Is it Illegal to Collect Rainwater: State by State Guide

Is it illegal to collect rainwater in your state? Well, if you’re also looking for a solution to your question then you’ve landed on right resource.

However, Before checking legality or illegality, we need to uncover the words about why people want to reserve Rainwater. But here we have not seen the way as individuals but as countryperson, we will the perspective of water collection.

The legality of Rainwater Collection – Statewise Guide

Before we move forward with local laws for each states, let’s take a look for why is there a need for collecting rainwater? Yeah, here at water filter technologies, we believe in complete guidance, no matter what you’re looking for; if it’s a water bottle or a whole house water filtration system. We give you precise and well researched information.

Why is there a requirement to collect Rainwater?

Gradually, Water Scarcity in all over the world takes ugly forms slowly. When you search about the Water Crisis in Africa, then you will get many real-life case studies of the Africans, who are happy to take water from the dirty puddles, they are struggling to find freshwater in their area. Water Scarcity is affected by everyone, and Now it comes into the United States Also.

rainwater collection - is it illegal to collect rainwater
rainwater collection

You know, Colorado River, which is powerful enough to deal with the water crisis, but in the beginning, the Colorado River runs dry in places. That means Huge Water Reservoir Lake Mead in Arizona State is becoming a dull day by day. Research Says that Lake Mead May Dry By 2021, That means 22 Millions of people have to find another source of the water.

Pollution, Global Warming, Water Demand in Unusual Ways are Created new problems of water. People who are used to live riverside of Colorado have illegally drawn water from the river. After someday, it might be possible that the US Government has Ceased the Pumping in the Local water sources.

To meet the shortage of water in the future, the US Bureau of Reclamation has declared to preserver local water sources and meet the requirement of water. Climate changes and its community gives a warning that In Colorado, basins and Lake Power are suffering from decreasing water containment. Baja California is running dry, and Southwest Population gets a realistic threat for drinking and irrigation water supply.

In the US, there is enough water, but why there is a problem of Water Scarcity is heard in most recent months?  Daily demand of the water will create a problem in the future, many of we don’t value droplets of water, Wasteful Flushes in Toilets, Showerhead, Don’t take a water leakage, insulated pipes seriously. Local water resources are about to dry, and many places in the US are about to thirst for water.

To save water needs a collective effort. Experts have suggested some ways which help to overcome the water crisis. Digging more lakes and ponds, so it will help to reserve Rainwater. Low-tech fixes Chinese farmer uses this technology, and it will help them. Repairs of damming and gauges, and fix the downstream of the river so people can use it properly instead of wasting.

Water harvesting for basic needs and future demand needs support and partnership of the landowners, government agencies, conversationalists, environmentalists, and, most important, from countryperson.

“Is it Illegal to Collect Rainwater?”

We have seen what the problems that might occur due to water shortage are, and meantime, people are careful to preserve the Rainwater, then it will reducing the cost of household water charges. Rainwater is actually a natural water resource, and collecting Rainwater is beneficial, and people can utilize it.

But you have heard about illegality to reserve the Rainwater, and many individuals have faced these legal problems of the rainwater collection.

rainwater collect
rainwater collect

US Citizens are want to build a rainwater harvesting system, they are ignoring the legal consequences, and still, they are ready to make the water harvesting system in their own backyard.

The US Federal Government does not impose any restrictions on rainwater harvesting. If we have seen state-wise general regulation rules on rainwater harvesting, then some states have minor regulations on the amount of rainwater harvesting by people. And there any stage, they encourage the statesperson to harvest Rainwater, because to overcome the future water crisis.

Some state has measured the rationale of the Hydrologic cycle; At some point, Rainwater collection is good but not in the cost of disturbing the Hydrologic Cycle. As per the report of the environmentalists, Disrupting Hydrologic Cycle means it will create a disturbance in natural rainfall flows.

On the other hand, scientific World General reports show that there are no effects on the Hydrologic Cycle; it won’t little effect at the micro-level. But that collected rainwater people can use it in the household and gardening purposes.

