Is Rain Water Drinkable?

Numerous debates surround the importance of water for the existence of life, but regardless of what side of the debate one stands on, water is certainly life. Water is beneficial not only for humans but also for a majority of living matter. If the numerous NGO’s or campaigns about saving water catchment areas are anything to go by then, you can understand just how vital water is for human life. One of the key sources of water is rain but just how safe or drinkable is rainwater?

While the idea of drink rainwater may seem preposterous for some individuals, for others it is the key to their survival. Regardless of what you believe, rainwater in its purest form is safe to drink, and at some point, most of the water we drink now was in fact rainwater that was artificially or naturally collected.

In comparison to other water sources, unadulterated rainwater specifically that which has not come into contact with any surface is considered to be the least polluted water source. This is in spite of the bacteria, dust and other pollutants that the water picks up as it falls from the sky. Before drinking rainwater, here are a few things you should consider

Considerations When Drinking Rainwater

Depending on your location of residence, rainwater is relatively safe but if you reside in a radioactive area or an industrial area that has factories or chemical plants you should avoid drinking rainwater at all costs. This is because the rainwater in that region is likely to be contaminated by the factories and plants.

Most of the rainwater we used is usually water that has been collected and harvested. As mentioned earlier, rainwater is safest to drink in its purest form, and this means that water that has touched surfaces such as roofs, plants or buildings or collected via one method or the other. The rainwater from these surfaces may be toxic and unfit for consumption and may require decontamination.

Decontamination can be done through water filtering processes and/or boiling. By filtering and boiling the water, you can ascertain the safety of the rainwater as the two processes eliminate bacteria, dust particles or any other contaminants. You can also ensure the safety of your rainwater by putting into consideration the means by which you choose to collect the water directly as it pours. Do not collect water from ground puddles or harvest it in dirty containers.

Ideally, you should collect the rainwater into a clean container and if possible one that it is disinfected. Once this is done let the water sit for some time so that any particles can settle at the bottom of the container. Another alternative for removing the debris is running the water through a filter. In some parts of the world, people usually use a muslin cloth to filter the debris. Where possible, you can choose to treat your water using chemical treatment tablets or liquids. If you choose to apply chemical treatments to your water do it cautiously to avoid fresh contamination.


If you haven’t already, next time, it rains just look up to the sky and quench your thirst.

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