A large basement cistern collect rainwater here, and it's used for a drinking source, though to be honest I drink bottled water. The cistern water is first chlorinated directly.Then it is pumped though a charcoal filter and then up to a micorpore filter. To insure further purity it goes through a table top britta water filter.
Haven't died yet and it tested clean, though I don't test on a regular basis.
The well water is dreadfully hard with iron, so it's not good for drininking. The cistern water is much better tasting for coffee brewing, pets, and such.
Would an ultraviolet sterilizer not work? I thought of having a large collection tank to collect the water off the roof. Then have a second tank downhill and allow the water to drain from the upper tank to the lower tank through a carbon block sediment filter and use a cut off valve so the lower tank wouldn't overflow. From there it would be pumped to the house flowing through an ultraviolet sterilizer. A friend has a similar setup but uses chlorine bleach. I'd rather not have to use chlorine if I didn't have to.
I hooked up two fifty-five gallon barrels to our fancy gutters. I drained out 1,100 gallons one rainy morning in July, put it back into the well (no point to that, just some where to put the extra, instead of on the ground - which was already getting enough water).
Our normal system includes three inline filters. I used a charcoal for a while, took it out and now use three of those spun type and don't change them very often, either on well or barrels.
The well and barrels water both have great water quality, test great, and good to drink, we added a softner for the hard well water, and that lets us use much less soap and everything is clean when we use well.
I thought, at first, I would just like some extra water for dry years, for garden, etc. now I realize this is an excellent way to collect water. We are collecting from a 12/12 roof, with a projected horizontal area 816 ft2, and "true" (measured on the sloped roof) area 1224 ft2.
We have two of these fifty-five-gallon barrels, a three-inch ninety-degree elbow with a two-and-one-half reducer fits into the barrel opening at the top, and the metal gutter fits into the elbow. The hose bib on the bottom screws into the plug in the bottom cap..
We have a cistern. We collect water off the house roof and the shop roof. Both are 1200 sf. After the water comes off the roof it goes through a roof washer. This is a plastic trash can which has a screen that holds a piece of flannel to initially filter the water. About once a month I throw a little chlorine in the cistern. When the water is pumped from the cistern it passes through an Omni Filter (simple one). The filter costs a couple of dollars and we replace about once a month. We also have an under the sink filter (with a separate faucet, also Omni) that has a filter that costs about $13. The water tastes good and so far we aren't dead. I think we can over analyze things. Just keep it simple and do what you can.
I noticed that if you put the really good filters in you will be spending $50 a month on cartridges. I think this is totally unnecessary.
thanks for clarifying .... indeed, i meant polyaromatic hydrocarbons by PAH. Basically smoke residue. If possible i'd like to filter them out, and was just curious as to the ability of filters to do that job. The research goes on...
thanks for the definition! we burn wood for heat and use rain water captured for drinking. dont have much of a problem with that PAH stuff since we have a roof washer that cleans the roof first and we also use a particle filter (cheap one from walmart) that takes out all sediment. Water tests great , tastes great, and washes hair great! we also do not use rain water in the winter when we are burning most of the fires on account of all the snow and no rain!
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