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Old 11-13-2014, 11:36 AM   #85
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Good Idea, Maggie. You might get the bottles that I put in the above post. I still carry the tablets as a last resort when in the wilderness, but the liquid tastes soooooo much better than the tablets or straight chlorine. Even though it is considerably more than the tabs (depending which ones you get), it is worth it IMO and experience.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:37 AM   #86
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The bug-put bag we put together about a year ago includes a bottle of tablets for purifying water in event of an emergency.
Don't believe it. Tablets don't purify water. They kill microbes, the same way that chlorine does. Tablets don't filter the water; dirty water treated with tablets is still dirty water. It just contains dead microbes instead of live ones.

But when used on water that has already been filtered, those tablets are good insurance.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:39 AM   #87
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How the previous owner sanitized the tank makes no difference at all, as long as YOU properly sanitized it at least once. The purpose of sanitizing is the kill microbes that may be growing in the tank. Dead is dead, and as long as you killed them all, it doesn't matter how long they were growing in there, they're still dead. and as long as you flushed the system afterwards, any dead microbes are gone, too.

That's one of the benefits of tanks made of food-grade plastic. The tanks don't absorb odors or anything else from the water, and don't impart anything to the water, either. There is no way that microbes could have become embedded in the tank to where they couldn't be removed.
Agree, my AS sat for almost 4 years with some water in the system. I did remove the bung on the bottom of the tank to see if there were any solid "floaters" in there.....not much, but I got a lot of plastic "machining" shavings out, so that exercise was worth it. I sanitized once initially, and annually since, and have been drinking out of it since. No concerns whatsoever.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:43 AM   #88
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Don't believe it. Tablets don't purify water. They kill microbes, the same way that chlorine does. Tablets don't filter the water; dirty water treated with tablets is still dirty water. It just contains dead microbes instead of live ones.

But when used on water that has already been filtered, those tablets are good insurance.
Protag, you have too much information in your head. I had a husband I used to accuse of that.

The idea....in an emergency....is to have water that is safe to drink. I perhaps used the wrong descriptive phraseology.


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Old 11-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #89
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Let me just say this, too......we all have way too little to do to be hanging out here, with our virtual friends at our virtual coffeehouse, discussing this water issue in such detail.

I have a good excuse.....and am joining a needlework gab session at the local senior center beginning next week.


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Old 11-13-2014, 12:38 PM   #90
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As a hydrologist I work with many water supply issues. I appreciate Protags responses on this. Heís spot-on with his facts.

The agency that I work for manages several campgrounds. Some have public water supplies, others donít. Regulations derived from the Clean Water Act require public water supplies to be periodically sampled and analyzed to ensure compliance with water quality standards. In most cases these regulations are under the authority of individual states, but in a few cases, the EPA. We regularly sample our water supplies, and if they donít meet standards, the water supply is either shut down until standards can be met, or the supply is labeled as ďnon-potable, not for human consumptionĒ. Other agencies that Iím familiar with follow the same procedures. Therefore, I have no concerns with water at a campground that is operated by a governmental agency.

Private campgrounds, for the most part, are usually required to follow the same regulations. I suppose it may vary between states. However, compliance, regulation and enforcement may vary significantly. Fortunately a little awareness of the environment can alleviate most concerns.

If the campground is clean and well maintained, the water supply is probably maintained too.

Is the water from a municipal source? If so, the water is heavily regulated and the only concerns may be from contamination at the campsite. Some municipal water tastes bad, but itís almost always safe.

Is the water from a well? If so, it should be regularly tested, but there are no guarantees. Ask the campground operator to see the analysis. Theyíd be shocked, because nobody thinks to ask for it, but itís supposed to be publicly available.

What are the surroundings? Are you in an irrigated agricultural environment? If so, pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer contamination may be worthy of concern. Is there a livestock feed lot nearby? If so, wellÖ.think about it.

Look for water staining on buildings and plumbing fixtures. Red stains mean high iron in the water. Itís not much of a health concern, but effects taste and with long term use will obviously stain. Black/grey stains: high manganese, again taste and staining issues. Clothing washed in high manganese water will look dingy. White: salts, calcium, carbonate. Probably not a big issue, but could cause long term plumbing problems.

How does the water smell? Sulfur smell (hydrogen sulfide) is harmless in low concentrations, but lethal in high concentrations. You may not notice it until the water warms up though. Although it is unpleasant, it wouldnít be much of a concern in a campground. If the concentration were high enough to be a problem, the campground would be shut down. Chlorine smell? Well, itís there to keep you safe.

