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Old 12-16-2014, 02:54 PM   #1
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1995 34' Excella
Corinth , Mississippi
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Question Drinking water

I have just flushed and sanitized and refilled my fresh water tank for a Christmas trip, I also have another trip in mid January and just wondered if the weather did not force me to winterize before then if my water would still be fresh. Does anyone know how long water can stay in the fresh tank and remain OK to drink and use?

Why settle for anything less?
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:07 PM   #2
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Venice/Nokomis , Florida
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First of all we do not water from the holding tank. The water in the tank we reserve for shower, washing dishes and flushing. Bottled water to be safe for drinking and cooking. I have a plastic water tank but don't trust a questionable source. You will see all kinds of comments referring to cleansing cleaning etc, that's all well and good but drinking??

We calculate a gallon a day for 2 people, Walmart under a dollar a gallon. No brainer!!

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Old 12-16-2014, 03:37 PM   #3
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1962 24' Tradewind
Buffalo , Wyoming
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In a perfect world the water will stay "fresh" indefinately. However, perfect worlds are rare. If your tank is clean and sealed, you'll be safe for a long time. If there is bacteria in the tank, it will grow more the longer it is in the tank, but time will vary depending on water temperature and oxygen in the water. A good quality poly tank, shouldn't leach chemicals into the water, but some don't believe that. Taste of the water may change by sitting in the tank, which is largely a function of adsoption or desorption of oxygen. Shouldn't effect safety unless other contaminants are introduced.

I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:42 PM   #4
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Apache Junction , Arizona
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Bottled water is an incredible waste of resources and money. Clean tap water is much healthier. Keeping your tank clean is a simple process and only needs to be done about once a year.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:09 PM   #5
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Somerset County , New Jersey
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We usually use bottled water or "city water" hookup at a campground. On our last trip in PA we went to a local restaurant that REFUSED to give us tap water. They said we had to purchase bottled water because the tap water was unsafe to drink. Quick internet search revealed that there were a lot of concerns with water in the area.

Going forward we will not be so quick to drink the local water at unknown locations.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:12 PM   #6
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Chelsea , Michigan
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If you are getting your water from a chlorinated source then I would think it would be fine sitting there for two weeks since you have previously chlorinated and cleaned your tank. If you fill the tank with well water or another source that is not chlorinated, I would probably empty any unused amount weekly.

We routinely drink the water from the tank and so far have not had any adverse effects. We do however, maintain a good cleaning/chlorination regimen and dump the water if not used after a week.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:21 PM   #7
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Canmore , Alberta
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I would fill the freshwater tank shortly before each trip, and drain it immediately afterwards. If you have the time, give the tank an additional full flush before re-filling.

A somewhat related recent thread:
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:37 PM   #8
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Go to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They have instructions on using bleach in a very low concentration to make water safe to drink, such as after a natural disaster. Not saying it tastes good....
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:51 PM   #9
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Tucson , Arizona
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We have always drunk water from our fresh water tank and will continue to do so. If we get water from a city source it will be chlorinated. When we get water from a campground that may not be using a city water source or from and unfamiliar place, we add a small amount of bleach and we use an in-line filter. We cycle through the water in the fresh water tank rather often because even when we have city water available, we use water in the fresh water tank and refill it as needed. This keeps it fresh. We've never had an issue.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
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I'm in the camp that saves the tank water for dishes showers and flushing. We have a brita filter we use for drinking and cooking water. At least that's what we do when we don't have a water hook up.

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Old 12-16-2014, 05:18 PM   #11
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Tank water is for washing dishes, showers and flushing the toilet. Drinking water is usually brought from home and carried in a 5 gallon cooler...

FWIW I flush and sanitize my system a couple of times a year, more often is I suspect an issue.

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Old 12-20-2014, 04:41 PM   #12
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1994 34' Limited
Salem , Oregon
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water in the tank

I have had water in my tanks on my sailboat for 6 months without any problems. I would think it is more a question of type of tank, cleanliness of tank and the water. We have a filter for the drinking water tap in the AS. I have never really worried about how long water sits in the tank.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:56 PM   #13
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Metairie , Louisiana
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I routinely keep a full fresh tank throughout hurricane season, in case I need to bug out for an approaching storm. That's a solid six months that the water sits in the tank. Thanks to treating the water as well as sanitizing the tank beforehand, I have no worries about the water being safe to drink.

Here's a fun fact to know and tell. In addition to using Clorox bleach to sanitize your fresh tank at the start of the season, you can use it to treat drinking water. EPA primary standards for safe drinking water allow up to 4 parts per million of chlorine in drinking water. (See for a complete list of regulated chemicals and the acceptable limits for each.) Unfortunately, some people with very sensitive palettes can taste 4 ppm of chlorine. But as long as there is even 1 part per million of chlorine remaining in the water, no microbes will grow in the water. No one has a palette sensitive enough to taste just 1 ppm. Plus you can remove small amounts of chlorine just before you drink the water by filtering it through a granular activated carbon filter.

To find out how much Clorox to add to your full fresh tank to keep the water safe to drink, consult this webpage: It's a lot less than you use to sanitize the tank.

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