Is an Off-Grid Water System Healthier?

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Is an Off-Grid Water System Healthier?

Establishing an off-grid water system is a way of tapping into a free resource that’s part of a natural earth cycle.

If you think this process is only for vegetarian tree huggers, ask someone who lives in the country how they’re getting water. The answer is that country living comes with off-grid water systems. That usually includes well water with some sort of rainwater harvesting system as a backup.

With a growing movement toward tiny houses and a refocusing on organics, harvesting rainwater is now viewed as mainstream. For suburb dwellers, an exponential increase in water bills, along with an emphasis on renewable resources like solar power, have all led to homeowners seeking new ways to supplement existing water sources. This includes installation of off-grid water systems like rainwater harvesting systems.

But are these off-grid water systems healthier than city or well water? What are the real benefits of adding an off-grid water system to supplement your primary water supply?

Harvesting Rainwater in an Off-Grid Water System

Mother Earth News says establishing an off-grid water system is “a temporary interruption in the planetary water-purification and recycling system.” What they’re talking about, of course, is the cycle of rainwater and melted snow that flows downstream into lakes, rivers, groundwater, aquifers, and wells that fuel our food supply, planet, and human life. Tapping into that natural lifecycle is a non-invasive way to lessen your impact on a primary water source, whether it is a municipal treated water supply or well water.

But how safe are these primary water supplies when compared to rain falling from the sky? Tap water, which has generally been thought of as safe, has made headlines lately; casting doubt on the pollution levels in the water many of us drink every day.

In Flint, Michigan, residents still can’t drink water contaminated with high lead levels. An Environmental Working Group (EWG) study from two years ago showed that cancer-causing carcinogens have been found in the tap water of more than 75% of all municipal water supplies.

However, if you think well water is safer, consider that agricultural runoff from fertilizers or other chemicals can damage well water supplies. Chemicals from oil and gas fracking can also damage well water, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But is harvesting rainwater in an off-grid water system the answer?

The answer is: Maybe.

Rain passing through the environment can pick up toxins in the air. If it passes over your roof and flows into a rain barrel, it can pick up particles from your roof shingles. However, the rainwater itself is relatively clean.

To be safe, we always recommend that an off-grid water system rainwater harvest should always include rainwater filtration. Adding a filtering system to your tap or well water is also advisable, given the potential for environmental and human-made contaminants.

Adding a secondary source of water to a home is a smart way to decrease your consumption of city water or lengthen the life of your well. Rain Brothers helps families add off-grid water systems including rainwater harvesting systems that save money in a sustainable way. Contact us to harness your free water in an off-grid water system today.

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