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Using rain barrels in Colorado

By: Camilla Olsson, Harding Nursery
May 1, 2017 Updated: May 1, 2017 at 3:55 pm
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photo - rain barrel in the garden
rain barrel in the garden 

Colorado was one of the last states to allow the use of rain barrels to collect water. This is largely due to the history of our water rights administered through the state and water courts stating, “use it or lose it."

Rainwater harvesting does not include grey water collection or storm water harvesting. It refers to precipitation collected from the rooftop of a building that is used primarily as a single-family residence or a multi-family residence with four or fewer units.

Each residence can collect 110 gallons of rainwater per rainfall using only two rain barrels with a combined storage capacity of 110 gallons. In an apartment or condo with four units or less, 110 gallons of water can be collected per building. Homeowners associations cannot prohibit the collection of rainfall.

The collected water can only be used for outdoor purposes and may only be used on the residential property on which it was collected. Under no circumstance can the collected water be used for indoor household purposes.

Legally, a rain barrel means a storage container with a sealable lid located above ground outside a residential home used for collecting precipitation from a downspout off a rooftop. The components include the barrel itself, diverters, inlet, overflow, spigot and stand.  These can be purchased as kits or individual DIY parts.

It is best to use the collected water within seven days and to empty, clean and dry the rain barrel every 30 days. Disconnect rain barrel if leaving home for more than seven days.

Rain barrels can be used in Colorado climates from March through October but need to be empty and dry for the winter months. Ideally, they should be stored indoors to prevent weather damage.

Want to install a rain barrel at your home? Harding Nursery has everything you need to do so! Come visit with our expert gardening staff for more information.

 

 

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