RAINWATER...FUTURE DRINKING WATER?

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As the world population soars every major country in the world agrees that water shortages and perhaps higher prices will become a reality. One possible addition to expanding our water resources is the use of rainwater. While not common much in the U.S., many European countries have begun to test the idea. The results are interesting and encouraging. Several hundred thousand rainwater utilization installations were installed during the nineties in Germany. The installation components have been continually improved and now rainwater utilization is generally recognized as an advanced, ecological, and permanently safe operating system. Rainwater utilization has thus developed into an important strategy for effective rainwater management.

The savings of potable water through the use of rainwater amounts to about 50 % of household consumption. Household activities where potable water savings can be achieved through the utilization of rainwater include: -Toilet flushing 33 % -Washing clothes 13 % -Floor Cleaning 2 % -Garden watering 3%.

The quality of the rainwater collected depends directly upon the collection facilities and installation techniques used. Installations that are competently designed, based on technical standards, supply rainwater that can be used for the applications named above without hesitation. Rainwater collected from such installations is, for example, usually of better quality than authorities demand lakes used for swimming.

Due to the success of using rainwater in Germany, a series of laws and regulations had to be passed to ensure that the potable water system is protected and secure from possible contamination arising from improper house-owner installations, including the dangers of a return flow from the rainwater pipework. There are legally binding regulations for this contained within the German potable water legislation for this, and the General Conditions of Water Supply that, apart from purely garden water storage without refilling equipment, are to be maintained in all cases.

Whether or not the U.S. soon adopts a larger rainwater movement remains to be seen. However, it does seem logical that as water shortages begin the American public will be moved and encouraged to manage their water consumption.

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