Is rainwater safe?
Best collection methods?
What about collecting rainwater from my gutter system?
Rainwater is theoretically safe until it hits the ground.
If ever there were a source of water that felt safer than any other, it’s the water given to us from the sky. Long before the advent of chemical and industrial factories, rain was much safer. Today, the rain you’re collecting to use may have come in contact with environmental hazards. There may also be other kinds of toxins in rain water as it comes into contact with bird poo, viruses or pathogens in the atmosphere, from your roof or in the container you’re using to collect the rain.
Collecting rain doesn’t require much in the way of creativity. All you really need are some containers that can withstand the job itself.
Use kiddie pools, rain barrels, clean and empty trash cans, 2 liter bottles, large bowls, tarp and barrel or whatever you have. The trick is to place these collection containers under open sky to avoid debris (one less thing to worry about when you are ready to filter, purify and use the rainwater).
The problem with using your gutters to collect rain water is all that rain travels right over debris, bird poop, insects, larva, chemicals and other kinds of nasty impurities that stick to the roof. When all that rain slides into your gutters, it settles and sediment forms at the lowest points. All those impurities that drain from the roof and settle in the gutters will slide right into your rain barrel.
There’s not much you can do about these impurities other than maybe screen your gutters but that won’t solve the problem entirely.
Is it ILLEGAL to collect rainwater?
In some places, Yes, it is illegal. Particularly those affected by drought. Double check on the laws in your area that have restrictions on collecting rainwater.
When SHTF though, collecting rain may be the fastest way to collect the most usable water.