Water tanks that collect rainwater are commonly used in agriculture, storing water to use when watering gardens, flushing toilets, washing cars and cleaning. The collection of rainwater is not allowed everywhere in the United States, as some states consider rainwater as property of the state, thus prohibiting its collection.
In states that allow rainwater collection, rainwater tanks or rain barrels are usually found outside of the house just under the downspout and over a platform made of bricks, cinder blocks, or durable and sturdy materials. A hose runs down from an overflow fitting, allowing excess water to drain into a lawn or a garden.
In many states, rainwater is typically used to water lawns and gardens, especially during the dry season. It helps conserve water supplied by the municipal water system. Many municipalities encourage using rainwater during seasonal droughts, as it helps reduce erosion and pollution, while improving the overall watershed condition.
Most states that allow the construction of alternate rainwater harvesting systems entitle homes and businesses to a state income tax credit. The state of Texas encourages residents and business owners to install a cistern and collect rainwater by providing discounts to rain barrels, or incentives and rebates for larger rainwater storage facilities. The state of Ohio even allows the use of rainwater for potable purposes as long as the collection system is regulated by the Ohio Department of Health.