Colorado Rain Barrels are banned unless you have a standalone well.  This law makes no sense


UPDATE:  Apparently as of late August 2016 it is now legal to have TWO 50 gallon rainbarels.  Jeez, you are so generous.  Read on for how even 2 1000 gallon barrels will have no effect!

The absolute nonsense of CO banning rainbarrels is something to behold. It is purely the bureaucracies wanting people to pay their taxes. Stunning overreach by government and would be easily countered if people would note the math. Do these people like to pay taxes or are they simply stupid? They certainly didn't do the math.  And allowing people to use rainbarrels would have absolutely no effect on the ecosystem.  In fact, it would likely encourage people to harvest and use their rainwater wisely!  Give the people power to do this and they know what to do.  

Let's say that the Denver metro area was composed of single family homes, and that absolutely every family of 4 had a rainbarrel, collected absolutely all the water that ever fell on a 1600 sq foot root and saved it. This works out to .04% of the available water that would fall. And of course, all the water makes its way back into the ecosystem, just at a slower rate. It is not as if they are stealing the water and selling to neighboring New Mexico.

This assumes absolutely every family in Denver metro did this. A more realistic approximation would probably not even approach 10%.

Absolutely stupid law.

Here are the calculations: The data was gathered from wikipedia. “Denver”


Denver metro area 8414 sq miles

Denver metro population 2.8 million people

Assumed family is 4 people

Assumed roof area is 40x40 1600 sq feet

Sq ft = (8414 mi sq) x (5600 ft/mi)sq = 264 x10^9 sq ft

Sq ft of roofs = (2.8x10^6 people/4 people/family) x (1600 sq ft/family) == 1.2 x 10^9 sq ft

(sq ft roofs) / (sq ft of denver metro) == (1.2 x 10^9) / (264 x 10^9) == .45 %

If more realistically 10 % figure were used, it would be .045%

Do you know how much water this is? A barrel is 55 gallons, 220 quarts. .045% is a .9 quarts – out of a barrel!


If you were to limit the calculations to Denver County, you could only assume maybe 1 of 100 families had a rain barrel, even tho the area would be less.  So I have taken what I think is absolutely the worse case for the calculations.  The population density is the highest in this area.  In any other area of CO, it would be much lower and the rain capture would be hundreds/thousands times less. 


Let's consider a less populated area. Take Jerry Sonnenberg's counties, the CO state senator so concerned about water. I estimate the area of his 11 counties as approximately 10,000 sq miles (1/10 of CO), with 130,000 people.


Sq ft = (10,000mi sq) x (5600 ft/mi)sq = 313x10^9 sq ft

Sq ft of roofs = (130,000 people/4 people/family) x (1600 sq ft/family) == 52x10^6 sq ft

(sq ft roofs) / (sq ft of senate district) == (52x10^6) / (313 x 10^9) == .00016 %


Let's see, that is .03 qt. If 1 in 10 families did this it might be a spoonful of water out of a barrel that he is capturing in his senate district. Absolutely insane.


Now let's look at the actual amount of water that falls. My research shows 20” or rain per year is a pretty good figure for CO. So if you collected all the water that fell on 1600 ft^2 of roof for the whole year, that would be

1600 ft^2 x 1.66 ft = 2656 ft^3 or about 2656 x 7.48 gal/ft^3 = 19,866 gal.


Putting up a standard 1000 gallon barrel will have absolutely no effect on anybody!! You would have to go to pretty extreme lengths to capture even 10% of the water that falls on you. That would be TWO 1000 gal rainbarrels. Or maybe an underground tank. Not too many people are asking to do this. And it is not stolen, it is captured for later release of course....


And they are being so nice by “allowing” you to put up 2 50 gal rainbarrels.


The arrogance is astonishing. Can somebody correct my math, or are these people absolutely insane! I think they are much more concerned with collecting the taxes on the water.