Another recent reader question: "Is it possible to use a copper roof for rainwater harvesting for potable water?"
The answer is "absolutely." Now, it should be noted that there is a little bit of controversy on the topic as a couple environmentalists have set forth the idea that the run-off from a copper roof would increase the copper level of water to such a degree that its antifungal properties could upset a marine ecosystem. Their conclusion was based on extrapolations of a computer model. However, there are an even larger number of biochemists who found many faults with the opinion, and in fact the matter is rarely considered serious by scientists and experts. When you consider that there are copper pipes used for millions of miles of domestic water transport, the notion that copper adversely effects water compostion seems rather silly. Copper has been made into water vessels for centuries, and it's one of the preferred methods of containing water precisely because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
You'll need to take the normal precautions and filtering that any rainwater collection system should include, but there is little doubt that collecting rainwater running off a copper roof can be a perfectly safe and functional system. Many experts would say it's the best material you could choose - beautiful AND ideally suited for rainwater collection.
If you are about to purchase a new roof for a rainwater harvesting system, we'd be very pleased to help design and supply one optimized for such a unique application.
Check out our selection of copper roofing and download our free copper facts and details sheet too.