Till now, the US Government has put the restriction based on the low of the prior appropriation; On the Old West, there is first come first serve for their people. Another Organization, like the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association(ARCSA), is working with the government to encourage rainwater collection.

Now further portion we will see a state by state guide to collect rainwater collection.

The US states have started to a liberal that low of rainwater harvesting. In between all states, Colorado is the most strict about shifting the rainwater harvesting laws. For water harvesting, the Colorado state government allows only 110 Gallons of water people can reserve. This bill passed in 2016.

Is It Illegal To Collect Rainwater? – State By State Guide

We have seen that the federal government become a liberal for the rules and laws to collect rainwater collection. But still, we have to clear with our mind by checking state by state lows of Rainwater harvesting. Furthermore, let’s watch out the state-wise list of laws, like in which state which lows flows.


In Arizona state, there are two House Bill passed in 2012, one is House Bill 2363, and another is House Bill 2830. These bills are introduced that Rain Water Harvesting is legal now.

House Bill 2363 is Pipelined under the Joint Legislative Study Committee on Macro-Harvested Water. For some point the committee needs to study and analyze is Evaluate the issues which are arising from the collection and recovery of the Macro – Harvested Water, Harvesting Methodology Costs and Benefits, Rainwater Harvesting, Reviewing Scientific Data on Surface Water, Downstream Users, Potential Impacts on water rights, Groundwater management Issues, and potential aquifer management issues.

House Bill 2830 is for to allow a city or town to establish of energy-saving and water-saving sources.  For the Water Saving project, Give people to facilities of Pool and Investment monies for energy-saving and water-saving, also build a rainwater harvesting system.


Arkansas State Government has decided that some rules and criteria for harvesting rainwater in 2014. In Arkansas, The General Assembly Enacted Legislation. This is passed by the State Board of Health.

Arkansas state government rules say that you can only collect the Rainwater for non-portable purpose in you can manage it using a rainwater harvesting system.

Specific rules that as a state-person needs to remember.

  • Rainwater Harvesting System Needs to designed as per cross-connection safeguards. 
  • Rainwater harvesting system should be designed by Arkansas Government Licenced Engineer.
  • Should be compiled with Arkansas Plumbing Code


California Government passed Assembly Bill 1750 in 2012, and it goes under the Rainwater Capture Act of 2012.

Assembly Bill 1750 included with the precise criteria for California People. That is Commercial, Residental, and Governmental Landowners to install the Rainwater Capture System for Specified Purposes. After installing Contractor Should have to maintain and operate this Capture System. To build this Capture System, it should have been compiled with the specified requirement.

To get the contract of Rainwater Capture System, the Contractor Should have a License to do it. Land that will use for Rainwater Capture System and irrigation then from authorities it has been cleared with all Legal Process.


Colorado Federal Government is Strict among all states of the US. To clear some unbearable restriction in 2009, there is two bill or laws were passed and that rules feel some relief for people.

One of that bill is House Bill 1129; In this Laws, there are ten significant project inclusion creates the way for a for non-portable users, in that they can use it for a new Real Estate Developments.

Another bill is Senate Bill. That bill allowed people to collect Rainwater on certain types of well and use it for their purpose; that rule is for Residential Properties Only.

Their Lows are remains as is till 2015, and then in 2015, there was one more rule enacted by Colorado Government. House Bill 1016 and it is for inclusion in that significant pilot project that was declared in 2009. Here they had included a scenario that previous project lessons should be applied through incentivizing projects.

In 2016, House Bill 16-1005 is passed through in which they have allows 110 Gallons of water people can harvesting in their residential area. And Rainwater to be used on Outdoor Gardens as Lawn Irrigation and Gardening.


Country Water Board had stated that Study and Promote water conservation through rainwater collection in Senate Concurrent Resolution 172 in 2008. Initially, they have noted that this resolution is for rural areas for now.


Living in Illinois and thinking whether is it illegal to collect rainwater or not? Then, here’s your answer.

