Most people are accustomed to using tap water for all their water needs, like drinking, washing, and cleaning. Other than taps, people use wells, springs, or rivers without thinking twice. But what about rainwater? Is rainwater actually hard, or is this a misconception?
Naturally, rainwater is soft, but it can become slightly hard once it comes in contact with the earth. When rainwater falls onto the ground, it gets soaked into the soil, seeping into the rocks beneath the upper layer. The carbonic acid initially present in the rainwater helps dissolve water-soluble minerals and hence makes the rainwater hard.
This article has all the information you need about rainwater related to domestic use and health concerns. We’ll also mention a few tips on ensuring your rainwater is safe to drink and consume. So, let’s get into it!
Read my article – Is Well Water Hard Water?
How Does Hardness in Rain Water Affect Us?
Rainwater is soft by nature, but when water travels through the soil and into our rivers, it gathers up particles like calcium and magnesium and thus becomes hard water.
Hard water has a corrosive character due to the large number of dissolved minerals, which causes issues for household surfaces, skin, hair, and common items like clothing and dishes.
When comparing the consequences of hard water vs. soft water, there are several obvious symptoms of hard water which can be seen in your regular housework.
Hard water buildup frequently results in stained dishes, filmy baths, and dingy garments, but again, rainwater is not harmful in any way because it’s essentially soft when it falls from the sky.
How Is Rainwater Safe to Use?
There are a lot of misconceptions about using rainwater. People typically associate pollution, baldness, and wastewater with fresh rainwater.
We accept these concerns as scientific facts, even if they may result from a widespread misunderstanding. The reality is that most rainwater is genuinely quite fresh and safe.
The Seoul National University Rainwater Research Center looked into how dangerous acidic rainwater is.
Rainwater collected on the roof was tested for pH. Rainwater’s pH shifted into 7–8.5 alkaline reactions throughout a brief time as it traveled through the roof.
Since this number has no impact on human health, rainwater lies in a better pH range than juice, yogurt, shampoo, and conditioner, which are significantly more acidic than rainfall.
When the pH of the rainwater after a couple of days was remeasured, it had already been neutralized. There is no cause for concern as we collect rainwater rather than use it immediately after collection.
Sulfur and nitrogen oxides, two air contaminants, dissolve in the rain. Air pollution causes dust or yellow dust; however, removing them is simple. Certain compounds aren’t filtered, but their presence is exceedingly rare.
Note: It’s important not to confuse rainwater with “acid rain,” which is far more powerful and happens due to specific harmful gasses!
While most people are fine with the concept of utilizing rainwater for flushing toilets or laundry, some people are hesitant to use it for bathing, showering, or drinking.
The benefit of soft rainwater is that soaps and detergents function more effectively. Rainwater is the perfect material for washing bodies, dishes, and clothing since it lathers up much more easily.
Your skin and hair will feel smoother and more supple whether you use rainwater to cleanse your body or shampoo your hair in the shower. Individuals with sensitive skin can benefit from rainwater, which can also lessen any unpleasant symptoms caused by hard water.
An investigation has demonstrated that washing hair with rainwater benefits hair health and that there is no issue with rainwater’s acidity.
There’s no reason to worry about drinking rainwater if the tank used for storage is made of safe-to-use materials and the system to harvest rainwater is carefully maintained. Rainwater is safe to drink and consume if you meet consumable quality standards.
Japan is one of several countries that utilize rainwater daily. Amongst them, Germany, an industrialized country, uses rainfall in a variety of sectors every day.
Japanese housewives serve visitors tea produced from rainwater in Tokyo. They use a device that has a hand pump or pedal to power a portable water purifier that can be used to filter rainfall.
Government health officials often advise against using rainwater for drinking in areas with open potable water supplies.
This is necessary because rainwater tanks must be correctly managed. People frequently need to remember to do this during their hectic schedules, and this negligence decreases the quality of the collected water.
Tips to Enhance the Safety of Rainwater
The air pollution in your region, the frequency of rain in your location, the methods and instruments used to collect, process, test, and preserve the water, and how often it rains there can all impact how healthy your rainwater is.
Here are a few tips to ensure safety for your rainwater:
- Boiling the water will kill certain germs, viruses, or parasites, but other types may need chemical processing to make the water safe to consume.
- A water filtering system can also be required to remove chemical pollutants such as heavy metals.
- Rainwater gathered for consumption needs to be filtered, sanitized, and often tested, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- It is advised only to utilize collected rainwater for other uses, such as gardening, laundry, or bathing if you cannot complete these activities successfully.
- Remember that there may be limits on collecting rainwater in some locations. If you want to put a rainwater collecting system in place, ensure that the volume and technique are legal in your region.
Why is river water harder than rainwater?
Soils are directly in contact with river water. In addition, there is typically groundwater underneath the riverbed, which combines with the surface river water while passing through the soils and picking up salts. Condensed water that falls as rain on the surface of the ground does not come into touch with the soil.
Does consuming rainwater improve one’s health?
The health benefits of drinking clean rainwater are similar to drinking water from other clean sources, making it a completely healthy method to stay hydrated. According to a recent health claim, drinking rainwater helps your blood become more alkaline since it is much less acidic than tap water because of its higher pH.
Since rainfall is misunderstood, our valuable organic water supply ends up as sewage. Additionally, it contributes to all water-related issues, including water scarcity, flooding, water pollution, and energy waste.
Utilizing clean rainwater is nearly always free, and we should spend more energy and resources on utilizing rainwater.