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How to Purify Rainwater for Bathing
You may already be using rainwater for irrigation, cleaning, and other purposes; however, you may be hesitating to rely more on rainwater for bathing because you fear it may not be good for you. We’ll tell you now: you can absolutely use rainwater for bathing – after treating the rainwater. We have previously discussed how to collect rainwater and the different uses of rainwater at home. But in this article, we will discuss how to purify rainwater for bathing.
To learn more about how and why you’d want to use rainwater for bathing, read our complete guide below.
Why Should You Collect Rainwater?
There are many reasons you may want to collect rainwater. Below are just a few of them.
Reduce Your Water Bills
The average American consumes 90 gallons of water a day. You can easily reduce your water bills simply by collecting rainwater. Rainwater is free, and you can use it for indoor and outdoor purposes.
Grow Healthier Plants
Rainwater is better for your plants than tap water. Tap water is treated with several chemicals, such as chlorine. Although this is for disinfection purposes, it isn’t good for your garden; on the other hand, rainwater is free of chemicals and can help your plants grow to their fullest potential.
Protect Your Property
Collecting rainwater can protect your property from flooding and rain damage. Since you’re collecting rainwater in a controlled manner, there won’t be as much uncontrolled rainwater flooding your yard. Collecting rainwater can also help you control the moisture level of the ground around your home’s foundation.
Reduce the Stress on Stormwater Runoff Systems
In industrialized places, there are many structures that stop rainwater from soaking into the ground. What happens instead is that the water flows into the city’s sewage systems. Allowing too much water to flow through these systems can be catastrophic.
So, by harvesting rainwater and diverting it from storm drains, you’re helping reduce clogging in your residential stormwater systems.
Prevent Soil Erosion
By collecting rainwater in barrels, you can help slow down the water flowing down your roof. Doing so can stop soil erosion. You’d want to stop soil erosion because erosion gets rid of the nutrient-rich topsoil in your yard and can even damage your house’s foundation.
How to Harvest Rainwater for Bathing?
If you set up the correct system for rainwater harvesting, you can automate the process at home, so you can collect rainwater with minimal effort. A good rainwater collection system would include the following:
- Catchment Area: Rainwater interacts with your catchment area. This is usually an angled roof where the rainwater is then moved to a conveyance system.
- Conveyance System: The conveyance system moves the water from the roof into a single location where the water can be stored.
- Pre-Filtration System: Before the water goes into the storage location, it needs to be removed of sediments. A pre-filtration system on the conveyance system or in the downspout will ensure large pieces of sediments do not enter your water storage location.
- Water Storage Location: Having a downspout that goes directly into water barrels or storage tanks will let you have water that is easily accessible.
How Much Rainwater Will You Need?
The average American uses 17 gallons of water for bathing. Fortunately, every inch of rainwater on a 1000-square-foot roof can collect 623 gallons of water.
Due to splashing and other factors, a more realistic number puts you at about 500 gallons of rainwater collected per inch of rain per 1000 square feet of collection surface.
Either way, you’ll be able to collect more than enough rainwater for bathing purposes.
How to Filter and Purify Rainwater for Bathing?
Below we will cover the pre and post filtration process.
The first step to harvesting rainwater for bathing is ensuring you have a clean collection process. Pre-filtering rainwater occurs before rainwater reaches its storage location.
You can have a mesh filter along the gutter or conveyance system to remove large pieces of sediments. It is important to clean your mesh filters once a quarter to ensure water can go through with minimal interruption.
You may also opt to use a first-flush device – also known as a first-flush diverter – that improves rainwater quality by preventing the initial water flow with all its debris and impurities from entering your holding tank.
First-flush devices typically use a tipping bucket that empties at certain points.
Post-Filtration in Storage Location
Despite having a pre-filtration system in place, some sediments may come through your filters. You can reduce the number of small sediments coming through by having an additional mesh filter in your storage tank so that smaller pieces of sediment are caught before being used.
Rainwater can collect pollution, heavy metals, and chemicals before it arrives in your storage tank, so the CDC advises against using rainwater for certain purposes without purifying it first. Additionally, you can test your harvested water to see if it is contaminated with chemicals and heavy metals.
You can purify your rainwater by using ultraviolet light from a UV filter. This is an effective tool for removing pathogens and microbial organisms that may be present in your rainwater. It works by destroying the organisms’ DNA, making the pathogens ineffective.
The main downsides of UV light filters are their high cost and use of electricity. Fortunately, there are other ways to purify rainwater, and some ideas are:
- Quantum Filtration
- Gravity Water Filter
- Solar Pasteurization
- Iodine Disinfection
- Boiling Water
- Carbon Filter
Purifying rainwater with a filter after running your rainwater through a mesh filter isn’t redundant. Both steps work together to get rid of different kinds of contaminants.
Can You Use Rainwater for Showers?
Yes, you can use rainwater for showers – provided you treat and disinfect the rainwater appropriately. In fact, once you’ve purified your rainwater, you can even use it for drinking.
What Are the Benefits of Showering With Rainwater?
There are many benefits of showering with rainwater. First, rainwater is free; you don’t have to pay monthly bills to use it. Second, rainwater is better for your hair and skin. Most people consider rainwater to be better for your hair and skin because rainwater is “soft” water. This means it has fewer rough minerals than other water sources, such as groundwater or river water. Rainwater is also free from heavy metals and has a neutral pH level. This means it’ll work exceptionally well for you if you have sensitive skin.
What Are the Disadvantages of Using Rainwater?
The only real disadvantage to using rainwater for your showers becomes apparent if you use rainwater only and don’t have access to your city’s water supply as an alternative source of water. When you rely completely on rainwater and live in a dry and arid area, you may get inconsistent amounts of rainfall throughout the year.
Does Rainwater contain Fluoride?
No, natural rainwater is free of additives and treatment chemicals used to clean tap water.
Rainwater is excellent for bathing because it lowers your water bill, it’s cleaner than tap water, and it can be used for many other purposes as well.
Whether you are a homesteader, prepper, or simply looking to cut back on your water bill, you should consider harvesting rainwater. And since you now know how to prepare rainwater for stuff like bathing and drinking properly, you won’t have to worry about water contamination.
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