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Residential Precipitation Collection

Concerning the use of rain barrels to collect precipitation from a residential rooftop for nonpotable outdoor uses.
2016 Regular Session
Bill Summary

Section 1 of the act allows the collection of precipitation from a residential rooftop if:
  • A maximum of 2 rain barrels with a combined storage capacity of 110 gallons or less are used;
  • Precipitation is collected from the rooftop of a building that is used primarily as a single-family residence or a multi-family residence with 4 or fewer units;
  • The collected precipitation is used on the residential property on which the precipitation is collected; and
  • The collected precipitation is applied to outdoor purposes such as lawn irrigation and gardening.

Section 1 also requires the state engineer, to the extent practicable within existing resources, to provide information on the permitted use of rain barrels on the state engineer's website. Section 1 further sets forth the procedure by which the state engineer could curtail the use of rain barrels based on a determination of material injury. Finally, section 1 requires the state engineer to report to the agriculture committees in the general assembly in 2019 and 2022 on whether residential precipitation collection has caused any discernible injury to downstream water rights.

Section 2 requires the department of public health and environment, to the extent practicable within existing resources, to develop best practices for nonpotable usage of collected precipitation and vector control and to post any best practices developed on the department's website.

Section 3 prevents a homeowners' association from prohibiting a unit owner from using rain barrels for precipitation collection, with certain exceptions for leased or attached units or common elements. Section 3 allows a homeowners' association to impose reasonable aesthetic requirements on the placement or appearance of a rain barrel.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details