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?


View of the street surface during rain.

Collecting rainwater is nothing new. We as humans have been doing it for a very long time. Many refer to it as rainwater harvesting. Both Iowa and  Wisconsin have more relaxed laws.

Collecting Rainwater In Illinois

Illinois is different compared to these other two states. According to multiple sources and worldpopulationreview, Illinois has some regulations when collecting rainwater. Thankfully these regulations aren't too bad.

While there are regulations, it is still legal to collect rainwater in Illinois.

The Regulations

The House Bill 991, passed in 2011, is mostly focused on solar energy rights in Illinois, however, it also requires homeowners’ associations to specify if rain collection is allowed and if so, to spell out the location, design and architectural requirements of those systems. You can learn more here.

Illinois also has the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act. This act works through water conservation, efficiency, infrastructure, and management while promoting rainwater harvesting.

There is also the Plumbing-Rainwater Systems Bill SB0038, 

Amends the Illinois Plumbing License Law. Provides that "plumbing" includes rainwater harvesting distribution systems, but does not include any rainwater harvesting distribution system or rainwater harvesting collection system unless otherwise required by the Illinois Plumbing Code.

Again these codes, and regulations aren't too bad at all but are more than what Iowa and Wisconsin have. In the end, as long as you're safe, and follow rules you're all set!

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.

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Gallery Credit: Canva

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