DENVER (KDVR) — Rain and the possibility of severe storms are in the forecast this week. If you are thinking about collecting rainwater, there are some important things to know.

The Colorado Division of Water Resources said rainwater collection is allowed at residential properties under certain conditions.

Who can collect rainwater?

According to Colorado Revised Statute 37-96.5-103, rainwater can be collected at any single family residence or multi-family residence with four or fewer units. Each home in a row of homes joined by common side walls, such as duplexes, triplexes, or townhomes, is considered a single family-residence.

What is permitted under the statute?

According to Colorado law, the rainwater can be collected in a rain barrel, which is a storage container with a sealable lid. It must be located above ground of a residential home and used for collecting precipitation from a downspout of a rooftop.

Here is what is and isn’t permitted when it comes to collecting rainwater:

  • No more than two rain barrels with a combined storage capacity of 110 gallons or less are allowed.
  • The collected rainwater must be used for outdoor purposes, like irrigating your lawn or garden, filling your hot tub, or washing your car.
  • You can’t use the rainwater as drinking water or indoor for household purposes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking rainwater can be dangerous.

Rainwater can carry bacteria, parasites, viruses, and chemicals that could make you sick if you consume it. It has also been linked to disease outbreaks, according to the CDC.

An example, the CDC said, could be if a bird pooped on your roof, which could end up in your rain barrel.