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Colorado's new rain barrel law takes effect on Wednesday

New law legalizes at-home rain barrel use
Posted: 6:54 PM, Aug 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-09 22:57:49-04

DENVER -- Coloradans will soon be able to collect rain water at their own homes.

The state's new rain barrel law takes effect Wednesday, August 10, it will allow people living in the state to use rain barrels at their homes to collect water. 

The highly-debated new law changes state water law that dates back to the 1850s.

There are rules you need to follow if you plan on taking advantage of the new law: 

  • Each household can only have up to two barrels, with a combined storage of 110 gallons.
  • A "household" is defined as anyone who lives in a house or townhouse with fewer than 4 units.
  • The purpose is to collect rain water for at-home use: things like watering your lawn, washing your car, filling your kids pool -- not generally for drinking. 

Here are some tips on installing rain barrels:

  • Place your barrel on a raised surface near your gutter
  • Check your gutter for debris and install a downspout
  • You can cut the gutter to install a rain diverter, or tube, which diverts the water from your roof into your rain barrel.
  • Reinforce with caulk or screws
  • Test it by running water through your gutter

You'll want to make sure your barrel has a proper lid to prevent mosquito breeding grounds.

One final recommendation, add 0.1 percent dilution of bleach to the water collected to help keep bugs out of the water during the summer months. 

You can purchase rain barrels at most home improvement stores.