Have you ever thought of taking advantage of recent rains?

Rain is one of those things that feels so good, but has to be handled just right. Texas is one of those states where it is perfectly legal for you to collect rainwater, but it's best that you use it for things other than drinking.

First off, let's have a discussion about "potable" versus "non-potable" water. I don't know why anyone still uses these terms at all. "Potable" means safe for drinking, so in turn, "non-potable" means not safe for drinking. Maybe, just maybe it's time we put signs that say, "Do Not Drink" and "Safe To Drink" on things instead of these arcane terms.

Erik Witsoe, Unsplash
Erik Witsoe, Unsplash

Okay, so is rainwater potable/safe to drink"? Recent studies say "no". There is no longer any place on earth where rainwater doesn't contain "forever chemicals", so you're really taking a chance by putting a glass out in the rain. It's best to just not chance it.

There is also a secondary problem, and that's you should never drink rainwater that's been sitting in a collection container. That containers don't have filtration, disinfection, or any of the other things that your store bottled waters have. Drinking water from a regular collection container could out and out kill you (possible e-coli and other nasties in your water). Along these same lines, you really need to think about whether the rainwater got tainted by anything it touched on the way down (like animal poo on your roof).

It's probably a safe bet that catching a little rain in your mouth won't do you any great harm, but if you think you can capture a bunch and run it through your Brita, then that's not really the best idea. Keep the rainwater for your plants and maybe for washing your car, and keep hitting up the tap or bottled water for refreshment.

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