Stand Alone Rainwater Harvesting System
Can I drink the water from my RainSaucers system?
by RainSaucers Inc. on May 24th, 2012

The short answer is yes* under one key condition- that the rainwater is fresh. This may seem like common sense- but water, like any food or drink, has less bacteria in it when it is consumed fresh. So if you're thinking of drinking the water from your RainSaucers' system first ask yourseif "how old is the oldest water in the barrel?". More than a day old and you should consider disinfection of some kind especially if the barrel has been exposed to light and heat from the sun (they generate bacteria and algae).

Having said that, it is not difficult to set your RainSaucers' system up so that the catch is always fresh. This is what we did in Guatemala last Summer. We used two 4 gallon buckets in rotation so that one bucket was always inside full of fresh water stored in a cool dark location (to maintain freshness) while another was outside awaiting the next rain.

So our advice to RainSaucers' users thinking of using their system for both irrigation and emergency drinking water: in an pinch you can use your barrel but definitely disinfect, just in case. And then have buckets on standby so that your future harvests are fresh. Considering a lot of notorious natural disasters (SF Earthquake, Haiti Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina) happened sometime within or near the rainy season, a RainSaucers system has the potential to serve as a real life saver.
*Note: private drinking water supplies such as wells as rainwater catchment systems are regulated by each U.S. State. Please consult with your States rules to make sure your system is in compliance with the appropriate regulations. Homeowners are additionally responsible for ongoing testing and maintenance of their systems.

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