Making rain water drinkable?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Lizza, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Can I buy something like this water distiller and make our rain water drinkable?

    http://www.amazon.com/Water-Distill...pd_bbs_sr_1/002-9068571-9338411?ie=UTF8&s=hpc

    We bought a water catchment/storage tank and would like to be able to drink it. We have horrible water here that we need to fix and have been buying bottled water for drinking. We would save a bunch of money if we could use the rain water until we get a decent system in place to drink our well water.

    Any other ideas for making rain water drinkable?

    Thanks for any help! :baby04:
     
  2. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Why not a reverse osmosis system??
     

  3. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

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    I run my rain water through a sediment filter, a carbon filter, and then a UV lamp. Passes the bacteria tests every time!

    Kathie
     
  4. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Drank Rain water most my life didn't worry about it.Did have filter Box before running into Cistern.

    big rockpile
     
  5. 12vman

    12vman Offgridkindaguy

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    I have a Berkey filter. I run it through there and boil it before I drink it..

    I've drank it straight from the drum before. Used it in cooking too but when ya make sun tea with it.. It gets a little murky after a day or so..
     
  6. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    My grandparents had a huge cistern. They ran it thru a filter box like Big Rockpile did. Grandma did occasionally put some clorox in it though. I don't remember how much, but their water never tasted like chlorine.
     
  7. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The cistern already has an inline filter on it. How would I test the rain water to see what it's like? Isn't a reverse osmosis pretty spendy? Kathie, where did you get your system or the parts to make it up? Thanks everyone!

    p.s. if I don't respond until tomorrow, we are suppose to get another big rain storm here tonight and the net goes down with it (satellite internet)
     
  8. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    Reverse osmosis systems make pretty good tasting water, but contrary to some claims it doesn't remove bacteria. I'm assuming if you're collecting water off the roof that would be important to you.
     
  9. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    We'll be having a rain water catchment system at the homestead once we actually get there. It never occurred to me to do anything to the rainwater except have a fine screen to catch the bugs, bird poo and leaves that might wash down off the roof/gutters.

    Rainwater is as pure as it gets. If your container is clean and you filter out the organic material, I can't imagine that any further processing is necessary.

    donsgal
     
  10. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't rain water as it falls to earth pick up traces of pollution from the air?
    You no like Acid rain!
    The air sure smells fresh and clean after a good rain storm. :shrug:

    Then again its probably still safer than drinking city water.
    Least the inlet water source isn't right below some else's out let. ;)
     
  11. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, I would like to remove any bacteria. I'm not really sure how clean rain water is? I don't know how to test it?

    I thought I read something though about rain water being actually "fresher" then well water because well water picks up so much soil contamination before it gets to the aquifer (and had to go through the same pollution on the way down), while rain water is "purer" because it hasn't hit the ground yet. Don't know how true that is though.
     
  12. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    I have a well and my preference would be rain water. We just can't count on enough rain in summer to keep a cistern going. Rain water might pick up some undesireable stuff of the roof, but nothing that can't be fixed. Besides fordrinking, it's soft water and best of all, no iron bacteria!
     
  13. SunsSpot

    SunsSpot Member

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    i have been researching this for some time now because this will be the only water source i am going to have on my homestead.

    you will need the following:

    a roof washer:
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/green_home_building/2003_August_September/Harvest_the_Rain

    and here:

    http://www.montana.edu/wwwpb/pubs/mt9707.html


    and some sort of filter system, mine will consist of the following:
    35 micron filter, 10 micron filter, 5 micron carbon filter, .5 micron ceramic filter

    you can get rid of most harmful bacteria, cysts, and contaminates with a 5 micron, and everything else with the .5

    here is the link to the company i buy my cartridges and housings from:
    http://www.plumbingsupply.com/filters.html

    if think you need more protection, you can always add plain bleach to the holding tank, or do a reverse osmosis filter system, but after checking out about 100 companies i found that there is no system that will let you recollect the 25% of waste water that is produced by the system. UV is also an option.

    hope this helps
     
  14. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

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    Morningstar, don't know exactly where you are in Oregon, but most likely you don't need to worry about acid rain. You could string up a tarp when it rains good, take it down when it's done. Hardly any birds fly in the good rain. You'd be surprised what you can fill up. We've filled a 50 gallon barrel in an hour with a 8'square tarp.

    I wonder how much bird poop really gets into the rainwater in the winter with all the rain washing the roof....:)you can always add a little bleach. Do you know how much drinking water you use?
     
  15. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    reverse osmosis then boil it
     
  16. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    LOL...we dont do anything to our rainwater...we have been drinking it the same way for years and years. It falls from the sky, runs down the roof and then down the pipes to the tank...then it is pumped to the header tank and comes out the tap when turned on....as crystal clear as you would ever see.
     
  17. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    My husbands Uncle did not allow big trees near his house. Without the branches to perch on the birds stayed away. He had a lever on his downspout so that he could let the water go out in order to rinse the roof, then, after a few minutes, he would throw the lever and the cistern would fill.
     
  18. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    First you need to determine if anything is wrong with the rain water. I never bother to do more than let the first rain wash off the roof, then strain it before going into the tank. If no light or pests reache the water, you might get by with just a sediment filter, and maybe a carbon filter to improve taste. In my opinion, a reverse osmosis filter and boiling it is a waste of time, dollars, and energy.
     
  19. palani

    palani Well-Known Member

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    Rainwater may be pure as a result of natures distillation process but it is also chemically active. Rain does after all dissolve mountains over time. It is devoid of all minerals; it will remove minerals from the human body as easily as it does from the earth. If you are considering a detox program this could be considered a good thing but I think I would add trace minerals to the diet.
     
  20. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We are just going to have a gutter and a tank.
    The local water dept. should be able to test your water.

    Just as a little info,the restaurant I currently work at has a well,the well is tested periodically by the Health Dept.

    A few years back it was tested and came back positive for 'VERY bad stuff' and we were shut down for two weeks while the problem was fixed.

    Of course PRIOR to the testing we were ALL drinking the water and NO-ONE became sick.

    I believe we as a society overreact to just about EVERYTHING. :shrug: