I was reading your letters to the editor dated June 6th, 2011 regarding the collection of water in rain barrels for city dwellers. //www.offthegridnews.com/letters-to-the-editor-june-6/
You mentioned you would not recommend it for drinking. I am curious as to why it would not be safe. Is that because of the danger of contamination by bird droppings and/or other chemical fallout that might be present on the surface of the roof? What if you filtered it through a filtration system such as the Brita system for example? Would it then be safe for consumption?
I was a little confused about your email until I went back and reread my response to that particular letter. It does seem to indicate that I don’t recommend using that water for drinking, but I didn’t mean that at all and I want to clarify that. (Sometimes my brain works faster than my hands type!)
I meant that the barrel’s original intent was strictly water collection for gardening, but that we should use all means at our disposal to adapt when necessary and when we need an alternative water source. Of course this water can be used for drinking after being appropriately filtered or treated. I apologize for any confusion that my response gave.
My wife and I were discussing canning and this question came up. Do we really need a separate bath canner and pressure cooker to can both ways? It seems that if you use a pressure cooker and just don’t pressurize it, it’s the same as canning in a bath canner. Are we mistaken?
Engineering Tech in NH
Dear Engineering Tech,
Excellent question … and the answer is no, you don’t need two separate canners. You can use the pressure canner without pressure for water-bath canning your fruits and jellies. In fact, I have an old pressure canner that is pitted and thus unfit for pressuring that I use specifically for water bath canning.
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