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Is rain water catchment legal in your area?

 
pollinator
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in my state it only became so (Nevada) last yr! (2017) I find this to be crazy.
is it legal where you are? anyone live where its still not legal?
looking to buy a place next yr, and want to make sure I can.
 
pollinator
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Rain water catchment is a way of life in many parts of Hawaii. On my own 20 acre farm, I have numerous large catchment tanks and ponds for water storage. We catch enough water to meet our household and livestock needs, plus a bit for the gardens. On wet years, we never need to haul in water, but on drought years, I need to truck in extra water for the growing beds.

In my own district of Ka'u, I'd venture to say that half the residents use catchment water as their primary water source.
 
pollinator
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Pretty sure Nevada was the last hold-out in North America.  Colorado, the other hold-out, made it legal a few years back.

In Arizona, where I live, rain water collection is required in certain types of new construction and generally encouraged, in fact many areas have large rebates.  Tucson is offering $2,000 rebate for rainwater systems.
 
pollinator
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I've never asked, and don't intend to.  If the man wants to come and fine me for slowly releasing my rainwater on my timetable into my garden, I'll pee on his shoes.
 
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I find it incredible that in the past rainfall collection was banned.
BUT I am aware in Melbourne Asutralia it was banned many years ago because the collection tanks also trapped all sorts of nasties that were a public health issue.
Town water was supplied and alternatives were banned.
I guess it was not until public knowledge of the nasties was more prevalent, and better systems were available that rainfall collection  was again permitted.
Remember in big cities we had issues of lead from petrol fumes settling as dust on rooves, we had animals drowned in tanks etc.
 
pollinator
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I cant belive our countrys way of life has come to "asking" if its ok to save rain water!

Especially in light of need and tradition of not asking mommie all the time if its "ok" to have a cookie.... a real adult just eats the cookie!

 
pioneer
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I don't know if this is an urban legend or not, but either way, it brings up an interesting point.  I was told that a person in Colorado was fined for catching rainwater on his property.  He went to court and was basically told it wasn't his rain, it belonged to the state of Colorado for everyone's use, and so, he couldn't capture it.  Shortly after, a storm came through and rain and hail damaged some of his property.  The story goes that he brought suit against the state of Colorado because their rain damaged his property.

As I said, I have no idea if this story is true, but it does seems like it would bring up interesting legal arguments.
 
Trace Oswald
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frank li wrote:I cant belive our countrys way of life has come to "asking" if its ok to save rain water!

Especially in light of need and tradition of not asking mommie all the time if its "ok" to have a cookie.... a real adult just eats the cookie!



A "real adult" in Oregon went to jail when he decided to "just eat" this particular cookie.

Gary Harrington jailed
 
gardener
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How to answer without being dumped into cider press or banned completely???

This topic really torques me off. Water is a basic necessity for life. Just because someone passed a law doesn't make it constitutional. Anyone should be "allowed" to collect rain water, grow veggies in their front yard, own guns, make humanure, etc, etc, etc on their own property. Without exception, as long as it's done safely. Challenging the laws before they are passed is fairly easy, after they are passed is harder but it can be done. It MUST be done. In this country it is one of our basic rights & responsibilities as outlined by our founders. Jury nullification is just one example. Dirty job but if nobody ever challenges them the "rules" will remain indefinitely. Fair or unfair.

Water collection is legal in TN. Fairly sure most states have wised up & even started to encourage it. Austin, TX get's the majority of it's water from Edwards Aquifer. It is highly stressed due to the large influx of people & development in recent years. Many people collect rain water there now. The so called "elite" install a deep well into the Aquifer because city water might run dry. No odd/even day lawn watering restrictions for them either. They need their acres of St. Augustine lawns around their McMansions to be green no matter what. Right? If I lived where water collection & such things were illegal I would work to get the laws changed or simply move. If they want "their" water back ... pee on their feet .. had to laugh at that comment but it would get the point across.

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Full riparian rights here in Vermont!
 
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bernetta putnam wrote:in my state it only became so (Nevada) last yr! (2017) I find this to be crazy.
is it legal where you are? anyone live where its still not legal?
looking to buy a place next yr, and want to make sure I can.



