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Zofiava
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:11 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Rain Barrels

I live over an underground "river" called 9 mile run.

Rain barrels are provided free or at a heavy discount to people living over it. They want to keep rain water from running down the street, collecting toxins, and ending up in 9 mile run.

Most people use the collected rain water to water their gardens, and I think this is great. You save water and help the environment.

My concern is the safety of the water itself on my plants though. Is water off my roof going to contain tons of toxins that I am trying to avoid by gardening organically?

ljcoolj
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Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

I technically can't answer your question, but we use rainwater from our roofs to water our gardens and plants and they LOVE it! I'm more afraid to use tapwater because of the chlorine and flouride.....

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Zofiava
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Thanks!!!

I wonder if there is some way I could test the water. I just have no idea what was used in the building materials. (I have a new roof, so there may be tons of chemicals that haven't washed out in the last year or so)

ljcoolj
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Keep me posted what you find out. Ours is a shingled roof and I guess I just never thought about it. It could possibly be affecting the water. Its sad how toxic our world is.

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!potatoes!
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Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

there are some roof materials that can yield drinking-quality water (in the right conditions)...asphalt shingle is not one of them. there may be some reason for concern, with shingles. I'm constantly amazed by the amount of the little rocks from the shingles that end up in my collection containers. i'd bet there's some amount of hydrocarbon-something going on, and related compounds that could get stored to some degree in leaf tissue (less so in fruits/roots from what i understand)...so i am somewhat concerned about water off asphalt shingle roofs...all that said, at the three properties i have any amount of gardening going on, that's all i use, 'cause it's the free kind. enameled metal sheet, clay, cedar shake...all would yield 'cleaner' (chemically) water, though. if you own your home and do rainwater collection and need to redo your roof at any point, i'd go with enameled metal.

ahem. sorry for the treatise.

edited to add : if there is some way for to test (or have tested) the water, that would be great, and i'd love to hear the results.

friskimage
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 6:41 pm
Location: Duck River, Tennessee

Tin Roof

I have a tin roof. The rain is routed through gutters that go to a barrel. I use this water in my garden with no problems.

Speed_419
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Location: OH

!potatoes! wrote: edited to add : if there is some way for to test (or have tested) the water, that would be great, and i'd love to hear the results.
If you are looking for a place to test your water. I know that where I live the water treatment facility in my community is able to test the water to let you know what you have. I don't know if it is in every city, or if it is a county thing. Heck, could even be a regional state thing, but you might be able to get it checked out at your local water treatment facility.
Speed...
"Today's mighty oak was yesterday's nut that held it's ground!.."
Zone 5b

pointcook phil
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Location: melbourne

rainwater

The water should def be ok. Here we have no choice but use rain collectrd water and even our washing machine water as we have very strict water restrictions. My plants thrive on rain water and truthfully even washing machine water makes them smile!

Everyone must collect and let the water go back into the ground, not storm water drains.

Happy gardening
Do anything and everything to minimise your carbon footrint

tiny1
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Location: Lincolnton, nc

I don't know everything, but I have built a house or two.
Every kind of roof I can think of would be safe to use.
Asphalt shingles may have a little grit in them, and terra cotta may have the least foreign material. Wood wouldn't hurt anything as is the case with metal. If you aren't spraying trees with insecticides that could "drift" up on the roof, you should be fine.
Pitch and tar roofs may present a problen, but those are not water soluble substances, so.....

...I can't imagine a problem.
I LOVE SOMEONE WITH AUTISM.

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!potatoes!
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Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

from a contractor's infosheet, the first thing that came up googling 'asphalt shingle runoff' (not gospel by any means, but worth a thought):

Can I Reclaim Water
(Collect Water For Use)
Run-off From My Roof?

Yes… But you should only use this water for lawn, shrubbery, and flower irrigation since
water run-off from asphalt shingles is not FDA approved for potable water reclamation
or agricultural use.

What this means…is that because it is not FDA approved, the reclaimed water is not
suitable for:
• drinking
• cooking
• bathing
• watering of fruits or vegetables for human consumption

What Should I Know?

Water reclaimed from a shingle roof… may present a variety of hazards that may affect
you or your animal’s health. While the water may seem “cleanâ€

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