Can I Safely Store & Consume Rainwater?

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Perhaps you have a memory of sticking your tongue out as a kid to catch raindrops, or perhaps you have seen this done in a movie.

Even though this might seem like a fun and silly thing to do, did you know that you can use rainwater for your own needs?

Rainwater can be saved and used for many different things, like gardening, swimming pools, washing cars, taking baths, showers, or running washing machines.

While this seems good for the environment, you may ask if it's safe to drink rainwater. Can it replace tap or bottled water and be used for cooking?

Rainwater can be safe to drink with some preparation. As seen in Treehugger, rainwater must be filtered or boiled to remove disease-causing microorganisms.

Even if it's safe to do so, the CDC advises against utilizing rainwater for anything other than flushing toilets and washing dishes.

According to the CDC, rainwater contains bacteria, parasites, and chemicals that can make you sick. Consuming rainwater can cause disease epidemics.

Roofing systems often collect rainwater, which means it may have come into touch with a variety of contaminants such as bird droppings, debris, dust, and bacteria.

The rainwater you collect will be more acidic as well, with a pH balance of around 5.0-5.5.. If you reside in a location with high levels of pollution, it can be even more acidic.

For these reasons, it's best to avoid drinking rainwater, and the CDC recommends instead drinking municipal tap water or bottled water.

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