January 18

Is Collecting Rainwater Illegal In Texas (TX)

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Is it illegal to harvest rainwater in Texas (TX)?

Call Pioneer Water Tanks America on (707) 395-6255

When looking at harvesting rainwater in Texas, the first thing many people look into before purchasing a rainwater tank is if it is legal in Texas.

The confusion around the legality of this likely comes from the fact it is illegal to harvest rainwater in some parts of the world, and even in counties across the United States (it was only recently made legal to harvest rainwater in California), however, in Texas, rainwater harvesting not only legal but encouraged.

Rainwater collection is a great way to utilise natural resources to help lower your house bill and reliance on your local water utility, by harvesting rain that may have otherwise become surface water that later simply evaporated or soaked into the soil.

While collecting rainwater itself isn't illegal - in fact; it is illegal to prevent the building of a rainwater harvesting facility for that reason alone - there are certain regulations that must be followed when setting up your rainwater harvesting system if you do wish to collect rainwater for personal use in Texas.

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Rainwater Harvesting Regulation Overview

The Texas Property Code 2207, which also encourages composting, efficient irrigation, and drought-resistant landscaping, not only promotes rain harvesting; but contains laws that prevent homeowners associations from making the harvesting of rainwater illegal.

Additionally, a municipality or county cannot deny a building permit solely because the facility will implement rainwater harvesting; however, it may require that the system complies with the minimum state standards established for such systems.

"Rainwater is of superior quality: zero hardness, sodium free, and nearly neutral pH. Harvesting rainwater can reduce demand on traditional water supplies and can provide water in areas without access to a conventional water supply system. Plus, rainwater is free!"

There are also a range of financial incentives, rebates, discounts and tax exemptions available that can lower the costs if setting up a water collection system, and the Texas Water Development Board states that the Texas Tax Code exempts rainwater harvesting equipment, supplies, and labor for the installation of rainwater harvesting systems from state sales tax. As well as this, some municipalities or local water providers offer a local incentive or rebate programs for to encourage homes to collect rainwater.

The Texas Water Development Board also developed the Texas Rain Catcher Award as a competition to recognise the contribution of individuals and entities pursuing rainwater harvesting as a water conservation strategy.

Harvesting Rainwater in Texas

How much rainwater can I harvest?

On average, for every inch of rainfall on a 2,000 sq ft roof, approximately 1,000 gallons of water can be collected. This means that in a city like Austin, which receives an average of 32 inches of rain per year, one could collect up to 32,000 gallons of water annually.

If you are looking to catch a small amount of harvested rainwater, then a rain barrel will likely suffice for your rainwater collection needs, however if you were looking to catch something close to the 32,000 gallons above, then rain barrels likely wouldn't be a large enough rainwater capture and storage system, and you may want to look into a large rainwater tank. 

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What are the benefits of installing a rainwater system in Texas?

There are a host of benefits that come with installing a rainwater tank to collect rainwater in Texas, including but not limited to: 

  • Lower municipal water bill and reliance on water resources
  • Increased water conservation
  • Reduced stormwater runoff and contamination of surface water sources
  • Energy savings from reduced pumping activity
  • Backup resource for fighting wildfires
  • Emergency drinking water source (after sterilization or installation of a filter)

What are the restrictions on rainwater collection in Texas?

In Texas, if a rainwater harvesting system is going to send rainwater indoors for drinking water - or potable purposes - it must be installed and maintained by a licensed plumber who is also certified as a Water Supply Protection Specialist. This is to ensure that the system is properly installed and maintained, and that the water is safe for consumption.

Rainwater Tanks

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.

If a private rainwater harvesting system with a capacity of over 500 gallons is connected to a public water supply as a backup, it must have a backflow prevention device or an air gap installed in the storage area to ensure physical separation between the harvesting system and the public water supply system.

Any person who wants to connect their rainwater harvesting system to the public water supply must give written notice of that intention to the municipality or the operator of the public water system in which the rainwater harvesting system is located.

When deciding where to place your tank, ensure you are aware of any potential pest issues.  There are a range of pests that may negatively impact the longevity of your tank, and potentially your water quality.  If you are unsure, consult your local pest control service provder for accurate information.

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 Texas through Pioneer Water Tanks America.

Pioneer Water Tanks come in the full range of Colorbond® water tank colours with rural water tank sizes ranging from a 2600 Gallon (12,000 litres) rainwater storage tank, to a 110,000 Gallon (500,000 litres) rainwater storage tank.

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 for fresh water storage
  • Peace of mind with a 20-year warranty included with all tank purchases.
  • Professional service, and knowledgeable installers
  • Designed to comply with local building codes

For a quote, or more information on how a Pioneer Water Tanks rainwater collection system may benefit your home, farm or winery, call Pioneer Water Tanks America on (707) 395-6255.

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