Stand Alone Rainwater Harvesting System
Filtering rainwater during and after collection
by RainSaucers Inc. on August 30th, 2012

We get at least one email per week about the need for filtration of water with a RainSaucers™ system targeted at drinking. Until now we have been referring customers to our series of posts on the topic which basically say that rainwater is pure when it comes out of the sky. It's what happens after which determines the need for filtration. But it ocurred to me when I was talking with a customer on the phone recently that there are really two types of filtration we should always consider with rainwater harvesting in general (not just our system). 

The first type of filtration is during collection targeted mainly at keeping particles out. This can be a first flush system, a mesh screen, a cloth, or any device which attempts to filter the water on its way into the tank or barrel. With our system, this is applied with our mesh screen filter.  In developing countries, where we have drinking water as our main focus, we have also experimented with adding first flush and cloth screens to combat dust.

The second type of filtration is after collection, typically at the point of consumption, designed to make sure the water is safe and free of harmful bacteria and chemicals. Reverse Osmosis, Microfilters, and UV are some common types we see. For example, in Mexico a company called EOZ offers a UV filter that can be added to a typical home drinking water system. Now here is where our product is unique. We don't offer such a filter because our catchment is food safe. So chemicals are not a concern. And since our system is small scale, easily cleanable, and can be consumed immediately bacteria is generally not a problem. In our trials in Guatemala we had several families drinking rainwater on a regular basis with our mesh filter as the sole filtration. The families kept the unit clean and brought each harvest inside immediately for consumption. The end result: many of the participants thought the taste and quality were better than the bottled water they were use to drinking.

Posted in Potable Rainwater, Developing Countries    Tagged with no tags

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