Rain capturing systems are growing in popularity around the world, and for good reason. They are the best way to maintain a private water supply for your home which, during periods of drought, could see you circumventing hosepipe bans and skyrocketing water prices. They can reduce the burden on the state-run water systems, which is good for the rest of society, and the energy savings involved in reducing the requirements for transporting that water are also substantial.
While there are a lot of benefits to be gained from these water capturing systems, they aren’t without risks either. These risks are to your own personal health and, perhaps counterintuitively, to the environment as well.
The water that you consume on a daily basis, from bottles or from your tap, has either been distilled or treated chemically. This ensures that there are no dangerous bacteria contained in the water and, although it isn’t totally foolproof, it is quite successful in this regard.
Water that you’ve captured by yourself doesn’t have any of these protections. It could be something as innocent as a leaf working its way into your water tank and potentially causing harm, but there is also a risk of small rodents, like rats and mice, getting in and dying, allowing for any number of nasty diseases to develop in your drinking water. This is the reason behind why many health professionals recommend that you don’t consume untreated water that you’ve collected yourself.
The risks to the environment, while counterintuitive to many, are definitely a reality. The potential danger to the environment comes into play when the scale of water capturing systems reaches such a scale that a large part of the water that should have worked its way into the wider river systems and ground water, replenishing them. This scenario can see ecological collapse become a real issue, which is why water rights regarding farming and agriculture are regulated so rigidly. While small scale rain capturing systems carried out by individual homeowners aren’t a big deal, if that is replicated across the millions of properties found in London, its impact can definitely be felt.