Since RV’s can be hooked up to different water sources, you can’t always trust the quality of the water that’s being supplied, whether it’s city water or well water. Likewise, you can’t always be certain of what’s in the water supply that the campground uses, especially if you are in an unfamiliar area. While RV parks should have their water supply tested for impurities, that does not always occur as often as it should. There are a few obvious ways to tell if the water has been contaminated, such as a strange odor or taste, or if the water does not run clear. Keeping the drinking water in your RV fresh may require some extra steps to maintain purity and keep out any harmful substances.
Of course keeping your RV’s fresh water tank clean is one way to make sure you have a safe water source. If there is any standing water in your RV water tank, it can become a hazard, as it stimulates algae and bacteria growth. An empty tank can still pose a problem if any substances are left inside. One example of getting around this issue is by using drinking water fresheners. Water fresheners such as those from Camco and Valterra can work to get rid of contaminants that may be in your RV's water tank. The
16 oz size is a liquid that keeps algae from growing inside the tank, and gets rid of smells and unpleasant tastes. A little bit goes a long way, with one ounce being sufficient for up to 20 gallons of water. Valterra’s 12 oz size water freshener
works to counteract the effects of smells caused by organic substances, and takes away any chlorine or plastic taste in the water. The dry powder formula does not require tank rinsing or pre-cleaning. It is a more concentrated formula, with 1/2 ounce treating up to 20 gallons.
Using filtration or purification systems are among the most common ways to maintain the cleanliness of your RV’s water source.
are designed to keep out harmful substances such as lead or bacteria. There are typically two different types. An inline system is mounted directly to your RV’s drinking water line, while the other type of system handles all of the water going into your RV, such as the water that leads into your shower. The inline systems are typically more complicated to mount, and can cost more, but usually last longer than the other type of system. Filters are distinguished by the size of the particles they can remove and the gallons per minute they can handle.
Filters are not 100% effective however. If the amount of particles or bacteria that gets caught by the filter ends up growing too much, they can push through and end up in your drinking water. This is where also having a water purification system is helpful. Water purifiers take the additional step to prevent the growth of microbes and take out unpleasant tastes or smells. The
water purification system uses a super-chlorination/de-chlorination process to treat water. Bleach is added to your RV storage tank to kill bacteria, and then filtered to a ½ micron to minimize the amount of chlorine, and other substances that can cause odd tastes and odors. Remco makes a reverse osmosis system
that includes pre-filtering and post-filtering to remove sediment and impurities from the water. Reverse osmosis uses existing water pressure to pass water through a membrane that takes out contaminants.
If you are looking to test an unfamiliar water source for harmful substances, the IntelliTEC
water purity tester
can alert you to their presence. It looks for materials that are dissolved in the water, so you'll be able to tell if dangerous elements such as asbestos, lead, mercury and arsenic are found. It can also be a great way to tell if your water filter needs replacing. It only takes a few seconds to operate and provides you with a digital parts-per-million readout.
Maintaining the Purity of Your RV's Drinking Water