Rainwater roof catchment systems, microbial quality of
Fujioka, Roger S.
Clean and safe water piped to homes by a reliable supplier (water utility) and available at the turn of a tap is taken for granted by most people in developed countries. However, in developing countries, large populations of people are not supplied with clean water piped into their homes. Even in developed countries, many houses do not receive piped water from a public water utility because of practical or economical conditions related to houses being too far away from a public water utility, houses being located at too high an elevation, or because the houses in rural areas are too few and too scattered. Under these conditions, homeowners will rely on the most feasible source of water for their household needs, such as surface waters (rivers, streams, lakes) or groundwater sources (boreholes, wells). However, under some conditions these sources of water are not readily available, and harvesting (collecting and storing) rainwater may be the most feasible way to obtain water for household use. In its simplest form, open tanks can serve the dual purpose of collecting and storing rainwater. However, this method is applicable only to few places where rainfall is frequent and the volume of water required is low. In most situations, a designated surface area or catchment is required to collect sufficient volumes of rainwater. The objective of this review is to assess the microbial and hygienic quality of rainwater collected from roof catchment systems from private homes and stored in cisterns or tanks for household use.