Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is an alternative method of providing water for indoor domestic use, but the water quality after treatment and distribution at individual residences is not well documented. In this study, water quality parameters were measured at the cistern and indoor cold-water taps of six residential RWH systems that use various treatment processes. Potential human pathogens (Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium intracellulare, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Aspergillus Niger) were found frequently in cisterns and in treated rainwater delivered at the tap; Legionella pneumophila was not detected as frequently, but it persisted in a system after its first detection. The observed decreases in bacterial concentrations from the cistern to the tap after filtration/ ultraviolet (UV) treatment and distribution were less than expected; this suggests deficiencies in the effectiveness of the filtration/UV processes employed and/or degradation in water quality in the distribution system due to the absence of a disinfectant residual.
- Rainwater harvesting