Is it illegal to collect rainwater in your state?

 

Is rainwater harvesting illegal in America?

There are seven states with legal restrictions on rainwater harvesting but it is still allowed everywhere in America. Each state regulates rainwater harvesting with additional local regulations found in some areas. It’s important to understand the regulations on rainwater harvesting by the authority with jurisdiction before utilizing this sustainable water source.

 

What are the seven states with restrictions or water rights requirements for rainwater harvesting?

1. Arkansas: Rainwater harvesting systems are allowed for non-potable purposes only if they are designed by a professional engineer licensed in Arkansas, designed with appropriate cross-connection safeguards, and comply with the Arkansas Plumbing Code.

2. Colorado: Colorado residents are legally allowed to store up to 150-gallons from rainwater harvesting systems without a water rights permit, as long as the system complies with the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

3. Kansas: It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Kansas but you may need to apply for a permit to do so if you plan on using the water for anything other than for domestic purposes.

4. Nevada: There are restrictions on using rainwater for anything other than for wildlife but SB74 created a few changes including allowing the use of a small-scale rainwater system without having to prove the “use it or lose it” doctrine and expanding the use for the water.

5. Oregon: While rainwater harvesting is allowed in Oregon, there are a lot of statutes regulating it including specifying only rooftop collection.

6. Utah: Utah allows for rainwater harvesting on land owned or leased by the person responsible for the collection. Must register system with Utah Division of Water Rights

7. Washington: Washington allows rooftop rainwater harvesting for domestic use without a water permit, other applications may require a permit.

 

One common Uniform Plumbing Code that is often cited by states is Chapter 13 Nonpotable Water Systems, Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection, and Distribution Systems.

SECTION 1303 NON-POTABLE RAINWATER COLLECTION AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS

1303.1 General. The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for non-potable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

1303.2 Collection surface. Rainwater shall be collected only from above-ground impervious roofing surfaces constructed from approved materials. Collection of water from vehicular parking or pedestrian surfaces shall be prohibited except where the water is used exclusively for landscape irrigation. Overflow and bleed-off pipes from roof-mounted appliances including but not limited to evaporative coolers, water heaters, and solar water heaters shall not discharge onto rainwater collection surfaces.

 

The map below shows the seven states with restricted legality on rainwater harvesting and the rest that have fully legalized systems without filing for a water rights permit. Is your state one of them?

Is rainwater harvesting illegal

 

Alabama

The state of Alabama recognizes rainwater harvesting as a private property right. Water rights in Alabama fall under the riparian doctrine. The Alabama Water Resources Act regulates water rights and gives authority to the Alabama Water Resources Commission. The Commission has released policy recommendations including rainwater harvesting as a water conservation solution.

Pioneer Water Tanks exceed all requirements for water storage applications for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

• The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has an online resource, Rainwater Harvesting in Alabama.

(Link)

• Alabama Water Resources Act, Chapter 10B – Alabama Water Resources

(Link)

• Rainwater Harvesting for Irrigation Water by Alabama A&M Auburn University

(Link)

Alaska

Rainwater Harvesting isn’t illegal in Alaska and is used as a primary source of water for many inhabitants. Groundwater harvesting is heavily regulated but can be purchased as a water right with the State of Alaska. Water is a public resource managed by the State to maximize the benefit to the public. Alaskans have the right to collect rainwater and snow, as well as self-haul from natural water sources (within the legal confines). (Link) Learn more about rainwater harvesting in Alaska:

• Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Water Rights In Alaska

(Link)

• “In Alaska’s Constitution, water was declared a public resource belonging to the people of the state to be managed by the state for maximum benefit to the public. All surface and subsurface waters on all lands in Alaska are reserved to the people for common use and are subject to appropriation in accordance with the Alaska Water Use Act. The Water Resources Section adjudicates water rights, provides technical hydrologic support, and assures dam safety.”

(Link)

• Rainwater Harvesting in Cold Climates

“With freshly fallen snow 10 inches of snow will equal approximately 0.7 inches of water or another way to calculate it is 14 inches of freshly fallen snow will equal 1 inch of water. Over time the snow becomes more compacted and by the time the snow begins to melt it will yield more water per inch; closer to 3-4 inches of snow will equal 1 inch of water.”

(Link)

Arizona

It’s legal in Arizona to use rainwater harvesting for non-potable, outdoor use. Many counties in Arizona have a Plumbing Code that refers to Section P2912 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems of the International Residential Code for regulation. Rainwater harvesting is legal for non-potable applications without a permit, with some counties having regulations on potable use (for example Coconino County).

Many cities offer financial incentives for rainwater harvesting (for example, Tucson). These incentives were established by Arizona House Bill 2830 (2012) allows the governing body of a city or town to establish an energy and water savings account that consists of a designated pool of capital investment monies to fund energy or water savings projects in public facilities, including rainwater harvesting systems (Arizona Revised Statutes §9-499.16).

Watershed Management Group is a nonprofit organization that offers public education, resources, classes, and more to promote sustainable practices like rainwater harvesting.

(WaterShedMG.org)

• There are a growing number of tax incentives and rebates in Arizona:

http://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/rebate

• A User’s Guide to Section P2914 of the 2018 International Residential Code: Potable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems, Coconino County, Arizona

(Link)

• “The waters of all sources, flowing in streams, canyons, ravines or other natural channels, or indefinite underground channels, whether perennial or intermittent, flood, waste or surplus water, and of lakes, ponds and springs on the surface, belong to the public and are subject to appropriation and beneficial use…..”, (Arizona Revised Statutes § 45-141).

(Link)

• Arizona Department of Water Resources: Water Harvesting resources and links

(Link)

• City of Tucson Water: Harvesting Rainwater Guide to Water-Efficient Landscaping

(Link)

 

Arkansas

The State of Arkansas allows rainwater harvesting for non-potable use without a permit. Rainwater isn’t currently allowed as a potable drinking water source.

Code Annotated § 17-38-201 (2014) declares that the State Board of Health “shall allow the use of a harvested rainwater system used for a non-potable purpose if the harvested rainwater system is: (1) designed by a professional engineer licensed in Arkansas; (2) is designed with appropriate cross-connection safeguards; and (3) complies with Arkansas Plumbing Code.”

(Link)

Pioneer Water Tanks exceed all requirements for water storage applications for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

• The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government has another resource that has a chapter on rainwater systems.

(Link)

 

California

The State of California enacted the Rainwater Capture Act in 2012. The Act authorizes residential, commercial, and governmental landowners to install, maintain, and operate rainwater harvesting systems that comply with specified requirements.

Rooftop rainwater harvesting doesn’t require a water rights permit in California. In 2018, the State of California SB-558 Property taxation: new construction exclusion: rainwater capture system was enacted. This act updated Section 74.8 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code to exclude new construction of rainwater harvesting systems for property evaluation for taxes, as a financial incentive. The California Plumbing Code 2016 covers Chapter 16 Nonpotable Rainwater Catchment Systems requirements that are followed per County. There aren’t any regulations currently for rainwater harvesting as a potable drinking water source in California.

The State of California recognizes rainwater harvesting as water conservation and sustainability. Systems can be a water source for:

– Irrigation

– Non-potable uses (even indoor like toilet flushing, laundry, etc)

– Fire protection systems including sprinklers, fire department connections, etc.

– Back-up water supply

• State of California AB-1750 Rainwater Capture Act of 2012

(Link)

• State of California SB-558 Property taxation: new construction exclusion: Rain Water Capture System  (2017-2018)

(Link)

• State Of California State Board Of Equalization Property Tax Department: New Construction Exclusion: Rain Water Capture System

(Link)

• California Plumbing Code 2016, Chapter 16 Nonpotable Rainwater Catchment Systems, 1602.0 Nonpotable Rainwater Catchment Systems

1602.1 General

The installation, construction, alteration, and repair of rainwater catchments systems intended to supply uses such as water closets, urinals, trap primers for floor drains and floor sinks, irrigation, industrial processes, water features, cooling tower makeup, and other uses shall be approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. Additional design criteria are capable of being found in ARCSA/ASPE 63.

(Link)

• California Senate Bill No. 558, or as it was first known as Prop 72, passed and was approved by the Governor on January 31, 2018. This act added and repealed Section 74.8 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code to exclude property taxes from the new construction of rainwater harvesting systems.

(Link)

Colorado

Colorado House Bill 16-1005 enacted in 2016 allows for the collection of precipitation from a residential rooftop if:
– Two or fewer rain barrels are used with a combined storage capacity limited to 110-gallons or less
– The building being used for collection is primarily a single-family dwelling or a residence with four or fewer units
– The collected precipitation must be used on the property where it was collected for outdoor purposes only

(Link)

• “Colorado residents should understand that water rights in Colorado are unique compared to other parts of the country. The use of water in this state and other western states is governed by what is known as the prior appropriation doctrine… A simplified way to explain this system is often referred to as the priority system or “first in time, first in right.” It may seem strange that rainwater harvesting in Colorado is so carefully watched, but understanding why this is so can provide valuable insight into the way water is shared in Colorado.” – from the Colorado State University

(Link)

• Colorado Division of Water Resources: Rainwater Collection in Colorado
Senate Bill 09-080, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor during the 2009 legislative session, will allow certain property owners who rely on certain types of wells for their water supply, limited collection and use of precipitation, only if:

1. The property on which the collection takes place is residential property; and

2. The landowner uses a well, or is legally entitled to a well, for the water supply; and

3. The well is permitted for domestic uses according to Section 37-92-602, C.R.S., or Section 37-90-105, C.R.S. (generally, this means the permit number will be five or six digits with no “-F” suffix at the end); and

4. There is no water supply available in the area from a municipality or water district; and

5. The rainwater is collected only from the roof of a building that is used primarily as a residence; and

6. The water is used only for those uses that are allowed by, and identified on, the well Permit.

(Link)

• Colorado State University, Rainwater Collection in Colorado:

(Link)

Connecticut

Connecticut’s official watershed plan for stormwater management includes rainwater harvesting without a water rights permit. The 2018 Connecticut State Building Code refers to 2015 IPC Section 1303 Non-potable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems for regulations. View the 2015 IPC portion of the 2018 CT State Building Code, Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems (link).

Pioneer Water Tanks exceed all requirements for water storage applications for the Connecticut Water Planning Council.

2015 IPC portion of the 2018 CT State Building Code, Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

1303.1 General

The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

(Link)

• Connecticut government website short guide to rainwater harvesting, “Rainfall as a Resource A Resident’s Guide to Rain Barrels in Connecticut”

(Link)

• Rainwater harvesting is a part of Connecticut’s watershed plan as a way of stormwater management:

(Link)

Delaware

Rainwater harvesting is recognized as sustainable stormwater management and doesn’t require a water rights permit in Delaware. The 2018 State of Delaware Plumbing Code refers to the 2015 IPC Section 1303 Non-potable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems for regulations.

Rainwater harvesting systems are eligible for Delaware Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund that provides loans for green infrastructure projects. The University of Delaware has released resources on rainwater harvesting, including a complete guide.

2018 State of Delaware Plumbing Code: Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

1303.1 General

The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for non-potable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

(Link)

University of Delaware guide to rainwater harvesting:

(Link)

Green Infrastructure Primer A Delaware Guide to Using Natural Systems in Urban, Rural, and Coastal Settings

(Link)

Florida

It’s legal in Florida to utilize rainwater harvesting and systems may be eligible for state or local funding. Florida Building Code refers to International Green Construction Code P2912 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems addressing the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection systems. Rainwater harvesting doesn’t require a water rights permit and may be eligible for funding as sustainable water management.

Rainwater harvesting systems are becoming a more viable water source in Florida for both businesses and residents.

Rainwater harvesting is encouraged in Florida with tax incentives and rebates being offered by several local municipalities. Pioneer Water Tanks exceed all requirements for water storage applications for the Florida Department of Water Resource Management.

FLORIDA BUILDING CODE – Residential 6TH Edition (2017)

P2912 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems: New section addressing the construction, installation, alteration and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems. Provisions are based on the International Green Construction Code.

(Link)

• Augmenting Rainwater Harvesting to Offset Potable Water for Irrigation and Indoor Use within the Tampa Bay Region A Best Management Practice

(Link)

Georgia

The State of Georgia allows rainwater harvesting without a water rights permit and encourages water conservation. Georgia State Minimum Standard Plumbing Code 2012 (IPC 2012) Chapter 15 Rain Water Harvesting Systems sets regulations for non-potable use, including for indoors. The provisions outlined in the Chapter govern the materials, design, construction, and installation of rainwater harvesting systems.

“Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to restrict the use of rainwater for outdoor irrigation.” – Georgia State Minimum Standard Plumbing Code 2012 (IPC 2012) Chapter 15 Rain Water Harvesting Systems

Rainwater harvesting is legal in Georgia and is regulated by the Department of Natural Resources in the Environmental Protection Division. Pioneer Water Tanks exceed all requirements for water storage applications for the Georgia Water Council.

• Georgia Rainwater Harvesting Guidelines

The Georgia Rainwater Harvesting Guidelines are intended to assist all parties involved in the design, construction, inspection, and maintenance of rainwater harvesting systems and to help successfully comply with Appendix I-‘Rainwater Recycling Systems’ of the 2009 Georgia Amendments to the 2006 International Plumbing Code (IPC). The parties mentioned above include owners, building officials, design professionals, and contractors.

