Is Rain Water Safe to Drink

Is Rain Water Safe to Drink and The Best Way to Process

People like to collect rainwater for non-potable uses (such as watering gardens or washing cars), but more and more people are using rain water for potable uses such as drinking, cooking, and bathing. So some of the most common questions we see have to do with whether rainwater is safe to drink. The simple answer to this question is yes, however, there are many steps you need to take to ensure that the rainwater you collect is safe to drink, as well as for other drinking water uses such as cooking and bathing. If you only plan to use collected rainwater for non-drinking purposes, you don't need to worry too much about the following steps.

It's worth mentioning that whether you want to save money on your water bill or live more sustainably, rainwater harvesting is a good option. Collecting rainwater and filtering it into rain tanks has many benefits, both from a cost-saving perspective and for the environment.

When it is safe to drink rainwater and when it is not, here are some of the most common questions about drinking rainwater.

1、What Are The Influencing Factors of Rain Water Safe to Drink

Whether rainwater is safe to drink is affected by several factors, which involve meteorological, geological, environmental, and human activities. Here are some of the factors that can affect stormwater safety:



Atmospheric Pollution

Nitrogen oxides and sulfides in the atmosphere react with water vapor and oxygen to form acidic substances (sulfuric acid, nitric acid) that are carried away by rain

Particulate matter, industrial emissions, and soluble heavy metals can cause respiratory problems, such as coughing and wheezing, and can irritate the eyes and skin

Rainwater harvesting process

Roof collection

Roofing materials release harmful substances, such as lead, nickel, organic compounds, etc

Rain bucket

Hanging rain barrels are polluted by the air, and plastic barrels may release hazardous substances

Surface penetration well

Surface contaminants may seep into well water, such as oil, chemicals, etc

Underground water storage tank

Affected by groundwater quality, it is necessary to prevent underground water from being polluted by chemical substances

Plastic wrap and canopy

Plastic film may release harmful substances and needs to be replaced regularly

Rainwater storage method

roof tank

Algae and bacteria may be produced in the trapped water, and the container materials may affect the water quality

impounding reservoir

water storage tank

2、Is Rain Water Safe to Drink?

As mentioned above, rain can wash different types of pollutants into the water you collect (for example, bird droppings on the roof, or rain seeping through contaminated land, acid rain, etc., which can end up in your bucket or tank). Rain can carry bacteria, algae, mosquito larvae, parasites, and other pathogens, viruses, and chemicals that can make you sick and are associated with outbreaks of disease. Without additional treatment, rainwater may not be safe for domestic use, so we cannot drink untreated rainwater directly.

Is It Safe to Drink Rain Water From The Sky?

If you live in a city with reasonably good air quality (and this is important) and you step out in the middle of a storm and drink water that falls from the sky, you're absolutely fine, because the main source of pollution from rainwater is that it touches the ground and gets into our waterways, where it starts to dissolve impurities that can affect the cleanliness and safety of the water.

Is Rain Barrel Water & Tank Water Safe to Drink?

Whether rainwater is safe to drink is mainly affected by the collection method, storage conditions and air pollution, among which air pollution is a part that is difficult for us to control personally. Even if you use food-grade buckets to collect rainwater directly in heavy rain without touching the ground, it is difficult to ensure that the collected rainwater is 100% clean and drinkable

How Safe Is It to Drink City Rain Water?

With the impact of industrialization and population density changes, urban environmental pollution is becoming more and more serious, and rainwater will absorb pollutants such as dust, pollen, microplastics, and PFAS in the air before falling from the sky to the ground, which may lead to unsafe drinking.

Is It Safe for Pets(Dogs & Cats) to Drink Rain Water?

We often see cats, dogs and poultry drinking freely outdoors, thinking it is normal and right, is it really, is it safe for our pets to drink rainwater, Giardia is the number one cause of dog diarrhea in the world, water flowing from the roof may come into contact with tar or bird droppings, there may be Giardia in the water, so when you go out with your dog, It's always a good idea to bring some snacks and water. While dogs can drink untreated water from lakes, street puddles, or rain, it is not recommended because it can sometimes endanger their health.

3、How to Make Rain Water Safe to Drink?






High temperatures kill microorganisms, especially bacteria and viruses.

Simple and easy, no additional equipment required。

Suitable for most water sources, especially outdoor environments。

UV sterilization

UV radiation destroys the nucleic acids of microorganisms and prevents them from reproducing.

Efficiently kill germs, bacteria and viruses。

Suitable for removal of microorganisms, suitable for small and medium scale water sources. Rainwater can be filtered and treated with a UV disinfection system.

chemical treatment

Add chemical disinfectants such as chlorine, skunk, or chloramine

Efficiently kill bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.

Suitable for medium scale and large-scale water treatment, such as water supply systems.


Remove microorganisms, salts and other dissolved substances through semi-permeable membrane filtration.

Efficient removal of microorganisms, salts and most dissolved substances.

Suitable for removal of microorganisms, salts and dissolved substances, such as kitchen water

The Best Way to Make Rain Water Safe to Drink - RO Water Purifier

reverse osmosis water filter

The reverse osmosis water filter under the sink uses a reverse osmosis Membrane to provide us with pure water for cooking and drinking, to protect our health, and the treatment rate of various pollutants reaches 99.99%. Such as heavy metals, chloride, fluoride, and other harmful minerals (hard water). Using an under-sink RO water filter can help you save money on bottled water in the long run. You can enjoy the convenience of getting fresh, clean drinking water directly from the tap.

4、Summary: Can You Drink Rain Water

To reduce the risk of getting sick, it is best not to drink rainwater directly, and before using collected rainwater for drinking, bathing or cooking, please consider whether it needs to be treated to ensure its safety. At the same time, install a screen at the water inlet of the reservoir/barrel or empty the rain barrel at least every 10 days and add chemical disinfectants to prevent mosquitoes from using the rain barrel as a breeding ground.