Water on the Roof?

Discussion in 'Finding, Purifying, and Storing Water' started by tilburkj, Jun 30, 2016.

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  1. tilburkj

    tilburkj New Member
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    My grandfather is amazing. He saves his rainwater for plants and puts it through a strainer, and he's been doing this for years. However, I'm really curious about rainwater and the possibilities for purifying it enough for drinking. How would one begin the process? Could you use cheesecloth and then boil for 30 minutes (much like you would for a boil advisory)? What could I do to make it as safe as possible? Thanks!
     
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  2. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 New Member
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    Rainwater itself, assuming you aren't living inside a smog cloud, is potable. :) So the only thing I'd worry about is how clean your collection system is.
    Even with a clean collection system you could boil the water to kill any bacteria, I'd say this is probably not necessary but if you have the time and the means to do it then it certainly won't hurt.

    Keep in mind that human beings have survived thousands of years by drinking water from natural sources. It's not like you will suddenly drop dead if you don't get it from a fancy plastic bottle. :)
     
  3. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    all water sources-including rainwater- should be classed as polluted because the chances are that it is.
    filter with a cloth to remove all the larger particles and put it through a filter system if you can, at the very least it should be boiled.
     
  4. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I can't answer for anyone else living anywhere else, but we have no need to filter the rainwater we catch & store from the roof of our house. We do however live in a forest, & not in the city, city roof tops can be polluted from vehicle traffic fumes.
    Keith.
     
  5. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    In a city where it's polluted and smog filled the air, I would be worried about the water. If the dirt and filth of the city gutters don't contaminate the waters, it makes you wonder if there is already something in the water because of the smog.

    But where I'm from, the rain water is just fine. But if you have reservations about your current living situation or possible contamination, then you need to boil it for a safe piece of mind.
     
  6. CivilDefense

    CivilDefense Expert Member
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    It is a good idea, regardless of the source, to filter rainwater. Some may be potable without said, but considering the odds that it might contain harmful material, it is better to run it through a filtration device. The good news such systems can be had for very little investment. And considering water is absolutely essential for life, there is no reason to scrimp in this department.
     
  7. giovanniiiii

    giovanniiiii New Member
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    Before thinking about making a rainwater collecting system, one should always consider if his area is populated with cats. We have been living in the city for years now and some nights I hear cats running on the roofs, hinting that some of them stay there. My father once climbed the roof of my uncle's house to fix the signal antenna. He then told me that there are lots of cat excrements on the roof. Ever since I try to stay away from water falling from the roof if it is raining, since I see it as very unclean and dirty.
     
    Keith H. likes this.
    1. Keith H.
      Good point!
      Keith.
       
      Keith H., Jul 17, 2017
  8. TsuyoyRival

    TsuyoyRival New Member
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    I actually never thought about it and makes a lot of sense. Where I live there are a lot of cats, and the possibility of collecting water for plants has crossed my mind, but drinking it is certainly not a good idea (i thought). But let's say we're on an emergency status and the only way to gather water is from the rain, I would consider boiling it or even input a small amount of bleach.
     
  9. Scarlet

    Scarlet Member
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    Ever since I was a kid, it has been a practice to collect rain water when there is no water but not for drinking. I heard one time from the advice of our doctor from the television to our countrymen that our rain water can be boiled and be safely used as drinking water in case there is no available potable water.
     
  10. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    When we had our kitchen extended by 14 square meters, we planned on having a water tank for collecting rainwater. It will be fitted with a faucet that would run down the ground so it would be convenient. However, we ran out of budget so the water tank did not materialize. But the roof of the extended kitchen is concrete which can be made into our planned c0ncrete water tank.

    I don't recommend rain water for drinking because we don't know the impurities that it contains. Pollution is heavy even here in the suburbs. Maybe boiling is okay but still not recommendable.
     
  11. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Expert Member
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    I thought of this myself but immediately thought about the tar roof shingles and the possibility of chemical contamination in the collected rain water. But if your roof is tin then perhaps just filtering it and boiling it would work. I'm not for certain, but I think your boil time of 30 minutes is way too long. I seem to remember it being 10 minutes plus 1 minute for every 1,000 feet (0.3 KM) in altitude you're at, add I'd add an extra minute just to be sure. Now keep in mind this means you don't start timing when you turn the heat on the water. You start timing once the water comes to a roaring boil.
     
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  12. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    The United States Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends boiling water for 1 minute, or 3 minutes above 2 kilometers (6562 feet) to disinfect water for drinking.

    The CDC recommends boiling water for one minute to kill most organisms. One minute is long enough to kill all major harmful waterborne bacteria and protozoa including Esherischia coli, Salmonella, Shigella sonnei, Campylobacter jejuni, Yersinia enterocolitica, Vibrio cholerae, Legionella pneumophila, Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica and other pathogens.

    Waterborne viral pathogens such as hepatitis A, which is known to be one of the more heat-resistant viruses, are also inactivated by one minute of boiling.

