Water purification

Submitted: Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 03:54
ThreadID: 84341 Views:3184 Replies:10 FollowUps:4
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Can someone please tell me the best way to ensure the water in the van storage tank is safe for drinking? What purification methods are available, and which is the best to use? Also, I've read somewhere that its not advisable to use a normal garden hose to fill the tank - is this true, and if so, why? Thanks.
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Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 09:22

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 09:22
A few thinks I do.

I have purchased a drinking water hose from bunnings and keep that with the camper for topping up. Albeit I have a good quality garden hose at home that I also use and it seems ok. The poorer garden hoses will leave a taint of plastic taste in the water.

I have purchased a silver activated carbon filter to attach to the hose as I fill the tank up. Simple click lock garden fittings.

When we come home with the camper I will fill the tanks full for storage and then empty and refill when going away again.

Finally only fill from taps that get a regular use like in a caravan park or some place you could reasonably assume is regularly used. Maybe garage station.

For cleaning tanks there is products like 'tank clean' available from caravan parts stores - a bit expensive. I have used bi-carb soda very cheap from supermarket. Needs a couple of rinses but will kill any growth in the tank.



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AnswerID: 445375

Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 23:16

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 23:16
we use the newer white caravan hose to fill and all we do is sterilize withe the tablets that are used to sterilize baby bottles etc. do the same for our additional jerries of water. when on "site" we use one of those filter jugs for additional clean drinking water.
FollowupID: 717737

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 09:23

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 09:23
Always use the proper food grade hose from Camec or similar places.

Most van tanks are black and water stays ok in them for considerable periods as its sunlight that tends to degrade the water.

We only fill ours when we know we will need it as we mostly stay in van parks and dont need tank water.

AnswerID: 445376

Reply By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 09:32

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 09:32
We Boating people have had this problem for many many years, I suggest you talk to the local boat shop and get their advise. I use a product called Star Brite Water Conditioner avaiable from Whitworths Marine. (branches in capital cities that I put in my Stainless steel tank and have never had a problem with stale or contaminated water even if left for many months. Others here will also give info of other products available for plastic or fibreglass tanks.

The problem with using a garden hose to fill the tank is that it can sometiimes have a 'funny' taste. I use a quality hose and have not a problem.

AnswerID: 445377

Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 10:02

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 10:02
The problem with garden hose is that the plastic contains chemicals that are designed to keep the hose flexible and the slowly leach out. That is why old hoses left in the sun tend to crack and split. The chemicals have been shown to be carcinogenic (cancer causing) in large quantities. In practical terms the nasty taste is the major problem.

We use a simple 1 micron filter with click on fittings to filter all our water. This will remove most of the nasties. We have a pump that we can fit in to fill from almost any source. Just avoid obvious bad water. We always have a reserve supply in separate 10L containers of known good water just in case. We have travelled in many remote areas and have had no problems using this approach.

I always carry a small supply of a product made by Davey which is used to sanitise rural tank water. Have rarely had to use it. If in doubt and desparate boiling for 10 minutes is a good approach for your dringing water.

The filter we have is:
BEST filters

The Davey product is
Davey Aquasafe

AnswerID: 445380

Reply By: tg123 - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 10:14

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 10:14
Hi Patricia!
We camp a lot in national parks and although signs usually state the water is OK to drink I'm a bit sceptical at times. The 2 x 60L tanks in my camper get refilled with the 'suspect' water but this is only used for washing, cooking (if its going to be boiled) dishes etc. For drinking water I purchase the Coles brand 10L cubes and just stack the spares on the back floor of the car, with a 'live' one always in the camper trailer. We have 2 kettles (both different for easy identification) and use one only for heating drinking water and the other for the rest. Works for us and to date we haven't had any 'Bali bellies'.

AnswerID: 445382

Reply By: landseka - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 10:43

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 10:43
When storing my caravan at home I also fill the tanks then drain & refill when going away. When filling on our travels I always put a couple capfuls of household bleach in each tank, never had a problem.
I have never used, but have heard bad reports of the cheap Bunnings blue hoses, I use one from a caravan shop.

Cheers Neil
AnswerID: 445386

Reply By: petesgq - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 11:09

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 11:09
It really depends on how remote you travel, how much water storage you have.
We travel remote and i have equiped the ultimate camper with reverse osmosis 3 stage filtraion to top up the tanks if we are out for prolonged periods and there is excess power from the solar panels,we are able to make around 50 to 60 liters durning the day but this can be less if drawing from a deep well.
But since we have had it we have only used it three times.
hope that is of some help
AnswerID: 445390

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 23:35

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 23:35
Hi Pete,
I use reverse osmosis extensively at home for drinking water and other purposes – my unit requires town water supply pressure to operate (about 60 PSI).
If when in the bush and you are pumping from a well or dam how do you achieve these pressures over an extend time (say 12 hours) without; special pumps, running the genset or flattening batteries.
Or is there a low pressure system available?
FollowupID: 717742

Follow Up By: petesgq - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011 at 07:48

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011 at 07:48
Ultimate camper has deep cycle battery 105AH soleyto run the camper this is keept charged by by a 250watt solar panel and a mppt reg, to run the reverse osmosis i use a shuflow pressure pump, to a small accumulator and this copes well as it will pump accumlator to 70psi and store approx 2liters at that presuure until the R/O deplets the presurre and a low water volume enough to trip the presuure swith to recharge the the accumulator, i.e the pump turns on again.you need the accumulator else the pump will constantly cycle off and on which waiste a lot of power with inrush current.

I Have never run it for 12 hrs straight, 9 hrs would be the longest i have run it.
There will never be a low pressure reverse O/S as you are forcing the molecules of water thru a membrane and flushing off the concentrated remanets left on the membrane with the left over water.

hope that HELPS
FollowupID: 717753

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011 at 16:53

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011 at 16:53
Thanks for the info Pete
FollowupID: 717802

Reply By: member - mazcan - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 12:56

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 12:56
hi patricia r (tas)

this topic was discussed only last week at length if you google it all the relevant imfo for it should come up which is quicker than rambling back through the e/o listings it's a pity but a fact
but i find it the quickest and best method when doing a search for e/o items past- rather than using e/o 's search system
and i notice a lot of the same people who gave advice last week are giving it again and must have forgotten
which i must admit isn't hard to do
given the amount of similar threads that pop up again and again on here the memoryies are failing lol
thread 79024 has some imfo
cheers barry
AnswerID: 445398

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011 at 20:56

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011 at 20:56
The cheapest biological treatment is probably 4ml of liquid swimming pool chlorine per 100L of tank size. Repeate regularly.
That will make the water biologically safe, but not necessarily taste good.
We then filter with a 0.5um active carbon filter just before use. That takes out the chlorine (and lots of other stuff).
Avoid cloudy water (clogs filters) and water with very high mineral content (filters won't help).

OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 445568

Reply By: Member - Patricia R (TAS) - Friday, Feb 18, 2011 at 00:36

Friday, Feb 18, 2011 at 00:36
Thanks everyone - I knew I could depend on you folk to give me some good advice. Hopefully the trip will proceed without too many visits to the dump points! Thanks heaps to everyone who contributed - hope to see you all on the roads soon. Patricia.
AnswerID: 445833

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