Rainwater can carry bacteria, parasites, viruses and chemicals that could make you sick, and has been linked to disease outbreaks. 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. Environmental pollutants, harmful bacteria, and parasites can contaminate rainwater, and drinking it can make you sick. Contrary to popular belief, being in the rain doesn't automatically make you sick.
While rain itself doesn't make you sick, it does play a role in how you might get an illness. Like our tips for popular winter health tips, wearing layers of warm clothing and carrying an umbrella can help keep you from getting soaked in the rain and keep you from getting sick. A properly maintained rainwater tank can provide good quality drinking water. As long as rainwater is clear, has little taste or odor, and comes from a well-maintained water intake system, it is likely to be safe and unlikely to cause any illness for most users.
Much of the data on health risks from rainwater consumption comes from descriptive studies that list the levels of indicator organisms in rainwater from tanks. Normally found levels of fecal indicator organisms indicate that it is potentially a health hazard 4,5.Since 1978, six outbreaks of diseases associated with rainwater have been recorded worldwide, 6—12 While these data suggest that rainwater, like other water sources, may be a risk factor for specific disease outbreaks, information on the contribution of rainwater from tanks to cases Sporadic symptoms of gastroenteritis is limited. Rainwater is usually a domestic water supply, with a small number of people exposed to each tank and can therefore be a major source of sporadic gastroenteritis. Identifying routes of exposure and agents responsible for sporadic gastroenteritis is important, as these comprise the majority of cases of gastroenteritis.
13 In the U.S. In the US, for example, sporadic diseases accounted for 88% of all reports of salmonellosis, 13.Alternatively, the tank inlet should be disconnected that the first rain runoff after a drought is not collected. On the basis that repeated exposures to infectious agents may have inferred long-term immunity to these agents, the duration of exposure to tank rainwater was potentially important in determining the association between tank rainwater and gastroenteritis. This “first flush” can be used for washing, watering plants, or other non-drinking uses.
A number of factors can affect the safety of rainwater, such as how often it rains in your geographical area, levels of air pollution, and the methods and tools used to collect, treat, analyze and store water (. Substantial resources are devoted to water supply and maintaining infrastructure for rural water supply in Australia. So why are Indonesians so sure that rain makes someone sick? Is there really a difference between rain and shower? And what about swimming in a pool? I've never heard anyone warn their children about the effects of chlorine. Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Now Recommend Use of the Pesticide S-Methoprene for Mosquito Control in Rainwater Tanks.
Clean the roof or wait until after the next rain before reconnecting the drinking water tank to the roof. 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. The objective of this study was to determine if the risk of gastroenteritis among children who drank rainwater from tanks differed from that of children who drank treated public water. Water used for domestic purposes for drinking, preparing food, or bathing must meet water quality guidelines to protect your health and that of your family.
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. The incidence of HCGI was significantly higher among children who only drank water from the public network compared to those who only drank rainwater in tanks. Rainwater consumption in tanks did not increase the risk of gastroenteritis relative to utility water consumption among children aged four to six in South Australia. .