A properly maintained rainwater tank can provide good quality drinking water. As long as rainwater is clear, has little taste or smell, and comes from a well-maintained water intake system, it is likely to be safe and unlikely to cause illness for most users. While clean rainwater is safe to drink, it can easily become contaminated when dropped, which could pose a major health hazard. Rainwater is generally a safe and reliable source of drinking water.
A well-maintained and well-managed supply system helps to further protect water quality. With all due respect to everything we have discussed above, the simple answer is: Yes. It's safe to drink, but only as long as it doesn't come in contact with anything. Unfortunately, that's not easy to examine.
That's why more people rely on rainwater for everything else except drinking. Many experts say that untreated rainwater may not be safe for human consumption, even though national guidelines suggest that the risk of getting sick from drinking rainwater is low. A number of factors can affect the safety of rainwater, including how often it rains in your geographic area, levels of air pollution, and the methods and tools used to collect, treat, analyze and store water (. Rain can carry different types of pollutants into the water you collect (for example, bird droppings on the roof could end up in the barrel or water tank).
If the roof catchment and tank are well maintained and the water looks, smells and tastes clean, the risk of getting sick is low. Consider adding a grate to the water inlet or emptying the rain barrel at least every 10 days to prevent mosquitoes from using the rain barrel as a breeding ground. Flinders University environmental health researcher Kirstin Ross, who recently conducted a review of water from tanks around Adelaide, said that while there was no evidence of an increase in gastrointestinal diseases as a result of using rainwater tanks for drinking water, microbes are present in water. If mosquitoes can access tank water, it can become a breeding ground for insects that spread diseases, said Dr.
Moglia, who was part of a research project that inspected 450 tanks in Melbourne. Cisterns, rain barrels, and other containers intended to store rainwater should also be properly maintained and disinfected, and according to the CDC, especially after floods and heavy rains. Collecting, storing and using rainwater, called rainwater harvesting, can be an effective way of conserving and reusing local water. Bacteria that can thrive in water tanks and traces of toxic metal that can be found in roof runoff prompt experts, such as Michael Oelgemoeller, a water treatment researcher at James Cook University, to suggest that rainwater should be your last option if you have access to other sources of treated water.
Earlier we wrote about the importance of cleaning and disinfecting dedicated water storage tanks (i) Collecting domestic rainwater, such as “greywater reuse,” can also reduce demand for existing drinking water supplies and storm water runoff. When rainwater is used as a source of supplemental water, homeowners should ensure that rainwater cannot enter pipes that contain drinking water. And check that your mesh is in good condition every three months; a recent CSIRO study found that more than 10 percent of the water tanks inspected had mesh that was in poor repair condition enough to allow pests and vermin to enter the tank. .