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Thread: What the heck? Illegal to collect rainwater?

  1. #9
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    I live in good ol' dry Utah, and I still collect rainwater, what pathetically little amounts of it we get. But yes it's illegal in some states. New Jersey is another.

  2. #10
    rattler's Avatar
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    Bruce.....actually i asked my buddy who deals with Montana water law weither this is an issue here.....he is looking it up for me when he has a minute but he deals with the land owners claims more........will post the answer i get from him when ever i get it....

    would like to see how all the water rights are broken up cause in all actuality about 1/4 the state is owned by the feds and the feds control the major dams......wonder how much of Montana's water rights actually belong to the feds? my have to ask my buddy that question aswell.....
    cervid serial killer
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  3. #11
    Come To The Light. . . JB in Utah's Avatar
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    This came off the Utah Division of Water Rights homepage:

    "Rainwater harvesting is now legal in the state of Utah, starting May 11 2010. Senate Bill 32 was approved in the 2010 session that provides for the collection and use of precipitation without obtaining a water right after registering on the Division of Water Rights web site.
    There is no charge for registration.

    Storage is limited to one underground 2500 gallon container or two above ground 100 gallon containers. Collection and use are limited to the same parcel of land owned or leased by the rainwater collector."

    On the site there is a link to register and it takes seriously 2-5 minutes to fill out the info, then they redirect to where you can print out a certificate for your records. It looks pretty snazzy with all of my other documents.
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  4. #12

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    its illegal in new jersey. ahahahhaha this is just stupid.

  5. #13
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Are you sure it's illegal in NJ? Eastern water law is completely different from western and a ban against capturing precipitation wouldn't make sense in an eastern state. Unless it's a local public health ordinance aiming to reduce mosquito breeding or a private deed restriction trying to keep a development classy. As for Utah, I'll have to look up that bill when I have more time later. Colorado did the same in the last year or so, but only allowed it for people who use a well (I think). Most people would be shocked at how state water laws work (or don't).
    Bruce in CT

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  6. #14
    An orchid fancier with a CP problem chibae's Avatar
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    This topic sent me off to do some research for where I live. I'm in what's called a "critical wetlands zone" along the east coast in Maryland. here we are limited on the amount of impervious land structures such as homes, driveways, etc to help prevent stormwater runoff into the bay.
    Rainwater collection is highly encouraged as part of that same effort, so anyone who needs rainwater come on over here, set up your barrels and then collect your water from me for a modest fee. I can be the first rainwater farmer in my town.
    It's a tough life being a Sarracenia farmer
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  7. #15
    dashman's Avatar
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    It is absolutely true that you cannot collect rain water in some states. Especially the more arid regions. Even if it falls on property that you own.

    Reference:
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/collecti...our-water.html

    This has a link to a youtube vid where an owner of a Toyota dealership got into trouble with the law for trying to collect rain water to wash cars. He thought he was being green by doing so but ended up in trouble with the law. A deal was struck in the end however.

  8. #16
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    The fact that someone has a deed to a piece of land doesn't mean they have any claim to the water falling on it. In western states, surface water rights were separated from land rights a long time ago. In places where people have rights to more water than actually exists, people gardening with water from the roof are taking water that "belongs" to someone else. It's similar to the mineral rights - the owner of a piece of land doesn't necessarily own the minerals beneath it. There have even been battles over atmospheric moisture, since someone doing cloud seeding is taking water that might have fallen further downwind, where someone else would have had a claim to it. There is a lot of legislation and common law about these things and every state's laws are unique. Some more than others. I'm not saying our water laws work well, because I think many are wasteful and unfair, but our laws are what they are.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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