(Link)

• Georgia State Minimum Standard Plumbing Code 2012 (IPC 2012) Chapter 15 Rain Water Harvesting Systems

1501.1 Scope.

The provisions of this Chapter shall govern the materials, design, construction, and installation of rainwater systems for automatic clothes washers, flushing of water closets, flushing of urinals, and cooling tower makeup water. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to restrict the use of rainwater for outdoor irrigation.

1501.3 Definition

The following terms shall have the meaning shown herein.

CONDENSATE. Condensed water collected from the surfaces of an air conditioning unit’s evaporator coils or a dehumidifier unit’s evaporator coils.

RAINWATER. Water collected from runoff of roofs or other structures after a rain event. Rainwater may also include condensate.

(Link)

• University of Georgia Rainwater Harvesting for System Designers and Contractors

(Link)

Hawaii

Rainwater harvesting isn’t illegal in Hawaii and is regulated by Regulated through the Department of Health and Safety. Rainwater harvesting provides a water source for many Hawaii residents and businesses. Hawaii County Plumbing Code 1601.3 Permit or Approval covers rainwater systems not requiring a permit unless used for indoor or drinking water use or having a capacity over 360-gallons. Senate Concurrent Resolution 172 (2008) encouraged county water boards to study and promote water conservation through rainwater collection. (Link)

According to this resolution, there has been a long history of rainwater collection in the state but primarily in more rural areas in the past. Pioneer Water Tanks exceed all requirements for water storage applications for the Hawaii Department of Health and Safety.

• Hawaii County Plumbing Code

1601.3 Permit or Approval. It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, install, alter, or cause to be constructed, installed, or altered any alternate water source system in a building or on-premises without first obtaining a permit or approval to do such work from the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

Exceptions:

(1) A permit is not required for exterior rainwater catchment systems used for outdoor drip and subsurface irrigation with a maximum storage capacity of 360 gallons (1363 L).

(2) A plumbing permit is not required for rainwater catchment systems for single-family dwellings where outlets, piping, and system components are located on the exterior of the building. This does not exempt the need for permits where required for electrical connections, tank supports, or Enclosures.”

(Link)

• Guidelines on Rainwater Catchment Systems for Hawaii

(Link)

• University of Hawaii rainwater harvesting resources

(Link)

Idaho

Rainwater harvesting is legal in Idaho and there aren’t any regulations currently legislating it for the state.

The Idaho Constitution states, “the right to divert and appropriate the unappropriated waters of any natural stream to beneficial uses, shall never be denied…”

Article 15, 3. In 2008, the Office of the Idaho Attorney General further clarified this by stating, “Your letter of August 1, 2008, asked for a clarification of Idaho law concerning the capture and collection of rainwater. Generally, a person in Idaho has the right to collect diffused surface waters, which include rainwater, on his or her property so long as it does not cause injury to the existing water rights of others.” (Link)

Pioneer Water Tanks exceed all requirements for water storage applications for the Idaho Water Resource Board.

• The University of Idaho released a pamphlet about rainwater harvesting in Idaho:

(Link)

• “the right to divert and appropriate the unappropriated waters of any natural stream to beneficial uses shall never be denied…” Idaho Constitution, Article 15, 3.

(Link)

Illinois

It’s legal to harvest rainwater in Illinois. Rainwater harvesting needs a permit for systems with more than 5,000-gallons of capacity, when at-risk populations are potentially impacted, or if the system application includes subsurface irrigation, non-aerosolized surface applications that comply with Section 890.3050. Illinois Plumbing Code Section 890.3000 On-Site Collected Rainwater and Stormwater regulates rainwater harvesting systems, under CSA B805-2876 17/International Code Council 805-2017. There are currently two Illinois state statutes:

  • In 2009, Illinois created the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act which relates to water conservation, efficiency, infrastructure, and management while promoting rainwater harvesting (Illinois Revised Statutes Chapter 415 §56).

  • House Bill 991 (2011) amended the Homeowners’ Solar Rights Act. It requires that within 120 days after a homeowners’ association, common interest community association, or condominium unit owners’ association receives a request for a policy statement or an application from an association member, the association shall adopt an energy policy statement regarding (i) the location, design, and architectural requirements of solar energy systems; and (ii) whether a wind energy collection, rainwater collection, or composting system is allowed, and, if so, the location, design, and architectural requirements of those systems (Illinois Revised Statutes Chapter 765 § 165/20).

• IL SB0038 | 2011-2012 | 97th General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Amends the Illinois Plumbing License Law. Provides that “plumbing” includes rainwater harvesting distribution systems, but does not include any rainwater harvesting distribution system or rainwater harvesting collection system unless otherwise required by the Illinois Plumbing Code. Requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to adopt and publish a minimum code of standards for rainwater harvesting collection systems and rainwater harvesting distribution systems by January 1, 2012.

Requires rainwater harvesting collection systems and rainwater harvesting distribution systems to be (A) used only for non-potable uses and (B) constructed in accordance with the Illinois Plumbing Code. Defines “rainwater harvesting collection system” and “rainwater harvesting distribution system”. Effective immediately.

(Link)

Pioneer Water Tanks exceed all requirements for water storage applications for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Indiana

It’s legal to harvest rainwater harvest in Indiana. The state government of Indiana has a page about it: here. Pioneer Water Tanks exceed all requirements for water storage applications for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Water Division. Get a quote today to start safely storing water.

“Green Infrastructure: Reroute rooftop drainage pipes from draining rainwater into the storm sewer to draining it into rainwater harvesting systems, cisterns, or permeable areas.”
“Harvest and reuse rainwater whenever possible,” Indiana Department of Environmental Management Office of Program Support Pollution Prevention and Technical Assistance Section Compliance and Technical Assistance Program

(Link)

State of Indiana government website on rain barrels:

(Link)

Iowa

It is legal to harvest rainwater in Iowa, there aren’t any current state statutes. The State of Iowa encourages rainwater harvesting with the Iowa Rain Campaign, for water conservation and stormwater management. The 1985 Iowa Water Plan defines water as “public waters and public wealth of Iowa citizens.” Currently, rainwater harvesting may fall under the topic of water reuse for the Iowa Plumbing Code for larger capacities.

• The Iowa Stormwater Partnership has a resource about rainwater harvesting.

(Link)

• Iowa Rain Campaign

(Link)

• Iowa rain rebates:

(Link)

“First in time, first in right” Further appropriation ONLY if water is physically available

IOWA uses…. A combination of these is best described as “modified riparian”. This focuses on the preservation of instream water uses. The concept originated in South Carolina and Mississippi. However, Iowa is the first state to extensively implement it.

Beneficial use The purpose of the law, adopted in 1957, is to “…assure that water resources be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent possible, that waste or unreasonable use of water be prevented, and that conservation be required”.

Use, not owning the right of a riparian owner to prohibit the use of the water by non-riparian neighbors is established; this right by no means makes the water in the stream his property. The water is considered a “wealth” of the people of the State. That is actually an old Roman Law concept.
All waters are “public waters and public wealth” of Iowa citizens. Iowa statute provides an allocation system based on “beneficial use”.

• Waste, unreasonable use and unreasonable methods of water use are prevented.

• Water conservation is expected

• Permit System

– Withdrawals in excess of 25,000 gallons/day from streams or aquifers require a permit from IDNR.

(Link)

Kansas

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Kansas but you may need to apply for a permit to do so if you plan on using the water for anything other than for domestic purposes. The Kansas Water Appropriation Act protects both the people’s right to use Kansas water and the state’s supplies of groundwater and surface water for the future.

The law is administered by the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources, which issues permits to appropriate water, regulates usage, and keeps records of all water rights in the state. It is illegal for individuals in Kansas to use water without holding a vested right or applying for, and receiving a permit to appropriate water from the Division of Water Resources. The exception is water used solely for domestic purposes – that is, water-primarily used for the household, watering livestock on pasture, or watering up to two acres of lawn and gardens. No permit is needed for that class of water usage.”

The Kansas Department of Agriculture

• The State includes regulation with the Plumbing Code 2018 of Kansas, Chapter 13 Non-potable Water Systems: Section 1303 Non-potable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems. The provisions of Section 1303 regulate rainwater harvesting construction, installation, alteration, repair based on the Uniform Plumbing Code.

Rainwater systems for outdoor domestic purposes (irrigation, livestock, wildlife, watering, etc), do not require a water rights permit. Rainwater is not specified as a source for drinking, potable water in Kansas. Rainwater systems are included in the Kansas Water Office Future Water Supply Plan as a statewide action.

• Plumbing Code 2018 of Kansas

Chapter 13 Nonpotable Water Systems: Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

1303.1 General

The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

(Link)

• Kansas Water Appropriation Act

(Link)

• A Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water Supply in Kansas by the Kansas Water Office

STATEWIDE ACTION ITEMS

Within municipal systems, develop methods to use locally collected stormwater and increase adoption of on-site or individual stormwater collection through activities such as rain barrels and rain gardens

5. Increase collection of agricultural on-site rainwater collection

(Link)

Kentucky

It’s legal to utilize rainwater harvesting in Kentucky under 151.120 Public Water of the Commonwealth. “(2) Diffused surface water which flows vagrantly over the surface of the ground shall not be regarded as public water, and the owner of the land on which such water falls or flows shall have the right to its use.”

There aren’t any current codes that cover rainwater systems. The Agricultural Water Act includes rainwater harvesting as a water source for agricultural and livestock purposes. Rainwater is utilized on Kentucky farms for a wide spectrum of domestic applications.

• 151.120 Public Water of Commonwealth, What Constitutes

(1) Water occurring in any stream, lake, groundwater, subterranean water, or other body of water in the Commonwealth which may be applied to any useful and beneficial purpose is hereby declared to be a natural resource and public water of the Commonwealth and subject to control or regulation for the public welfare as provided in KRS Chapters 146, 149, 151, 262 and 350.029 and 433.750 to 433.757.

(2) Diffused surface water that flows vagrantly over the surface of the ground shall not be regarded as public water, and the owner of the land on which such water falls or flows shall have the right to its use. Water left standing in natural pools in a natural stream when the natural flow of the stream has ceased, shall not be regarded as public water and the owners of land contiguous to that water shall have the rights to its use.

(Link)

• Kentucky rainwater harvesting resource sheet with more links

(Link)

Louisiana

Louisiana does not prohibit rainwater harvesting but there are city-wide statutes against water cisterns, dating back to hundred years ago when yellow fever was around. The current statute for New Orleans is:

Sec. 82-55. – Covers required for cisterns. All cisterns, the water of which is used for drinking or culinary purposes, shall be provided by the owners thereof with suitable covers. (Code 1956, § 59-3)

Several nonprofit organizations encourage rainwater harvesting, such as WaterWise Gulf South and Greenlight New Orleans Rain Barrel Program.

• City of New Orleans, Louisiana Code 1956, § 59-3

(Link)

• WaterWise Gulf South includes rainwater harvesting resource for NOLA

Water Wise NOLA—Dana Brown & Associates Landscape Architects, Global Green, and Recharge NOLA—is an environmental outreach collaborative devoted to advancing and promoting green infrastructure and its associated benefits through education, events, tours, do-it-yourself workshops, demonstration projects, and leadership training.

(Link)

• Greenlight New Orleans Rain Barrel Program

(Link)

• STORMWATER Best Management Practices East Baton Rouge Parish – Master Development Program

A cistern, which captures rooftop runoff, serves several stormwater functions. It retains the runoff until it can be used. Also, sediments in the water settle to the bottom of the cistern. Finally, if the cistern water is connected to a pump and is used for site irrigation, it recycles the rainwater and allows it to eventually infiltrate into the ground.

(Link)

Maine

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Maine. The State of Maine Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual has a chapter on Low Impact Development Practices that includes rainwater harvesting. The City of Portland also cites rainwater for sustainable development.

There isn’t any mention of rainwater harvesting in the Maine State Internal Plumbing Code currently.

• City of Portland, Maine Clean Water Equals Clean Growth

(Link)

State of Maine Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual: Chapter on Low Impact Development Practices

Collection Cisterns: In a commercial setting, the collection of rain runoff can be put to use in the building to offset the cost of their water supply. Cisterns can be located either above or below ground and in out-of-the-way places that can easily be incorporated into a site design. Commercially available systems are typically constructed of high-density plastics and can include pumps and filtration devices. Rain barrels are inexpensive, effective, and easily maintainable when used in residential applications to capture roof runoff for later watering of lawns and gardens. Rain Collection Cisterns: Rainwater is stored for later reuse for the building or landscapes.

(Link)

Maryland

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Maryland. Rainwater systems are regulated under the Plumbing Code 2018 of Maryland, Chapter 13 Nonpotable Water Systems: Section 1303 Non-Potable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems. The Maryland Stormwater Design Manual and other local City guidelines include rainwater harvesting for sustainable stormwater management.

There are municipalities in Maryland that offer rebates or financial incentives to enact rainwater harvesting for water conservation.

• Maryland Stormwater Design Manual, Volumes I and II (October 2000, Revised May 2009)

(Link)

• Rainwater Collection Rebates The City of Gaithersburg

(Link)

• Maryland Department of the Environment Stormwater Design Guidance – Rainwater Harvesting

(Link)

• Plumbing Code 2018 of Maryland

Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

1303.1 General

The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

(Link)

Massachusetts

It’s legal to utilize rainwater harvesting for outdoor, domestic purposes in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts State Government offers an online resource on Rain Barrels and Other Water Conservation Tools. Massachusetts doesn’t currently have legislation to govern rainwater harvesting but it is included in water conservation, stormwater management resources.

