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  #1  
Old 12/14/10, 01:12 AM
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To Collect Rainwater from Metal Roof?

How safe is it to use the rainwater collected from one of the new metal roofs? Obviously fine for toilet, but what about dishes, laundry or showering? Would you go as far as drinking the water if it was filtered? We had intended to use ours for everything but drinking but someone told us their red roof turned their water red. Whats the opinion on here?

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  #2  
Old 12/14/10, 07:14 AM
 
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I don't have any personal experience, but I would think it would be fine for everything except dishes and drinking. As I understand it, you want to discard the initial run off, which will have dirt dust leaves, bird poop etc, but after that, the water is pretty clean and can be collected. The set-ups I have seen have a method for doing this built in to their collection system.

I still wouldn't want to drink it or use it for cleaning dishes because of the bird poop issue (doesn't seem to me you could be certain to wash off the poop just by waiting for the initial run-off).

Please let me know if you hear otherwise, as I was planning on installing a cistern and roof run-off collection system when we build our house.

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  #3  
Old 12/14/10, 07:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartstrings View Post
How safe is it to use the rainwater collected from one of the new metal roofs? Obviously fine for toilet, but what about dishes, laundry or showering? Would you go as far as drinking the water if it was filtered? We had intended to use ours for everything but drinking but someone told us their red roof turned their water red. Whats the opinion on here?
My parents have been doing exactly that for 10 years--their roof is green 26 gauage barn tin. Mom has a filter (pur or britta) on her faucet.
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  #4  
Old 12/14/10, 09:17 AM
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we gather rain water off of our steel painted roof and have for the past ten years or so. We have used it to wash ourselves and water plants. If, and we don't , we had a roof washer (uses the first bit of water to clean the soot and pollen and bugs off the roof during a rainstorm) then we would have felt fine drinking it with a particle filter. Hope this helps. sis

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  #5  
Old 12/14/10, 09:22 AM
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I lived exclusively with a rainwater catchment system for 6+ years. Mine had a pre filter, then a clorine injection system and was finally run through an Ag filter. Best water I every drank. Two 3000 gallon tanks provided all the water I needed in this arid country, even for a small garden and poultry. Had I stayed there I would have put in a third tank to provide for a larger garden. But it worked well.

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  #6  
Old 12/14/10, 10:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belfrybat View Post
I lived exclusively with a rainwater catchment system for 6+ years. Mine had a pre filter, then a clorine injection system and was finally run through an Ag filter. Best water I every drank. Two 3000 gallon tanks provided all the water I needed in this arid country, even for a small garden and poultry. Had I stayed there I would have put in a third tank to provide for a larger garden. But it worked well.
Sounds like a good system.

I wouldn't drink rainwater off a roof unless it had been sterilized by some means, boiling or chlorine or such. Bird poop can carry some nasty parasites and pathogens.

You can do it, and get away with it, but it is a gamble.
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  #7  
Old 12/14/10, 10:14 AM
 
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Gotta think that that "red" roof must be very old for the paint to be 'sluffing' off enough to taint the water.
I've been toying with the idea for garden watering.....

Might be a good time to invest in a Big Berkey filter . . . . .

Many folks have gotten a NEW septic tank as their 'holding' tank.
Put the tank in the ground with the top just above grade (and well protected) . . .and pump it into the house.

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  #8  
Old 12/14/10, 11:13 AM
 
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We are harvesting rainwater off our galvanized roof. We run it through 3 filters, and then use the Britta for our drinking water. We have a 1000gallon concrete tank (basically a new septic tank, same design).
There are some that say avoid the galvanized roofs, but from what I've been able to research, the amount of zinc in the water is tiny and well within the 'World Health Organization' standards for drinking water. (Ha, not sure how stringent they are!).
Yes, we have a 'roof washer' setup, my only regret is not installing a bigger tank. We end up hauling water in the 'dry season'... late summer and fall. (Well we've actually been hauling a lot less water since our old washing machine kicked out!)

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  #9  
Old 12/14/10, 11:49 AM
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Just wait till the Obama Administration puts a Tax on that rain water.
- Obama's new tax on...Rainwater!?

