fbpx

Checking the Quality of Your Rainwater

Rain water
Adding a rain barrel to your home? Make sure you have good water quality.


Harvesting rainwater helps your garden stay lush in the dry season. Some use this water on vegetable gardens, to wash food, or to drink. When you depend on the quality of your rainwater, you need to ensure that what’s coming out of that barrel is safe to use. What kinds of water quality concerns do you need to look for when you’re harvesting rainwater?

Chemical Concerns

What’s in your water? You may not expect chemicals to be present in your drinking water, but depending on where you live and how you store your water, they will certainly be present. One source of chemicals is offsite contamination. For example, if you live in an agricultural area, the rain you receive may mix with pesticides that go onto the crops if there is large-scale spraying. If you live in an urban area, your concerns are likely with the contaminants in the air, including traffic and industrial emissions.

Onsite chemicals are also a factor in your rainwater quality. These chemicals come from the places that your water flows before it reaches the barrel. For example, roofing that’s old and leaching chemicals or flaking bits of roofing material can flow into your rain barrel. You can add a first flush diverter that will allow you to divert the first water that goes onto your roof after a long dry period. The pipes that you move water in and the tank materials that you store your water in also contribute to the chemical load in the water.

Debris Contamination

Debris that moves from your roof into the rain barrel can be a problem for your water quality. Depending on the rainwater harvesting system that you use, you may or may not have areas that catch a lot of this debris before it enters rainwater storage. If birds and other animals nest in your gutters or if there is the possibility that birds’ eggs and other animal material could get washed down from your gutters into your rain barrel, there are additional concerns about contamination.

Sediment can also collect at the bottom of a rain barrel, and while it may not be dangerous, it can impact the taste of the rainwater. To avoid adding debris to your rainwater tank, ensure that your gutters have gutter installation that incorporates gutter covers and that your tank has filters for debris. If you decide to have your rainwater tested for this sort of contamination, an E. coli test is the key test for fecal contamination.

Rain water
Send your rainwater to a lab for thorough testing.


Testing Your Rainwater

If you’re concerned about rainwater quality because you’re using that water on food plants, how can you test your rainwater? There are a few different options to pursue. You can look for an electronic test meter that will allow you to test your water yourself. When you’re concerned about serious contamination, it’s helpful to send your rainwater samples to a lab as well. If you’re sending samples to a lab, what do you need to look for? Test for pH, conductivity, turbidity, total suspended solids (TSS), total coliform (TC), fecal coliform (FC), nitrate, nitrite, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and metals to see whether your water is clean and what it contains.

As you work to create water systems that work for your home, contact Harry Helmet. We’ll work with you to create a gutter installation that helps you collect clean, clear water and divert it without concerns about your roof integrity. Contact us today.

Written by Del Thebaud

Black Friday Sale
Free Gutter Cleaning & Re-Alignment
Buy Now, Pay Later† | Save Additional 18% Off | 0% Interest OR Monthly Payment Options to Fit Any Budget† | Hurry, Sales End 11/30/22
*By clicking below, I’m interested in having your products installed on my home and would like to learn more about Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet products and sales in the future - I understand you use an autodialing phone and text system and my consent is not required to obtain a free estimate - I can call 888-543-5638 instead.

REVIEWS

135,000 HAPPY CUSTOMERS & COUNTING

I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
StarStarStarStarStar
I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
StarStarStarStarStar
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
StarStarStarStarStar
VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
StarStarStarStarStar
We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
StarStarStarStarStar
We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.
StarStarStarStarStar

Black Friday Day Sale - Free Gutter Cleaning & Re-Alignment

We work hard with each manufacturer to offer our customers the best promotions monthly.

Find a Location

Serving a Location Near You

Careers

Join the Harry Helmet Family

We're seeking fun, outgoing, and confident individuals who enjoy winning to join our team. Harry Helmet is an equal opportunity employer and we operate a safety first & drug-free workplace focused on employee safety. Great pay and benefits, apply today!