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Rainwater can help you save money. But if it’s misused, you risk a hefty fine.

With the drought restrictions and inflation which increases its cost, recovering rainwater and using it to water your plants, do your dishes or even wash your car can allow you to make big savings. But be careful not to fall into illegality because if you collect rainwater and use it in a certain way, you can get a ticket.

Is it legal to collect rainwater?

Collecting rainwater is completely legal. To do this, you can use a rainwater collector bought in a specialized store or one made with the means at hand, such as the underline our colleagues from House & Works. The law does not prohibit collecting and storing rainwater, as long as it is used for personal purposes and for domestic use only, excluding food consumption.

Collected rainwater can therefore be used for:

  • Fill the toilet flush
  • Wash the floors
  • Wash clothes, provided you use a suitable water treatment device
  • Water your garden
  • Clean your car

Collecting rainwater: which is strictly prohibited

It is forbidden to use rainwater inside your home that has run off a roof containing asbestos-cement or lead, for health reasons. Concerning the installation which is used to recover the blue gold, it must meet very specific criteria which, if they are not respected, can make you break the law.

THE site of Public service reminds that the rainwater you collect must have only run off a roof that is not accessible (except to ensure its upkeep and maintenance) and that the storage of water must be done in an above-ground tank or buried. No anti-freeze product should be applied in the storage tank.

If your installation is connected to the collective sanitation network (discharge of waste water into the sewers), you are required to make a declaration of use. It’s the case if you use rainwater picked up inside your home.

You must make the declaration at the town hall on free paper with the service in charge of sanitation. This must include the identification of the building concerned and the evaluation of the volumes of water used inside your home. The control of your rainwater collection system can be carried out by a technical agent of the drinking water network of your town hall.

Rainwater: the big fine you risk

If your installation does not meet the requirements (maintenance of your equipment every 6 months, follow-up in a sanitary maintenance log, etc.) and there is a risk of contamination of the public distribution network, you must follow the prescribed protective measures. by the technical agent. If you refuse, you may be penalized. The town hall can ask for the closure of your connection and a large fine could be intended for you.

“The act of degrading public works intended to receive or conduct water supply or of letting materials likely to harm the safety of fountains, wells, cisterns, pipes, aqueducts, water reservoirs used for public supply, is punished by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 indicated in Article L.1324-4 of the Public Health Code.

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