Ever wonder why Colorado has so many 35 acre parcels?
Such an odd number isn’t it!
Well here’s why. In 1972 Colorado law makers passed a law that required, from that point on, residents to have at least 35 acres if they wished to apply for and receive a Domestic Well Permit. And if you had less than 35 acres, unless your well had already been drilled or permit issued prior to 1972, you would only be able to apply for a House Hold Only Permit.
Okay now let me explain the differences.
Domestic Well Permit: Allows you to drill a well that will supply water to up to three homes and use that water for your domestic use such as: all common Household uses in the home, washing your vehicle, watering your lawn or garden and supplying water to your animals. You can only water or irrigate one acre of land. So out of your entire 35 acres or more you can only water a one acre plot. Counties have the ability to regulate these requirements to less than three homes per 35 acres. Today in Las Animas County you can still build two homes on 35 acres but in Huerfano County to our north you are only allowed one home per 35 acres. This is their way of further limiting the impact to our scarce water supplies.
House Hold Only Permit: A house hold permit is issued for all properties that are less than 35 acres in size. Okay this is what makes our 35 acres so attractive. With a house hold well permit you are allowed to use the water in your home only! You are not supposed to wash your car, water your animals or water your plants outside. Wow! And if you are turned in for doing so you must have receipts that show you have been hauling water for those purposes. Otherwise the State can issue you a warning and if you persist then they can shut your well down and you will be required to haul water. Now this doesn’t happen often and their are no water police out there, except your neighbors of course.
Another question that many people ask if they are allowed to catch the runoff from their roof. Seems like the state would encourage you to do this especially with being so concerned about the impact on the ground water supplies. But NO you can not capture runoff from your roof. Not in this area of Colorado at least. Why can’t you do this you may ask. Well it has to do with the lawsuits between Kansas and Colorado over water rights. So the water is supposed to hit the ground, go into the river, and flow to Kansas. We may be thinking alike at this point in time and we may not agree with this ruling, but hey I am just the messenger here. So be safe and don’t catch your rainwater!