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Filtering rainwater for household use

 
Posts: 46
Location: On a Farm
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So we have a setup for rainwater catchment that works well and we're going to add a larger tank this spring. We are currently plumbing the house to use this water for everything except toilets (composting) and drinking/cooking (free spring water from an artesian well). I've been using the water to water my critters without issues for over a year now but I'd rather be safe than sorry and put in some kind of whole house filter. My aged mother with alzheimer's lives with us so I can't have her drinking shower water without something in place. Any ideas? What does everyone else use? We'll have 3 bathrooms and the kitchen sink (possibly dishwasher) and washing machine.

I've found a few at home improvement stores but none of them filter everything and most are point of use filters that come with their own tiny faucet ... which doesn't work for what we want. I suppose we could use one of them and just filter into a separate holding tank and then use from that but it would add another step in the system that has the potential to fail  and need maintenance, etc ... I would prefer one that can just go before or after the filter and run water normally.

Thanks.
 
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Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Here is a link to Amazon with a bunch of whole house filters. You can sometimes find them at big box stores, although they may be separate from the point-of-use filters.

It would be a good idea to go through it and find what is appropriate for you. Are you using a pump or gravity to supply the water? I looked at the manual for one and it made no mention of a minimum pressure, but I'd imagine there must be some impedance to flow which might give undesirable effects if the pressure is already on the low side. The one I looked at mentioned 100 PSI as a maximum.

You mention that the filters you saw don't filter "everything". I'd imagine if you need the highest possible quality then it would need to be a rather high end reverse osmosis (RO) filter. Depending on exactly how your rain collection is set up, and the environment it is in, it may or may not be overkill to use an RO filter system for water that isn't being ingested. I'd imagine it would take a bit of research to figure out what is right for you, and that may be different for people trying to do the same thing under different circumstances.

In any event, I have had some interest in doing the same thing for myself in the near future. I'd be interested to hear about any information you find or paths you decide to take. Good luck!
 
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Here is a unit that filters 500gallon per day (20gallon per hour or 1gallon ever 3minutes).
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PCRSD7I/ref=psdc_13397611_t1_B007K1FDJA
You will need a "un-powered hot water tank" to store the filtered water.
And maybe follow with a UV light to kill any bacteria after the water leaves the tank
 
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Location: N. Idaho
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Google;  "DIY sand filters"
a sand filter sets up a living microbial colony that eats the bad bacteria and filters and polishes the water to an exceeding fine degree.
 
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A whole house filtered followed by a uv light filter  should do the trick.

Im curious why you think the rainwater is worse than the spring water. I trust rainwater more than groundwater.
 
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S Bengi wrote:Here is a unit that filters 500gallon per day (20gallon per hour or 1gallon ever 3minutes).
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PCRSD7I/ref=psdc_13397611_t1_B007K1FDJA
You will need a "un-powered hot water tank" to store the filtered water.
And maybe follow with a UV light to kill any bacteria after the water leaves the tank



That's a reverse osmosis system, they flush 3 gallons of water down the drain for every gallon filtered.  Most people don't collect enough rain water to throw 75% of it away.
 
Bernie Farmer
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Oh, thanks for all the replies.

A few answers -
1. We are using a pump to move the water to the house from a storage tank where it is collected via gravity from roof. So we have a pressure tank as well.

2. The spring water vs rainwater ... it isn't that we inherently distrust the rainwater but rather that it is stored in a tank that we have to keep above ground and have no way to keep out bird droppings and fine dust. The rainwater is fine ... the storage of it isn't ... at least not for showers and washing dishes and brushing teeth. I mean, we could drop a chlorine tab in every once in a while but I'd rather not. The spring water comes from an artesian well that we've been collecting water from for over 20 years now. It is tested annually and is amazing. Like it's been through multiple taste tests and wins every single time. It has no sediment from it, no hard water particulates, etc ... The well has been running for over 125 years. We don't buy it pre-bottled. We take our own containers and fill them. It's like a community well. The original owners of the land made it a clause that the well was to remain open and free for all to use in perpetuity.

Thanks for the links. I'm now wondering if I could set up a sand filter for pretreatment before it goes in the storage tank that would abate the bird droppings and dirt issues eliminating the need for further treatment. Hmmm...
 
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