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Bitumen & Asphalt Roofing

Contaminant in your water: Bitumen/ Asphalt Roofing

What is the issue with Bitumen / Asphalt roofing?

While famous for their durability and cost-effectiveness, bitumen and asphalt roofing materials present significant environmental and health challenges. These materials potentially leach harmful substances into rain/ drinking water, compromising its quality and safety. Heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), along with plasticisers and other chemical additives found in these roofing types, can find their way into harvested rainwater. These contaminants pose serious health risks when the water is used for drinking. Additionally, they can also affect plant health when used for irrigation. 

bitumen shingles roofing
bitumen asphalt shingles roof

Healthy water, healthy you: The perils of asphalt/ bitumen roofing

Furthermore, the leaching of fibres and particulates adds to the turbidity and contamination of the drinking water. Consequently, you must filter or treat the harvested rainwater before using it. However, the environmental impact of using bitumen and asphalt roofing goes beyond the immediate vicinity. Ultimately, it affects the broader ecosystem and underlines the importance of alternative roofing materials. Aqua Works supports you in finding more conducive solutions for safe rainwater harvesting and sustainable living practices.

Is your roof compromising your health?

The link between roofing materials and water purity is often overlooked. Therefore, your roof might be more than just a shelter—it could be a source of health risks. Find out how Aqua Works can protect your health with cutting-edge water treatment technologies.

How do Bitumen & Asphalt residues get into your drinking water

bitumen asphalt roof

The hidden danger of bitumen and asphalt roofing on your water supply

Bitumen and asphalt residues enter your drinking water primarily during the rainwater harvesting process. Therefore, when rain falls on bitumen and asphalt roofing, it doesn’t simply run off.  Essentially, it interacts with the roofing materials, picking up various contaminants along the way. As the rainwater washes over these surfaces, it dissolves or suspends a range of harmful substances present in the roofing materials, including heavy metals, PAHs, VOCs, and other chemical additives.

At the end, the contaminated water is channelled into storage tanks, carrying the accumulated residues. Without adequate filtration or treatment, these contaminants can remain in the water, making their way into the household supply and posing potential health risks when used for drinking, cooking, or even bathing.

Which substances can be released with bitumen or asphalt shingles roofing?

Bitumen and asphalt shingles can potentially release various chemicals/ particles into your harvested rainwater. This leaching process occurs as rainwater comes into contact with the roofing materials, dissolving or suspending some of the constituents based on the solubility and physical properties of those constituents. So, which are the dangerous substances?

1.Heavy Metals:

Certain asphalt shingles may contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic. These can leach into the rainwater, especially if the roof is older or the materials are breaking down.

2. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs):

Bitumen is known to contain PAHs, a group of organic contaminants that are both carcinogenic and mutagenic. PAHs can leach into water from asphalt roofing materials over time, posing health risks for your collected rainwater.

3. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs):

Asphalt shingles can emit VOCs, which are organic chemicals that have a high vapour pressure at ordinary room temperature. While VOCs are more commonly a concern for air quality, certain conditions may allow them to be washed into harvested rainwater.

4. Plasticisers and Other Chemical Additives:

Asphalt and bitumen shingles often contain plasticisers and other chemical. These additives improve performance, flexibility, and durability. Some of these chemicals can leach into the rainwater collected from these roofs.

5. Fibres and Particulates:

Asphalt shingles may release tiny fibres and particulate matter into rainwater, especially as they age. While not as chemically hazardous as other contaminants, these particles can contribute to the turbidity and overall contamination of the water.


The actual concentration of these substances in harvested rainwater will depend on various factors. The roof’s age, environmental conditions, maintenance practices, and the specific composition of the roofing materials need to be considered. 

Asphalt & Bitumen Roofing: Silent threats to clean water

The path from roof to tap shouldn’t be a journey of contamination. Every raindrop that falls on these dangerous roofing materials could be carrying unseen contaminants into your water supply. Discover how Aqua Works can shield your water from these silent threats.”

Aqua Works has the answer for Bitumen & Asphalt residues in your drinking water

potable safe drinking water

At Aqua Works, healthy drinking water is our highest priority, especially with rainwater harvested from bitumen/ asphalt roofing. We are your local water treatment specialist with over 20 years of experience in innovative water filtration solutions. Thus, we are at the forefront of addressing the challenges posed by roofing material residues. Our expertise allows us to implement the most effective water treatment technologies and strategies, ensuring that your harvested drinking water is safe and meets the highest standards of purity and health.

Are you living in Omaha, Dairy Flats, Coatesville or Riverhead and have a bitumen/ asphalt shingles roof? Give us a call on 0800 278 288! Our long-term customers testify to the effectiveness of our products in ensuring their families’ health against the unseen threats posed by roofing materials.

Let us enhance your water quality and make every drop fit for human consumption. The team at aqua Works helps to mitigate the risks of bitumen/ asphalt shingles roofing. Therefore, we advise our rainwater harvesting homeowners to implement pre-filtration or treatment processes. First flush diverters, fine mesh filters, and advanced water treatment technologies, ensure the safety and quality of the collected water for its intended use.

Don’t let your roof put your family’s health at risk

At Aqua Works, we don’t just offer products; we provide promises of purity and safety honed by over twenty years of dedicated service. The trust our long-term customers place in us is a testament to our commitment to protecting your family’s health from the risks of roofing contamination.

Water is the elixir of life and our passion

best water filtration system nz

Exceptional support for our water filtration customers

20+ years of experience in Rodney means Aqua Works is your local water filtration expert. Our knowledge of the community and the region we live in, combined with our passion for clean drinking water, is the foundation for our daily work. We offer customised water solutions supporting you to meet your personal needs and individual budget. Our connected, smart product range enables you to master the water in your home. At the same time, it ensures the best purification of your water for healthy, tasty water enjoyment.

As a purpose-driven, local family business, we support you in your decision making by sharing our knowledge about your water resources. This way, we help you to be informed, so you can make great decisions empowering your families health and well being. The protection and provision of safe, potable drinking water in our lives is paramount to all of us. Aqua Work’s water filtration systems, UV filter purification, water treatment, ozone systems, and water pumps give you peace of mind to have a quality trusted, safe system. 

Going the extra mile at Aqua Works is what we do to ensure your water is healthy and fit for its purpose. Hence, all our water treatment products are field tried-and-tested, including innovative products and solutions. Do you need help with UV filters, water filtration systems and water pumps or our high-quality UV filter service, water pump repairs or water pump service? Give us a call today at 0800 AQUA WORKS. As we often say, “If you don’t have a filter – You are the filter”.

And if something happens spontaneously, call our 24/7 water pump emergency service at 0212 787 427. We will take care of your problem immediately and make sure that the water in your home is running again as quickly as possible.