An Australian study has found that drinking unfiltered rainwater collected in tanks is safe to drink. However, rainwater collected from rooftops is often unsafe to drink, as it accumulates dirt and bacteria from the roof. Rainwater collected from rooftops should be treated before it is consumed. Rainwater can also become contaminated when it falls through heavily polluted air in urban areas. For this reason, it is a good idea to filter rainwater if you intend to drink large quantities of it.
Yes, a properly filtered and purified rainwater should be safe to drink. One other benefit over tap water is that rain water is soft and does not require any softening system.
Generally yes, but depending on your area, it is possible to end up with airborne pollution particles in your collection supply, in addition to tar from roofs, and any particles/chemicals found on the surface of the collection tank. Though the water is generally safe, it is still best to have filtration in your catchment system or filter it afterwards, in addition to making sure there is as little collection from roofs and gutters as possible.
The link below has a more comprehensive guide to catching rainwater safely.
Generally, it is not safe to drink rainwater you have collected without first draining it and testing its pH levels. Acid rain is a global phenomenon, meaning your rainwater may very well be highly acidic at times (high sulfur content). Also, water collected from some rooftops will also contain chemical components from the composition roofing. It’s better to use this water for plants, washing things, in bathrooms, etc.
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