A properly maintained rainwater tank can provide good quality drinking water. Occasionally there are cases of contaminated rainwater sickness. In urban areas, public water supply remains the most reliable source of drinking water for the community. Water is a valuable resource and rainwater stored in a tank is safe to drink as long as appropriate measures are taken.
You just need to make sure that the parts of your rainwater collection system are made of food-safe materials and that they are properly maintained. 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. 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. The answer is yes and no.
In its purest form, rainwater is certainly cleaner than treated water, as it is free of chemicals that can be added as part of your state's water treatment program. But that doesn't necessarily make it safe to drink it, especially from your rainwater tank. If your rainwater tank is made of materials that are safe for use in contact with drinking water, and your rainwater collection system is maintained, then there is no reason why water quality should not be of a consumption level. Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Now Recommend Use of the Pesticide S-Methoprene for Mosquito Control in Rainwater Tanks.
If the roof catchment and tank are well maintained and the water looks, smells and tastes clean, the risk of getting sick is low. While you can turn on the faucet for about a minute to avoid copper particles, and rainwater from a properly maintained tank is generally safe to drink, installing good filtration in the faucets where the water will be consumed seems like a smart safety measure to me. Most rainwater tanks in Australia today should be safe, however, you should always check that the tank you are buying complies with Australian standard AS4020: testing products for use in contact with drinking water. To maintain a safe water supply after the initial dose, 1 gram of calcium hypochlorite or 4 milliliters of sodium hypochlorite per 1000 liters should be added to the rainwater tank and allowed to stand for a minimum of two hours.
Water tanks are common in most rural and semi-rural properties in Australia, where thanks to lower air pollution, the water trapped in these roofs is usually safe to drink, however, it is important to ensure that the water is free of pollutants. So filter water to remove metals, but if your roof has received a lot of ash from nearby fires, it might be worth taking a water test to make sure poisonous metals don't get through. Alternatively, the tank inlet should be disconnected so that the first rain runoff after a dry season is not collected. As an additional precautionary measure against water contamination, it is recommended that appropriate chlorination and filtration be installed on faucets where water will be used for drinking or cooking.
Consider water from surface water sources such as streams and rivers, water from those sources is usually “harder, since it contains salts and other minerals. Just make sure you select an AS4020 certified water tank, take proper precautions, and make sure your rainwater tank is properly maintained. In the past, Clark Tanks also manufactured steel water tanks, but now focuses on manufacturing food-grade polyethylene water tanks. This “first flush” can be used for washing, watering plants, or other non-drinking uses.
However, consider the interior of Australia, where access to a fresh water supply is often limited, rainwater tanks often provide a valuable source of water with which to cook and consume. The research of Dr. Ross has examined the levels of zinc, lead, chromium, copper and cadmium in water tanks in South Australia. .