Can you drink rain water safely?

But we'll get to those considerations in a minute. Rainwater is the purest form of water that exists. Compared to its public drinking water supply, its mineral content is relatively low. While clean rainwater is safe to drink, it can easily become contaminated when dropped, which could pose a major health hazard.

While useful for many things, rainwater isn't as pure as you might think, so you can't assume it's safe to drink. 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). Rainwater can carry bacteria, parasites, viruses and chemicals that could make you sick, and has been linked to disease outbreaks. 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. 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. 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.

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. Communities where residents receive treated public water for drinking, homeowners and businesses are increasingly turning to rainwater collection systems to address non-potable water needs, such as garden irrigation, especially in dry regions. Tanks with a “conical slag” base are easy to clean by simply opening the cleaning outlet to allow water to flow with the sludge and then rinsing them with a hose. In these areas, NSW Health supports the use of rainwater tanks for non-drinking uses, such as flushing toilets, washing clothes or in water heating systems, and outdoors for uses such as garden irrigation, car washing, filling swimming pools, spas and ornamental ponds, and firefighting.

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 (. While most rainwater is perfectly safe to drink, even cleaner than most public water supplies, it's important to understand that all water can have potential hazards associated with it if it doesn't go through a proper decontamination process. If you refill your tank with a water sump, you must ensure that you are being supplied with clean drinking water from a clean tank. Earlier we wrote about the importance of cleaning and disinfecting dedicated water storage tanks (i.

We'll tell you what the best pH levels are for your drinking water and how you can tell if your water isn't safe. Well-maintained rainwater tanks can provide a renewable supply of soft, clear, and odorless water that can be used for a variety of purposes. If mosquitoes can access tank water, it can become a breeding ground for insects that spread diseases, said Dr. Moglia, which was part of a research project that inspected 450 tanks in Melbourne.

However, if you suspect that the tank water is contaminated, you can chlorinate it by adding powdered chlorine for swimming pools (calcium hypochlorite, 65% available chlorine) or liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite, chlorine available at 12.5%). 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. 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. Good quality water supply depends on proper design and installation, followed by sensible maintenance of the rainwater tank and catchment area.

Clean the roof or wait until after the next rain before reconnecting the drinking water tank to the roof. . .

Thomas Nguyen
Thomas Nguyen

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