To Collect Rainwater from Metal Roof?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Horse Fork Farm, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Horse Fork Farm

    Horse Fork Farm Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  2. ArmyDoc

    ArmyDoc Well-Known Member

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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.
     

  3. silverbackMP

    silverbackMP Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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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
     
  5. Belfrybat

    Belfrybat Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  6. Txrider

    Txrider Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  7. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  8. greg273

    greg273 Well-Known Member

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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!)
     
  9. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    Just wait till the Obama Administration puts a Tax on that rain water.
    - Obama's new tax on...Rainwater!?
    http://americansforprosperity.org/040610-obamas-new-tax-onrainwater#ixzz17AYhwciN
     
  10. Horse Fork Farm

    Horse Fork Farm Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  11. ErinP

    ErinP Too many fat quarters... Supporter

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    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
     
  12. oz in SC V2.0

    oz in SC V2.0 Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  13. Horse Fork Farm

    Horse Fork Farm Well-Known Member

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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???
     
  14. oz in SC V2.0

    oz in SC V2.0 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  15. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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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...
     
  16. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  17. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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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
     
  18. Kshobbit

    Kshobbit Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  19. o&itw

    o&itw aka avdpas77 Supporter

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    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.
     
  20. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    How about following that Quote all the way back to ist's source to put things in a little perspective.


    Seems if they get there way it would be to encourage rainwater collection.