Rainwater Catchment for Potable Use

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The Water Quality Association supports the harvesting of rainwater as a sustainable source of water for potable and non-potable applications. However, rainwater is at risk for picking up contaminants as it falls through the sky, to when it is collected and stored. The risk of microbiological contamination in rainwater has been well studied and documented, and a standard has been developed to address these concerns (ASPE, 2013). But research has shown that in addition to microbiological contaminants other contaminants may be present as well, such as metals, organic chemicals, and debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt. It is the position of WQA that rainwater should be tested for microbiologicals, metals, and organic chemicals before it is used for potable applications. Disinfection is necessary at a minimum, but additional treatment may be needed as well in order for rainwater to be a safe source of water.