Do rain barrels work in Colorado? Here’s what to know.

Rain barrels have been legal in Colorado since 2016. They're not going to save you tons of money, but the water you save is priceless.

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By Cory Reppenhagen, 9 News Weather Colorado

COLORADO, USA — Some people see afternoon thunderstorms as opportunity to catch some free water.

Rain barrels have been legal in Colorado since 2016. The state allows anyone to capture up to 110 gallons of rain with every storm.

And you might be surprised how much water really comes off of your roof.

It only takes about a quarter inch of rain on a roof larger than 500 square feet to completely fill two rain barrels.

In a typical rainy season, a Colorado rain barrel user can expect to fill their rain barrels 10 to 15 times.

That will shave about $5-$10 off the monthly bill on the depending on how much your utility charges you for water. But it’s not about the money, it’s about conserving our water supply.

if you capture 2,000 gallons of rain then that is 2,000 gallons of water that’s not coming out of your faucet.

“It might not save an individual a lot of money, but every drop you conserve saves us all money in the long run,” said Matt Hayes a project manager with Castle Rock Water. “All the cities are kind of competing for the same water right now, it’s so tough to find and secure that water.”

And Coloradans are uniquely tied to water, more so than any other state, because we are a headwater state. Which is one of the reasons why Colorado was one of the last states to legalize rain harvesting.

“Every drop of our water comes from the sky as rain or snowflakes,” said Water Quality Scientist Steve Lundt with Metro Water Recovery. “We don’t have any major rivers bringing water to our state, we only have water leaving the state. So whatever falls from the sky, is all we get.”

Lundt also said that using rain barrels is the perfect way to teach yourself better conservation habits.

“It’s a way to change the culture about how we think about water,” he said “Water is just going to get more and more scarce, so we need to learn how to conserve and protect water now.”

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