Mineral Composition of Rain Water

Rainwater is close to distilled water in its low mineral content.
••• Regentag image by mahey from Fotolia.com

Rainwater generally contains few minerals. This low mineral content makes rainwater ideal for collection and reuse in gardening, according to "Rainwater Harvesting Policies," a 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency handbook, and the Rain Barrel Guide website. As rainwater falls and soaks into aquifers it can collect more minerals from the ground and later pipes as it comes through your household taps.

Mineral Types

What trace minerals pure rainwater contains, it picks up from the environment through evaporation and transpiration. According to a 2008 EPA study that looked at rainwater composition in North Carolina during a hurricane, minerals such as nitrate, mercury, chloride and sulfate were present. The latter two correspond with sea salt.

Geographic Considerations

Mineral compositions can strongly vary by location — ocean and coastal areas receive rainwater high in salt, for example — as well as climate.

Conclusion

There is no one simple answer for which minerals can be found in rainwater, beyond the fact that the amounts are small enough for most sources to consider it soft water.

Related Articles

Importance of Rain Water
The Benefits and Effects of Limestone
5 Requirements to Be a Mineral
The Harmful Effects of Petrochemicals on the Environment
Limestone Chemical Components
Environmental Problems Caused by Minerals
Why Is Rain Naturally Acidic?
How Does Water Enter the Earth's Atmosphere?
What Does the Mantle of Earth Consist Of?
What Types of Soil Are in the Ocean?
How Is Rock Salt Formed?
What Region of the United States Is Most Affected by...
Importance of the Eastern Desert in Ancient Egypt
PH Level of Rain Water
The Effect of PH in River Water
How Is Salinity Calculated?
Does It Rain on Pluto?
Weathering Process of Granite
Examples of Secondary Pollutants
Rock Lessons With Activities for the First Grade