Is Collecting Rainwater Illegal In California (CA)?
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You may be under the impression that collecting rainwater in California is illegal. That’s because up until 2012, it was.
It may sound strange, but prior to 2012, the collection of rainwater was in fact illegal. This wasn't to keep private citizens and homeowners from collecting and reusing rainwater, but to keep commercial concerns from disrupting natural water ecosystems by building large reservoirs with the capability of amassing millions of gallons of water that would normally flow through to a watershed.
The Rainwater Capture Act of 2012
All of that changed with the enactment of the Rainwater Capture Act of 2012. The bill authorizes residential, commercial and governmental landowners to install, maintain and operate rain barrel systems and rainwater capture systems for specified purposes, provided that the systems comply with specified requirements.
Prior to the Act, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) required all would-be appropriators to apply for and obtain a permit to appropriate water from any source, including water falling in the form of precipitation. Under the Act, however, the use of rainwater is not subject to the California Water Code's SWRCB permit requirement (Source: LexisNexis).
The Benefits of Rainwater Collection
The state of California’s water concerns are well-known. Continual drought cycles leading to water shortages and wildfires means municipalities, businesses and private citizens alike must remain ever conscious of potable water conservation. Collecting rainwater allows property owners to keep gardens or water lawns, while conserving potable water for drinking.
In addition to providing rainwater for landscape, lawn or garden irrigation, the collection of rainwater has other important, far-reaching benefits:
- Your municipal water bill be lower.
- Households collecting rainwater tend to be more conscientious of their use of potable water, leading to better overall water conservation.
- Harvesting rainwater can reduce stormwater runoff which in turn reduces the amount of pesticide, sediment, metal and fertilizer contamination of surface water sources used to supply municipalities.
- Rainwater collection at home saves energy by reducing the amount of pump activity required to supply municipal water to your home or business.
- Using harvested, untreated rainwater for irrigation reduces the amount of chemicals needed to make municipal water supplies safe and sanitary and also keeps more chemicals from being leached into the ground.
- Harvested rainwater is a great backup resource for fighting the threat of wildfires to your home.
- In the event of an emergency, harvested rainwater can be used as a backup source of drinking water (upon sterilization).
And last but not least, voters in the State of California recently overwhelmingly passed Proposition 72 to promote water conservation in the state. Prop 72 offers tax benefits to homeowners harvesting rainwater by exempting rainwater catchment systems from property tax assessments. The benefit applies to systems constructed on or after Jan. 1, 2019. The prop also allows for an installed rainwater capture system to be included in the value of the home when it is sold.
Other Uses for Harvested Rainwater
So far, we’ve focused mainly on using harvested rainwater for landscape, garden or lawn irrigation, but there are other, outside-the-box uses for collected rainwater. Essentially, any activity around the house that doesn’t involve ingestion can be completed using harvested rainwater, including toilet flushing, bathing, washing clothes, washing the car and washing dishes—and since rainwater is soft, washing activities require less soap, which is also a boon to the environment.
The Best Way to Collect Rainwater
Now that you have a better understanding of the potential uses and benefits of harvested rainwater, what’s the best way to capture rainwater easily and conveniently?
While reading through this article, you may have been visualizing collecting rainwater in one or more wooden barrels. That’s OK for filling up the garden watering can, but to get the capacity needed to best leverage captured rainwater in significant amounts, you should take a closer look at having a water tank installed.
Rainwater collection tanks come in a variety of sizes and materials depending on your needs and preferences, but all are professionally installed on your property, either as part of the construction of a new home or one can be retrofitted.
The installation of a rainwater collection tank is meant to last as long as 20 years, so there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider before deciding on which tank is best for you—including the longevity and reputation of the water tank supplier.
The Pioneer Water Tanks Difference
Pioneer Water Tanks has been a household name in Australia since 1988, supplying Australia with water tanks specially designed for Australia’s harsh and demanding conditions for domestic, farming, firefighting and industrial applications—and they are now available in California from a local dealer.
Our reliable, safe, top-quality water tanks are the culmination of nearly three decades of product improvement far above global industry standards. Pioneer Water Tanks maintains tight control of manufacturing, so we know exactly where all of our materials come from and can follow our manufacturing from the ground up. Some of our features include:
- 8-80 V-LOCK® corrugated steel walls
- Large 6" overflow connection and down piping
- Our unique swivel foot roof connection
- BPA-free Aqualiner FRESH® antimicrobial internal water tank liner
Pioneer Water Tanks also gives customers additional peace of mind with a 20-year warranty included with all tank purchases.
Pioneer Water Tanks uses strong, durable and proven BlueScope steel for our steel water tanks and they represent fantastic value when you consider the critical function these water tanks provide. Poly water tanks often result in greater costs because poly tanks often store a maximum of 50,000L of water, while the average person consumes 100,000L or more in a year, making them a false-economy because most locations need more than one.
Servicing Humboldt County & Surrounding Areas
Pioneer Water Tanks is the go-to water tank distributor in Humboldt County and surrounding areas. We have been servicing the region and surrounding areas for years and understand the region better than most. With our vast knowledge and years of experience working in the water tank industry, insist on Pioneer Water Tanks to solve your water storage needs. Our friendly and reliable staff will make the process easy and will leave you with a water storage system that is structurally built to last. We offer all the assistance you need, from our friendly consultation through to installation and after hour servicing.
Pioneer water tanks have been servicing all markets around the globe for over 30 years. We supply residential, rural and commercial water tank solutions for families and businesses alike.
Our service in the Humboldt region is situated in the Emerald Triangle in Northern California which has become a primary area of service. We have created many partnerships with consultants and growers in the region looking to legitimize and manage their crops effectively. This is widely due to the movement to regulate the growing and cultivation of marijuana / cannabis in California with legislation and regulatory changes coming into effect.
No other company but Pioneer Water Tanks provides peace of mind with:
- A 20 year warranty
- Antimicrobial water tank liner
- Free quotes
- Top quality steel water tank construction
- Local expertise
- Unparalleled quality and reliability of water storage for rural, commercial and agricultural applications
- Professional service
- Designed to comply with local building codes