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Old 12-08-2008, 08:36   #1
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Rainwater - problems??

I have now read quite a few posts on CF that suggest in various ways that rainwater is not considered potable.

I have always understood rainwater to be completely potable unless collected in unusual circumstances very close to heavily polluted atmospheres. Certainly once it was collected off sails and/or clean(ish) cabin top / decks, it was OK especially away from very large urban cities. It is the normal drinking supply for many parts of rural Australia and is kept for years in tanks.

I have collected and used much rainwater in the distant past on a 30ft yacht.

BUT has something changed or am I missing something? Or perhaps I have been misunderstanding something; especiallyas it seems everyone now needs a watermaker and its attendant power supply. What do they know that I don't?
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:38   #2
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Bird poop.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:44   #3
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Bird poop.
From?....

Yes, I know from birds, but surely not from cabin or decks unless one leaves bird poop to collect and rot the paint etc. And I have not had experience of birds pooing on the main at sea. At anchor, the sails are stowed and water is not collected from them.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:05   #4
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You always had to wait until the rain had flushed all the salt water of the sails anyway, and that dealt with the majority of any solids problems.

IIRC Prout designed their Escale, so that the main part of the upperdeck was also used as a rain collector, with channelling to the tank filling points. - possibly cause the mainsail on the prout was small.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:12   #5
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I recommend keeping your entire (potable) rainwater collection system sanitized, rather than merely "rinsed".
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:12   #6
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Add a little chlorine to the tanks each time you fill whether from rain water or a dock. At a lot of remote locales, the dock water is from cisterns (collected rain water).

This is why God gave us immune systems :-)

Having said all that, we don't normally consume our tank water but use a small water maker for cooking and drinking.

Yes the Prout catches rain great. We have filled our tanks in 20 minutes in a good rain.

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Old 12-08-2008, 12:14   #7
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Most everybody here on Nevis drinks rainwater. We collect it from our rooftops and store it in cisterns. No one I know has died yet!

I've collected it off the deck while cruising, too. Let the rain wash the salt and grit away, and make a dam behind the fill tube with a towel or something. I collected about forty gallons from a single squall while anchored in Coral Bay on St. John, my personal best!
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Old 12-08-2008, 13:07   #8
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There's nothing wrong with rain water; man has been drinking it as long as he has existed on the earth. Some people are just a lot pickier about what they eat and drink today because there are so many alternatives.

It's a lot like refrigeration. Those who have never lived without it tend to have a skewed idea of how long food lasts before going bad, often thinking that just a few hours at room temperature will kill you.
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Old 12-08-2008, 14:00   #9
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We have been collecting rainwater in our catchment system on our boat for over 15 years. It makes the best coffee I have ever tasted. We usually keep a separate container just for drinking. We have filled the tanks on many occasions with rain water and showered, cooked and drank it with absolutely no ill affects. Of course it is possible that the rain water in the US, Caribbean and Central America is different than the rain water in Australia.
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Old 12-08-2008, 16:15   #10
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BUT has something changed or am I missing something?
Yes, you are missing that there is now a greater collection of people in the world who either suffer from irrational fears or get wealth from promoting such fears in order to sell substitute products such as bottled water (which may have come out of the ground YUK, SPIT!!!).

Like many, we collect rainwater off our decks and at holiday homes and use it untreated.

John
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Old 12-08-2008, 18:07   #11
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Those of us who live in Bermuda catch all our fresh water on the roof of our house and store it in tanks under the house for drinking. There is no fresh water source (springs, rivers, lakes, etc.) on the island. Water quality is very good.

To counteract the bacteria problem from bird feces and other contaminants, you may want to add a small amount of chlorine (we use Clorox) to your water tanks periodically, and may also want to use a small charcoal-based filter on a tap used for drinking water, or a jug-type system like a Brita.

If you're really concerned drink bottled water. The rain water will be excellent for all other uses.
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Old 12-08-2008, 18:13   #12
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Welcome, gholmes.

Good to have someone from the Onion Patch onboard!
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Old 12-08-2008, 18:29   #13
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Never had a problem with rainwater. It is far safer than most land water. In Fanning where their water is the worst in the world, they were considering catchement water ,until some one suggested that their may be bird poop in it. So they went back to water from wells next to people poop, pig ****, cat **** , etc, with all the atendant problems. Duhhh!!!
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Old 12-08-2008, 21:27   #14
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I loved thae water in Bermuda.....

I went out to one of the catchment areas in St. Davids, I believe, it was incredible to see.
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Old 12-08-2008, 23:40   #15
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At one time or another all water was, and will be again, rain water.
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