Rainwater: The Healthiest Choice for Your Family

With concerns over the quality of municipal water supplies rising and a greater understanding of the ecological costs of depleting natural ground and surface water sources, rainwater harvesting offers a number of benefits for the health of you and your family, for the environment, and for your household budget? How is it different from treated water? How is it a better choice?

How Rainwater is Different

When you turn the tap, the water you use has been chemically treated, often in extreme ways. Many cities draw their water from surface sources or natural aquifers, but may also used ‘reclaimed’ water. This is water that was once used for showering, sanitation, or laundry that has been filtered and treated with chemicals to reduce its biological load. Other elements have also been added or subtracted, such as fluoride, in order to provide what is perceived to be a more healthful product.

Rainwater differs because it has not been chemically treated, but it also has not passed through soil, collected sediment from city gutters, or been used for any other purpose. It has been filtered by the hydrologic, or water, cycle. This means that sediments, minerals, metals, bacteria and other microorganisms have been left behind when it evaporated. It then rose from rain clouds, which deposited the water in some form of precipitation.

The vulnerability of rainwater purity occurs primarily when the rain is forming or falling. Air pollution is a significant factor in the difference between potable and non-potable rainwater reserves, and should be a major factor in your plans. If you tend to use rainwater for household tasks, you can often use it as is, without any ill effects. However, if you decide you’d like to reserve water for drinking and cooking, it is advised that you invest in a filtration system that uses substances such as clean gravel, sand, and charcoal to filter out the impure elements.

Non-Potable Uses

Non-potable rainwater collection is perfect for watering your garden and lawn, washing clothes, and even bathing. Even this has a decided impact on health. Bathing in chemically treated water leaves residues on your skin that can cause irritation, dryness, and an imbalance of the natural oils your skin uses to protect itself. Even the most basic and natural of filters can render rainwater ideal for this purpose.

Potable Use

Because there are concerns about rainwater being contaminated by air pollution, a filtration system for these purposes may be advisable, even if you don’t live in a city. While it does represent a substantial investment at the outset, installing a rainwater purification and collection system will actually save you money. Your family will also enjoy a greater level of good health.

As mentioned above, rainwater has not passed through soil or sediment. Since it has not yet joined with ground water supplies, it is free of mineral contaminants that can be harmful to humans—substances such as fluoride, lithium, and other elements are often found in spring and sealed aquifer water supplies. In this way, rainwater is superior even to well or spring water. Rainwater is also free of hormones that cannot be filtered from the municipal supply, such as estrogen and progesterone, and are natural byproduct of individuals utilizing hormone therapies. In every respect, rainwater is simply a better, healthier choice when it comes to your water usage—for your and your family, for the environment, and for your budget.