using water from a rain barrel

Asked October 6, 2016, 4:57 PM EDT

I have a rain barrel, which I have been collecting rain water off of our roof and using it to water our vegetable garden. Someone told us that this is not a good idea, due to some toxic stuff from our roof. Is this true? Not sure if this matters but we have wooden cedar shingles. Thank you in advance for you help

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response


Thank you for your question.

The information that was provided to you is correct.

The current recommendation is not to use rainwater collected off a rooftop (regardless of the roofing material) to water edible plants (vegetables, herbs, fruits).

The reason for this recommendation is because we currently don't have research-based data to prove that this practice is 100% safe. So, in the absence of research to prove that is safe, the recommendation is to not to use the collected rainwater because of the potential of pathogens, pollutants in the rainwater, that can then be taken up by the roots of edible plants.

Hope this helps.