• Massachusetts State Government: Rain Barrels and Other Water Conservation Tools

(Link)

• WATER CONSERVATION STANDARDS The Commonwealth of Massachusetts EXECUTIVE OFFICE of ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS and WATER RESOURCES COMMISSION July 2006

(Link)

• Stormwater Best Management Practices: Guidance Document by Boston Water and Sewer Commission

(Link)

Michigan

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Michigan. The State of Michigan encourages rainwater harvesting for water conservation with Act 625 of 2012. The 2015 Michigan Plumbing Code Section A1303 Non-potable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems, sets regulations for rainwater harvesting systems.

There are many statewide and local municipal resources that include rainwater harvesting practices for low-impact development.

• 2015 Michigan Plumbing Code, Section A1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

A1303.1 General The provisions of Section A1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

(Link)

• City of Detroit Drainage Program Guide Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Best Management Practice: Cisterns, includes financial incentives for rainwater harvesting

(Link)

• Low Impact Development Manual for Michigan: includes rainwater harvesting recommendations and case studies in the local area

(Link)

Minnesota

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Minnesota. The State of Minnesota encourages safe use of rainwater:

(Link)

Minnesota allows rainwater harvesting from rooftop collection for outdoor, domestic uses. The 2015 Minnesota Plumbing Code, Chapter 4714.1702 Non-Potable Rainwater Catchment Systems regulates the installation, construction, alteration, and repairs.

Rainwater can only be legally collected from building rooftops in Minnesota and may not be collected from parking lots, surface runoff, stagnant water, or similar non-roof surfaces.

1702.9.3 Collection Surfaces. Rainwater catchment systems shall collect rainwater only from roof surfaces. Rainwater catchment systems shall not collect rainwater from:

(1) vehicular parking surfaces;

(2) surface water runoff;

(3) bodies of standing water; or

(4) similar non-roof surfaces.

• The Minnesota Stormwater Manual has a chapter on Stormwater and rainwater harvest and use/reuse.

(Link)

• Minnesota Administrative Rules 4714.1702 NONPOTABLE RAINWATER CATCHMENT SYSTEMS. 1702.1 General.

The installation, construction, alteration, and repair of rainwater catchment systems intended to supply uses such as water closets, urinals, trap primers for floor drains and floor sinks, industrial processes, water features, vehicle washing facilities, cooling tower makeup, and similar uses shall be approved by the commissioner.

(Link)

Minn. R. 4714.1702-6

1702.9.3 Collection Surfaces. Rainwater catchment systems shall collect rainwater only from roof surfaces. Rainwater catchment systems shall not collect rainwater from:

(1) vehicular parking surfaces;

(2) surface water runoff;

(3) bodies of standing water; or

(4) similar nonroof surfaces.

1702.9.3.1 Prohibited Discharges. Overflows and bleed-off pipes from roof-mounted equipment and appliances, condensate, and other waste disposals shall not discharge onto roof surfaces that collect rainwater for rainwater catchment systems.

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Mississippi

It’s legal to utilize rainwater harvesting systems as a water source for domestic (non-potable) and can be permitted as a potable, drinking water source. The Mississippi Department of Health “Director or Administrator determines that alternative water achieve the equivalent level of public health protection” when utilized for a potable drinking water source.

• Mississippi State University provides many online resources on different applications of rainwater harvesting.

(Link)

• Mississippi Handbook for Stormwater Management: Rain Barrels and Cisterns (2-9, 4-53)
“Cisterns, or rain barrels, are a method of collecting and storing rainwater for future use. Uses include irrigation, vehicle washing, toilet flushing, and laundry operation. Cisterns are effective for reducing runoff if they are used correctly.”

(Link)

• Mississippi Department of Health Part 20: Bureau of Public Water Supply
Subpart 72: Public Water Supply

10. Public water system means a system for the provision to the public of water for human consumption through pipes or, after August 5, 1998, other constructed conveyances, if such system has at least fifteen service connections or regularly serves an average of at least twenty-five individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year.

Furthermore, two or more water systems that are adjacent, that are owned or operated by the same supplier of water, that individually serve less than 15 service connections or less than 25 persons but in combination serve 15 or more service connections or 25 or more persons, shall also be defined as a public water system. Such term includes: Any collection, treatment, storage, and distribution facilities under the control of the operator of such system and used primarily in connection with such system; and any collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under such control which are used primarily in connection with such system. Such a term does not include any “special irrigation district.” Service connection, as used in the definition of a public water system, does not include a connection to a system that delivers water by a constructed conveyance other than a pipe if:

a. The water is used exclusively for purposes other than residential uses
(consisting of drinking, bathing, cooking, or other similar uses);

b. The Director or Administrator determines that alternative water to achieve the equivalent level of public health protection provided by the applicable national primary drinking water regulation is provided for residential or similar uses for drinking and cooking;

(Link)

• Bottling Rainwater: ‘An Elegant, Simple Solution To One Of The World’s Biggest Problems’: Richard’s Rainwater is operating with a Mississippi Brewery since Mississippi allows rainwater as a potable water source.

(Link)

Missouri

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Missouri. Missouri SB 782, Section 640.648 Landowner Use of Water, “Under this act, such landowners shall also have the right to have and use systems for potable water, and systems for rainwater collection.” Rainwater harvesting is legal for domestic and potable drinking water in Missouri.

Certain municipalities include regulations on rainwater harvesting. The St. Louis Chapter plumbing code, chapter 25.04, Part three regulates Rainwater Catchment. The Southern Missouri Watershed group released a rainwater harvesting manual.

(Link)

• HCS/SS/SCS/SB 782 – This act modifies provisions relating to the Department of Natural Resources.

LANDOWNER USE OF WATER (Section 640.648) – Currently, all Missouri landowners retain the right to have and use private water systems within city limits. Under this act, such landowners shall also have the right to have and use systems for potable water, and systems for rainwater collection.

(Link)

• St. Louis, Missouri Chapter 25.04 – PLUMBING CODE PART 3 – RAINWATER CATCHMENT SYSTEMS, PART 3 – RAINWATER CATCHMENT SYSTEMS

1622.0 Non-Potable Rainwater Catchment Systems, Interior.

1622.1 General. With the approval of the authority having jurisdiction, the provisions of this section shall apply to the installation, construction, alteration, and repair of rainwater catchments systems intended to supply uses such as water closets, urinals, trap primers for floor drains and floor sinks, and other uses approved by the authority having jurisdiction.

(Link)

Montana

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Montana. It’s legal in Montana to use rainwater harvesting systems as a water source for outdoor, domestic use. The Montana Plumbing Code cites the Uniform Plumbing Code, Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems and lAPMO IS 6-2003 for installation requirements.

• The Montana State University has an online resource, Rainwater Harvesting Systems for Montana.

(Link)

• Guide to Montana Water Management: Who Does What with Water Resources?

“Water rights, which regulate water use, are singled out in Section Three of Article IX: “All existing rights to the use of any waters for any useful or beneficial purpose are hereby recognized and confirmed.” It clarifies that all uses of water, regardless the nature, are considered public uses” p. 10

(Link)

Nebraska

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Nebraska. Rainwater harvesting is encouraged for outdoor, domestic use. Rainwater use is regulated by the Residential Code 2018 of Nebraska: Chapter 29 Water Supply and Distribution, Section P2912 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems.

The University of Nebraska offers online resources and case studies on rainwater harvesting.

(Link)

• University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Stormwater Management: Rainwater Harvesting with Rain Barrels

(Link)

• Residential Code 2018 of Nebraska: Chapter 29 Water Supply and Distribution

Section P2912 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems, P2912.1 General

The provisions of this section shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

(Link)

Nevada

It’s legal to utilize rainwater harvesting in Nevada for non-potable domestic use without having to prove the “use it or lose it” doctrine. Nevada Assembly Bill 138 defines rainwater harvesting, “may be collected without a water right or permit to appropriate water” as long as the required provisions apply.

These provisions include the rainwater system must be collected from a single-family dwelling rooftop for non-potable domestic use, it doesn’t conflict with existing water rights, the storage capacity is 20,000-gallons or less, the capture area is an acre or less, the pipe distribution is ¼ mile or less, and it complies with the Department of Wildlife. If these provisions aren’t met, a rainwater system may require permitting with the relevant authorities.

Rainwater system design and installation are regulated by the Residential Code 2018 of Nevada Chapter 29 Water Supply and Distribution, Section P2912 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems.

Nevada Senate Bill 74 was approved into law on June 9, 2017. Link to SB74: Link. Nevada state water law has a “use it or lose it” doctrine where water rights not put to beneficial use can be passed on to someone else. There were also restrictions on using rainwater for anything other than for wildlife but SB74 created a few changes including allowing the use of a small-scale rainwater system without having to prove the “use it or lose it” doctrine and expanding the use for the water.

• Nevada Research Division, Legislative Counsel Bureau Water Policy and Issues in Nevada: An Overview

“Under prior Nevada water law, collection of rainwater was not allowed without a water right permit from the state engineer. However, minimal collection of rainwater can be beneficial for those homeowners looking to conserve water. Assembly Bill 138 allowed for the capture of rainwater from the roof of a single-family dwelling for non-potable domestic use without a water right. Provided there is no conflict with existing water rights, and other conditions are met, the measure also allowed for the capture of rainwater in a guzzler for use by wildlife.”

(Link)

• Low Impact Development in Northern Nevada: Rainwater Harvesting

(Link)

• Nevada Assembly Bill 138

Existing law requires that subject to existing rights, the appropriation of any water in this State is subject to the provisions of chapter 533 of NRS, which, among other things, require any person seeking appropriate water to obtain a permit to do so. (NRS 533.030, 533.325) Section 1 of this bill provides that the de minimis collection of precipitation from the rooftop of a single-family dwelling for non-potable domestic use or, under certain circumstances, in a guzzler to provide water to wildlife is exempted from the requirements of chapter 533 of NRS and thus may be collected without water right or permit to appropriate water. Sections 2-5 of this bill make conforming changes.

(Link)

• Residential Code 2018 of Nevada, Chapter 29 Water Supply and Distribution

Section P2912 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems, P2912.1 General

The provisions of this section shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

P2912.2 Collection Surface

Rainwater shall be collected only from above-ground impervious roofing surfaces constructed from approved materials. Collection of water from vehicular parking or pedestrian walkway surfaces shall be prohibited except where the water is used exclusively for landscape irrigation. Overflow and bleed-off pipes from roof-mounted appliances including, but not limited to, evaporative coolers, water heaters, and solar water heaters shall not discharge onto rainwater collection surfaces.

(Link)

New Hampshire

Rainwater harvesting is legal in New Hampshire. It’s legal in New Hampshire to use rainwater harvesting for outdoor, non-potable use. There aren’t any current regulations on rainwater collection systems. There are a few guidelines as well as the Soak Up the Rain New Hampshire Project that promote rain barrels for water conservation.

• New Hampshire Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management Do-It-Yourself Stormwater Solutions

(Link)

• Soak Up the Rain New Hampshire Project

Throughout New Hampshire, neighbors are planting rain gardens, using rain barrels, planting trees, and finding other ways to Soak Up the Rain to protect and restore clean water in their local lakes, streams, and estuaries. Explore this site to learn how you can Soak Up the Rain too.

(Link)

New Jersey

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in New Jersey. Rooftop rainwater harvesting for outdoor, domestic use is legal in New Jersey. Rainwater collection is included in the New Jersey Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual as well as many public education resources. Rainwater systems may be eligible for the New Jersey Green Infrastructure Financing and have several past successful projects.

There isn’t currently a Code present regulating rainwater harvesting in New Jersey but permitting may apply depending on the complexity of the system.

• New Jersey Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual November 2018 Chapter 9.15 Cisterns

(Link)

• New Jersey Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program Green Infrastructure Maintenance Manual, covers basic rainwater harvesting

(Link)

• New Jersey Water Savers A Municipal Guide to Promote Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting

(Link)

New Mexico

It’s legal in New Mexico to use rainwater harvesting for outdoor domestic purposes only. The Office of the New Mexico State Engineer has a statement regarding rainwater systems, “Most homeowners can install and use a rainwater harvesting system for landscape irrigation without public health and water rights concerns. For larger-scale commercial projects, it is a good idea to check with the local OSE Water Rights Division to make sure the project does not inappropriately affect rainwater runoff into a stream system, therefore impacting a public water supply.”

New Mexico Code R. § 14.8.2.27, Section 14.8.2.27 is based on the Uniform Plumbing Code, Chapter 16 Non-potable Rainwater Catchment Systems for regulation. There are a few resources for rainwater harvesting in New Mexico. Some municipalities offer financial incentives for rainwater harvesting, for example with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority.

• Office of the State Engineer Water Use & Conservation Rainwater Harvesting

“Most homeowners can install and use a rainwater harvesting system for landscape irrigation without public health and water rights concerns. For larger-scale commercial projects, it is a good idea to check with the local OSE Water Rights Division to make sure the project does not inappropriately affect rainwater runoff into a stream system, therefore impacting a public water supply. Also, contact the local New Mexico Environment Department regarding any potential public health concerns. Please see Policy Development for the official policy on rainwater harvesting.”

“11/24/2004 – The New Mexico Office of the State Engineer supports the wise and efficient use of the state’s water resources; and, therefore, encourages the harvesting, collection, and use of rainwater from residential and commercial roof surfaces for on-site landscape irrigation and other on-site domestic uses.

The collection of water harvested in this manner should not reduce the amount of runoff that would have occurred from the site in its natural, pre-development state. Harvested rainwater may not be appropriated for any other uses.”

