Su Ba wrote:My thoughts are --
...what sort of roof was the water collected from? Is it non-toxic and non-leaching? If not, then the water may not be suitable for drinking. Materials consider acceptable per Guidelines on Rainwater Catchment Systems for Hawaii are concrete, terra cotta, slate, polycarbonate, fiberglass, enameled metal, metal painted with non-toxic paint. Not listed but safe is stainless steel and plain glass (no caulking, etc). Unacceptable is galvanized metal, anything with exposed lead or caulk, any roof with zinc, asbestos shingles, fiberglass/tar shingles, rubber, tar, asphalt, wood if treated with pesticides/fungicides. Many rooves not specifically designed for water catchment often have nails, adhesives, flashing, gutters, broken tiles, paint, and sealants that can leach dangerous chemicals into the water. I know for a fact that water caught off of fiberglass shingled roof not only tastes bad but can turn clothes an odd color when used in a washing machine. My next door neighbor has that situation and now only uses the water for his trees.
...that pipe. What's is made off? Some pipes will leach chemicals into the water too.
...that trashcan. Most plastic trashcans contain fungicides and other chemicals that leach into the water.
...why is the water colored? The water I collect is clear. It is stored in a covered catchment tank and stays clear. If I were to drink the water I catch I would adjust the pH with baking soda and sanitize it with bleach while it is in the tank. Then it would be run through a filter of some sort and then a UV lamp to make it safe for drinking. Boiling for several minutes would work but only for emergencies, in my opinion. It would be cumbersome to boil water daily and use a goodly amount of precious fuel. The UV lamps work well if the water has been correctly filtered, the lamp kept on 24 hours a day, and the bulb changed regularly. I've been drinking water treated thusly for a decade now with no I'll effects.
I'm not saying that you'll suddenly get sick drinking water collected unsafely, but over time it can be a significant problem. Such problems are seen here in Hawaii when people collect off of tarps, store water in swimming pools and trashcans, use old gutters and pipes that are not acceptable to get the water to the storage area.
I'm a big advocate of collecting rainwater. With a little attention to details, it can be fine.
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