collecting rainwater

It’s Raining Rain! Colorado Legalizes Rainwater

A new law in Colorado finally makes it legal for citizens to capture rainwater. If you’re in a legal rain community, here are ways to save money using free water from the sky.

It’s Raining Rain! Colorado Legalizes Rainwater

Use wisely, raindrops are like pennies from heaven.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Citizens of Colorado can now enjoy one of the true staples of green homeownership: the rain barrel. Once a hallmark of water-conscious outlaws in the state, barrels had been considered illegal under an old law stating that all rainwater was essentially public property, and as such, couldn’t be diverted from municipal water supplies. But two new laws passed this week changed all that, and now, with reckless abandon, Coloradoans are free to divert rainfall to their hearts’ content. Here are five things that they, and you, can do with captured rain:

1. Water your crops.
Collect water in a rain barrel and use it on your lawn, garden, and indoor houseplants. You can make your own barrel, provided you use a container constructed from food-grade materials (the City of Bremerton, Washington’s website has detailed instructions). Or go the easy route and buy one premade from recycled plastic from any number of online retailers.

2. Create a rain garden.
With all the rain we’ve had in the Northeast this spring, barrels wouldn’t make a dent in storing all the precipitation that’s fallen. Digging trenches seems a more appropriate solution, as are rain gardens, collections of flood-tolerant plants. They divert the water from storm drains, which can overflow and wash pollutants into nearby rivers and streams during heavy rainfall. You can download how-to guides for creating your own from the University of Wisconsin Extension Service.

3. Flush your toilets.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and some Caribbean countries, it’s required by law for new buildings or extensions to include some kind of rainwater harvesting system to supply water to things like showers and toilets. And why not? It doesn’t make sense to flush down waste with drinking-quality water. These systems will require some changes to your plumbing, but depending on how involved you want to get, it can cost as little as $600 or as much as to $2,000 (or more). Find a local professional in your yellow pages or visit

4. Turn it into a toy.
Fill up your kids’ water guns or water balloons with collected rainwater, or use it to fill up the kiddie pool. Why raise your water bill just so kids can soak each other (or you)?

5. Wash your car.
Regular garden hoses can spray water at a rate of 8 gallons per minute. If it takes you a half hour to hose down and then rinse soap off your car, you’ll use about the same amount of water as 16 loads of dishes. And commercial car washes use anywhere from 17 to 112 gallons of water, according to a survey from the International Carwash Association. Your car doesn’t need all that to get clean! Splash the vehicle down with a bucket of rainwater, soap it up, and then rinse it off with more rainwater.


Published on: July 1, 2009

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My grandmother used to collect rainwater to pour it on the land where she planted her Flower Seeds. If you live in a city where the level of air pollution is high, than the rainwater can have some substances that could kill the plants, but you can still use it to wash your car or use it for the toilet.

Educative info

I think the law related to legalization of rain water use should be passed earlier only. By preserving rain water we can preserve our planet earth also. Locksmith Upper East Side

Benefits on Rainwater

Aside from the enumerated benefits above, rainwater can also be use to wash the laundry and can be use in taking a bath. In the Philippines, there is no law stating that capturing rainwater is illegal.
K. Calzado
Magnetic Sponsoring Book Co-Editor


love co. Way to go keep me posted estes park soon thanks for update

rain barrel- legal?

CW--" Liberal stupidity.... how very sad." Not letting people collect rain water is a conservative pro-business oriented idea, i.e. Make sure the businesses get all the water they need and charge people for any they need.
"Why- because I believe capitalism works and that if you want to eat you should work." If unregulated capitalism is allowed to run rampant, you will end up with a business model driven by unethical people after as much money as they can get, who then cut and run and watch their companies and the general economy of a country collapse.

Let's hope that doesn't happen in our life time CW?


bechtel did this in bolivia a few years ago bought all water in cochabamba and wanted to make people pay for it. thats why they threw the capitalist pigs out. no wonder evo et al are suspicious of "los yanquis"

those that care about the planet

I regularly read this site as well as Maria's blog. I was again aghast at the obvious presumption that only 'liberal Democrats care about the planet and are interested in organic means. I want anyone who may read this that it is a very false presumption and couldn't be further from the truth. Because one does not approve of socialist state it does not mean you hate the planet. I have been conservative my whole life: In issues about marriage- I am faithful and have been married 26 years. I have always gardened and done it organically. I minimize the effect I have in nature as much as I can. I do charity work, and do not pollute. I recycle and always have before it was cool. (since 1975) and I vote republican. Why- because I believe capitalism works and that if you want to eat you should work. I do not believe big government is beneficial for the masses.


Why are law-makers so interested in regulating every "facet" or "faucet" of our lives. Maybe we should plan to store a little extra air somewhere so we can be assured of our next breath!

Colorado Legalizes Rainwater

It gets even funnier. Here are some the specifics of the law:
You can't have a rain barrel (or collect rain water) if you are connected to a municipal water system or a water supplier. You must be well-ready with a well permit to collect rain water. That leaves out city dwellers, suburbanites, and rural properties served by water companies. In addition, if you do qualify to collect rain water, it must be used for domestic purposes only. That is, for "drinking and sanitary purposes within the home." In other words, you can't use the water on your garden. More info on this law can be found at

rain barrel- legal?

Colorado had to make it legal to have a rain barrel? OMG that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Even in Phoenix or Tucson in the middle of the desert you can have a rain barrel. (not that it would help much- you would have to have quite a catchments to take advantage of the monsoons)

Colorado actually said that water falling from the heavens was theirs to regulate and claim public ownership? did they charge people every time it rained for watering their lawns? Was the public able to sue everyone for any water damage from any storm? Did they sue God for withholding public resource? Liberal stupidity.... how very sad. This is fodder for some comedian.

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