Rain barrel water safety - Knowledgebase Question

Deer Park, Ne
Question by vickyru
May 18, 2010
As a Home Depot employee planning to give the Eco Gardening seminar on June 3rd, I need help with an inconsistency. On pg 14 of the guide, it says: run the hose through your vegetable
garden. Now in many publications, for example, magazine article in Nature's Garden, Summer 2009 pg 102 it says ...Use collected rainwater only on ornamental plants, not edibles. Please clarify. Thank you

Answer from NGA
May 18, 2010


The answer really lies in how the water was collected and stored. In other words, what path the water took to get to the rainbarrel and whether or not it was covered to keep out potential contaminates. Since you cannot control how it is collected and stored the safest advice is to add a caution to your speech. Water is water and you can use it to water your thirsty vegetables, but not in the same way as you would with tap water. When watering your veggies with rainwater, keep the water flow at ground level, away from the stuff you'll actually be eating, and don't use rainwater within a couple of days of harvesting your crop. After harvesting, always wash your vegetables thoroughly with tap water. Hope this clarifies things for you.

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