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Old 05-24-2016, 11:29 PM   #1
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fresh water storage

dumb question #238 and counting...should you drain your fresh water tank between trips? I have been under the weather for a couple of weeks and have not gone anywhere for a trip. Is it ok to just leave clean water in the tank?
thanks in advance
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Old 05-25-2016, 01:38 AM   #2
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You can build up a decent biofilm that will plug your filter so our preference is to drain the freshwater tank before we put the can in storage.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:28 AM   #3
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A couple of weeks? No. A couple of months? Maybe. Longer than that? Probably.
If you are worried about odor or bacteria, you can pour a cup of bleach into the fresh water tank, and fill it all the way full. That will help control both odor and bacteria. The bleach will dissipate in a few days at most, and even if it doesn't the worst you might get is water that smells like it came out of a swimming pool.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:04 AM   #4
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As LB_3 said, we drain every time, and additionally I often flush between fills, and I chlorine shock frequently. We have had our filter plug up too many times from slime accumulation. And that filter can be reamed out on the road while there is water in the fresh tank but it's a pain in the lower anatomy because it has to be quickly screwed off, the resulting geyser plugged by Person A who remains lying on the floor with hand in place on the line, then Person B uses a toothbrush to clean the filter, then hands it back to Person A who struggles to get it re-installed without too much more water escaping.

Been there, done that, don't recommend it. Flush, flush, flush to keep residually-chlorinated muni water moving through the system so that this doesn't have to be done due to an unexpected plug-up.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LB_3 View Post
You can build up a decent biofilm that will plug your filter so our preference is to drain the freshwater tank before we put the can in storage.
Ditto.

I drain mine if it is going to sit awhile, just to be safe, usually during the last stop at the dump station...both drains open, running the faucet in the sink and flushing the toilet at the same time.

Also rinses out any residue that may have settled at the bottom of the tanks.

If you have been in sandy areas, you will find some has settled at the bottom of the grey tank, and you will see it rinse out.


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Old 05-25-2016, 06:19 AM   #6
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Once a season, maybe. We don't drink the water from the trailer, anyway. I do put chlorine in once or twice a year.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:34 AM   #7
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dumb question #238 and counting...should you drain your fresh water tank between trips? I have been under the weather for a couple of weeks and have not gone anywhere for a trip. Is it ok to just leave clean water in the tank?
thanks in advance
Welcome to the forum!

You can always add some bleach to a gallon of clean water, and pour this into the tank when in doubt. Move the trailer a bit if possible, or walk up and down its length to get water sloshing around in the fresh water tank, then pump some water into each discharge line both hot and cold.

You will have to drain the tank later and rinse out the lines well, but the effort needed is less than dealing with a water-borne illness of some kind IMO.

Hope you feel better soon!

Peter

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Old 05-25-2016, 06:44 AM   #8
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Y'all do realize that the water coming out of the taps in our houses contains the same stuff that's in bleach, right? And it will outgas over a period of a few days, and you don't have to drain it, right?
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:55 AM   #9
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The stuff coming out of our houses generally gets run through the pipes quickly enough so that a chlorine residual is maintained just through normal use. There is no need to drain it because we are using it anyway.

And if there is any point in the water distribution system where there is a risk of that residual NOT being maintained, the municipality will take steps to ensure flushing. Fire hydrants are the most common example. People wonder why munis open them up and let them spew into the storm drains - it seems so wasteful of water. It's because bacteria will grow in dead-end mains and then if it is not corrected, it can spread to infect a larger portion of the distribution system. Flushing in that scenario is not only good operational practice - it's the law.
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:00 AM   #10
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A lot of this has to do with the source of the water that is on your fresh water tank. If it's city water that has been properly treated then leaving it in your tank for a couple of weeks is not likely going to be an issue. On the other hand, if it's well water that has not been treated (a lot of campgrounds fall in this category) then I would definitely empty if it was going to sit for a couple of weeks.
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:27 AM   #11
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I don't agree with long-duration sits in any context, RV or otherwise. If you come in contact with such water and you are a healthy person with a strong immune system, nine times out of ten, absolutely nothing will happen to you. But it's a needless risk like playing Russian Roulette. You don't know when the wrong bug might have decided to flourish in that water, and woe to you if you encounter your personal unlucky day.

Since we last had a Forum discussion along these lines, perhaps a year ago, I've taken and passed the coursework prerequisites for both water and wastewater introductory occupational licensing in Texas. What remains is for me is to sit for both state exams. It's a time-consuming multi-step process because they tightly control who gets licensed even at the lower levels.

