Is rainwater drinkable
Can you drink rainwater?
Formation of rainwater
Water that evaporates from springs, streams, rivers and lakes rises to the sky, condenses, and later comes back as rainwater on its way to earth. That is the water cycle.
When evaporating, all impurities and pollutants remain in the source water. So rainwater is practically distilled water. So it should theoretically be particularly pure. In practice, however, this is hardly the case.
Pollutants in rainwater
Due to the complete lack of its minerals, distilled water reacts aggressively and can dissolve a large number of substances.
Rainwater mainly dissolves sulfur compounds, nitrogen compounds and carbon dioxide on its way to earth. Due to the still very high air pollution in Central Europe, a lot of pollutants are stored in the rainwater.
Bacteria from the air can also be washed out to a large extent and be present in rainwater. If it is caught in a container and remains in it for a long time, the germs can multiply massively.
Lack of mineralization
Rainwater is basically completely demineralized water. The effect on the human body is therefore not particularly beneficial. Vital minerals are flushed out to a large extent when rainwater is drunk in the usual quantities.
In the case of chronic mineral deficiency, from which we as Central Europeans practically all suffer, this can cause dangerous deficiency symptoms.
Carbon dioxide hazards
The high amount of dissolved carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds also represents a health risk. Our body cannot process these substances, so they accumulate in our body.
Under certain circumstances, this can lead to diseases that look similar to those caused by deposits of proteins, fats and other substances in the arteries (arteriosclerosis, stroke, heart attack and others).
Rainwater as a stopgap
In an emergency situation in the wild, rainwater is still the healthier alternative compared to unknown or unsafe water sources. Polluted drinking water can be life-threatening - despite the pollutants it contains and the lack of mineralization, rainwater is in some cases the lower-risk alternative if a water filter is not available.
No drinking water approval
In Germany, rainwater may only be used to:
- to water the garden
- flush the toilet
- to supply the washing machine
It is not approved as drinking water, so it must be routed in a separate pipe system in the household.
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