Quote:
Would President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency really force Americans to pay a tax on "rainwater runoff" from homes and small businesses?
..requirements, including design or performance standards, for stormwater discharges from, at minimum, newly developed and redeveloped sites. EPA intends to propose regulatory options that would revise the NPDES regulations and establish a comprehensive program to address stormwater discharges from newly developed and redeveloped sites and to take final action no later than November 2012
http://americansforprosperity.org/04...#ixzz17AYhwciN
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  #10  
Old 12/14/10, 12:33 PM
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Well so far it sounds like a good idea to implement. With regard to these newer metal roofs -- is there anything that can leach out of the paint that is toxic? I think that is what worries me most.

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  #11  
Old 12/14/10, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian knight View Post
Just wait till the Obama Administration puts a Tax on that rain water.
And if you look a little closer, you'll see the EPA isn't talking about taxing rainwater, they're talking about taxing RUNOFF. Ie, they WANT us to collect and use our rainwater.

...requirements, including design or performance standards, for stormwater discharges from, at minimum, newly developed and redeveloped sites. EPA intends to propose regulatory options that would revise the NPDES regulations and establish a comprehensive program to address stormwater discharges from newly developed and redeveloped sites and to take final action no later than November 2012
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  #12  
Old 12/14/10, 01:10 PM
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Is very common in Australia to collect rainwater for household use.
I really want to set up a system on our place in NC but of course that darned thing called money gets in the way.

I would have no concerns drinking collected rainwater,it sure can't be any worse than city water from around here,which oddly enough for the last few weeks has stank of chlorine...guess the water authority felt the need to up the chlorine to kill 'something' in their safe city water.

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  #13  
Old 12/14/10, 01:40 PM
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oz, probably so! After hurricane Hugo they added so much chlorine to the water supply in Charleston that to shower in it you had to put a mat in the shower. The water was so slick you couldn't stand in the tub! Actually it felt slimey.

So the painted metal roof wouldn't worry you???

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  #14  
Old 12/14/10, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Heartstrings View Post
oz, probably so! After hurricane Hugo they added so much chlorine to the water supply in Charleston that to shower in it you had to put a mat in the shower. The water was so slick you couldn't stand in the tub! Actually it felt slimey.

So the painted metal roof wouldn't worry you???
Our city water comes from the Savannah River.
UPSTREAM from us is this interesting place,Savannah River Site,that is where nuclear material was refined for weapons.
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  #15  
Old 12/14/10, 02:30 PM
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If you get thirsty, it's all good. Go 24 hours 'without' and it tastes real good, regardless of it's purity. I'd prefer a surface source over a well or a cistern... best of course, would to be have all three sources covered (cheap insurance). I would let the initial rainfall 'wash' the roof, then store it in barrels or what have you. Maybe an initial cheesecloth filter for the biggies, then a berkey or homemade filter (using cartridges or ceramics) for the small stuff, or just boil and be done with it.

It really helps if your intestinal fortitude can out-wrassle any punky water germs... Work your way into any new iffy water source... get ill, find better remedies...

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  #16  
Old 12/14/10, 02:47 PM
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The house I grew up in had a cistern that was tied into the whole system except one faucet in the kitchen. The one faucet was well water for drinking. The water heater was set higher than normal to kill any bad bugs in the hot side which was used in the dishwasher.

To use it for drinking water I would put a filter and a uv sterilizer on the system.

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  #17  
Old 12/14/10, 03:02 PM
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Ok used rain water for years.Main thing was have it running away from your catch at the beginning of the rain to wash the roof.Then we had Charcoal Filter to run it through.

Never had a problem even with drinking.

big rockpile

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  #18  
Old 12/14/10, 03:12 PM
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I lived in several houses that only had a cistern for a water supply. The roofs were asphalt shingles and there was a primitive devise for filtering out the debris and a charcoal filter. The cistern had been cleaned and patched and painted. There was no filtering of the water after it made it into the cistern. I did wait for a good downpour and let the rain clean off the roof before collecting the rainwater. I did put "city water" in the cistern a few times a year depending on rainfall amounts to give it some chlorine treatment. My family drank, bathed, washed dishes and clothes for many years with no ill effects.

