is rain water cleaner than tap water

Is rain water cleaner than tap water? It is true that most forms of life cannot exist without water. After all, about 60 percent of a person’s body weight is made up of water.

And for both the planet and its inhabitants, rainwater is an invaluable resource that receives far too little attention.

In case you are worried about drinking rainwater, know that you are perfectly safe to do so.  But the question is, “Is rain water better than tap water?”

raw rain water

Rain water may be safe enough to drink, but it is not always better than tap water, as it can pick up impurities from the air and even contain insect bits.

No Concept of Life without Water

Water is essential for our existence, and as we lose it constantly, we need to replenish our reserves.

Sweating and passing feces are only two of the many ways your body naturally loses water.

Therefore, consuming a sufficient amount of water daily aids in the replacement of fluids and promotes general bodily health.

rain water droplet

While most of us are used to getting our hydration from municipal sources, some of you may be wondering if it is okay to drink rainwater.  

Fact: Raindrops resemble hamburger buns in appearance, but a raindrop's shape changes as it falls from the sky. 

Rain Water As the Purest Form of Water

It may come as a surprise, but rainwater is actually the purest water available. But, it is not always safe to drink when it reaches you.

To ensure that you are drinking the healthiest and cleanest water possible, it is necessary to filter even rain water.

As long as it has been purified, there is no reason to avoid drinking rain water. Many places throughout the world rely only on rainfall for their drinking water needs.

dripping rain water
Note: Not all rain water can be safely consumed. Logically, bottled water is the safest option for drinking water because it has not been exposed to the environment. 

Are There Benefits of Drinking Rain Water?

Simply doing a Google search for “rain water benefits” will return a plethora of articles claiming that rainwater is inherently healthier than other types of water.

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But the vast majority of these assertions lack substantial supporting data from scientific studies.

While hydrating with clean rainwater is not always bad for you, there is not much of a health benefit compared to drinking water using a cleaner source. 

collecting rain water
Drinking Rain Water

The pH of Blood

Health benefits of drinking rain water sometimes include a more alkaline blood pH since rain water is more alkaline than tap water.

In any case, neither the water you consume nor the food you eat will have a major impact on the pH of your blood.

The pH of your blood is maintained at a healthy 7.4 by an effective system in your body.

It is crucial to keep your blood at a constant pH level, as it affects many of your body’s most important processes.

ph level

Many people turn to rain water for two major reasons:

  • They believe drinking rainwater can help them digest food better.
  • They think rain water can help get rid of waste materials more quicker

But, the truth is that none of these qualities are unique to rainfall; they characterize any safe water source.

Is Rain Water Cleaner Than Tap Water or Not?

While drinking rainwater may not hurt you in a big way, it may not always be the best thing to do.

It depends on many different factors, but rainwater is not always better than tap water.

The reason is that rainwater is exposed to many environmental factors that contaminate it before it reaches you.

Newly collected rainwater can soon become a possible health risk due to a number of environmental and physical reasons.

In fact, it may be connected to disease epidemics because of the presence of:

  • Parasites
  • Dangerous bacteria
  • Viruses
Parasites and other living organism
Parasites, Bacteria and Viruses

Some rain water may be unfit for human consumption if it collects in highly polluted places or comes into touch with toxins like animal waste or heavy metals.

Fact: In dry weather, certain plants produce oils that go into the air when it rains, giving off that distinctive, pleasant petrichor smell.  

Is Rain Water Really Clean?

As was noted before, rainfall might be drinkable depending on its source. 

Frequently, rain water can serve as a person’s sole or primary source of water supply due to its high quality and little risk of contamination.

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dirty rain water

It is recommended to filter rain water before consumption, even though it is generally safe to drink untreated water.

In fact, as long as you avoid drinking it near chemical plants and other sources of heavy pollution.

Boiling is another option for removing any remaining pollen or bacteria. It is a nice way if you just want to use the rain water around the house, but it is not the best if you want to drink it.

An Important Consideration

Carefully consider where and how you will keep the rainwater you collect. Only use clean, pure containers for water to prevent contamination.

DIY methods may help you save money in the short term, but they can put your health at risk in the long run. The best source of pure, risk-free hydration is water from a bottle.

Fact: In warmer areas, rain may not make the ground wet usually because it evaporates almost immediately. 

Understanding The Concept of Acid Rain

In most cases, the pH of rain water is in the acidic range (between 5.0 and 5.5) due to the reaction of carbon dioxide and water in the air. To be clear, this poses no threat.

 In fact, due to the presence of dissolved minerals, drinking water is rarely neutral in pH. Public water that meets standards may be neutral, acidic, or basic.

bright sunny rainfall
Rain Ph

To put this in context, you can consider the pH of other beverages. For instance:

  • The pH of coffee brewed with neutral water is roughly 5.4
  • The pH of orange juice is around 4.

Around an active volcano is where you’d be most likely to encounter the truly corrosive rain you should avoid drinking. If it were not for this, acid rain would not even be an issue. 

Making Rain Water Safer to Drink

Boiling and filtering rain water are two effective methods for enhancing its drinkability. Disease-causing microorganisms in the water are destroyed by boiling. 

Chemicals, dust, pollen, mold, and other impurities are all eliminated by filtration, which may be done at home with a water filtration pitcher.

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home water filtration

One must also think about how rain water will be collected. The water from the sky can be collected in a clean container. If possible, use a dishwasher-safe or otherwise sterilized container. 

Here are a few other steps to take:

  • Wait at least an hour for the rainfall to sit so that the sediment can settle out. 
  • Make use of a coffee filter to purify rain water.
  • Refrigerate rain water to stop the growth of any bacteria or viruses

When to Avoid Drinking Rain Water

Airborne pollutants have a chance to attach to raindrops as they travel through the sky on their way to the ground.

For instance, you should avoid drinking when raining in highly hazardous areas, such as the ones near Fukushima or Chernobyl.

chemical plant

Similarly, you should be cautious in the following situations:

  • You should not drink the rain water if it falls near a chemical facility.
  • Avoid drinking if there are smokestacks from factories like paper mills, etc. 
  • Do not drink rainfall that has landed on plants or structures
  • Do not gather rain water into containers that have been exposed to dirt or debris

Steps to Take to Ensure Rain Water is Clean

 Several methods exist for making the collected rain water fit for human consumption. The first step is to bring a pot of water to a boil. 

When water is boiled, nearly all of the dangerous bacteria and pathogens are killed.

If you are not going to be drinking the water, but still want to utilize it for other purposes around the house, you may have it filtered to get rid of the metals with a simple water purification system.

Fact: Raindrop impressions have been found in fossils that date back as long as 2.7 billion years. 

 Takeaway

Is rain water cleaner than tap water? It may be, but not all the time. Where you live and how you store that rain water plays a big role in determining how clean and pure it is.

Nevertheless, you can always use that rain water for other purposes, like watering the plants, etc. If you really want to drink it, invest in a water purification system and you are good to go.

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