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Rain barrel water is not for kiddy pools

13 September 2007

While on a trip to Boston a couple of days ago, I found myself watching a show discussing the merits of rain barrels on the local news. The host discussed the many uses of the water you collect. Things like watering your lawn and plants, washing your car and filling a bird bath. The one option she mentioned that I totally disagree with was using the water to fill up a kids inflatable swimming pool.

Rain barrel water is not fit for human consumption. If you are catching the water off your roof you are bring down any contaminants that are up there which CAN include bird/animal droppings, rotting organic matter and any chemical or treatment that may have been applied to your roof. Plus if the water has been stagnant in the barrel for a while bacteria can form. Kids in pools tend to ingest water without any hesitation so in my opinion it is best not to fill the pool from the rain barrel.

I probably wouldn’t fill my dog’s water dish from the barrel either, but then again any creature who can drinks out of a lake, river or toilet just might be able to handle it.

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