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  #19  
Old 12/14/10, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kshobbit View Post
I lived in several houses that only had a cistern for a water supply. The roofs were asphalt shingles and there was a primitive devise for filtering out the debris and a charcoal filter. The cistern had been cleaned and patched and painted. There was no filtering of the water after it made it into the cistern. I did wait for a good downpour and let the rain clean off the roof before collecting the rainwater. I did put "city water" in the cistern a few times a year depending on rainfall amounts to give it some chlorine treatment. My family drank, bathed, washed dishes and clothes for many years with no ill effects.
Same here. I grew up in a house with a corrugated metal roof. We ran the downspouts through barrels with "lump" charcoal, and then into a concrete cistern. We drank the water, and neither we nor any of our guests ever got sick from it. (some of the neighbors had shallow wells, and while they were used to the microorganisms, guests usually got the "trots") I must add here, though, that neither we nor any of our neighbors used pesticides on our crops. I guess that windblown pesticides on ones roof could be a problem. Several other families around used the same method as us, but without the lump charcoal filter, as far as I know they never had any trouble either.
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  #20  
Old 12/14/10, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian knight View Post
Just wait till the Obama Administration puts a Tax on that rain water.
- Obama's new tax on...Rainwater!?

http://americansforprosperity.org/04...#ixzz17AYhwciN
How about following that Quote all the way back to ist's source to put things in a little perspective.

Quote:
...
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
AGENCY
[EPA–HQ–OW–2009–0817; FRL–8975–8]
Agency Information Collection
Activities; Proposed Collection;
Comment Request; Stormwater
Management Including Discharges
From Newly Developed and
Redeveloped Sites; EPA ICR No.
2366.01, OMB Control No. 2040–NEW.
AGENCY: Environmental Protection
Agency.
ACTION: Notice.



...The NRC recommended that EPA
address stormwater discharges from
impervious land cover and promote
practices that harvest, infiltrate and
evapotranspirate stormwater to reduce
or prevent it from being discharged,
which is critical to reducing the volume
and pollutant loading to our nation’s
waters....
http://epa.gov/npdes/pubs/icr_fedreg.pdf
Page 3

Seems if they get there way it would be to encourage rainwater collection.
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  #21  
Old 12/14/10, 08:09 PM
 
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If your concerned about purification, it is not a big deal. No need for fancy injectors, etc. Slide the access hatch off the cistern (parent's is concreate), and dump in 1/2 cup a bleach or so (amount depends on how big of a tank)

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  #22  
Old 12/14/10, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wy_white_wolf View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian knight View Post
Just wait till the Obama Administration puts a Tax on that rain water.
- Obama's new tax on...Rainwater!?

http://americansforprosperity.org/04...#ixzz17AYhwciN
How about following that Quote all the way back to ist's source to put things in a little perspective.

Come on, people who post links to that kind of garbage aren't responsible for reading or critical thinking, no matter how many times they post the links to it.
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  #23  
Old 12/14/10, 08:51 PM
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I hate to burst your bubble Fat Charlie but the EPA is already making requirements for rain water run-off containment/diversion in several places. We are facing it here in the "riparian set-back zone". For new construction you have to set up an EPA approved system of containment/diversion such as a rain-garden or cachement system. But heaven forbid you try to collect the rainwater for use in your home. The county already has regulations against cisterns and rainwater use in the home.

Then you have the areas such as Arizona, Colorado and Nevada (maybe others, those are the ones I have read about) where rainwater containment for household use is illegal because you are restricting water the govt owns and needs to replenish the soil water table.

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  #24  
Old 12/14/10, 09:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by silverbackMP View Post
If your concerned about purification, it is not a big deal. No need for fancy injectors, etc. Slide the access hatch off the cistern (parent's is concreate), and dump in 1/2 cup a bleach or so (amount depends on how big of a tank)
8 drops per gallon is the norm. I would just do it once after I ran a lot of rainwater into it.

Rainwater collection great and is practiced all over the world especially in less developed countries, but it is a lot safer to sterilize it in some way.

