Tyler Ludens wrote:I'd be worried about parasites and viruses. When we use rainwater for washing, I bring it to a boil. Folks in Mexico who are fine might have natural immunity to some bacteria which will cause Montezuma's Revenge in gringos. Giardia is a particularly nasty critter you can get from impure water sources.
Kyle Emory wrote:I can't speak to rain water specifically, but I was a teacher in Southern Mexico where everyone showered, washed clothes and washed/rinsed dishes with water you would definitely not want to drink and nobody seemed to have a problem. The "germs dry, germs die" adage seems to work, definitely make sure there is no residual moisture.
Maureen Atsali wrote:Here in Kenya we use rain water for everything except cooking and drinking. We're all still kicking. If you are super concerned, you could add a teaspoon of chlorine bleach per 20 liters of water. That's what the health department tries to get locals to do at groundwater sources.
Mark Clipsham wrote:Testing the water is all very well and fine but things change.
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:I agree with you Kyle ... but of course those people were used to the bacteria etc. in that water. Their bodies builded resistance against it. If someone coming from the USA would do so ... I think they would have diarrhea for some days first ... (but then they builded resistance too)
Mark Clipsham wrote:Technically urine could be considered non-potable water and it is sterile and people do drink it....
Mark Clipsham wrote:Technically urine could be considered non-potable water and it is sterile and people do drink it.
Steven George wrote:We've been living off-grid washing and rinsing dishes with rainwater for 6 years now. We've never had any problems with it (no food or water borne illness). Of course we live in northern MN so we only get to use rainwater May-October, other than that we've melted snow or hauled water. Our system is just a 55 gallon plastic drum with no filter (only a screen) catching water straight from the gutters and then gravity fed through a hose. We've never bothered to clean the barrels during the warm season. I usually just wipe them out when emptying for the winter. We haul our drinking water (either from the spring or from town). I also go by the philosophy that we don't live in a sterile environment and exposure to some germs is unavoidable and even favorable.
Good to hear from you! I've been through Finland and I know there seems to be a small community of Permies there. We're up north of Itasca State Park but haven't met many Permies up here. We've got a cistern system that should allow us to have year-round water. It worked this winter anyway! I just hope we get enough rainfall to last all year with our storage size.
We're catching off half our roof and the front half of the roof goes into an outdoor plastic cistern which we learned the hard way this first year, should be emptied in the fall... With all the water this winter and the mild temps, it filled enough to create a huge ice cube that popped it... Ah, well. Live and learn. We will figure out a new system for the summer and WILL drain it for winter this fall.