Oh, you thought that water falling from the sky was free for the taking? Think again.

Not every state is cool with you filling up jugs and barrels with rainwater. Here is a look at which states are cracking down on residents looking for free water.

Why People Collect Rainwater

For some homeowners, collecting rainwater can be a cost-efficient way of keeping their properties green. Today's Homeowner noted that many use the water for their gardens, potted plants and and even their entire yards if the area has seen a period of heavy rain.

And while it may be great for your yard, it doesn't necessarily mean it's also great for you and your family to drink.

The CDC says the rainwater could wash bacteria and other contaminants into your collection container, which can lead to all kinds of illness. Not to mention particles in the air are entering the rain before it even lands on your roof.

Rain barrel collecting water in the rain
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State's Where It Is Illegal To Collect Rainwater

There are several states where there is absolutely no regulation on collecting rainwater. In fact, some states including Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey and New York actually encourage it.

New Jersey, for example, offers a rebate program to some residents for their rainwater collecting efforts.

Unfortunately, there are also some states where residents need to know their local laws before filling up a barrel.

According to Today's Homeowner, states put regulations in place for reasons that include the climate of the area and something called "historical water rights," which are guidelines that have been established for several years prior to any local droughts or water scarcity issues.

READ MORE: Is It Legal To Keep Your Loved One's Skull Following Their Death?

The following states have regulations in place that limit or prohibit rainwater collection:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington

A full list of state regulations and possible rebate opportunities can be found HERE.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

Gallery Credit: Elena Kadvany

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