Contamination of Groundwater

Pyrrhus

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At some point, worldwide society needs to completely shift from getting groundwater from wells to getting filtered and treated water from supply lines.

The technology needed to filter and treat modern groundwater would be impossible to install at every single well around the world...
 

Wishful

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At some point, worldwide society needs to completely shift from getting groundwater from wells to getting filtered and treated water from supply lines.
In areas where it can be cost-effective, collecting (and treating if necessary) rainwater would be good too. Most groundwater is rainwater, prefiltered by soil.

My potable water has been rainwater for the last two decades. I only bother to filter out the visible debris.
 

Pyrrhus

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In areas where it can be cost-effective, collecting (and treating if necessary) rainwater would be good too.
Yes, of course!

Rain water is naturally distilled in the atmosphere, and would be a superior choice to well water in places with sufficient rainfall.

When I was working in a village in northwest Ghana, without any electricity or running water but with regular rainfall, we had a large blue plastic cistern to collect rain water for the whole village. It was marvelously clean water, and I even used it to cleanse an open wound without any problem...
 

antares4141

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I suppose I could get rainwater off of my metal building. It already has gutters so I would just have to set up a cistern to collect it. My thoughts have always been I would have to treat it for bacteria and algae if I were to store it for much longer than a few weeks. Suspect the container would have to be cleaned periodically. And there are contaminants in the air I don't know weather they would be high enough to be of any concern, than the paint on the metal panels on my building probably again negligible. Birds might crap on it occasionally. Also wind blown sand get's on it. And the plastic container would have to be food grade. I do get my water from a well on my property. Want to get it tested but keep putting it off. I do have an r/o system. I am bad about filter changes partially because I think every six months is a little excessive and I suspect they work similar to air filters. They actually become less porous with use and hence filter a little better. They have systems with ultra violet light for bacteria. I just put mine on the stove for about 5 minutes, bring it up to 180, 200 degrees let it cool and pour it through a brita filter seeing as I have one. Sounds like a lot of trouble but not nearly as much as buying it and lugging it to the car, out of the car and into my house. And I don't like using single use plastic. I can remember many moons ago before I started drinking bottled water I could taste the plastic or so I thought. So you have that also. Really do need to get water tested though.
 

Wishful

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I collect my rainwater off my woodshed roof (coated metal). I store it in 20 litre plastic buckets (originally held eggs for bakery use). I remove any visible debris, let them sit long enough for the dust to settle, and that's it for hygiene. I've never had problems from the water. Usually no off-taste either, unless there was a forest fire somewhere upwind. During BC's severe fires last summer, the rainwater was black and foamy (ashes plus oils = soap). Luckily I had enough stored to last through that period. Summer rains also contain plenty of road dust. Winter snowmelt produces clear blue water.

I'm sure there's some bird and bug poop in my rainwater, but I consider that training/exercise for my immune system. :D


BTW, my rainwater collection area is around 4'x10'. That is more than enough for my potable water needs. Plant watering and bathing water comes from the creek. The beaver(fever)-filled creek, so I don't drink that.
 

antares4141

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I should maybe consider rainwater collection cause I am somewhat concerned about contamination in my well from a garbage dump that is near it. Keep wanting to test but I never get all my chores done when I go into town. South Central NM doesn't get much rain so I would have to have a lot of bottles to put it in when it does rain. I would be somewhat concerned about bacteria say from a bird terd not necessarily if I drank it right away but if the water sat and festered for a while. If you had glass and could store the water in direct sunlight the uv would probably kill anything that tried to grow.
 

Strawberry

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I'm sure there's some bird and bug poop in my rainwater, but I consider that training/exercise for my immune system. :D
And here we all thought it was cumin! ;)

I should maybe consider rainwater collection cause I am somewhat concerned about contamination in my well from a garbage dump that is near it.
My nephew set up a rather sophisticated rain catchment system, including UV light.
 

Wishful

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If you had glass and could store the water in direct sunlight the uv would probably kill anything that tried to grow.
If you store it in sunlight, the rainwater turns green with algae and grows whatever ecosystem that in turns feeds on algae.

If you live in a dry area, rainwater collection is probably not worthwhile: too much long-term storage needed, and your rainwater will probably contain lots of dust, including toxins and organic material. My locale had a drought last year, and I was down to my last jug of water before it rained enough to restock a bit. In normal years, I get much more than I need.