With the Clean Water Act, the Illinois government has been so keen about water conservation, Infrastructure, Efficiency, and Management to encourage Rainwater Harvesting. For that, they had developed a Green Infrastructure in 2009.

In 2011, House Bill 991 enacted, That Includes the Solar Rights Act, and that Intertwines the Homeowner’s Association, Community Association, Condominium Unit Association which receives the application to adopt an energy policy statement.  That covers the Design, Location, and Architecture Requirement of Solar Energy Technologies. Location and Design requirement for all Rain Water Collection, Wind Energy Systems, or a Composting System.


In Kansas County, Rainwater Harvesting is legal, But before collection of the Rainwater Permit or legal notice is essential, which use to show that property is permissible to collect water. To issue Rainwater Harvesting Permit, Knock the door of the Department Of Agriculture.

Kansas Water Appropriation Act is for those people who are used Harvested Rainwater other than Domestic Use.


Cost-Effective Governmental Energy Use Act has supported a rainwater harvesting; also, it encourages the Rainharvesting system in a cost-effective way.


It is legal to collect Rainwater; there is no rules and restriction on the collecting Rainwater. But portland, like some cities, is paying a fee to make an improved system for stormwater.

North Carolina

In 2011, House Bill 609 is passed under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which gives the Technical Support and State outreach for the Water Efficiency. House Bill 609 is included with the Development of Management for Water Harvesting and Conservation. Manage to reuse and Rainwater and Grey Water.

Another one is Senate Bill 163, Which Introduced to reclaim the water, Rainwater Reclaiming, So Future Water Crisis will be avoided with these conservative water.


In Nevada, They have appoints the Legislative Committee. They have declared to conduct a study on the water harvesting and alternative sources of the water.

Assembly Bill 198 has included the rules of study, for that expert needs to study and published the review on the Alternative Sources of the water and Comply with the Rainwater Harvesting Systems.

New Jersey

Department of Environmental Protection has Filed the Assembly Bill 2442, To clear the bill there is pending the all necessary legal process of the law, they filed in 2017. They have established a bill for a Conserve Reward Program, Capture, and Control of the Rainwater Harvesting.

People Who want to Capture Control and Conserve Rainwater then the government provides all necessary funds on their property. First, they conducted a survey to check how effective this system for a particular property, based on the study, they decide the rebate amount.


When they have passed a House Bill 471 in General Assembly, that owns by the Private Water Systems Advisory Council, they run a program of the Portable Water Harvesting. Ohio allows to conserve the water for potable purposes, and the Ohio Department Of Health gives the pure Drinking Water to the Twenty Five people, and this program is Regulated by the development of the Ohio Government.


House Bill 3055 has been created in 2012, and it is organized under the water for 2060. This bill is made for the Water Conservation Pilot Program. First, they Serve the model to the communities.

Pilot Projects Included the Water Use Accounting Programs, Community Conservation Demonstrate Program, School Education Program, Retrofit Projects, Xeriscape Demonstration, Project which promote Efficiency, Information Campaigns on Capturing and Using Harvested Rainwater and gray water, recycling and reuse of water.


If People collect water from the Roof Surfaces, then Rainwater Harvesting is legal in Oregon. The Oregon Building Codes Division is behind the rules of alternate methods of rain harvesting. Oregon BCD has allowed to rainwater harvesting as alternative methods.

Rainwater Harvesting System used as an Alternate Method under the Plumbing Code and created a method to conserve the Rainwater for both portable and non-portable systems.

In 2009, Senate Bill was passed, which directs the BCD; they want to promote water harvesting and use it for energy efficiency and use it in New and Repaired Buildings.

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Rhode Island

Rhode Island Gives its people a new rule for Rainwater Harvesting. House Bill 7070 is passed in 2012, and they come up with the law of the tax credit.

The rule is simple if you install the cisterns in your property, then you need to pay 10 percent of the cost of the cisterns installation from to income tax. Anywhere if you have installed tanks at your business location or residential property, then the same 10% amount you have to pay as a tax credit. The cost of the Installation Cisterns at your property does not exceed above $1000.

