Rainwater source protection
A lot of care must be taken to ensure rainwater that is used for water supply is not contaminated by improper methods of storage or by bird droppings and leaves from the roof the water is collected from. Rainwater may be also be contaminated by pollutants in the air, dust, dirt, paint and other material on the roof or in roofing materials. All of these contaminants can be washed into the storage tank or cistern.
To protect the water, various precautions are needed. The tank must be completely covered and well maintained. The roof and gutters should be cleaned regularly, especially before the start of the wet season. It may be necessary to divert the first rainwater away from the tank so the dust and dirt is washed away. Leaves and other larger debris can be prevented from entering the tank by placing a mesh screen between the guttering and the pipe that leads to the tank; the mesh screen will need to be cleaned regularly.