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?

Collecting rainwater is very popular among many Americans. Many refer to it as rainwater harvesting, but Is it legal to do?

View of the street surface during rain.

Is It Illegal To Collect Rainwater In Wisconsin

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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.

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

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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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