Did you know that in Oregon storing rainwater without a permit is a crime? 64 year old, Gary Harrington , was sentenced to 30 days in jail in 2012.
Oregon man in Possession of 13 Million Gallons of Illicit Rainwater Sentenced to Jail
An Oregon resident with 3 massive man-made ponds on his property is sentenced to 30 days in jail after being found guilty (again) of collecting rainwater without a permit.
I’ve taken a look at some mighty impressive
rainwater collection systems in the past, but it appears that Gary Harrington, 64, takes the proverbial cake when it comes to hoarder-esque rainwater collection activities: over the years, the Oregon resident has built three massive reservoirs — in actuality, they’re more like proper man-made ponds — on his 170-acre property on Crowfoot Road in rural Eagle Point that hold roughly 13 million gallons of rainwater and snow runoff. That’s enough agua to fill about 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Of course, it boggles the mind as to what a single man needs that much rainwater for. One would assume that Harrington is reusing it both for irrigation purposes and for non-potable indoor use as well, which, unlike in many states
, is permitted in Oregon. But 13 million gallons? Apparently Harrington, who has stocked at least one of the reservoirs with large-mouth bass and built docks around it, believes that his watery stash is a much-needed necessity when wildfires pop up in the area
. “The fish and the docks are icing on the cake,” Harrington tells the Medford Mail Tribune
. “It’s totally committed to fire suppression.”
The bigger story here is that rainwater collection is indeed kosher in Oregon, provided that you’re capturing it from an artificial, impervious surface such as a rooftop with the assistance of rainwater barrels. But an extensive reservoir set-up complete with 10- and 20-foot-tall dams is verboten without the proper, state-issued water-right permits — after all, Oregon law dictates that water is a publicly owned resource — and Harrington did not possess said permits.