…Is Rainwater Safe To Drink
Water is an essential component of nearly all forms of life. In fact, water comprises approximately 60% of the human body. Your body loses water through a variety of natural biological processes like sweating and waste elimination. Drinking plenty of water each day helps replace losses and keep your body healthy and functioning optimally.
As a kid, you may have enjoyed playing in the rain, and many children like to try to catch some of it in their mouths to drink. It may seem like rainwater would be safe to drink because it hasn’t become contaminated, but is that really the case?
As rain passes through the atmosphere it picks up contaminants that are in the air, so it’s not as pure as you might think. As rain lands, it can pick up chemicals from landing on plants or buildings or other structures. While many people in the world use rainwater as their main water supply, the water picks up bacteria, pollution, mold, pollen, and other contaminants.
Many people are accustomed to getting their drinking water from a borehole tap, well, spring, river but you may wonder whether it’s safe to drink rainwater.
There is nothing inherently unsafe about or wrong with drinking rainwater, as long as it’s clean. In fact, many communities around the world depend on rainwater as their primary source of drinking water. That means not all rainwater is safe to drink.
Several physical and environmental factors can quickly turn fresh, clean rainwater into a potential health hazard. It can contain parasites, harmful bacteria, and viruses and has historically been linked to disease outbreaks.
Rainwater that falls in heavily polluted areas or comes into contact with contaminants, such as animal faeces or heavy metals, may not be appropriate for human consumption. It’s not advisable to start collecting and drinking rainwater unless you’re 100% certain it’s clean and safe for human consumption.
Although clean rainwater is safe to drink, it can easily become contaminated as it falls, which could pose a significant health hazard.
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Certain types of bacteria, viruses, or parasites can be eliminated by boiling the water, but others may require chemical treatment before the water is safe to drink. To eliminate chemical contaminants like heavy metals, you may also need to use a water filtration system.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rainwater that’s collected for drinking purposes should be filtered, disinfected, and tested regularly.
If you’re unable to effectively carry out these processes, it’s recommended that you only use collected rainwater for other purposes, such as gardening, washing clothes, or bathing. Keep in mind that certain places have legal restrictions regarding the collection of rainwater. As such, if you plan on implementing a rainwater collection system, make sure the amount collected, as well as the collection method, are permissible in your area.
Contaminants, such as bacteria or heavy metals, may be removed from rainwater using various filtration and chemical treatment methods. Does drinking rainwater have health benefits? If you conduct a cursory internet search on the benefits of drinking rainwater, you’ll find a slew of claims that it’s a healthier alternative to virtually any other water source.
However, the majority of such claims are not backed by strong scientific evidence. Although drinking clean rainwater can be a perfectly healthy way to hydrate, it’s not significantly more beneficial for your health than drinking water from other clean sources.
One common rainwater health claim is that it’s more alkaline than tap water, and therefore, will increase the pH of your blood to make it more alkaline. However, neither the water you drink nor the foods you eat will significantly change the pH of your blood. Your body has an efficient system in place for keeping the pH of your blood at 7.4.
Many of your body’s most vital functions are dependent upon the strict maintenance of your blood’s pH level, and any deviations may be indicative of serious illness. Moreover, rainwater is typically not alkaline. Instead, it tends to be slightly acidic, with a pH of about 5.0-5.5. It may also be considerably more acidic than that if you’re collecting it from an environment with a lot of air pollution.
Other popular claims regarding the health merits of drinking rainwater include improved digestion and more efficient removal of your body’s waste products. These are both characteristics of drinking clean water in general and not exclusive to rainwater.
Drinking rainwater has not been proven to be any more beneficial for your health than drinking other sources of clean drinking water. The bottom line Although collecting rainwater seems like an easy way to obtain drinking water, it may not always be safe to consume.
Environmental pollutants, harmful bacteria, and parasites can contaminate rainwater, and drinking it can make you sick. Boiling, filtering, and chemically treating rainwater can help make it safer for human consumption. It’s important to have reliable collection, treatment, and testing systems in place before you drink it. Rainwater has not been proven to be any more beneficial for your health than alternative clean water sources. Drinking plenty of clean water, regardless of the source, is a great way to stay hydrated and support your health.