Is capturing rainwater illegal?

SACRAMENTO - In response to a News10 Facebook post about a ban on artificial turf on front lawns, Jacqueline DeCesari commented that capturing rain water was illegal:

"Just like collecting rain from your roof...illegal," DeCesari commented on the post. "Laying fake grass will cut down on water usage and the city won't make any money."

In general, the collection of rainwater is not illegal.

City of Roseville Environmental Utilities Department spokesperson Lisa Brown said as long as you are not rerouting your plumbing and using it to shower or for drinking water, it is legal to capture rainwater.

Brown said the water can be used for irrigation purposes such as watering plants. You can generally capture the water without needing a permit. There are some case when a permit is needed.

"Residents would need special permits if it is a more comprehensive water collection system," Brown said. "For example, if there are underground tanks that require a filtration system, the city would require you to get a permit."

For the city of Elk Grove, spokesperson Christine Brainerd said it is not illegal to harvest rainwater, as long as it is on your private property.

Proper containers must be used when collecting water in the city of Sacramento.

"As long as you have a rainwater barrel, you can collect water," Department of Utility spokesperson Rhea Serran said.


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