(Link)

• Roof-Reliant Landscaping™ Rainwater Harvesting with Cistern Systems in New Mexico

(Link)

• City of Albuquerque Rainwater Harvesting: Supply from the Sky

(Link)

• N.M. Code R. § 14.8.2.27, Current through Register Vol. 32, No. 3, February 9, 2021 Section 14.8.2.27 – CHAPTER 16 NONPOTABLE RAINWATER CATCHMENT SYSTEMS

Refers to Uniform Plumbing Code: 14.8.2.27 NMAC – Rp, 14.8.2.27 NMAC, 6-28-13 Adopted by New Mexico Register, Volume XXVI, Issue 07, April 16, 2015, eff. 5/1/2015, Adopted by New Mexico Register, Volume XXIX, Issue 07, April 10, 2018, eff. 5/15/2018

(Link)

New York

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in New York. It’s legal to utilize rainwater harvesting in New York for non-potable use. The Plumbing Code 2015 of the New York Section includes regulation in chapter 1303 Non-potable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems. Appendix C of the Plumbing Code Water Recycling Systems, Wastewater Recycling Systems, and Rainwater Recycling Systems further governs regulations.

There are several rainwater harvesting guides specific to New York including one by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

• New York State Rainwater Harvesting Guide

(Link)

• Plumbing Code 2015 of New York

Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

1303.1 General

The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

(Link)

• Rainwater Harvesting 101, COUNCIL ON THE ENVIRONMENT OF NEW YORK CITY

(Link)

North Carolina

It’s legal to harvest rainwater in North Carolina but there are several laws in place regarding it as well as storage regulations.

House Bill 609 (2011) directs the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to provide statewide outreach and technical assistance regarding water efficiency, which includes the development of best management practices for community water efficiency and conservation. Best management practices include water reuse, including harvesting rainwater and using greywater.

The North Carolina Building Code, 2009 NC Plumbing Code, Appendix C-1 Rain Water Recycling Systems sets regulations in both residential and commercial buildings. North Carolina House Bill 609 (2011) set statewide outreach and low-impact development goals that included rainwater harvesting to promote water efficiency and conservation.

North Carolina State Law 243, passed in 2009, created the Plumbing Code regulations now found in the Building Code. The State Law also prevents any state, county, or local building code or regulation from prohibiting the use of cisterns for water reuse applications (including rainwater harvesting).

• North Carolina State University offers online resources on rainwater harvesting. The NCDEQ Stormwater Design Manual also includes a chapter on rainwater systems.

NCDEQ Stormwater Design Manual C-7. Rainwater Harvesting System 1 Revised: 11/20/2020 C-7.

(Link)

• General Assembly Of North Carolina Session Law 2009-243
House Bill 749 *H749-v-4*

An Act To Authorize The State Building Code To Permit The Use Of Cisterns To Provide Water For Flushing Toilets And For Outdoor Irrigation In The Construction Or Renovation Of Residential Or Commercial Buildings Or Structures And To Prohibit Any State, County, Or Local Building Code Or Regulation From Prohibiting The Use Of Cisterns For These Uses, And To Clarify Minority Business Purposes For Public Contracts.

(Link)

• General Assembly Of North Carolina, Session 2013 Session Law 2014-113 Senate Bill 163 *S163-v-3*

An Act To Designate Reclaimed Water As A Source Water Under Certain Conditions

(Link)

• North Carolina State University Urban Waterways: Rainwater Harvesting: Guidance for Homeowners

(Link)

• Harvested rainwater can be collected from a building’s roof in a rain barrel or cistern, allowing it to be saved and used during dry periods.

(Link)

• North Carolina Building Code

2009 NC Plumbing Code, Appendix C-1 Rain Water Recycling Systems. (080311 Item B6), APPENDIX C1 RAINWATER RECYCLING SYSTEMS

(Link)

North Dakota

It’s legal to utilize rainwater harvesting in North Dakota for outdoor, domestic use. If the rainwater system supplies water for irrigation of more than 5-acres or is for industrial, municipal, rural use may require a water rights permit.

Morton County in North Dakota offers a page on Rain Barrels.

• North Dakota Century Code Title 61 Waters (1905)

61-01-01. Water of the State-Public Waters. All waters within the limits of the state from the following sources of water supply belong to the public and are subject to appropriation for beneficial use and the right to the use of these waters for such use must be acquired pursuant to Chapter 61-04

1. Surface Water, rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, marshes

2. All groundwater

3. All residual waters from beneficial use and artificially drained

4. All non-contributing streams

A water permit is required for: Irrigation of more than five acres, Industrial use, Municipal use, Rural water system, Storage of more than 12.5 AF behind a dam.

NOT REQUIRED FOR DOMESTIC OR STOCK USE

North Dakota water law is based on the prior appropriation doctrine, where an established water right is superior to any water right with a later priority date.

(Link)

• A Reference Guide To North Dakota Waters: The guide covers water rights and doesn’t mention rainwater harvesting rather focuses on water conservation.

(Link)

• Morton County North Dakota: Rain Barrels

(Link)

Ohio

Rainwater harvesting is legal in Ohio for both potable and non-potable use. Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3701-28-12 governs private water supplies and recycled water systems with regulation by the Ohio Department of Health. The Ohio Plumbing Code, Section 1105-08. – Rainwater Harvesting is based on the Uniform Plumbing Code and adapted by local municipalities.

• The University of Toledo offers rainwater harvesting resources with online tools.

(Link)

• Ohio Department of Health, Plans for Developing a Rainwater Cistern or Hauled Water Supply
“The construction of rainwater cisterns and hauled water storage tanks used as private water supplies in Ohio are covered in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3701-28-12. Cistern and hauled water tank configurations may vary by the contractor and do not necessarily need to correspond with all of the examples provided in this document as long as it is constructed in compliance with the Rules. Contact your local health department for the necessary permits and for additional information.”

(Link)

• Cincinnati, Ohio – Code of Ordinances Chapter 1105 Plumbing Code Sec. 1105-08. – Rainwater Harvesting.

(Link)

• Ohio Cisterns and Hauled Water Storage Tanks Used As A Private Water System

(Link)

Oklahoma

It’s legal to utilize rainwater harvesting in Oklahoma. The Plumbing Code 2015 of Oklahoma, Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems regulate based on the Uniform Plumbing Code. Oklahoma House Bill 3055 (2012) created the Water for 2060 Act. This Act enacted Oklahoma becoming the first state to establish a statewide goal of water conservation – to consume the same amount of freshwater in 2060 that was consumed in 2010.

The Act initiated grants for water conservation projects, including for rainwater harvesting systems.

• Oklahoma State University offers online resources and guides on rainwater harvesting.

(Link)

• Design of Rainwater Harvesting Systems in Oklahoma

(Link)

• Water for 2060

With the passage of House Bill 3055 (the Water For 2060 Act) in 2012, Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to establish a bold, statewide goal of consuming no more fresh water in 2060 than was consumed in 2010.

(Link)

• Plumbing Code 2015 of Oklahoma, Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

1303.1 General

The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

(Link)

Oregon

Rainwater harvesting has limited legality in Oregon and may only be collected from an approved building rooftop. It’s encouraged to seek the local authority with jurisdiction before installing any sort of system. Oregon Building Codes Division Revised Statute §455.060 regulates the approval of rainwater harvesting systems as a statewide alternative method of providing water for non-potable uses. “Because of the efforts in Oregon to conserve water, the Building Codes Division has approved the use of rainwater harvesting systems as an alternate method to the state plumbing code.”

The Bureau of Development Services Portland Oregon, Code Guide: Rainwater Harvesting – OPSC/6/#2 CODE: Oregon Plumbing, “Harvested rainwater is not considered potable (drinkable) water. When harvested rainwater is intended for irrigation only and the system is completely separate from the municipal water system and any plumbing in the structure, the system is not regulated by this code guide. Although no plumbing permit is required, these systems still need to be approved by the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) for stormwater management.”

There are several online guides directly from the State of Oregon on rainwater harvesting.

“A few uses of surface water are exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit. These are called “exempt uses.” Exempt uses of surface water include:
7. Rainwater: collection and use of rainwater from an artificial impervious surface (like a building’s roof).”

Oregon Smart Guide – Rainwater Harvesting

(Link)

Oregon Building Codes Division approval of rainwater harvesting systems as a statewide alternative method of providing water for non-potable uses
Statewide AlternateMethods are approved by the Division administrator in consultation with the appropriate advisory board. The advisory board’s review is limited to the technical and scientific facts of the proposal.

In addition:

– Building officials shall approve the use of any material, design, or method of construction addressed in a statewide alternate method.

– The decision to use a statewide alternate method is at the discretion of the designer

– Statewide alternate methods do not limit the authority of the building official to consider other proposed alternate methods encompassing the same subject matter

(Link)

Bureau of Development Services Portland Oregon, Code Guide: Rainwater Harvesting – OPSC/6/#2 CODE: Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code- 2014 Edition Oregon Residential Specialty Code- 2014 Edition SUBJECT: Rainwater Harvesting Systems for Non-potable Use for Residential or Commercial Uses

Harvested rainwater is untreated rainwater collected for limited use in specific plumbing systems.

Harvested rainwater is not considered potable (drinkable) water. When harvested rainwater is intended for irrigation only and the system is completely separate from the municipal water system and any plumbing in the structure, the system is not regulated by this code guide. Although no plumbing permit is required, these systems still need to be approved by the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) for stormwater management. In addition, other permits, such as an electrical permit for any pumps installed or a grading permit for underground pipe installation, may be necessary depending upon system size and complexity.

(Link)

State of Oregon Building Codes Division, Alternate Method Ruling No. OPSC 08-01

Approval of OPSC 08-01 Rainwater Harvesting Systems for Residential Potable Uses as a Statewide Alternate Method

“Rainwater recycling systems have been installed in the state as alternate methods under local approval. Previously, no consistent installation standard had been established for rainwater plumbing systems throughout the state. This ruling will provide a consistent standard for the installation of rainwater harvesting on a statewide basis.… This ruling applies to all rainwater harvesting systems statewide as an alternate method to that addressed in the state building code.”

(Link)

The State of Oregon, Water Resources Department: Oregon Water Rights
“Under Oregon law, all water belongs to the public. With some exceptions, cities, irrigators, businesses, and other water users must obtain a permit or license from the Water Resources Department to use water from any source – whether it is underground, or from lakes or streams. Generally speaking, landowners with water flowing past, through, or under their property do not automatically have the right to use that water without authorization from the Department.”

“A few uses of surface water are exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit. These are called “exempt uses.” Exempt uses of surface water include:

7. Rainwater: collection and use of rainwater from an artificial impervious surface (like a building’s roof).”

(Link)

(Link to Entire Publication)

Eugene Green Building: Harvesting Rainwater Capturing rain to use on-site
To use rainwater for indoor nonpotable uses, like flushing toilets and clothes washing, you’ll need to apply for:

• A plumbing permit to prevent contamination of drinking water;

• An electrical permit for the pump or other electrical controls;

• Building permits for cistern or underground tank installation may be required. Grading or erosion control review may also be needed for underground tanks.

To use rainwater for drinking water, you’ll need to apply for the permits described above and meet standards set by the Oregon Building Codes Division. The water must be treated to meet Federal safe drinking water standards.

(Link)

Pennsylvania

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Pennsylvania. It’s legal in Pennsylvania to utilize rainwater harvesting for non-potable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction. The Plumbing Code 2009 of Pennsylvania, Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems provide regulations that are based on the Uniform Plumbing Code.

“Drinking water, potable water or water—Safe drinking water as defined in the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (35 P. S. § § 721.1—721.17). The term does not include water such as boiler water, mop water, rainwater, wastewater, and ‘‘nondrinking’’ water.”

• Pennsylvania State offers a guide on Rainwater Cisterns. The Pennsylvania Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual covers water reuse for non-potable applications such as fire protection.

(Link)

• Pennsylvania. Penn State Rainwater Cisterns: Design, Construction, and Treatment

(Link)

• Plumbing Code 2009 of Pennsylvania, Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

1303.1 General

The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

(Link)

• Drinking water, potable water or water—Safe drinking water as defined in the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (35 P. S. § § 721.1—721.17). The term does not include water such as boiler water, mop water, rainwater, wastewater, and ‘‘nondrinking’’ water.

(Link)

Puerto Rico

It’s legal to use rainwater harvesting in Puerto Rico for non-potable and potable drinking water use. The Puerto Rico Plumbing Code, Chapter 13 Nonpotable Water Systems and Section 1301 and Chapter 29, Water Supply and Distribution, Section P2901.1 provide regulations. The 2016 Puerto Rico Building Code, Chapter 29 Water Supply and Distribution Section P2901 also provides regulations and requirements for systems.

Plenitud Puerto Rico is a 501c3 non-profit educational farm and community dedicated to service and sustainability.

(Link)

• 2016 PUERTO RICO BUILDING CODE CHAPTER 29 – WATER SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION SECTION P2901 GENERAL P2901.1

Potable water is required. Where color is used for marking, purple shall be used to identify municipally reclaimed water, rainwater, and gray water 85 distribution systems. Any non-potable outlet that could inadvertently be used for drinking or domestic purposes shall be posted.

(Link)

• 2018 Plumbing Code of Puerto Rico, Chapter 29 Water Supply and Distribution

(Link)

Rhode Island

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Rhode Island and is encouraged with incentives. Rainwater harvesting is legal in Rhode Island for non-potable use. Rhode Island House Bill 7070 (2012) created a state personal income tax credit for the installation of cisterns for rainwater harvesting. The 2019 Rhode Island Plumbing Code includes section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection that sets regulations.

