Is it Illegal to Collect Rainwater in Oregon? [BEFORE You Harvest]

Is it Illegal to Collect Rainwater in Oregon?

 We’ve addressed all your legal queries regarding the legality of collecting the rainwater in Oregan below in much detail. 

As the law surrounding rainwater collection laws in Oregon is subject to constant change, we make sure to update our content on a regular basis in regards to such changes. All the info you’ll find below is based on the latest developments regarding; Is it illegal to collect rainwater, how much water you can collect in Oregan, and which is the best way to collect the rainwater here? etc. We make it our goal to provide relevant & authentic info to help you in achieving legal awareness regarding the subject.

Rainwater harvesting has gained popularity as a sustainable practice in recent years. But there are states where this practice is illegal. So is Oregon one of them? What is the legality of collecting rainwater in Oregon? Let’s explore this & much more in detail.

Is it Illegal to Collect Rainwater in Oregon?

No, it isn’t illegal to collect rainwater in Oregon, however, you are only permitted to do so by installing a system that collects the water vis roof surfaces.

In the past, Oregon had stringent regulations regarding rainwater collection, which led to a common misconception that it was illegal.

So Is it OK to Collect Rainwater in Oregon?

Yes, it is generally permissible to collect rainwater in Oregon, provided you adhere to specific guidelines and regulations. The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) oversees the management of water resources in the state and has outlined rules to govern rainwater harvesting.

Oregon Rain Harvesting Laws

Is it Illegal to Collect Rainwater in Oregon?

The OWRD requires individuals who intend to collect rainwater for non-potable uses to obtain a permit for storage tanks with a capacity greater than 2,500 gallons.

Can You Drink Rainwater?

Is it Illegal to Collect Rainwater in Oregon?

While rainwater is generally considered safe for non-potable uses, such as watering plants or washing cars, it is not recommended to drink untreated rainwater directly. Rainwater can pick up contaminants from the atmosphere, including pollutants and microorganisms, which may pose health risks if consumed without proper treatment.

Should You Treat Rain Barrel Water?

Is it Illegal to Collect Rainwater in Oregon?

For those who wish to use rainwater for potable purposes in Oregon, it is crucial to treat the collected water before consumption. Treating rain barrel water typically involves filtration, disinfection, and testing to ensure that it meets the necessary quality standards. Installing a proper treatment system can help remove impurities and make rainwater safe for drinking.

Rainwater Collection System

Is it Illegal to Collect Rainwater in Oregon?

To collect rainwater effectively, a well-designed rainwater collection system is essential. The system typically includes components such as gutters, downspouts, and storage tanks.

It is important to position the collection system correctly to maximize water capture. Proper maintenance of the system, including regular cleaning of gutters and filters, is necessary to prevent debris buildup and maintain water quality.


In conclusion, while there were misconceptions in the past, it is not illegal to collect rainwater in Oregon.

Rainwater harvesting can be a sustainable practice that conserves water resources and reduces reliance on traditional sources. By understanding the laws and implementing proper treatment measures, individuals can enjoy the benefits of rainwater collection while ensuring the safety of their water supply.

E.A. Gjelten