Another important element for clean water includes deterring mosquitoes from entering and breeding in your rainbarrel. Any open rainbarrels is like an invitation for these pesky bugs. Open barrels will operate as mosquito breeding grounds, because mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Not only is this a problem for your rain storage barrels and water supply, it can also cause health crises for you and your neighbors. Mosquitoes are capable of carrying diseases like the West Nile Virus.
In order to avoid this problem, you will need to cover your water barrels in some manner. If you do not have a secure lid, stainless steel screen mesh is the ideal solution. Cheese cloth or screen similar to something you would find on a closed porch will suffice as a short term fix. Although this is not ideal, it is a start.
Some people believe that any rain collected is perfectly safe for consumption. Experts, however, strongly disagree.
If your rain water barrels gather rainfall directly from the roof of a building, certain precautions should be followed to ensure that the water is clean. The easiest method for clear water is covering rainbarrels with lids. Because they cannot be completely covered (how would the water get in?), barrels should be equipped with screens over openings. This will guarantee that leaves and other large objects will not fall in the rain or clog spigots. This is the first step towards harvesting rainwater that is clean of debris and any large foreign objects.
After installing the appropriate covers or purchasing a barrel with the right equipment, you must take certain measures to ensure continued cleanliness. Check your water barrels often for leaks or other potential problems. Confirm that lids are secure and nothing is blocking openings. Finally, rain water barrels should occasionally be fully emptied and cleaned. If these steps are followed, your rain barrels will be a great water supply for your garden, yard and house plants.