Better Safe Than Sorry: The Law on Collecting Rainwater in Colorado
Every drop of water in Colorado is precious, but there are several restrictions in place when it comes to saving that water for yourself.
According to the legal code of Colorado, Section 37-96.5-103, C.R.S., precipitation (rainwater) is only allowed to be collected in rain barrels from the rooftops of certain residential properties.
Who Can Collect Rainwater in Colorado?
Those who live in a single-family residence or multi-family residence with 4 or fewer units are allowed to legally collect rainwater in Colorado from the roof of their residence.
Fortunately, duplexes, triplexes, or townhomes, are all considered single-family residences when it comes to rainwater collection.
How Much Rainwater Can Be Collected in Colorado?
Colorado law states that you are legally allowed to, "fill and refill two rain barrels with a combined storage capacity up to 110 gallons throughout the year."
Rainwater must be collected in rain barrels (up to 110 gallons in total capacity) with sealable lids. Obviously, we don't need anybody or anything falling in, so make sure to seal those rain barrels. Plus leaving the standing water unsealed could attract insects such as mosquitos.
Another good practice is to empty your rain barrel every month or less.
What Can Rainwater Collected in Colorado Be Used for?
The rainwater collected can be used for outdoor purposes such as:
- irrigation of lawns and gardens,
- livestock watering,
- car washing, etc.
Rainwater collected should not be used for drinking water or indoor household purposes. You can learn more details by visiting the Colorado Division of Water Resources.
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