Rhode Island House Bill 7070 (2012) created a tax credit for the installation of cisterns to collect rainwater. Any individual or business that installs a cistern on their property to collect rainwater for use in their home or business is entitled to a state income tax credit of 10 percent of the cost of installing the cistern not to exceed $1,000. Each entity is allowed only one tax credit over the life of the cistern unless they are replacing an existing cistern with a larger cistern and have not received the maximum tax credit of $1,000. A cistern is defined as a container holding fifty or more gallons of diverted rainwater or snowmelt, either above or below ground (Rhode Island General Laws § 44-30-28).

• State Of Rhode Island In General Assembly January Session, A.D. 2012 Relating To Taxation — Personal Income Tax

44-30-28. Tax credit for installation of cisterns. – Any individual or business that installs a cistern on their property to collect rainwater for use in their home or business shall be entitled to a state income tax credit of ten percent (10%) of the cost of installing the cistern not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). Each entity shall be allowed only one tax credit over the life of the cistern unless they are replacing an existing cistern with a larger cistern and have not received the maximum tax credit of one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(Link)

• 2019 Rhode Island Plumbing Code

1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems, Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

1303.1 General

The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

1303.2 Collection Surface

Rainwater shall be collected only from above-ground impervious roofing surfaces constructed from approved materials and where approved, vehicular parking or pedestrian walking surfaces.

(Link)

South Carolina

It is not illegal to harvest rainwater harvest in South Carolina nor are there any current state statutes regarding it. It’s legal in South Carolina to use rainwater harvesting for non-potable, outdoor applications. The 2015 Plumbing Code of South Carolina, Section 1303 Non-potable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems provide regulation.

The Low Impact Development in Coastal South Carolina online resource includes a chapter on rainwater harvesting for sustainable stormwater management. Clemson University offers a free guide, Rainwater Harvesting for Homeowners.

(Link)

• Low Impact Development in Coastal South Carolina: A Planning and Design Guide

4.6 Rainwater Harvesting

Plumbing Code. This specification does not address indoor plumbing or disinfection issues. Designers and plan reviewers should refer to the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code – Chapter 17 Nonpotable Rainwater Catchment Systems, or local plumbing codes, as applicable. For sizing of conveyance systems refer to Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) 2012 Edition, Chapter 11: “Storm Drainage” section.

(Link)

• 2015 Plumbing Code of South Carolina, Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

1303.1 General

The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

1303.2 Collection Surface

Rainwater shall be collected only from above-ground impervious roofing surfaces constructed from approved materials. Collection of water from vehicular parking or pedestrian surfaces shall be prohibited except where the water is used exclusively for landscape irrigation. Overflow and bleed-off pipes from roof-mounted appliances including, but not limited to, evaporative coolers, water heaters, and solar water heaters shall not discharge onto rainwater collection surfaces.

(Link)

• UpState Forever: LID Rainwater Harvesting

UpState Forever is This online, interactive course is designed to help Greenville South Carolina residents, business owners, and neighborhood leaders understand processes that drive local planning and land use policy decisions, as well as the roles and perspectives of diverse stakeholders.

(Link)

South Dakota

It is not illegal to harvest rainwater harvest in South Dakota nor are there any current state statutes regarding it. It’s legal in South Dakota to use rainwater harvesting without a water rights permit for non-potable, domestic, outdoor use that doesn’t exceed 25,920-gallons per day of water use. Rainwater hasn’t been included in the South Dakota Building or Plumbing Code.

The South Dakota Department of Environmental & Natural Resources states that all water, surface, and ground, is the property of the people of the state. Whether or not a water rights permit is required depends on the type of water used.

South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources: Who needs a water rights permit?

“In South Dakota, all water (surface and groundwater) is the property of the people of the state and whether you need a water right permit depends on the type of your water use.”

“The only type of water use which does not require a water right permit is domestic use. However, even domestic use of water requires a permit if your water use exceeds either 25,920 gallons per day or a peak pump rate of 25 gallons per minute. Examples of domestic water uses are:

1) drinking, washing, sanitary, and culinary uses by an individual or household,

2) irrigation of a noncommercial garden, trees, etc. not exceeding one acre in size,

3) stock watering and 4) 18 gallons per minute for use in schools, parks, and public recreation areas.”

(Link)

SOUTH DAKOTA DROUGHT MITIGATION PLAN Prepared by the South Dakota Drought Task Force

Rainwater harvesting is cited three times as a solution for water conservation and management.

(Link)

Tennessee

It’s not illegal to harvest rainwater in Tennessee. It’s legal to utilize rooftop rainwater harvesting in Tennessee for non-potable, outdoor use. Tennessee SB 2417 / HB 1850 authorizes green infrastructure practices for sustainable stormwater management and expands the definition of green infrastructure to include rainwater collection.

The Tennessee Permanent Stormwater Management and Design Guidance Manual have included a chapter on rainwater harvesting that details out where a permit could be applicable. The City of Nashville, Best Management Practices includes a chapter on rainwater harvesting.

• City of Nashville Volume 5 – Best Management Practices, Permanent Treatment Management Practices, Rain Tanks / Cisterns resource

(Link)

• SB 2417 / HB 1850 (Enacted) Authorizes the use of green infrastructure practices within areas that have combined sanitary sewage and stormwater systems

(Link)

• Tennessee Permanent Stormwater Management and Design Guidance Manual, 5.4.10 Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater can be used as a resource when it is captured from impervious surfaces, stored in cisterns or rain barrels, and reused as non-potable water. Captured rainwater can be used for landscape irrigation, firefighting needs, toilet flushing, or other greywater uses. Toilet flushing in high-use buildings (i.e., schools, visitor centers) is one of the most effective reuse methods.

(Link)

Texas

It’s completely legal and encouraged to harvest rainwater in Texas. There are tax incentives, rebates as well as other incentives based on your location in Texas for rainwater harvesting.

House Bill 3391 (2011) is one of the most far-reaching and comprehensive pieces of legislation regarding rainwater harvesting in recent years. Among its provisions:

  • Financial institutions may consider making loans for developments that will use harvested rainwater as the sole source of water supply.

  • Rainwater harvesting system technology for potable and non-potable indoor use and landscape watering is required to be incorporated into the design and construction of each new state building with a roof measuring at least 50,000 square feet that are located in an area of the state in which the average annual rainfall is at least 20 inches.

  • Rules regarding the installation and maintenance of rainwater harvesting systems that are used for indoor potable purposes and connected to a public water supply system are required to be developed, prior to this bill it could only be used for non-potable purposes. The rules must include criteria to ensure that safe drinking water standards are met and the water does not come in contact with the public water supply at a location off of the property.

  • A person who intends to connect a rainwater harvesting system to a public water supply system for potable purposes is required to give written notice to the municipality or the owner or operator of the public water supply system. A municipality or public water supply system may not be held liable for any adverse health effects allegedly caused by the consumption of water collected by a rainwater harvesting system that is connected to a public water supply system and is used for potable purposes if the municipality or the public water supply system is in compliance with the sanitary standards for drinking water.

  • Each municipality and county are encouraged to promote rainwater harvesting at residential, commercial, and industrial facilities through incentives such as the provision of a discount of rain barrels or rebates for water storage facilities.  The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is required to ensure that training on rainwater harvesting is available for the members of the permitting staff of municipalities and counties at least quarterly. School districts are strongly encouraged to implement rainwater harvesting systems.

  • A municipality or county is prohibited from denying a building permit solely because the facility will implement rainwater harvesting.

Texas, “House Bill 2430 directs the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to establish recommended standards for the domestic use of harvested rainwater, including health and safety standards. It also directs them to develop standards for collection methods for harvesting rainwater intended for drinking, cooking, and bathing.”

(Link)

The Plumbing Code of Texas includes Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems for regulation without a permit required.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension offers public education and resources on rainwater harvesting on their extensive research and development. The AgriLife rainwater harvesting manual is cited in almost every state in America as the leading resource. The Texas Water Development Board has worked with AgriLife to provide another rainwater harvesting resource.

(Link)

Rainwater Harvesting Potential and Guidelines for Texas:

(Link)

Texas House Bill 3391 (2011) Rainwater Harvesting And Other Water Conservation Initiatives

(Link)

Bill Analysis

(Link)

Free Texas rainwater harvesting guides and resources

(Link)

Texas has one of the most comprehensive laws protecting rainwater harvesting, the Texas House Bill 3391. In 2001, Texas excluded components of rainwater harvesting systems from sales tax, Section 151.355 of the Texas Tax Code.

(Link)

Plumbing Code of Texas: Section 1303 Nonpotable Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems

1303.1 General

The provisions of Section 1303 shall govern the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of rainwater collection and conveyance systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of rainwater for nonpotable applications, as permitted by the jurisdiction.

(Link)

Utah

Rainwater harvesting is regulated with limited legality in Utah. Rainwater harvesting is only legal in Utah when the system directly rooftop captures rainwater on land owned or leased by the person responsible for the collection, for non-potable purposes. Utah Senate Bill 32 (2010), a person registered with the Division of Water Resources may collect and store no more than 2,500 gallons of rainwater. If unregistered, no more than two containers may be used, and the maximum storage capacity of any one container shall not be greater than 100 gallons (Utah Code Annotated §73-3-1.5). The website to register with the Utah Division of Water Rights: here.

The Plumbing Code of Utah includes Chapter 13 Nonpotable Water Systems for regulation. Anyone who constructs a rainwater harvesting system with storage greater than 100-gallons must register with the Utah Division of Water Rights.

“To collect, store, and place the captured precipitation to a beneficial use, a person must register the user with the Utah Division of Water Rights as detailed in 73-3-1.5.”

Utah Water Rights

(Link)

• Utah Senate Bill 32 (2010) Rainwater Harvesting 2010 General Session 3 State Of Utah

(Link)

• Utah Code Annotated §73-3-1.5 Capture and storage of precipitation

(Link)

• Utah Division of Water Rights: Rainwater Harvesting Registration

To collect, store, and place the captured precipitation to beneficial use, a person must register the user with the Utah Division of Water Rights as detailed in 73-3-1.5.

A person may collect and store precipitation without registering in no more than two covered storage containers if neither covered container has a maximum storage capacity of greater than 100 gallons.

The total allowed storage capacity with registration is no more than 2,500 gallons. Collection and use are limited to the same parcel of land on which the water is captured and stored.

(Link)

• Feasibility of Rainwater Harvesting for Urban Water Management in Salt Lake City

(Link)

• Plumbing Code of Utah, Chapter 13 Nonpotable Water Systems, Section 1301 General

1301.1 Scope

The provisions of Chapter 13 shall govern the materials, design, construction, and installation of systems for the collection, storage, treatment, and distribution of nonpotable water. The use and application of nonpotable water shall comply with laws, rules, and ordinances applicable in the jurisdiction

(Link)

Vermont

It’s legal for individual homeowners in Vermont to utilize rainwater harvesting for non-potable, outdoor use without a water rights permit. There aren’t any specific pieces of legislation or code on rainwater harvesting in Vermont. The Vermont Watershed Management Division is the authority on water rights for the state.

• The Vermont Guide to Stormwater Management for Homeowners and Small Businesses recommends rainwater harvesting for water conservation.

Vermont GUIDE TO STORMWATER MANAGEMENT for Homeowners and Small Businesses

– Recommends rainwater harvesting for water conservation and stormwater management

– Rainwater “Provides supplemental, non-potable water supply for irrigation”

(Link)

• Vermont Watershed Management Division

(Link)

• 2017 Vermont Stormwater Management Manual Rule and Design Guidance

In Vermont, the reuse of harvested rainwater for purposes other than irrigation is largely unaddressed by current state regulations or local codes. Neither the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) nor International Plumbing Code (IPC) directly Vermont Stormwater Treatment Standards Subchapter 4.0 4-92 addresses rainwater harvesting in their potable or stormwater sections (EPA 2008). Because of this lack of specific rainwater harvesting guidance, some jurisdictions have regulated harvested rainwater as reclaimed water, resulting in stringent requirements that make reusing harvested rainwater challenging. The practicality of rainwater reuse will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

– Rainwater harvesting shall be limited to rooftop runoff

(Link)

Virginia

It’s legal and encouraged to harvest rainwater in Virginia. It’s legal to utilize rainwater harvesting in Virginia but may fall under reclaimed water regulations depending on the jurisdiction. Virginia Senate Bill 1416 (2001) established the Alternative Water Supply Assistance Fund that provides a tax credit to individuals and businesses for installing rainwater systems.

The 2012 Virginia Plumbing Code, Chapter 13 Nonpotable Water Systems sets regulations. The 2017 Vermont Stormwater Management Manual addresses the current state of rainwater harvesting in the state. The Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension has an online resource, Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 6: Rainwater Harvesting.

(Link)

• Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual Compiled by The Cabell Brand Center

(Link)

• Virginia House Bill 1949 (Prior Session Legislation) Bill Title: Rainwater harvesting; water for human consumption.

A BILL to amend and reenact §32.1-248.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to rainwater harvesting; water for human consumption.

(Link)

• 2012 Virginia Plumbing Code, Chapter 13 Nonpotable Water Systems, Section 1301 General

1301.1 Scope

The provisions of Chapter 13 shall govern the materials, design, construction, and installation of nonpotable water systems subject to this code. In addition to the applicable provision of this section, reclaimed water shall comply with the requirements of Section 1304.

