Last year I blogged about getting a rainwater tank and said I’d be drinking rainwater soon. I got it at the end of winter, but it filled with rain from the unusual downpours in November. I didn’t start drinking it then because my dad suggested I don’t drink the initial water, to ensure any contaminants from manufacture were washed away. Over summer I used the water on the garden and the tank filled again this winter. Now, nine months later, I’m drinking rainwater from my tank.
The first time I drank water from the tank it tasted so different to mains water from the kitchen tap. I thought it tasted purer, but that might be the only way I can think of to describe the difference. I have an old house, with ancient plumbing and I’m sure this does something to the water. In summer I don’t like drinking it straight from the tap, I refrigerate it first. In winter the cold air refrigerates it, so I don’t taste whatever it is I don’t like* (and it is the plumbing that affects the taste, not chlorine or fluoride or whatever, I’m happy to drink water straight from the tap at other houses). After drinking rainwater for a few weeks I’ve got used to whatever the difference is and it just tastes like water now, but I still love drinking it. Water is my favourite drink.
I have a number of cleaning and filtration methods to ensure the water I’m drinking is as pure as when it fell from the sky.
- Leaf Eater on the pipe coming from the gutter
- First Flush Diverter to wash the roof and gutter every time it rains and I clean the filter after rain because it gets pretty mucky
- Screen covering the opening to the tank
- Ceramic and charcoal filter in the kitchen
The tap on the tank leaks. It’s not a huge amount, but when I noticed in summer I decided to tighten the tap when the water got below the tap line. When I stopped seeing the trail of water I forgot all about fixing it and it’s still leaking. Next time the tank empties I hope I remember.
*Note: I don’t think this taste difference has any untoward health effects because I’ve been drinking water from my old pipes for five years.