Is drinking rainwater dangerous for human health? The short answer: in some cases. Below are details on the kind of rainwater you can drink and not drink, as well as the things that can be done to make rainwater safer for consumption.
Rainwater You Should Avoid Drinking
Each drop of rain passes the atmosphere before falling to the ground. And since the atmosphere nowadays is home to numerous pollutants, the drops will have picked up numerous molecules of pollutants by the time they hit the roof of your home.
It is worth noting that the air in some places is dirtier than others. The air in places with chemicals, nuclear, or power plants, for example, is known for being rich in harmful contaminants. As such, it follows that if you happen to be living in a place with any of the plants mentioned above, the rain that falls there is not safe for consumption.
Rainwater You Can Safely Consume
Although it’s true that raindrops can pick up contaminants, it’s also true that rain can be filtered so it’s clean and safe for use. Filtered rainwater can be used for gardening (or irrigation), car washing, clothes washing, dish washing, and even bathing.
Proper Filtration Process
The proper filtration process involves having a number of filters set up in your rainwater collection system. You’ll need more than one if you want to use the collected rainwater for more chores. The same is true if you want to save more money on the use of mains water or if you’re looking to go off the grid.
Water dispensers with filters are perfect for making collected rainwater more suitable for human and animal consumption. If you have yet to purchase a water dispenser with filter, you can boil the filtered rainwater to kill off all pathogens in it.
Collecting Rainwater That is Easy to Purify
Aside from not collecting rainwater that falls near chemical, nuclear, and power plants, it is also important to build a fully functional rainwater harvesting system. Be particular with the catchments (i.e. roofs) and the rain water tanks you purchase. The catchment area should be an unpainted steel roof.
The rainwater storage tank should be made of either poly or stainless steel. If you chose to get a poly tank, make sure it’s not made of light-coloured material. Sunlight can pass through light-coloured tanks, allowing for the growth of algae.
That fully functional rainwater harvesting system should also be properly maintained. Proper maintenance usually involves regularly cleaning the tank, roof, gutter, and downspout. Cleaning the storage container prevents algae from growing in there, and cleaning the roof, gutter, and downspout remove the need to replace filters in less than a month or week.
What You Need to Know About Acid Rain
Rainwater is actually acidic due to the interaction between carbon dioxide and water in the air. Despite this, rain is not dangerous. To put rain pH level into perspective, orange juice pH is closer to 4, and brewed coffee pH is around 5.
Salman is a prolific environmental writer, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management, sustainability and conservation all over the world.
Salman can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.