(Link)

Washington

Rainwater harvesting is legal in Washington from a building rooftop with the water utilized on the property for outdoor, non-potable use. The State of Washington Department of Ecology stated that rainwater harvesting doesn’t require a water permit as long as a few conditions don’t apply.

Rainwater must be used on the property where it was collected

Rainwater can only be collected from existing building rooftops that have another purpose other than harvesting water.

– The rainwater system cannot negatively affect existing water rights in the area.

– Local restrictions may be developed to govern new systems, including for potable applications.

Washington Revised Code §36.89.080 offers the ability to reduce surface and stormwater fees by 10-50% that utilize rainwater harvesting. Systems are regulated by the Washington State Building Code: Chapter 16 Non-potable rainwater catchment systems.

• Seattle Public Utilities offers Rainwater Harvesting resources online.

(Link)

• State of Washington Department of Ecology: Water Rights

(Link)

• Washington Revised Code §36.89.080

(Link)

• Washington State Building Code: Chapter 16—Nonpotable rainwater catchment systems.

(Link)

• State of Washington Department of Ecology: Rainwater harvesting

When does rainwater collection require a permit?

Under our current policy, you don’t need a water right permit to collect rainwater, with a few conditions:

– Rainwater must be used on the property where it is collected.

– Rainwater can only be collected from existing structures that have another purpose other than collecting rainwater.

– If we find that rainwater collection is negatively affecting existing water rights in an area, local restrictions may be developed to govern new systems. However, we do not expect the collection of harvested rainwater to cause problems.

– If you are planning to use rainwater as your primary drinking water source for new building construction, you’ll need to check with your county to see if it is allowed.

(Link)

West Virginia

In West Virginia, it’s legal to utilize rooftop rainwater harvesting from a home or business for non-potable use.

“Designers and plan reviewers should consult the local and state building and health codes to determine the allowable indoor uses and required treatment for harvested rainwater. In cases where a municipal backup supply is used, Rainwater Harvesting systems must have backflow preventers or air gaps to keep harvested water separate from the main water supply. Pipes and spigots using rainwater must be clearly labeled as non-potable.” – West Virginia Stormwater Management & Design Guidance Manual: 4.2.8. Rainwater Harvesting

• West Virginia Stormwater Management & Design Guidance Manual

(Link)

• West Virginia Water Laws Water Regulations And Water Rights

West Virginia Code § 22-11-2 holds that “[i]t is the public policy of the State of West Virginia that the water resources of this State with respect to the quantity thereof be available for reasonable use by all of the citizens of this State.”

(Link)

• West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection: How to Build and Install a Rain Barrel

(Link)

• West Virginia Stormwater Management and Design Guidance Manual by West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP)

In cases where a municipal backup supply is used, Rainwater Harvesting systems must have backflow preventers or air gaps to keep harvested water separate from the main water supply. Pipes and spigots using rainwater must be clearly labeled as non-potable.

(Link)

Wisconsin

Rainwater harvesting is legal in Wisconsin for non-potable, outdoor applications. Wisconsin Administrative Code Section 382 provides guidance on the use of rainwater harvesting. Rainwater systems in Wisconsin aren’t required to get a permit if:

– Rainwater isn’t stored in an underground collection tank

– The rainwater system isn’t directly connected to the public water supply

– The rainwater system doesn’t connect to the water inside of the building

– The rainwater cannot be used for potable applications

Wisconsin Administrative Code Section 382: Design, Construction, Installation, Supervision, Maintenance And Inspection Of Plumbing

(Link)

Rainwater Collection Guidelines For Milwaukee Residents & Property Owners City Of Milwaukee, Environmental Collaboration Office Uwm School Of Freshwater Sciences

In Wisconsin, there are no laws preventing RWH but there are some rules that control what you can and cannot do with the collected Water (p1)

You do NOT need a permit to harvest rainwater in the City of Milwaukee provided your system a) does not have an underground collection tank, b) is not directly connected to the public water supply, c) does not supply water inside your building, and d) is not used for potable applications. That means you cannot drink it, nor can you clean or cook food with it. (p2)

Wisconsin law does not specifically address water reuse the same way as other states but the Administrative Code Section 382 provides guidance on what we can and cannot do with harvested rainwater.

Collected rainwater should not be brought into the home for reasons other than watering plants unless you have a permit from the City

(Link)

Wyoming

It’s legal to use rainwater harvesting in Wyoming for non-potable, outdoor use. Wyoming water rights are based on the “doctrine of prior appropriation”. The doctrine stands that the first person to put the water to beneficial use has the first right, or “first in time is first in right”. Rainwater is considered as being put to beneficial use, as promoted by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

• The Urban Best Management Practice Manual Conservation Practices to Protect Surface and Ground Water includes a chapter on rainwater harvesting in Wyoming.

(Link)

• The Wyoming State Engineer’s Office regulates water rights

(Link)

• City of Gillette Wyoming Rain Barrel Rebate Program

(Link)

U.S. Virgin Islands

It’s legal to utilize rainwater harvesting in the U.S. Virgin Islands for all applications and is required on most new construction since 1964. U.S. Virgin Island Code Title 29 §308 requires most newly constructed buildings to be installed with a self-sustaining potable water system, such as a well or rainwater collection system.

• U.S. Virgin Island Code Title 29 §308

(a) General. After May 1, 1964, no building; except commercial developments dwellings and single unit apartments with connected access to the potable water system, shall be constructed, enlarged, or moved unless the owner thereof shall make provision for self-sustaining water supply system. This system shall consist of a well or rainwater collection area and cistern.

(Link)

• Minimum design requirements for domestic rainwater-harvesting systems on small volcanic islands in the Eastern Caribbean to prevent related water quality and quantity issues

R. Reijtenbagh, Published 2010, Environmental Science

(Link)

 


START WITH A QUOTE

Call Now (877) 223-7784





     

     

     

    The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, ARCSA, offers free educational webinars that are ongoing and available online. Pioneer Water Tanks America presents chapter 11 Small-Scale Rainwater Tanks and Barrels through the lens of public education.

    View directly through the ARCSA website: https://www.arcsa.org/page/EducationalVideos

    View it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/SuDqLxDuJc0

    Small-Scale Tanks Chapter 11 of the ARCSA Rainwater Harvesting Manual

    by Jessica Huntington with Pioneer Water Tanks America

    11.1 Importance of harvesting water in small scale tanks:

    • Rain barrels and small cisterns are great educational tools.
    • Provide a source of water for irrigation and other outdoor uses
    • Show a trial of what rainwater harvesting can accomplish
    • Provide an inexpensive way to install, operate and maintain a rainwater system
    • Small tanks fit in small spaces
    • Small tanks can be lightweight, and easy to move
    • Small scale rainwater systems are implemented on a large scale for water conservation, stormwater management in municipalities.

     

     

    ARCSA Definitions

    Small-scale tank:

    single container, or directly connected containers, with a total capacity of less than 360-gallons.

    Rain barrel:

    simple rainwater harvesting system typically consisting of a 55-gallon drum or plastic barrel, hose, couplings, screen to keep contaminants out, to collect from a residential downspout.

     

    Lakota Water Company at Hill Country Rainwater Revival
    Lakota Water Company at the Hill Country Rainwater Revival

     

    Lakota Water Company brought an entire rainwater harvesting system to a past Hill Country Living Rainwater Revival Festival. Showcasing a rainwater system educates the public and draws awareness on how it can be utilized. LakotaWaterCompany.com

     

    Rain Ranchers showcase rainwater harvesting at a past Rodeo event
    Rain Ranchers showcase rainwater harvesting at a past Rodeo event

     

    Rain Ranchers at a past rodeo event with different rainwater harvesting systems for public education. The Rain Spot is offered by the Rain Ranchers seen in the image. RainRanchers.com

     

    11.5 Review and summary

    Setting standards for rainwater harvesting systems with nationally-recognized ARCSA helps to curb wide-scale mistakes like poor quality rain barrel distribution.

    Small-scale rainwater harvesting provides public education and can be utilized on a large scale in communities for water conservation and stormwater management.

    11.6 References and resources

    ARCSA Foundation

    www.arcsa.org

    ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI 63-2013: Rainwater Catchment Systems (Appendix C of ARCSA Manual)

    Pioneer Water Tanks America,

    https://pioneerwatertanksamerica.com/

    Lakota Water Company,

    https://lakotawatercompany.com/

    Rain Ranchers,

    https://rainranchers.com/

    Rainwater Revival, Hill Country Living Festival in Dripping Springs, Texas

    https://www.hillcountryalliance.org/rainwaterrevival/

    Rainwater Harvesting Won’t Solve Utah’s Drought, But It Could Help Your Lawns And Gardens

    https://www.upr.org/post/rainwater-harvesting-won-t-solve-utah-s-drought-it-could-help-your-lawns-and-gardens

    City of Austin Rebates, Tools & Programs

    https://www.austintexas.gov/department/rebates-tools-programs

    City of Tucson Rainwater Harvesting Rebate

    https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/rainwater-harvesting-rebate

    Evaluation Of Water Harvesting Rebate Programs In Tucson, Arizona by Ethan Vimont

    https://wrrc.arizona.edu/sites/wrrc.arizona.edu/files/Ethan_Vimont_Thesis_Final_2July2017.pdf


    Pioneer Water Tanks America is ready to provide top-tier water storage solutions with our network of local providers.

    Call Now (877) 223-7784





       


       

       

       
       

      “Rainwater capture is ideal for urban areas since it reduces stormwater runoff and potable water use.” (Houston Incentives for Green Development p 12)

      A year-long study identified incentives to increase sustainable stormwater infrastructure in Houston, published in August of 2019. The City Council approved the new incentives in December 2020 with encouraging guidelines.

      Private developments or redevelopments with a minimum of $3 million in investment that includes at least $200,000 budgeted towards green stormwater infrastructure are eligible for a tax abatement for up to ten years. The environmental impact and the amount invested in green stormwater infrastructure determines the amount of tax abatement available per project. This would mean that a $3 million development with a $200,000 investment into stormwater infrastructure graded at the highest standard in the scoring matrix of environmental impact, could have 100% of the abatement over ten years saving $20,000 per year.

       

      New Houston Texas rainwater harvesting with Pioneer Water Tanks
      Project by Innovative Water Solutions

       

      Green stormwater infrastructure is defined as techniques that aim to minimize the impact of development and mimic how rainfall interacts with the undeveloped landscape. These techniques include rainwater harvesting, green roofs, rain gardens, permeable pavements, urban forests, and many more.

       

      The Houston Incentive report cited many benefits of rainwater harvesting for the developer, and for the great good of the public:

      • Reduces building operation cost
      • Reduces stormwater runoff rate and detention volume
      • Reduces potable water consumption and costs
      • Improves stormwater management
      • Reduces burden on the public drainage system
      • Conserves water

       

      Rainwater is easily utilized for irrigation and has been used for production including for concrete, fire protection, industry, and more.

      Innovative Water Solutions has a rainwater harvesting system at Houston Community College. Rainwater is collected and stored within the XL 08/02 Pioneer Water Tank for use in the greenhouse. Learn more about Innovative Water Solutions: WaterCache.com

       

      Houston Fire tank Rainwater Equipment
      Fire protection water tank by Rainwater Equipment

       

      Rainwater Equipment provided a 65,000-gallon Pioneer Water Tank for fire protection for a school in Houston. The fire fittings provide access in case of an emergency to the consistent water supply. Learn more at RainwaterEquipment.com

       

      Where is Houston, Texas with the incentives for green development currently?

       

      The City Council and Mayor Sylvester Turner released a press release in December 2020 of approval of the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Tax Abatement Program and updated the existing LEED tax abatement program.

      Learn more at http://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/press/2020/tax-abatement-resilience-sustainability.html

       

      Typical tax abatement programs have a process for approval, and it’s highly-anticipated to increase sustainable stormwater management.

      Pioneer Water Tanks America operates with a local network of local providers and installers. Top-tier water storage solutions are ready for onsite installation for residential and commercial projects.

       


      Pioneer Water Tanks America is ready to provide top-tier water storage solutions with our network of local providers.

      Call Now (877) 223-7784





         


         

        Sources:

         

        Bloom, Michael F, and R. G. Miller Engineers, Inc. “Houston Incentives for Green Development.” City of Houston Texas, Stephen Costello, P.E. and Laura Patiño City of Houston, Mayor’s Recovery Office, Aug. 2019, www.houstontx.gov/igd/documents/igd-report-final.pdf.

        Incentives for Green Development, City of Houston Texas, Dec. 2020, www.houstontx.gov/igd/.

        Press Releases. “Houston City Council Approves New Green Stormwater Infrastructure Tax Abatement Program and Updates Existing LEED Tax Abatement Program to Improve Houston’s Climate Resilience and Sustainability.” Press Releases, The Office of Mayor Sylvester Turner, 16 Dec. 2020, www.houstontx.gov/mayor/press/2020/tax-abatement-resilience-sustainability.html.

        Whalen, Emma. “Houston Approves New Incentives for Green, Stormwater-Sensitive Development.” Community Impact, Community Impact, 16 Dec. 2020, communityimpact.com/houston/heights-river-oaks-montrose/environment/2020/12/16/houston-approves-new-incentives-for-green-stormwater-sensitive-development/.