I am looking for information on how off grider's collect rain water in Utah. If they can only have one tank of 2500 gals how do these people water their gardens. Utah only gets about 10-11 inches each year. One person needs that just to survive on. I'm wondering if there is a way to get a special permit to having more then one 2500 gal tank. I called one county and was directed over to water engineering who then quoted the states policy and wouldn't give me any more information. So how dose one water their gardens and themselves in Utah??? Forever North cr6789cr@gmail.com
 
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In Oregon, it is legal to capture rain water AS LONG AS the rainwater captured is roof runoff.  I checked this out in detail seven years ago when I decided to build my own 10000 gallon rain capture water tank.  Now that I'm at my new place out in the country, trying to be a real homesteader, one of my first projects was to build a ten thousand gallon rain capture water tank.  I built a sheet metal roof over it to capture the rain and drain it into the tank -- that is legal here.  I also hijacked the downspout on my barn roof and route that water into yet another 5000 gallon water tank -- fills up really fast.
 
Christopher Rivers
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Lindon Rose wrote:In Oregon, it is legal to capture rain water AS LONG AS the rainwater captured is roof runoff.  I checked this out in detail seven years ago when I decided to build my own 10000 gallon rain capture water tank.  Now that I'm at my new place out in the country, trying to be a real homesteader, one of my first projects was to build a ten thousand gallon rain capture water tank.  I built a sheet metal roof over it to capture the rain and drain it into the tank -- that is legal here.  I also hijacked the downspout on my barn roof and route that water into yet another 5000 gallon water tank -- fills up really fast.



I would like to see how you built your tanks. But in any case the price for land in Oregon would be beyond me.
 
pollinator
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My understanding is that in Washington it is legal. I hear rumors all the time that it isn't, but it's usually from people who absolutely despise any form of government ever and are willing to believe and repeat anything (I'm not taking a shot at people who believe in small or non corrupt government, which is an entirely separate view from the people I just described)
 
Lindon Rose
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Here's a couple of pics.  I had an excavator come out and dig a 4-foot deep hole, but the location is on a slope so as it turns out the backside is 4 feet deep and the front side is only about 2.5 feet deep.  That's why I had to pile up a bunch of crushed rock around the front and sides, to keep the weight of the water from bulging out the front and sides.  It is nearly full now after a winter of rain.  Notice the inexpertly but still functionally built sheet metal roof that captures the rain water, making it legal, and drains it into the tank.  The cover is to keep light off of the water, otherwise fungus and mold would form.  This tank is at the top of my sloping property, and there is a long 1 inch PVC hose that I buried which goes into the tank and down to my growing area -- so gravity fed irrigation, which is what this is for.  But if it comes to it, I can use it as drinking water too.  The dimensions of this tank are 4.5 feet deep, 20 feet by 15 feet.  Lot of work, but glad I have it now.  BTW, Oregon land is too expensive for me too, but here I am...
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10000 gallon water tank 2
 
pollinator
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Here in Denmark you may catch your roof water, but for people like me who sell vegetables it gets hard after that point. I cannot water anything that is customarily eaten raw with it as that has to be watered with drinking quality water only. So Potatoes, squash, pumpkin, corn and parsnips are ok to water with rainwater (and any ornamental of course) but not much else. It just becomes a bit difficult to sort out so it is much easier to just use town water for everything. Eventually we may sort out the potatoes as they grow in a separate area, but I mix up most of the planting so I could not guarantee that my parsnip water did not hit a carrot.
 
Christopher Rivers
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Lindon Rose wrote:Here's a couple of pics.  I had an excavator come out and dig a 4-foot deep hole, but the location is on a slope so as it turns out the backside is 4 feet deep and the front side is only about 2.5 feet deep.  That's why I had to pile up a bunch of crushed rock around the front and sides, to keep the weight of the water from bulging out the front and sides.  It is nearly full now after a winter of rain.  Notice the inexpertly but still functionally built sheet metal roof that captures the rain water, making it legal, and drains it into the tank.  The cover is to keep light off of the water, otherwise fungus and mold would form.  This tank is at the top of my sloping property, and there is a long 1 inch PVC hose that I buried which goes into the tank and down to my growing area -- so gravity fed irrigation, which is what this is for.  But if it comes to it, I can use it as drinking water too.  The dimensions of this tank are 4.5 feet deep, 20 feet by 15 feet.  Lot of work, but glad I have it now.  BTW, Oregon land is too expensive for me too, but here I am...



That's a sweet rain catchment system. I'll look into land prices in Oregon. Thanks for the pictures. North
 
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