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Rain Collection

Rainwater collection from residential roofs became legal in Colorado in 2016.

Homes are now allowed a maximum of two rain barrels with a combined capacity of 110 gallons at each single-family house or multi-family unit of four or fewer units. Collected rainwater may be used only for landscape uses on the property from which it was collected. The CSU Extension Fact Sheet called “Rainwater Collection in Colorado” gives a good summary of the rules.

A labeled rainwater barrel system showing parts for collection, diversion, storage, usage, draining, and overflow.
Rain Barrel, Colorado Stormwater Center
Rainwater Collection in Colorado CSU Ext.pdf2022 Rain Barrel Installation Guide.pdf2022 Rain Barrel Installation Guide _Spanish Final.pdf

Additional resources concerning water collection or harvesting may be found by clicking on the links below.

Resource Central rain barrel resources:

El Paso County Conservation District - Use of rain barrels in Colorado

Conservation Colorado - Rain Barrels: Everything You Need to Know

TreePeople - How to Install a Rain Barrel

Colorado Stormwater Center - Rain Barrels

Colorado Storm Center - Rainwater Harvesting

 More resources

Division of Water Resources - Rainwater, Storm Water & Graywater

DWR Rainwater Collection Information Table.pdfRainwater Collection on Properties with Residential Wells Fact Sheet.pdf

Colorado HB 16-1005 Residential Precipitation Collection

Summary of the Bill


Colorado SB 09-080

SB 09-080 allows rural residents that qualify for “exempt” wells to collect rainwater with a Rooftop Precipitation Collection System Permit from the Colorado Division of Water Resources. Though these collection system permits do not limit the size of the rain barrel, the water must be collected from the roof of the primary residence and the rainwater may only be used for the uses allowed under the resident’s exempt well permit. For example, if the well permit allows for household uses only, then the rainwater could only be applied to non-potable uses in the residence; if the well permit allows for household uses and outdoor uses including lawn and garden irrigation and/or animal watering, then the rainwater could also be used for those uses. Information about SB 09-080 can be found in the "Stormwater Collection in Colorado" referenced above or through the following:

CO SB 09-080 Summary.pdfCO SB 09-080 Act.pdf