Bill Overturning Rainbarrel Ban Heads To Governor

<p>(Courtesy Flickr user <a href="" target="_blank">Center For Neighborhood Technology</a>/Creative Commons)</p>
<p>A perfectly legal rain barrel in Chicago. </p>
Photo: Rain barrel (Flickr/CC)
A perfectly legal rain barrel in Chicago.

But a bill that seeks to reverse the ban is headed to the governor.

The Republican controlled Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of lifting the ban, after the House approved the bill in March. It allows residents to use as many as two 55-gallon rain barrels to collect water for outdoor purposes like gardening.

Environmental groups say the bill increases flexibility in state water policies and praised the legislation's bipartisan support. Opponents are concerned about water collection interfering with water rights.

The bill does require the state water engineer to monitor and report whether the use of rain barrels affects those with downstream water rights.

The governor is expected to sign the legislation into law.