2060 act in 2012 it became the very first state to explain an target to be utilizing no much more fresh water in 2060 than when the act was presented in 2012.

Part the the act enabled grants to be made for those wishing to install water saving procedures such together rain water collection. It need to be stated that right now no an ext applications because that grants room being accepted.


Although the usage of rainwater harvesting in the state of Oregon does not need a permit, over there are limitations in place that dictate how collection have to be implemented.

The state needs that water deserve to only be collected from a rooftop catchment system. It will entertain other systems that water collection, however legal advice is finest considered prior to undertaking any type of construction.


Pennsylvania is another state the does no regulate against the arsenal of rainwater and the University has actually a overview that covers the importance of water collection and also helps with building ideas.

Rhode Island

To wake up the attention in those wishing to collection rainwater Rhode Island presented the house Bill 7070 in 2012 that gives tax incentives for those wishing to download a rainwater repertoire cistern.

The inspiration is paid by method of an revenue tax credit and amounts to 10 % of the expense of installing the cistern.

South Carolina

It is legitimate to collection rainwater in southern Carolina. The state motivates this practice and also offers educational material to reinforce why this practice is crucial to the environment and also the state.

South Dakota

The state of southern Dakota does have actually several statutes the relate to water civil liberties in the state, however none of castle relate come rainwater harvesting. That is as such perfectly legal for anyone to collection rainwater for residential use.


Rainwater repertoire in Tennessee is legal and also incorporates advice on best practice in its eco-friendly Infrastructure Program.


Although the is legitimate to collection rainwater in the state of Texas the state does have several provisions that restrict how and also where the is installed. Written an alert of plan installation is also required.

With the house Bill 3391 the state offer’s encourage for building developers to incorporate rainwater harvesting in home design. Financial incentives are accessible to encourage master to implement this practice.


It is legal come harvest rainwater in the state. Registration is forced to have the ability to store 2 500 gallons that water. There is no registration, it is feasible to use only 2 containers each containing no much more than 100 gallons.

The it is registered is free and deserve to be undertaken virtual in only a couple of minutes. Under the Rain Harvest Program, the state subsidizes the expense of rain barrels.


The state of Vermont has no regulation to avoid the repertoire of rainwater. Although over there are various financial schemes because that commercial enterprises involved in giving rainwater harvesting over there is no assistance or support for individuals.


In 2001 the state the Virginia produced an alternate Water Supply fund to provide incentives via taxation credits for individuals who set up a rainwater harvesting system.

The state is additionally committed come develop and also establish guidelines to conserve water and also reduce the needs on legacy water it is provided systems.


The state that Washington does no legislate against the collection of rainwater for residential users. The state also authorizes counties to provide rate relief in excess of 10% because that those that exploit rooftop rain harvesting.

West Virginia

Residents the west Virginia are cost-free to collect rainwater together they require. The West Virginia room of ecological Protection invites residents to it is in an eco-friendly stewards that their community with advice on how to build a rain barrel.


Wisconsin encourages its inhabitants to conserve water for the neighborhood by planting rain gardens and also installing rain barrels.

The state offers advice and also links come other community projects that are using innovative schemes to help with conservation.


Wyoming has substantial historical water right legislations that effect huge scale or commercial usage of any water in ~ the state.

However, domestic users are cost-free to harvest water return there room restrictions regarding how much ground water they have the right to use.


Having assessed the legit situation concerning collecting rainwater in the individual says it is rather clear the this is a legal task in America.

The distinctions in state legislation arise basically from how abundant water is in a state and the eco-friendly importance that each state locations on this resource.

The states that have legislation are attempting to safeguard water for the advantage of all and protect occupants from health and also safety issues.

See more: Black And Afr I Don’T Care About Black People ", George Bush Doesn'T Care About Black People

The bulk of states perform recognize that the arsenal of rainwater by individuals is a valid exercise that helps conserve water and also protect the environment.