Did you know that until 2016, it was actually illegal in Colorado to collect your own rainwater? And, did you know that Colorado was the only state completely prohibited rainwater collection? Yep. There are only four states that have restrictions on collecting rainwater and Colorado is one of them. We can owe it to our Wild West days and a legal policy titled: “prior appropriation” or rather “first come, first served.” In the “old days,” proprietors in Colorado were claiming as much property, mineral and water rights as possible. Since then, the laws had remained, until just a few years back.
What are the rules for rainwater collection in Colorado?
Homeowners of single-family households (and multi-family households of four or less units), can utilize a maximum of two rainwater barrels not to collectively exceed 110 gallons of water. This is about four loads of laundry, three bathtubs, and is on the high end of how much water an average person uses per day.
The barrels need to have a lid and they can only be used to collect rainwater from rooftop downspouts. The collected rainwater must also be used solely for watering outdoor lawns, plants, and/or gardens at the same property which the rainwater is being collected from. It is not potable, so may not be used for drinking or bathing purposes (or any other reasons either).
Is rainwater collection good for the environment?
Yes! Studies (which helped pass the law in favor of rainwater collection in 2016), has proven that 97% of rainwater is absorbed through vegetation and/or evaporation. That means that the argument about depleting the water table (the argument most opponents promote), is just not sound. The only difference is the timing of the rainwater.
To put this into perspective, the rainwater when not collected, will water your lawn and vegetation and also evaporate. When you collect it, you are able to save some rainwater to nourish your lawn on a dryer day. The water still goes to the same place, it just helps save resources by not “tapping” into our tap water (drinking supply) or using more water unnecessarily. Bonus… you’ll also save on your water bill.
How can I get my own rainwater collection system?
Simple! Contact us at Property Pros, Inc. to start looking at your options. As experienced rainwater collection install experts, we combine our talent in roofing with the environmental concern for rainwater collection. In a consultation, we begin by finding out logistically the best area of the outside of your home to collect the rainwater. Next, we consult with you on the various types of rainwater collection systems. After that, the choice is in your hands on which version to purchase and set up for your needs. The rainwater collection barrels are set up to comply with Colorado law and also your lifestyle, making sure that you are able to efficiently and economically save water while keeping your lawn and garden in magnificent health. Interested? Contact us today to set up a time to discuss your rainwater collection system.
About Property Pros, Inc., Your Colorado Rainwater Collection Specialists
Property Pros, Inc. is a full-service home contracting company that installs roofs, windows, gutter, and of course, rainwater collection systems. As a Denver-based, Colorado residential and commercial roofing company, we have the expertise and knowledge to match you with the perfect rainwater system for optimized home efficiency. We are passionate about green solutions and are proud to be one of the few companies in the Colorado area offering rainwater collection system installation and maintenance. Contact us today.
Colorado State University, “How to harvest rainwater under new Colorado rules?” May 13, 2016, Beers, Jim.
Colorado Public Radio, “New Colorado law brings rain barrel owners out from shadows.” May 12, 2016, Hood, Grace.
National Conference of State Legislature, “State rainwater harvesting laws and legislation.” Feb, 2, 2018.
Washington Post, “It is actually illegal in Colorado to collect the rain that falls on your home.” March 24, 2015., Guo, Jeff.