Rain barrels to become legal in Colorado Email
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 08:00 AM


Rain barrelSoon, Governor Hickenlooper will sign into law a bill allowing Coloradans to use rain barrels in their yards. 

House Bill 1005 was passed by the House on February 29 and by the Senate on April 1. It allows households to have up to two rain barrels with a combined capacity of 110 gallons. The water can only be collected for non-potable outdoor use.

The bill had been defeated in previous sessions, with strong opposition from agricultural groups. After a few compromises, the bill was finally approved by both the Senate and the House.

While Colorado law does not specifically prohibit rain barrels, water rights laws in place since Colorado’s early days prohibit diverting water to which someone already holds rights. And water rights in the state have long been claimed.

Once signed, the legislation will take effect August 10—so don’t install those rain barrels this month. Citizens may have to wait a while for the barrels to fill, as May is the state’s wettest month. But that rainfall will be perfectly timed to help support a garden next summer.