    And, you are right, the chemicals used in the manufacture of asphalt roofing material is bad news and will transfer into water that comes into contact with it,


    .
     
  13. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    GA, what filtration, if any, would clean the water collected from an asphalt roof? Cheap inquiring minds (me) want to know.
     
  14. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    what I don't understand is why we are still using drinking quality water to flush the toilet when it dosent takes a lot to use rainwater, I know it can be done because some new "eco" houses uses rainwater catchment to flush the toilet.
     
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  15. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Expert Member
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    Here's a source: https://gringosabroad.com/boil-drinking-water/

    And after all this time I thought it was 10 minutes and 1 minute for every 1,000 feet of altitude.
     
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  16. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Here's the bad news about collecting water from an asphalt roof:

    You will encounter problems with Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Trihalomethanes (THMs), Lead, Copper Oxides, and Asbestos from water running off your shingle roof.

    Whatever you do, do NOT use bleach to purify water that comes off of a standard asphalt shingle roof… The combination of bleach with hydrocarbons will cause trihalomethanes (THMs) to form, which are “just plain evil, like as in Agent Orange kind of evil. Carcinogenic and mutagenic.”

    Asphalt roofs are made with tar. “Petroleum tar is the rock bottom refuse from crude oil. When all the lighter solvents have been heated out it is the sludge leftover. Literally the bottom of the barrel. Then they mix it with random crushed rock and pump it full of fungicides.”

    (Hattip to Zeke)


    To give you a general idea of how undesirable water running off a shingle roof is, take a look at the warnings from one roofing shingle company (https://www.gaf.com/en-us), which is typical and pretty standard:

    Can I Reclaim Water (Collect Water For Use) Run-off From My Roof?

    Yes... But you should only use this water for lawn, shrubbery, and flower irrigation since water run-off from asphalt shingles is not FDA approved for potable water reclamation or agricultural use.

    What this means is that because it is not FDA approved, the reclaimed water is not suitable for:

    *Drinking
    *Cooking
    *Bathing
    *Watering of fruits or vegetables for human consumption


    What Should I Know?

    Water reclaimed from a shingle roof may present a variety of hazards that may affect you or your animal’s health. While the water may seem “clean”, consider:

    *Asphalt is processed from crude oil and there are chemicals in asphalt that can be hazardous to your health if consumed.

    *The granule surface can collect dirt and other air pollutants which vary by location. Water running over these granules can collect the dirt and pollutants as it runs off the roof.

    *Under the correct conditions, algae, mold, moss, and mildew can grow on the shingle surface. These fungi may be harmful to people and animals when introduced into a drinking water supply.

    *Shingles may contain copper oxide, or other algae inhibitors that may harm aquatic life.


    --------------


    Here's a better idea:

    You can quickly and inexpensively make an open side shed with a 10x10. corrugated roof. Super cheap if you use salvaged materials.

    Each 10x10 feet of collection surface collects about 62 gallons per 1 inch of rainfall.

    Even in Arizona with just 7” or 8" of rainfall a year you can collect a minimum of 434 gallons to almost 500 gallons, enough to fill 10 full-sized drums of drinking water from only a small 10x10 surface.

    If you have enough collection and storage area, you can gather enough rain water to satisfy all or most of your water needs almost anywhere in the world.

    “Even in the Outback in Australia, folks manage to water entire sheep stations (ranches) using nothing but desert rainfall. They just lay out enough shed roofing to get the job done.”

    Most farm supply stores carry a wide range of affordable piping and tank systems for the DIY-minded.



    Here is a handy dandy calculator:

    http://www.calctool.org/CALC/other/default/rainfall




    A slow sand filter for roof water is not a bad idea. Here’s more info on that:

    http://www.shared-source-initiative.com/biosand_filter/slow_sand_filter_faq.html#drink_roof_water


    Here’s more stuff to chew on:

    http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgi.../hgic1728.html

    https://www.clemson.edu/extension/carolinaclear/files/RWHmanual.pdf

    http://www.clemson.edu/search/index...3024:sbh0fawlf20&cof=FORID:10&ie=UTF-8&z=1275


    (I forget which link I found this, but I will quote it here for truth):

    "To ensure human health and safety, additional design, maintenance and application strategies should be employed when utilizing non-potable rainwater harvesting systems to irrigate fruits, vegetables, and other edibles.

    Pollutants, including heavy metals, bacteria, pathogens, herbicides, and pesticides, can accumulate on rooftops and can potentially be transported to the rain barrel or cistern following storm events. The sources of these materials are numerous and include atmospheric deposition, animal waste, roof materials, shingle treatment, and others."


    -------

    OK! I will shaddup now!


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  17. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Everything that you mentioned runs off roofs and then soaks into the groundwater. Filter it no matter where it came from if you are worried about it, BUT I lived most of my life, as did my wife, drinking untreated water from a shallow well that was much less than 100 feet deep.
     
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  18. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Lol! A hundred feet of a "slow sand filter" is almost like a Big Berkey on steroids, f'sure.


    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
    Morgan101 and TMT Tactical like this.
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