Social media is great, but sometimes random ideas go viral. There has always been this idea online that it is illegal to collect and harvest rainwater. Popular TikTok channels about collecting rain will be flooded with comments claiming it is illegal but is there any truth to these statements?

Rainwater gutter downspout with water pouring out onto cement

Let's make this simple. The short answer is that rainwater harvesting is legal.

In Wisconsin, there are no laws preventing rainwater harvesting,  but some sources do state a few potential rules that control what you can and cannot do with the collected water. You can learn more here.

View of the street surface during rain.

When it comes to collecting rain water there are no regulations in Wisconsin. 

Thankfully many states are like Wisconsin in their regulations (as in there are none) but states like Arkansas do have regulations. California may install, maintain, and operate rainwater capture systems for specified purposes. Illinois is also highly regulated according

What Is Rainwater Harvesting

For many years rainwater has been used in many different ways, many sources state the following,

Historically and in many developing countries still today, many homes use a cistern to capture rainfall for household purposes. Rain water harvesting, like the cistern, is the process of collecting rainwater and storing it for later use. Storage methods range from small barrels to large underground storage tanks. It is a valuable water management practice that is greatly underutilized.

You can learn more here.

Water flowing into rain barrel

With a great history and no regulations in Wisconsin, it looks like you're all set to start harvesting, but please keep in mind that there are safe ways to collect this rainwater. 

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Gallery Credit: Various

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