According to: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/natres/06702.html, laws severely restrict the harvesting of rainwater. Basically, if a person captures rainwater, he's stealing it from the people who have the legal right to take the water from the watershed.
So, when we have a torrential downpour (albeit not too often), if you dare to put even a bucket under it to catch the rain to water your roses, you are breaking the law. What happens if you've bought your retreat and your only water is the well left from the previous owners, which runs dry in drought years?
Here's what we do NOT suggest ;)
- Some people get inexpensive 50-gallon food-grade drums that were used to carry some liquids. They are heavy-grade plastic containers, and dark enough to discourage the growth of algae which can clog pipes. They place the drums near/under the drainspout (esp if convenient to the garden). Then they cover it with a fine screen to prevent leaves or bugs from getting in there. This is generally used in the garden, by dipping in a watering can or bucket to use. Then it gets cleaned regularly (with bleach) to prevent contamination or settling. Surrounding the collection container with a pretty fence with a gate is a good idea - it reduces the exposure to sun to the water won't boil or become too hot to handle.
Here's a link (http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/rainbarrel/make-a-rain-barrel.html). I like this (http://www.friendsofwater.com/Water_Catch.html) link too.
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