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Old 08-01-2016, 10:25 AM   #15
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The 2 major issues for well water are Nitrates and e'coli - you can have your water tested for both, Nitrate Nitrogen should be less then 10ppm, The EPA standard for e'coli is "0".
I published (1995) a series of ground water protection papers - TEX*A*Syst that is still available on line, other states have similar publications, all of which provide information on how to protect your ground water or you can email me for additional information.

Both Nitrate Nitrogen and e'coli can contaminate your ground water if your septic system does not drain properly or if you get runoff contamination from an animal feedlot

Best time to test your ground water is late spring early summer, I recommend doing it annually, especially if you have a history if contamination.

Assuming that your well water is currently safe to consume it will be safe in your Airstream. Also if you want to chlorinate the water in your tank the correct chorine level is 1-2 ppm,

If it is free of contaminants coming out of the well you can use it with out worry. If your Airstream fresh water tank is contaminated all bets are off. In other word clean your tank with a water chorine flush if your unit has been setting.

I do not specifically know anyone on this forum but I am retired from Texas A &M University and have over 40 years experience soil and water contamination.

Be safe, not sorry

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Old 08-01-2016, 10:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
He installed a UV treatment system. He installed copper " loop " with elbows, on both sides of the system, so that the UV rays don't shine on the PVC ( which is a no no )
UV treatment is excellent for killing microbes. Doesn't do anything for dissolved metals, chemicals, etc.

When I was still working for the Army Corps of Engineers, I had to design water well and treatment systems for four navigation locks that were in remote areas. Although three of the wells were within about 100 miles of each other, all three had different treatment requirements. One required a manganese greensand filter to remove iron. One required a water softener to handle calcium salts. All of them required chlorination to kill microbes, and one in a rice farming area required a granular activated carbon (GAC) filter to remove herbicide residue that had seeped into the ground water— we actually ended up installing two GAC filters end-to-end to increase the "dwell time" and improve filtration efficiency for that one.

One should always be cautious of recommendations for water treatment in a different area than the well in question. Proper treatment for one well may be completely ineffective for another well with different water quality. Hence my recommendation to check with the appropriate State agency to identify the proper testing requirements first.

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Old 08-01-2016, 10:35 AM   #17
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How do you purify well water?

I spent a good part of my life using well water, the government never tested it.

I never gave it a second thought, but having lived in the desert in these periods it was deep water, not shallow water from waterlogged parts of the country. (The deep well water I am accustomed to tastes really good)

That said, if the water is used at home without fear, then it wont suddenly become dangerous in the tank of an Airstream.

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Old 08-01-2016, 10:42 AM   #18
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I made the assumption he was using safe water at home.....
It 's a matter of standards!
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:48 AM   #19
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What is "safe" water has changed over the years. Now we also need our water to NOT be flammable, as it is in areas where fracking chemicals get into the water table.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:09 PM   #20
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Assuming after the suggested testing and quality review you decide to put the well water into your AS, what about the generally higher mineral content of well water. Does it pose a problem with shower heads, strainers on faucets and internal plumbing etc?
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:37 PM   #21
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"...if the water is used at home without fear, then it wont suddenly become dangerous in the tank of an Airstream..."

Agreed, wholeheartedly so, and also agreed that one's private wells *should* be regularly tested to alert to any/everything currently testable. This testing runs about $200 at Texas State Univ's Edwards Aquifer labs in San Marcos, a very reasonable cost for the knowldege gained.

My 2 untreated house wells in central TX, each aout 600' deep, have always passed EARDEC lab's exhaustive testing. I submit samples at least once annually (they remind me by email ), more often when judged needed, such as after HUGE rain events. My other place in the southern NM mountains has untreated Spring water, but the neighborhood water association also submits samples for testing regularly - but, not with the same glowing results as at my own wells in TX because this spring water is regularly contaminated by e.coli and other unwelcome life forms. It is also INCREDIBLY HARD water with various and sundry elements and minerals - this is very typical of ground water in this entire region of the country.

