Greetings RW Harvesters,

Thank youAll for the responses to the story of replacing the copper pipe from our water well to the house with HDPE.
That was the supply line for cold water to the kitchen sink.

Now here’s the other half of the story.
I supplied the hot water heater with only rainwater, and all the clothes, showers, and dishes were nice and clean.

I sampled the hot water at the kitchen sink and sent it off to the lab, and it came back 1.260mg/L of copper contamination.
Now this is just below the safe EPA Primary Drinking Water Standards of 1.3 mg/L

This high level is after running the rainwater through only 60 feet of copper pipe!
As a comparison, rainwater dissolves as much copper in one foot of copper pipe, as well water dissolves running through 96 feet of copper pipe.

The writing is clearly on the wall.  Now that we have PEX, HDPE, and stainless steel, never use copper pipe.
In addition to this contamination, copper pipe develops pin holes for a number of different reasons….. but that’s another story.

Here are some references:

Copper Pipes and Rainwater
Your rainwater tank might be correctly installed and plumbed in, but it is also important understand that rainwater is quite acidic and can react with certain metals.
While rainwater is itself safe to consume, if it is left sitting in copper pipes for a long period of time then copper can leach into the water. Copper is a mineral required by our bodies, but it quickly becomes toxic in high does causing brain and liver damage.
Since copper pipes usually distribute water throughout a house, it is recommended that people flush the first 2 to 3 minutes of rainwater each day. You can optionally install filtration at your tap – filtration of 1 micron or less should be sufficient and also removes most bacteria.”

The neighbors and I are scrapping out the copper as quickly as conveniently possible…..   Terry Raines   512-466-4319