         

         

         

        Pioneer Water Tanks America supports the Hill Country Living + Rainwater Revival Festival every year, along with several of our Authorized Dealers. We usually meet at the Dripping Springs Texas Ranch Park and Event Center with a wide variety of sustainable living exhibits, family-fun activities, live music, tiny homes, and much more to experience.

         

        > Hill Country Alliance Rainwater Revival Website

         

        > Rainwater Revival 2020 Facebook Page

         

        Pioneer Water Tanks America at a previous Rainwater Revival
        Pioneer Water Tanks America at a previous Rainwater Revival with the Lakota Water Company exhibit.

         

        This year, the Hill Country Alliance is taking the event online with a lot of digital offerings – so make sure to check it all out! Our team is ready to talk about water storage and connect you with an accredited provider that would best suit your needs.

         

        Call Our Texas Office

        (877) 223-7784


        Our in Texas facility has been continuously operating with procedures in place to follow local COVID-19 guidelines. The accredited Pioneer dealer and installer network are still installing tanks while following local restrictions on travel.

        Our clients choose Pioneer Water Tanks for rainwater storage for a lifetime of clean water. Pioneer Water Tanks’ over 30-Years of rigorous research and development has produced the longest-lasting water storage tank worldwide. We operate with a network of authorized dealers and installers that provide Pioneer Water Tanks locally, backed with our 20-year warranty.

        Lakota Water Company rainwater harvesting system with a Mangrove Pioneer Water Tank
        Lakota Water Company provided this rainwater harvesting system for a venue in the Texas Hill Country. Rainwater is safely stored within a Mangrove Pioneer Water Tank.

         

        The exclusive AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner protects water inside and is BPA-free, NSF-61 certified for drinking water and is embedded with SANITIZED® antimicrobial technology. Pioneer Water Tanks are manufactured with ZINCALUME® Steel that can withstand fire-immersion and still provide water after an emergency.

         

        < Learn more about the AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner

         

        We offer a range of capacities from 5,000-gallons to 1,000,000-gallons with custom capacities available for industrial projects. Pioneer Water Tanks are the top-tier rainwater storage solution because of the ability to keep water fresh and clean, as well as the engineering of the long-lasting storage system.

         

        Central Texans have been utilizing rainwater harvesting for homes and businesses at a higher rate than most areas. The State of Texas has one of the most comprehensive laws, House Bill 3391 (2011), that allows for rainwater to be utilized and prohibits municipalities or counties from denying a building permit solely because the facility will implement rainwater harvesting.

        Texas has also allowed for rainwater harvesting equipment and supplies to file for a sales-tax exemption, with Section 151.355 of the Texas Tax Code. To claim this exemption, the purchaser must fill out and give a Tax Exemption Application Form 01-339 to the supplier at the time of purchase.

         

        > Learn More about Sales-Tax exemption in Texas for rainwater harvesting products

        We operate with a network of accredited providers and installers for localized service. Our network providers who are attending this year’s online Hill Country Living + Rainwater Revival Festival:


        Lakota Water Company, Lakota Tank Company
        “Incorporating in 2002 as Rossing’s, Inc. d/b/a Lakota Water Company, the staff and crews have serviced nearly 1,000 customers across the nation with either rainwater harvesting or water treatment needs, both residential and commercial. Specializing in the installation of large-scale potable rainwater harvesting systems, the company is also known for consulting, design, and inspections of rainwater systems.”

        Learn more: https://lakotawatercompany.com/
        Call Lakota Water Company: (512) 858-0860

         

        Pioneer Water Tanks America at a previous Rainwater Revival
        The Lakota Water Company designed and installed a rainwater harvesting system for this Texas Hill Country property as a sustainable water source. The rainwater is safely stored within the 40,000-gallon capacity Pioneer Water Tank.

        Harvested Rain Solutions
        Harvested Rain Solutions was founded in 2008 to make better use of the tens of thousands of gallons of water that run off roofs every year in the Austin area. Rainwater harvesting is a solution to water shortages that originates right over our heads! HRS can also tame many stormwater issues (really just poorly behaving rainfall!) with cistern based detention/retention systems for commercial and residential projects. HRS is a Texas State Licensed Irrigation Contractor and can help with the full development of an RWH system from collection to use.
        Learn more: https://www.harvestedrainsolutions.com/
        Call Harvested Rain Solutions: (877) 693-2166

        Harvested Rain Solutions provided a rainwater harvesting system from design, to installation. Rainwater is stored within the Pioneer Water Tank.
        Harvested Rain Solutions provided a rainwater harvesting system from design to installation. Rainwater is stored within the Pioneer Water Tank.

         


        Harvest Rain
        Harvest Rain is a full-service rainwater company providing rainwater collection and turn-key NFPA fire protection systems.
        WE INSTALL
        Our professional team will come to install a complete, worry-free, system

        YOU BEGIN THE PROCESS OF HARVESTING RAIN
        You begin the fulfilling process of harvesting rain install a complete, worry-free, system

        YOU SAVE
        Harvesting rain allows you to save money on water expenses annually
        Learn more: https://harvestrain.com/
        Call Harvest Rain: (512) 645-2955

        Harvest Rain Austin Texas Pioneer Water Tanks
        Harvest Rain won the Texas Rain Catcher’s Award for this rainwater harvesting system design and utilization. Rainwater is stored within two Pioneer Water Tanks in Mangrove.

         


        Innovative Water Solutions
        Since 2004, Innovative Water Solutions LLC has been creating practical, beautiful water management solutions to suit your individual needs. We can move stormwater from problematic areas, store rainwater for later use, or reduce your outdoor water demand… and we can do all of those things at the same time. So no matter if we are in the midst of a drought or torrential rainstorms, our solutions will provide you with peace of mind. From the founders’ backgrounds as Peace Corps volunteers, IWS has a passion for the sustainable management of our water resources. We are an engineering design/build firm that is driven by these ideals through water conservation and stormwater management solutions for residential and commercial projects.

        Learn more: https://www.watercache.com/
        Call Innovative Water Solutions: (512) 490-0932

        Innovative Water Solutions provide Pioneer Water Tanks
        Innovative Water Solutions provided a rainwater harvesting system for a Central Texas home that supplies for drinking and domestic water use. The Pioneer Water Tank safely stores the rainwater for sustainable use.

         


        Rainwater Equipment
        Rainwater Equipment LLC is a nationwide supplier of water tanks (small or large capacities), filters, water pumps, water treatment products (such as UV Systems and Ozone Generators), and more. We offer over-the-phone product selection assistance for your specific project, competitive pricing, and fast shipping. We can also provide quotes for larger projects including well water storage, fire protection, and rainwater harvesting systems.

        Learn more: https://rainwaterequipment.com/
        Call Rainwater Equipment: (877) 331-7008

        Rainwater Equipment provided a 65,000 gallon Pioneer Water Tank for rainwater storage
        Rainwater Equipment provided a 65,000-gallon Pioneer Water Tank for rainwater storage for a property in the Valley Mills, Texas area.

         


        Tanks Alot

        We are Tanks Alot. We are an environmentally conscientious company. We’re a one-stop-shop for all of your rainwater collection and storage needs.

        Our company is a family-owned and operated business. Jesse Beavers, owner, a native-born Texan, veteran of the US Army, and is an ARCSA Accredited Professional knowing rainwater catchment systems, design, and construction.

        We are an environmentally conscientious company that handles polyethylene tanks for rainwater harvesting, water storage, and chemical storage. We also sell liquid storage tanks that can be used for many purposes in the oilfield industry. Tanks Alot has a wide variety of sizes and colors of Tanks for many different uses. We can ship directly to your door anywhere in the US, some restrictions may apply. Installing a simple Rain Harvesting System will reduce your water demand on already limited supplies, and will help reduce groundwater runoff. Rain Harvesting can also help save money on your water bill! The chemical-free rainwater will make your plants happier and help preserve water in your area. Rainwater collection and storage can be used for well water storage systems, a property without running water, and filling troughs for cattle or livestock. If you are considering rainwater harvesting or water storage and want to talk to us about your options, give us a call. You will love doing business with us!

        Learn more: http://www.tanksalottx.com/

        Call Tanks Alot: (830) 331-7330

        Tanks Alot provided a rainwater harvesting system for the Bandera Natural History Museum. Rainwater is safely stored within a Pioneer Water Tank.
        Tanks Alot provided a rainwater harvesting system for the Bandera Natural History Museum. Rainwater is safely stored within a Pioneer Water Tank.


         

        Call Pioneer Water Tanks America

        (877) 223-7784


         





           

           

           

          All-in-one collection and storage rainwater tanks safely store water. Pioneer Water Tanks with added Smart Water Savers are the stand-alone rainwater collection system that can also be a part of larger collection space.

           

          Pioneer Water Tanks with Smart Water Savers installed for rainwater collection
          Pioneer Water Tanks with Smart Water Savers installed for rainwater collection

           

          The option of installing Smart Water Savers onto the concave roof of a Pioneer Water Tank adds the collection space based on the size of the model chosen. Smart Water Savers are manufactured of food-grade, UV stabilized Polyethylene. The water flow slots are 1.2MM wide with the design to keep mosquitos and other contaminants out.

           

          Smart Water Saver installed in the corrugated Pioneer Water Tanks roof
          Smart Water Saver installed in the corrugated Pioneer Water Tanks roof

           

          The trussing system of the corrugated Zincalume® Steel Pioneer Water Tank roof allows rainwater to flow through the Smart Water Savers, and in for safe storage. Inside of standard Pioneer Water Tanks is the exclusive AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner for clean water storage. The AQUALINER® Fresh is BPA-free and NSF-61 certified for drinking water storage.

          Pioneer Water Tanks partnered with SANITIZED® to embed the AQUALINER® Fresh with their patented antimicrobial technology that works to protect against the build-up of mold, algae, mildew, and biofilm. The antimicrobial technology is one more guarantee that water inside of a Pioneer Water Tanks is clean and fresh.

           

          Roof Area (ft2) X Precipitation Amount (in) X 0.623 = Amount Collected (gallons)
          The amount of rainwater that can be collected is based on roof area multiplied by the rainfall in inches and 0.623 (the quantity of water in gallons one inch deep in one square foot of space).

           

          Rainwater Collection Tank Up Close
          Rainwater Collection Tank Up Close

           

          The XLR 23/02 Pioneer Water Tanks model has a 26-feet and 4-inch diameter for a roof area of 544.63 ft2. This model has the option of adding 214 Smart Water Savers for rainwater collection. In an area with an average annual rainfall of 23-inches, the rainwater collection tank can collect 8,004-gallons of rainwater using Smart Water Savers. This is effectively 27% of your tank volume that can be collected from the rooftop with Smart Water Savers annually.

           

          Rainwater Collection Tanks are the perfect water source for residential and commercial needs. This all-in-one system works especially well for rural properties without existing structures that need a rainwater tank. Learn more about rainwater collection tanks at RainwaterCollectorTanks.com

           

           


          Our exclusive North American dealer and project management network facilitate sales, service, and, installations. We offer a full range of accessories and fittings so that your tank meets your needs and performs to the highest standards.

           


          START WITH A QUOTE

          Call Now (877) 223-7784





             


             

             

            As rainwater comes down on the insulated metal roof, the only question is how much will be collected. The Pioneer Water Tank already has almost 25,000-gallons of clean rainwater safely stored away, but today’s gain is still great to have on hand. This is a reality for many Americans already living off of rainwater harvesting and utilizing it as a drinking water source.

             

            Rainwater is a clean, sustainable water source that typically has an Alkaline pH with a lower mineral content than municipal water. Water quality standards are set by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and also whether or not rainwater may be utilized as a drinking water source.

            Although rainwater harvesting is legal in every single state and territory in the United States, there are seven states with restrictions on use and capacity of storage. Colorado restricts resident’s collection to 110-gallons of rainwater capacity and limits the use (Colorado House Bill 1016 (2015)).

             

            The State of Texas has one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation on rainwater harvesting, including utilizing rainwater as a drinking water source (Texas House Bill 3391 (2011)). This legislation sets the water quality standards, as decided by the TCEQ Rules and Regulations for Public Water Systems.

             

            The CDC allows for drinking rainwater, as long as the system complies with local regulations and potable drinking water standards for quality.
            If you collect and store rainwater for drinking, you have a private, or individual, water system and are responsible for ensuring that your water is safe. You should have your water and your system tested regularly and maintain the system properly 4-5. When rainwater is used as a supplemental water source, homeowners should ensure that rainwater cannot enter pipes containing safe drinking water 4, 6. Contact your state or local health department for more information.” (CDC website on rainwater)

             

            Rainwater is as clean as the collection space, conveyance system, and storage. The standards of quality of rainwater that must be placed to be used as a drinking water source are set by the authority having jurisdiction for the property.

             

            Rainwater filtration is based on the system design, materials used, and local requirements. Rainwater can be filtered and treated with micron physical filters, UV systems, and or disinfected with Chlorine or other agents. Systems may utilize several filtration techniques and disinfection to treat rainwater.

            • Physical filtration starts at preventing contamination from getting into storage, typically with screen filters on the downspouts and or at the riser pipe. Removing the rest of particle contaminants can be done with particle filters where the effectiveness is measured by the size of microns filtered.

            • UV purification prevents bacteria from spreading disease in water, such as Giardia. The water is exposed to UV radiation at the 254-nm wavelength that disrupts the DNA in pathogenic microorganisms, disabling their ability to reproduce.

            • Chlorine and other chemical-based disinfection are used by public water systems to treat the large quantities of water required for distribution. Smaller rainwater systems may not need this kind of filtration but in cases where Chlorine is used, an activated carbon filter can remove some of the taste. Water needs to be constantly monitored with any chemical disinfection for quality control.