I was inspired to do that because I'm seeing too many cases where far-flung parks, including some of our state parks, are failing miserably on both drinking water and wastewater quality and getting enforced against as a result. Most of my consulting is industrially-based but I'm frequently out there anyway in our Interstate, visiting the same parks that do not seem to have reliable access to adequate support, so I'm thinking of a possible service expansion in an attempt to meet some of that need.
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:29 AM   #12
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How cool, IB, that you can take your work related lodging with you on the road.


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Old 05-25-2016, 08:11 AM   #13
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^^ No kidding on taking the lodging on the road. Such a gig would have pre-retirement written all over it, *possibly*. I'm skipping a lot of detail and complexity so I don't know if that business plan will ultimately pan out, but I'm investigating the feasibility.


A bit off the OP's topic, but in case anyone is curious as to what government enforcement looks like in this context of public health, I pulled two recent examples that really caught my eye and pasted them below (this stuff is subject to full public disclosure so I'm not posting anything here that hadn't already been broadcast in multiple other locations previously). Both of these were wastewater discharge violations - the contents of all those grey and black water hookups and dump stations have to get treated and go somewhere, and keeping that equipment running properly with complete and diligent records etc. is a big challenge. But the same type of enforcement process takes place on the drinking water side as well, because as another poster noted above, many parks produce their own potable water.

***
Published March 25, 2016 (Lake Livingston State Park):

(19) COMPANY: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; DOCKET NUMBER: 2015-1165-MWD-E; IDENTIFIER: RN101234342; LOCATION: Livingston, Polk County; TYPE OF FACILITY: wastewater treatment facility; RULES VIOLATED: 30 TAC §305.125(1) and §319.11(c) and Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) Permit Number WQ0011722001, Monitoring and Reporting Requirements Number 2.a and Final Effluent Limitations and Monitoring Requirements Number 1, by failing to analyze effluent as specified in the permit; 30 TAC §305.125(1) and (5) and TPDES Permit Number WQ0011722001, Operational Requirements Number 1, by failing to properly operate and maintain the facility and all of its systems of collection, treatment, and disposal; 30 TAC §305.125(1) and §319.4 and TPDES Permit Number WQ0011722001, Monitoring and Reporting Requirements Number 1, by failing to include all effluent monitoring results in the discharge monitoring reports; 30 TAC §305.125(1) and (17) and TPDES Permit Number WQ0011722001, Sludge Provisions, by failing to timely submit the annual sludge report for the monitoring period ending July 31, 2014 to the TCEQ Beaumont Regional Office and Water Quality Compliance Monitoring Team by September 30, 2014; and 30 TAC §305.125(1) and §319.7(a)(5) and TPDES Permit Number WQ0011722001, Monitoring and Reporting Requirements Number 3.c.vi, by failing to maintain complete and accurate records of monitoring activities; PENALTY: $4,126; Supplemental Environmental Project offset amount of $3,301; ENFORCEMENT COORDINATOR: Had Darling, (512) 239-2520; REGIONAL OFFICE: 3870 Eastex Freeway, Beaumont, Texas 77703-1892, (409) 898-3838.

Published June 5, 2015 (TAHI):

(6) COMPANY: TEXAS AIRSTREAM HARBOR, INC.; DOCKET NUMBER: 2014-0484-MWD-E; TCEQ ID NUMBER: RN103014445; LOCATION: 714 Angelina Street, approximately 0.5 mile northwest of State Highway 147 at a point approximately 300 feet southerly from the shoreline of Sam Rayburn Reservoir and approximately five miles northeast of Zavalla, Angelina County; TYPE OF FACILITY: wastewater treatment facility; RULES VIOLATED: 30 TAC §305.125(1) and (17) and §319.7(d); and Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) Permit Number WQ0011895001, Monitoring and Reporting Requirements Number 1, by failing to submit a complete and accurate Discharge Monitoring Report; 30 TAC §305.125(1) and (17) and §319.7(d); and TPDES Permit Number WQ0011895001, Monitoring and Reporting Requirements Number 1, by failing to submit monitoring results at the intervals specified in the permit; and TWC, §26.121(a)(1); 30 TAC §305.125(1); and TPDES Permit Number WQ0011895001, Effluent Limitations and Monitoring Requirements Number 1, by failing to comply with permitted effluent limitations; PENALTY: $10,656; STAFF ATTORNEY: Ryan Rutledge, Litigation Division, MC 175, (512) 239-0630; REGIONAL OFFICE: Austin Regional Office, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Building A, 3rd Floor, Austin, Texas 78753, (512) 239-3400.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:01 AM   #14
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We never dump Lucy's fresh water tank. We just add to it as necessary and go on. We use our Arstream a lot (1,700 nights/150,000 miles in ten years) and have never had an issue with our on-board water. We do filter the water that we put into Lucy's tank.

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