Even with regular testing and/or boiling w/ filtering, I still won't drink from them, or from any other unverified source, and I haven't for decades now. Several reasons/preferences: (1) I can't know what *today's* contaminates might be, (2) when traveling away from either home, it's impossible to do more that WAG about the safety of whatever water supply is encountered, (3) one bout of life-threatening water-borne illness (overseas/tropics, many years ago) was more than sufficient for me to learn the risks one takes w/ drinking local water, and (4) personally/anecdotally, I *used* to have at least one attack annually from kidney stones (due to more Ca+2 and Mg+2 than my system can process correctly) but, since switching to only distilled drinking water, no stones, none, nada, zilch, zero - also no apparent water borne illnesses for me and mine. Cause and effect? I'm concluding so, but perhaps just a very lucky correlation for me and mine for the last 20 years (Not!)

Btw, minerals that are necessary for healthy life *don't* have to come from one's water supply; were that always true, then the hundreds of millions of folks worldwide who rely solely on rain water would have obvious health issues. Rain is nature's distilled water supply, yes, admitttedly, w/ a range of purity levels, depending on many other envionmental factors. A balanced diet is really all that's required for all required nutrients, and for those who choose to, or for those who need to, using absolutely pure distilled water and perhaps also adding a daily supplement, like the Centrum Silver I take, are my "controls", my preferred substitutes to unknown water.

Not prescriptive. Not proscriptive. YMMV.
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Old 08-01-2016, 01:26 PM   #22
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Water supply systems throughout the US are regulated based on thier distribution as a public or transient population use and size. This includes camp grounds but typically not residential systems. The residential system typically gets tested during a property transfer because of the lender and it is usually only a potability study. As suggested by others if your concerned enough to want to add chlorine you should first test the supply system for at least potability. Keep in mind that by adding chlorine you are adding a chemical which in turn can create other chemicals such as trihalomethane all of which are monitored for in public water systems.

Also, in spite of the testing requirements not all supply system are compliant as we witnessed by the Flint Michigan incident. So if you know your home water supply is okay, this is a lot more info than you have on the various campgrounds you visit.
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:34 PM   #23
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Just for what it is worth, we have a well with very good water, I do not use any thing to treat it. I drain my fresh water tank before every trip.

I was raised on untreated lake and well water that was good water and it was never treated.
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:40 PM   #24
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This has been a very interesting topic and I've always been interested in a water distiller. I haven't heard any one out there using one of the Burkey water filters. Anyone have an opinion if this would be an acceptable option for obtaining clean and safe drinking water from unknown water sources like campgrounds.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:38 PM   #25
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Lived with surface well for 25 years and never had any problems (tested it and no health issues)... we run all water into our holding tank and also for connected use thru a household carbon filter, and almost always drink from our tanks. Santize the tanks once/twice a year.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:58 AM   #26
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Here's a great bleach dilution calculator:

According to this calculator, if you want to make 40 gallons of water with 2 ppm chlorine using a 6% bleach, you need 5.3 ml of the bleach. You can plug in your own particular bleach concentration and desired ppm to calculate your own results.

I believe city water systems employ less than 4 ppm chlorine in their water since levels above that may make the water smell/taste like chlorine, and higher levels may not be healthy.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:46 AM   #27
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Burkey filters

Originally Posted by n9hox View Post
This has been a very interesting topic and I've always been interested in a water distiller. I haven't heard any one out there using one of the Burkey water filters. Anyone have an opinion if this would be an acceptable option for obtaining clean and safe drinking water from unknown water sources like campgrounds.
I have used the Big Burkey at home for 4 years to filter our well water - primarily for use in my coffee maker and as an emergency water filter. Since it takes a few hours to filter a full 2.5 gallons, I keep a few empty gallon water containers that I fill from the Burkey when its done, then reload the Burkey with more water to filter the next batch. I use the basic 2 ceramic filters it came with, but could add 2 more if I wanted. I understand they also offer other filter types - for removing flouride, and other such elements.

It would work well for you in your AS to filter well water or campground water. Heck, you could even use lake or stream water! The only downside I see is that it would take up some counter space and/or storage space in an AS, and you would have to empty it when you are on the move. I would use it in our AS, but my wife prefers bottled water and more counter space - of course, my vote doesn't count....
Happy Trails,
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:04 PM   #28
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I think you know your well water at home is safe to drink. But filling the RV tank could introduce contaminates. The most dangerous of these introduced contaminates would likely be microbial. Therefor a chlorination practice is desired. In the industry we use total coliform bacteria as the target test as they are the easiest to quickly detect. If they are detected, then E. Coliform is tested as they indicate intestinal bacteria, and possible pathogens. Proper chlorination will defeat the bad bugs.

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