             

            Rainwater systems utilized for drinking water are required to be designed and installed by an accredited professional who has local permits in place. We operate with a network of locally accredited businesses that provide rainwater harvesting systems (learn more).


            Rainwater harvesting supplies drinking and domestic water for many homes in Hawai’i. Pacific Blue Catchment designed and installed this system that stores rainwater in an XLR 08/02 Pioneer Water Tank with a capacity of 9,907-gallons. https://pacificbluecatchment.com/

            Pacific Blue Catchment rainwater system with a Pioneer Water Tank
            Pacific Blue Catchment rainwater system with a Pioneer Water Tank

            Rainwater Equipment supplied this 65,000-Gallon capacity Pioneer Water Tank for a homeowner in Valley Mills, Texas. Rainwater is captured off of multiple structures on the property. Rainwater is the family’s sole source of water for drinking and all other uses. Rainwater Equipment supplied the pump and UV filtration system for making the rainwater potable. RainwaterEquipment.com

            Rainwater Equipment provided a 65,000 gallon Pioneer Water Tank for rainwater storage
            Rainwater Equipment provided a 65,000-gallon Pioneer Water Tank for rainwater storage

             


             

            Pioneer Water Tanks store rainwater within the exclusive AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner, protected in the Zincalume® Steel tank body. The AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner is BPA-free and NSF-61 certified for drinking water storage.

             

            “NSF International has developed a test protocol that provides independent verification of the safety of the materials used in the production of rainwater harvesting systems. This protocol evaluates materials used in rainwater catchment systems, such as roofing materials, coatings, paints, liners, and gutters.” https://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/in-home-use/

             

            The AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner is also embedded with Sanitized® antimicrobial technology. The embedded antimicrobial technology works to protect against the build-up of mold, algae, mildew, and biofilm. Learn More

             

            A 1,000-square foot building roof can easily collect 600-gallons for every one-inch of rainfall, making it a renewable water source. Rainwater harvesting provides clean water that can be used for drinking when filtered and or disinfected to potable drinking water standards. Pioneer Water Tanks are ready to safely store rainwater, as well as other water sources, as a top-tier storage solution!

             

            Our exclusive North American dealer and project management network facilitate sales, service, and, installations. We offer a full range of accessories and fittings so that your tank meets your needs and performs to the highest standards.

             


            START WITH A QUOTE

            Call Now (877) 223-7784





               


               

              Sources

               

              AgriLife Extension Service Rainwater Collection

              https://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/in-home-use/

               

              CDC Rainwater Collection

              https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/rainwater-collection.html

               

              Colorado House Bill 1016 (2015)

              http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2016a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont2/E38A8DB3F0B7739887257F240063F8A2/$FILE/1005_01.pdf

               

              TCEQ Rules and Regulations for Public Water Systems

              https://www.tceq.texas.gov/drinkingwater/pdw_rules.html

               

              Texas House Bill 3391 (2011)

              https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/82R/billtext/html/HB03391F.htm

               

               

              Why You’ll Never Complain About Your Pioneer Water Tank Being Too Big, with Harvested Rain Solutions in Austin, Texas

               

              Water storage capacity is the supply available, and nobody ever complains about having too much. On average, one-inch of rainwater collected from a 1,000-square foot roof can yield about 600 gallons. Without the proper storage, rainwater collected above the capacity is drained out through an overflow pipe. 

               

              Having an above-ground storage tank for a well water system allows the well to work at a lower pressure and surges in use are easily supplied by the storage tank, with the well refilling the tank over a longer period if it’s a lower yield well.  In case of an emergency or for large peak daily use, such as for irrigation, a larger capacity is preferred.

               

              Preparedness for fire protection systems and backup water storage also benefits with a larger capacity. Pioneer Water Tanks are the premier large capacity water storage solution for residential and commercial needs.

              Fire Protection Water Tank provided by Harvested Rain Solutions for a commercial property in the Austin, Texas area

               

              Large capacity concrete and welded water tanks require long installation times with heavy equipment. Pioneer Water Tanks installation advantage is in the engineered construction of the bolted, V-LOCK corrugated tank body that secures the exclusive AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner inside to protect the water. The bolt-together construction and roof trussing system enable installations in even the most hard-to-reach areas.

               

              The cost-efficiency of water storage increases with the capacity so that at a certain point, it just makes more sense to get extra storage for the cost per gallon as compared to a smaller tank. This is why every Pioneer Water Tank owner can tell you that – a tank can never be too big.

               

              Ron Van Sickle with Harvested Rain Solutions, based in Austin, Texas, has experience with rainwater systems for homes, businesses, and fire protection. Their rainwater system designs include Pioneer Water Tanks for safe, clean storage. The capacity of Pioneer Water Tanks supplies for the needs of the application.

               

              Sometimes, a rainwater system owner will come back to Harvested Rain Solutions for additional storage that they thought that initially, they wouldn’t need. They end up with two or more Pioneer Water Tanks when they could have had a system designed by Ron with one cost-effective large capacity rainwater tank.

              “We often hear from clients that “a tank that big will never fill up” – only to have them call and tell me they hate seeing water go out the overflow pipe! It is always more cost-effective to order the next size larger tank than it is to add a second tank of any size.” – Ron Van Sickle, owner of Harvested Rain Solutions

               

              > Go to

               

              Harvested Rain Solutions are based in Austin, Texas with a service area in Central Texas. As an accredited Master Dealer, Harvested Rain Solutions are ready to provide Pioneer Water Tanks from start to finish.

               

              Talk with Accredited Master Dealer Harvested Rain Solutions at (877) 693-2166

               

              HarvestedRainSolutions.com

               

               

               

              Fill Out a Contact Form to Be Contacted by Harvested Rain Solutions

                 

                 

                 

                Planning for Water Self Sufficiency with a Large Capacity Pioneer Water Tank

                The first step to planning water self-sufficiency is to adequately prepare for daily water usage with the capacity for a backup. Estimating household water usage should go as detailed as possible. Every detail from the number of showers and the efficiency of a system can have a drastic effect on the amount of water used.

                There are many water usage calculators available online:

                – Water Footprint Calculator gives a daily usage estimate: https://www.watercalculator.org/
                – Texas AgriLife Extension Service Water Usage Calculator: http://people.tamu.edu/~i-choudhury/WCCalc.htm

                Planning a water source that supplies the demands of the household becomes a constant balance that can be cushioned with a backup water supply. Although rural properties typically rely on well water, rainwater harvesting has become a popular clean water source in the United States.

                > Learn more about rainwater harvesting as a water source

                The water source/s supply must be calculated and should be supplemented if the supply cannot meet the demands of the household with a backup.

                Rainwater systems calculate the amount of possible rainfall collected with

                Supply in Gallons = Inches of Rainfall x 0.623 x Area (square feet) x Runoff Coefficient

                 

                 

                Runoff Coefficients

                Character of Surface

                High

                Low

                Roof (metal, gravel, asphalt shingle)

                .95

                .75

                Paving (concrete, asphalt)

                .95

                .70

                Brick Paving

                .85

                .70

                Gravel

                .70

                .25

                Be Prepared with Pioneer Water Tanks

                Well water systems are the landowner’s responsibility to ensure the quality of drinking and having enough supply on hand to meet demands. Well records that show historical well yields, depth of the ground surface to the water, maintenance, etc. combined with local government data can indicate water supply.

                Implementing an above groundwater storage tank reduces running the pump and gives a consistent water pressure. Well yield is the rate at which a well can be pumped without drawing the water level down to the pump intake, measured in gallons per minute, GPM. Since the well yield depends on the aquifer that it’s drawn from, many outside factors can affect the supply available. To become completely self-sufficient with a well system, it’s necessary to have a backup water source, even the ability to truck in water.

                > Learn more about Pioneer Water Tanks for well water systems

                Becoming self-sufficient with your water supply is taking responsibility for the quality and supply of water. Reducing outside factors like groundwater quality or utility water sources increases the ability to control supply and demand. Rainwater harvesting, water wells, natural spring water sources have to be balanced with the water demands of the property that includes drinking and domestic needs.

                Pioneer Water Tanks provide clean water storage in a large enough capacity to fulfill drinking and domestic needs, along with provided capacity for a backup. Pioneer Water Tanks come standard with our exclusive NSF-61 certified tank liner the AQUALINER® Fresh that keeps water fresh for longer. Fire department connections and other accessories can be added to make your Pioneer Water Tank multi-functional.

                Pioneer Water Tanks are implemented worldwide for drinking and domestic water applications. Our clients rely on the consistent clean water supply that Pioneer Water Tanks provide. Our 20-year warranty on the tank body and tank liner guarantees this. Call today and learn more about our network that provides localized service.

                START WITH A QUOTE

                Call Now (877) 223-7784





                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Pioneer Water Tanks New Option to Add Smart Water Savers Increases Rainwater Collection

                   

                  Pioneer Water Tanks is proud to announce the new Smart Water Saver option. Smart Water adds 1.2MM water flow slots to the rooftop allowing for the potential to harvest hundreds of gallons extra of rainwater.

                   

                  The amount of Smart Water Savers that can be added depends on the model of Pioneer Water Tank selected. For an annual rainfall of 23-inches, the XL 23 Pioneer Water Tank can collect around an extra 8,004-gallons from the rooftop addition.

                   

                  Learn More: https://rainwatercollectortanks.com

                   

                  Smart Water Savers are manufactured with Food Grade Material that is UV Stabilized polyethylene. The optional Smart Water Savers are designed with a low-profile concave shape and small 1.2MM slots that help to keep debris from coming in.

                  See a closeup of a Smart Water Saver with the 1.2MM slots and concave structure that fits in well with the Pioneer Water Tanks roof:

                  The concave shape fits perfectly into the Pioneer Water Tanks rooftop corrugation that allows the rainwater to flow into the 1.2MM slots for clean storage.

                   

                  Families and businesses choose Pioneer Water Tanks for clean rainwater storage for many reasons. One of the top reasons is the Pioneer Water Tanks exclusive AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner. The AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner is third-party NSF-61 certified for drinking water storage and BPA-free. The National Safety Foundation standards for drinking water are developed by a team of scientists and industry experts to guarantee products worldwide.

                   

                  Pioneer Water Tanks partnered with worldwide leading experts SANITIZED® to embed their antimicrobial technology into the top layer of the tank liner. The SANITIZED® antimicrobial technology actively works against bacterial growth to keep water fresh and clean for longer.

                   

                  Pioneer Water Tanks includes our industry-leading 20-Year warranty on the tank and AQUALINER® Fresh liner. The warranty covers defects in material and/or workmanship resulting in leakage, for 20-Years from the date of installation.

                  Key Benefits:

                  • Efficiently catches rainwater from the corrugated tank roof

                  • Water flow slots are 1.2MM wide to help keep mosquitos and insects out

                  • TEK screws ensure that it’s firmly fixed to the roof

                  • Low profile concave shape allows leaves and debris to move over the top, keeping your tank roof clean

                  • Designed to last with UV stabilized polyethylene

                  • Designed to be safe with Food Grade material

                   

                  We offer a wide variety of water-storage options with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 1,000,000 Gallons. Pioneer Water Tanks are backed by our industry-leading warranty, so you can rest easy knowing you have a clean water storage solution that will last.

                  START WITH A QUOTE

                  Call Now (877) 223-7784





                     


                     

                    Learn More: https://rainwatercollectortanks.com

                     

                     

                     

                    Fire Protection Water Solutions

                     

                    Pioneer Water Tanks America exhibited and spoke at the 2019 National Fire Protection Association Conference & Expo. We provide residential and commercial water storage solutions with NFPA compliant fire protection options.

                     

                    Pioneer Water Tanks America presented Using Rainwater for Fire Protection, with regards to NFPA 13 A.23.21.

                    Using Rainwater for Fire Protection According to NFPA
                    Using Rainwater for Fire Protection According to NFPA

                    > Go to a PDF of the Presentation

                    Rainwater has become a sustainable water source for many applications. NFPA 13 A.23.21 stipulates that recycled or reclaimed water that has been properly analyzed for quality, is adequate for fire protection use. We will present successful past projects and general steps to implementing rainwater for fire protection.

                     

                     

                     

                    Presentation Resources:

                     

                    1. NFPA 13 Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems

                    https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=13

                     

                    2. NFPA Dynamics of Wildfire: Where is there available water?

                    https://www.nfpa.org/assets/gallery/firewise/operationWater/step2_4.htm

                     

                    3. Minnesota Stormwater Manual: Stormwater and rainwater harvest and use/reuse combined

                    https://stormwater.pca.state.mn.us/index.php?title=Stormwater_and_rainwater_harvest_and_use/reuse_combined

                     

                    4. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Rainwater Harvesting for Fire Protection

                    https://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/fire-protection/

                     

                    5. The Jefferson Monticello Historical Preservation: Cisterns

                    https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/cisterns

                     

                    Pioneer Water Tanks are compliant with NFPA National Fire Protection Association standards for fire protection applications. Fire protection packages come with a complete set of engineer-approved drawings with an option to add an engineer-stamped cover letter specifically for the project.

                     

                    We offer a wide variety of water-storage options with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 1,000,000 Gallons. Pioneer Water Tanks are backed by our industry-leading warranty, so you can rest easy knowing you have a fire-protection solution that will last.


                    START WITH A QUOTE

                    Call Now (877) 223-7784

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