Tax Credit That you have paid while installing this is once in life until you replace the cisterns or expanding the size of the system. In Short, every time when you invest cisterns in your property, then you need to pay installation tax credit. Cistern Capacity of the reserve rainwater is Fifty or more gallons.


In 2011, House Bill 3391 is coming up with the Several Rules for Harvesting water under the Legislation. So let’s see these several actions that stated in Texas.

  • Rainwater Harvesting Technology is for portable and non-portable indoor use is allowed. For landscape watering, the area must be followed 50000 Square feet, and it needs in new state-building, which is incorporated into design and construction. And place where annual rainfalls must be 20 inches.
  • People who want to connect the water collection system to the public place, like for portable areas, then they need to get written notice from the municipality or homeowner and municipal water supply. In that case, due to the water supply of harvested Rainwater is there any health problem is occurring, then the municipality is not liable. Harvested System that is connected with the portable system, then it must be matched with the standard of the drinking water.
  • Now there is a rule for installation and maintenance of the rainwater harvesting system also. Portable System which is connected with the Public Water Supply System that needs to develop and maintain. This rule to meet with the safe drinking water standard and water doesn’t come with the contact of the public property.
  • Municipality and County must encourage water harvesting at residential places, Industrial area, and Commercial places. For that, the city has decided to give incentives and give discounts on the rain harvesting barrel and water storage facilities. 
  • I was training on a Rain harvesting system, and for that, The Texas Water Development Board has decided to give training to staff of municipalities and counties. School properties are encouraged for the rainwater harvesting system.
  • Municipality and County do not deny building, which solely constructed because, at that point, rainwater harvesting facilities will implement.
  • To do all things, their financial support must be in favor of the rainwater harvesting system. So Financial Institution decided to make a loan for the rainwater harvesting system development. And save the alternate source of the water.


In Tennessee, there is Senate Bill 2417, and House Bill 1850 is enacted, which is encouraged a rainwater harvesting system. For that, they allow using Green infrastructures.


Senate Bill 32 is passed in 2010, Under the Division of Water Resources and they are decided to inject the rule of that up to 2500 gallons of water people can collect Rainwater. Utah Government allows to directly collection of water and storage, Owner of lands and leased person are responsible for harvesting the Rainwater. People have to register their property to collect Rainwater, and if people are registered with their properties, then they allow to collect 2500 Gallons of Rainwater.

If a person that lived on that particular land and it is not registered, then people should not allow collecting more than 100 Gallons of water.


Virginia state passed a law with Senate Bill 1416 in 2001. This law is established under the Alternative Water Supply Assistance Fund. In that, they have decided to collect tax on the properties that have a water harvesting system.

Virginia Country has requires the development of rainwater harvesting. To meet the demands of free treatment and water supply systems, they are promoted to allow Rainwater Harvesting System. West Virginia is also free from the illegality of the harvesting rainwater.


In 2009, The Washington Department of Ecology had decided that issue an Interpretive Policy Statement; in this Policy, they have stated that for rooftop rainwater harvesting, there no clearance for the water right and if needs, then provide additional water resources.

To control the water resources facilities, Washington County cut the rate from the stormwater and promoted to use Rainwater. 10% of standards have been cut down from the new and renovative buildings, while on the other hand, Kitsap County is cut down the charges up to 50% from Surface Stormwater Fees.

US Virgin Island

Well and Rainwater Collection in Virgin Island is Legal, People are used harvested Rainwater from 1964, and it is used in the buildings which have a self-sustaining portable water system.

Bottom Line

Conserving the Rainwater is right to fight against the future water crisis, but with some rules and regulations, otherwise, household and drinking water are sold like a product. In Most State, Rainwater Harvesting is a Legal. Some environmentalists have stated that it affects the Hydrologic Cycle. Due to this problem, Rainfall rates are decreasing, Confirm with the state government, get a permission letter, and start rainwater harvesting.

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