Potable Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater - potable drinking water

Untreated rainwater may not be potable as a result of chemicals in the rain water itself and contaminants; including pollen, dirt, and bird droppings, that may be on your roof. Leaves, bugs, algae, and bacteria can also contaminate your storage tank.

To use potable harvested rainwater storage for drinking or dishwashing, you’ll need to use a filter capable of removing bacteria and viruses, and ensure that all materials and coatings that come into contact with the water won’t contaminate it. Ensure all materials, especially your collection surface and rainwater storage tank, have been tested and proven not to leach harmful contaminants into your water.

All Premier Rainwater storage tanks are made of high strength, light weight, food grade polyethylene.

There are two distinct systems for making potable water, “Counter Top” filtration systems and plumbed in systems.

A “Counter Top” filtration system is the simplest and can be set up in just 3 steps:

  1. Install a “first flush” device and a storage tank. The first flush device diverts the first ten gallons or so of rain water away from your tank – this water will contain dissolved dirt, dust and bird droppings from your roof.
  2. Divert the water, as needed, from your storage tank to a Counter Top filter. These are the kinds of filters that military and aid organizations like the Red Cross use in the field.
  3. Wait an hour or so and remove water for drinking, washing, cooking, or dishwashing as you need it.

A full plumbing system requires more expertise on rainwater storage. You’ll need to have a large storage tank that feeds, either by gravity or pump through a filtration system and ultraviolet sterilization system directly into your home’s plumbing. This water will come directly out of the faucet and can be used for drinking, cooking, dish washing, showering, etc. Thus making rainwater storage systems and installation very important.

Before beginning work on a rainwater harvesting system for potable water it is imperative that you check your municipal health and safety regulations. If you’re going to hook into your home’s plumbing system we recommend that you hire a professional plumber. Mistakes can be very expensive and, in some cases, dangerous.

Tanks, Filters & Accessories to Harvest Rainwater can be found here