Kentucky is famous, or rather infamous, for its unpredictable weather, and when it rains it tends to pour. Naturally, that would make the Bluegrass State a wonderful place to have your own rain collection system.
Raincatching is an ancient practice that is a great way to ensure you always have water coming in, even during a major disaster or grid down scenario. But, some states have serious restrictions on the activity.
Is Kentucky one of them? Is it illegal to collect rainwater in Kentucky?
No, it is not illegal to collect rainwater in Kentucky. The state has no specific laws or regs concerning it. However, rainwater collection must still follow all applicable state and local laws and codes.
Kentucky is, thankfully, one of the most relaxed states when it comes to rainwater collection, so you can rest assured that no matter where you are you’ll likely be able to install a system with no issues.
That said, there’s plenty more to learn so you can make an informed decision on the process. Keep reading and I will tell you all about it below…
Is Collection of Rainwater Illegal at the State Level in Kentucky?
No, it is not illegal to collect rainwater in Kentucky at the state level. Kentucky has no regulation against residents collecting rainwater for really any purposes.
In fact, Kentucky encourages and supports rainwater harvesting among the citizenry as it can help save water during times of drought, and reduce stormwater runoff.
However, the collection and use of rainwater must still abide by all applicable state laws, including those concerning water quality for consumption or other purposes.
Is Collection of Rainwater Illegal at the County Level?
No. As far as I could find, there are no counties that outright ban citizens from collecting rainwater.
However, it’s possible for individual counties and municipalities to implement their own requirements on rainwater harvesting, including permitting and codes for the installation of systems.
Some local laws may require water quality sampling, an inspection, or restrict the amount of water that may be collected.
It’s also important to note that your rainwater collection system must be in compliance with all local zoning ordinances and building codes.
So, make sure to check with your city or county government before starting any project- and definitely before you plunk down a ton of cash on tanks and components!
Although most counties likely don’t have any serious regulations, failure to obey can see you fined or charged. Don’t risk it!
Under What Conditions Can Citizens Collect Rainwater in Kentucky?
The Kentucky State Government permits citizens to collect rainwater for basically any purpose at any time, again so long as all state and local laws are being followed otherwise.
But once again, your local codes and laws might specify various regulations that could impact your collection operation or intended use.
Is There a Limit on How Much Rainwater You Can Collect in Kentucky?
No, not according to state law. Local laws might be different…
Something else to keep in mind, though not just limited to Kentucky specifically, is that while the collection of rainwater is generally legal in most states, there may be certain circumstances where state or local authorities may issue a stop order or halt on it.
Some reasons for this may include concerns related to drought, wildfire risk and other emergencies.
For example, in some areas with limited water resources, the state may issue a stop order on rainwater collection to ensure that enough water is available for other uses, such as irrigation, agriculture, and drinking water supplies.
Overall, the primary concern of Kentucky authorities when issuing stop orders or limits on rainwater collection would only be to ensure the protection of public health and safety, as well as the protection of the environment.
What Does Kentucky Allow Citizens to Use Rainwater For?
In Kentucky, there are no state laws governing the explicit use of rainwater for any purpose. But, this is where other state and local laws will start making an impact.
Broadly speaking, the intention behind most of these laws is that citizens will use rainwater for non-potable purposes, including but not limited to irrigation, watering plants, gardening, washing vehicles, washing homes and flushing toilets.
Some folks will have every intention of using their collected rainwater for potable use, i.e. drinking.
While Kentucky doesn’t have specific guidelines on what the collected water can be used for, heath codes and local laws might declare that such water is contaminated with bacteria and parasites that can pose a risk to human health. That means a no-go for that plan!
Thus it’s important for residents to understand health codes covering drinking water, and satisfy requirements for purification before using their raincatcher system for potable storage.
Does Kentucky Require Special Equipment or Inspection for Rainwater Collection?
No, none. There are no state-level codes for rainwater harvester design or construction in Kentucky. But, you guessed it, local laws and codes may well get in the way, here.
But even if they don’t, I would urge you to ensure that rain barrels, cisterns, and other storage containers are designed and built according to best practices to ensure that your stored water stays free from contamination.
Does Kentucky Offer Incentives for Rainwater Collection?
At the time of writing this, Kentucky doesn’t offer any monetary incentives for rainwater collection at the state level. No tax breaks, no rebates, nothing…
That said, some counties and even cities might well do just that, especially if they are struggling with stormwater, public water shortages and other issues.
The best way to determine local incentives is to check the county or local city government website for available incentives.
And even though the state does not offer its citizens with incentives for rainwater harvesting, the cost-saving benefits and preparatory utility of a rain collection system are more than worth it on their own. Eyes on the prize, people!
Bottom Line: Is Kentucky a Good State for Rainwater Collection?
Yes, definitely! Kentucky not only encourages rainwater harvesting for citizens, it makes it reasonable for people to achieve by getting out of the way!
There are no specific state-level rules and regulations regarding rainwater harvesting, and though residents must follow any local guidelines and codes these are typically not much to worry over.
Also, the lack of state-mandated equipment choices allows you to choose the best system and equipment suitable for their needs- assuming the local codes don’t get you!
And Kentucky gets plenty of rain yearly: an average of 49 inches a year, actually – more than enough to fill the biggest tanks and cisterns! So Kentucky is definitely one of the best places to be for rainwater collection.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.