I have a deep well with good water at 450ft deep, but I also plan on digging a shallow well at some point for a pitcher type pump as the water is available at a shallow enough depth to do so, but the water will be very hard from it, lots of calcium, enough to leave nice fat scale rings when boiling a pot of it. I also will likely build a rainwater collection system up at some point.

First though if I am going to spend significant money it will be for a solar system large enough to run the deep well. Which would make it big enough to likely supply all my electricity needs.
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  #25  
Old 12/14/10, 10:29 PM
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I hate to burst your bubble Fat Charlie but the EPA is already making requirements for rain water run-off containment/diversion in several places. We are facing it here in the "riparian set-back zone". For new construction you have to set up an EPA approved system of containment/diversion such as a rain-garden or cachement system.
This gets us back to the reading and critical thinking end of things. They aren't going to tax your rainwater, but runoff has been seen as a source of pollution for a long time. Thus the requirements for rain water run-off containment/diversion. New construction and redeveloped sites should take that into account as a matter of course. I guess the taxpayers paying for the water treatment plants are tired of having them overflow every time it rains because big buildings and parking lots just dump their runoff into the system. If I lived in a place like that I'd have been pushing to get rules like this made a long time ago.
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  #26  
Old 12/14/10, 10:52 PM
 
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I'll take the opportunity to overcome the thread drift and steer back to the op. Yes, I'd use the water off the metal roof. Yes, I'd wash the roof before collecting. I'd give an occasional cleaning of the cistern. I'd run my drinking and cooking water through a filter first.

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  #27  
Old 12/15/10, 01:31 PM
 
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I've lived most of my life drinking rainwater off a metal roof. "As pure as rainwater" isn't just a saying - you can use rainwater that's been caught in a glazed bowl as a substitute for distilled water in batteries - it's pure. Not run through the dirt, not run through tons of manure or gallons of herbicide or insecticide, not burbling through the corpses of drowned animals, not "does a bear (or beaver) drop in the woods" and have your mouthful of drinking water run through the result, not downstream from the sewers of hundreds of thousands of people, but "it droppeth as the gentle rain from Heaven" pure.

I don't know how anyone can drink anything so foul and polluted that they didn't catch it on their roof.

I use what I was raised on. which doesn't involve anything other than catching the water and using it. However, when recent droughts got so bad that we needed to start carting town water and dumping it into our cistern, then we filtered our drinking water. It tasted too darned awful otherwise - it wasn't the pure water we were used to - but even now we just run it through a simple Brita filter.

Of course, our stuff isn't foul and polluted, but it is polluted by fowl. Many people have a setup where the first few gallons flush the bird droppings off the roof before the remainder of the rainfall is stored. They run the first flush into a small tank with a floating valve, or the first flush soaks a sacking weight that then diverts the rest into the cistern, or any number of innovative methods of washing with the first few gallons (which gets stored separately for use on the garden or by the livestock), then storing the rest for use by people.

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  #28  
Old 12/15/10, 02:41 PM
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Fat Charlie, the new regs are for residential housing, single family, in areas where there are no storm drains. It just strikes me as stupidity in beaurocrasy that you cannot have a cistern for holding the rain-water but you also cannot just run it straight to the streams. And yes, I think calling it a tax would be appropriate because sooner or later the govt will find a method of taxing it, by calling it an "improvement" or putting a meter on the line or by simple calculation of the surface area of the roof and the local rainfall.

I would use our runoff from our asphalt shingled roof for flushing the toilet if we were allowed that luxury. On the dream house I want to build I would probably use a powder coated metal roof just so we could collect and use the rainwater. Even galvanized roofs eventually have to be painted and the new paint would contain a small amount of contaminants that would be water soluble.

Farmerwilly2, not exactly thread drift if the govt is trying to figure out a way to tax you for the amount of rainwater you use. After all, you don't really "own" the water that falls on your property. That has been proven in many state courts.

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  #29  
Old 12/15/10, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
if the govt is trying to figure out a way to tax you for the amount of rainwater you use.
But it's NOT.
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  #30  
Old 12/15/10, 04:24 PM
 
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http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/

http://www.oasisdesign.net/index.htm

http://greywateraction.org/

Try these sites above. Good information all around.
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