Does the water burn? If so, methane is degassing. Itís more common than youíd think, especially in areas of high groundwater withdrawal. Obviously, use this water with caution, and you wonít smell it.

Bacteria and parasites are the biggest concerns. These would come from improper sewage handling. Hopefully there is adequate separation from water and sewer as Protag described above. In the situation in Brianís photo, Iíd be looking at it carefully. If there was any evidence of a sewer/septic backup anywhere, Iíd be looking for the possibility of cross-contamination.

My point is; there really is little concern from public water supplies in the U.S. Other countries will vary dramatically. Being aware of the environment will tell you when to be weary. Treatments can alleviate many issues. Many filters do little but provide emotional relief and improve taste. But some are very good. I keep an MSR backpacking filter in the AS for a backup, but have never used it other than while backpacking.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:27 PM   #91
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I don't think the water will make me sick. I just don't like the smell or taste. I have hypersensitive smell and taste, possibly a consequence of having poor vision and hearing. Maybe dome senses are heightened due to the shortcomings of other senses.
It is really not an issue of safety or fear, just preference. We shower in it, and wash our hands in it, but brush our teeth, cook with, and drink bottled water.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:36 PM   #92
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We may be a bit weird about campground water. Us humans drink, cook, shower, etc with it without much thought. My tank and lines get sanitized at regular intervals and I use an in- line filter. So I just don't worry about water in the US or Canada for that matter.

Our dogs, however, get bottled water to drink on the road. We have found that they get stressed a little on the road, and consistent water and food for them reduces that stress. Nothing worse than a dog barfing in the back seat. They seem to hold gallons of stinky stuff if their tummy is upset. We do keep two of them in a crate, and the seat has a dog hammock (waterproof liner), but I'd rather not try to clean up on the road.

Works for us...


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Old 11-13-2014, 06:02 PM   #93
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Yep, we drink it every day. Of course, park water here is also our water. And the water shared by the whole of the village.

That said, there are precautions as well as concerns:

1. Everyplace I know in the modern world requires regular testing of water by anyone serving water to the public. That includes RV parks. When we were using a water well, we were required to submit samples quarterly for testing. Now that we're on the village supply, it is the village that supplies the samples.

2. I suppose the most "dangerous" part of water at an RV park would be the carelessness with which some folks connect/use water to wash out their black tanks. Kind of hard to keep track of this, of course, so you just try your best. Of course, this kind of thing can happen anywhere, not just at RV parks.

3. It is important to keep in mind the distinction between "dangerous" water and "tasty" water. Dangerous water will contain bacteria that will make you sick, sick, sick. Tasty water contains harmless amounts of minerals that may or may not impart a taste to the water. If it just imparts a mineral taste, then it's kind of like dissolving a multivitamin tablet on your tongue: Yuckie, but not dangerous. (Standard water testing is designed to pick up on dangerous bacteria and dangerous minerals.)

4. Do use a hose intended for potable water. Standard garden hoses intended for non-potable water will eventually start sloughing off their innards, and the result may not be pretty.


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Old 11-13-2014, 06:46 PM   #94
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Excellent thread. Bookmarked.


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Old 11-13-2014, 07:23 PM   #95
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We carry two hoses when traveling. One white potable water hose that is carefully kept clean and separated from the 'utility' hose, which is a different color and used for tank flush, sewer solution flush, etc. It's kept in the bumper storage with sewer solution and other dirty stuff.

Just a lot safer, IMHO




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Old 11-13-2014, 09:13 PM   #96
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We like the taste and softness of our Lake Michigan water, and don't care for the hard water taste and feel (when bathing) found in many other places, usually in well water. So, we fill our 26 gallon tank, and a 6 gallon tote, before leaving the driveway. That will last us for 4-5 days. If we are on a long trip then we'll fill up from a municipal source. Once, in Hermann MO, we stayed at the municipal park, but it was late in the season and the water was turned off. We'd arrived with our water supply depleted. So, we backed up in the driveway of the nearby volunteer fire dept and filled our tank from their outside spigot. Sometimes, you take your water from wherever you can find it!
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:59 AM   #97
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Ditto on the dog water. Our dogs are very sensitive to some water, yet get along well with any bottled water! Some campground water bothers them. Go figure, so we buy water for the dogs and us. Jim
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Old 11-14-2014, 06:03 AM   #98
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And then, there's Lily....with a cast-iron stomach.

Whatever works. No one wants a dog having digestive issues.


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