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Dump Stations and Fresh Water


Phil and Micky

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As you gain some experience at dump stations watching your fellow RV'ers, you'll soon see why the water supply at the dump site is usually marked as "Non-potable", even though it may come from the same source as the "Potable" water supply some distance away. After you watch a few RV'ers sticking the supplied water hose down in their waste hoses to rinse them, I'm sure you'll never want to use one to fill your fresh water tank.

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Many dump stations are laid out with the sewer area for dumping and then approximately 30' or so away is a potable fresh water fill. We used the fresh water fills for 20 years with no problems.

 

We've always felt safer using the fresh water fills at the dump station than at full hookup sites where the sewer is right next to the fresh water faucet. We've seen many instances of people dumping and then holding (and touching) their sewer hose under the fresh water faucet. It would be a good idea to carry a bleach solution in a spray bottle to spray on the fresh water faucet before use because of this. Along with this, there really is no need to rinse your sewer hose. The proper dumping order is black tank and then the grey tank which has soapy water. That is plenty for rinsing the sewer hose. You'll never get it sanitized anyway no matter how much fresh water you run through.

 

Just remember, never use the hose at the dump station's sewer area for fresh water. That hose is used by folks dumping their tanks in order to rinse their sewer hose or spills.

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One additional thought -- this is why I have a supply of disposal surgical gloves -- for dump stations and hooking/unhooking the black water hoses. You can buy a box of 100 at Wally World for just a few bucks. They come in small, medium, and large sizes. Well worth the money.

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Some dump stations don't have potable water available (like the one in Blythe, CA). However, many do and it should be marked as such. As others have said, the potable water supply won't be right next to the non-potable water for rinsing where you dump tanks. We fill our fresh water tank from the potable water found at dump stations and have never had a problem doing so. However, we don't drink the water from the tank; instead, we carry about 5-6 gallon jugs of water that we fill up, usually from one of those reverse-osmosis kiosks that charge $.25 per gallon. Not because we're afraid to drink the potable water from the dump station, but because I'm very particular about the taste of the water I drink...if it HAS a taste, I don't want to drink it!

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Linda is talking about the taste of the water, not necessarily the purity. We're currently using two filters at this park to tone down the chlorine taste and smell from the park supply for general use, and a third point of use filter on the kitchen tap for drinking water. I'm sure the water is perfectly safe without them, but we prefer the "cleaner" taste without the chlorine.

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  • 1 month later...

Personally, I never put any of the "potable" water located near a dump site in my rig. I know a lot of people that do with no problem whatsoever, but I just can't get it out of my mind when I see someone up close and dumping their tanks, then meandering a few feet further away to handle the potable water hose. I wonder how many people go in their rigs to wash their hands and change clothes before filling their FW tanks.

 

I just don't trust that some yahoo hasn't mishandled the hoses... tracked "matter" on their shoes over to the potable water station and let the hose touch the ground... a breeze in the right/wrong direction hasn't blown bacterium from the dump tube over.

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I know it's not the popular answer but if the water at the dump station is "potable" I'll use it for both flushing the black then filling the fresh. I carry my own hoses, one for flushing and one for fresh. I've NEVER used the supplied hoses at dump stations., and never will That being said, again there may be some "EWE" factor for some but in several year and a lot of travel we've never had a problem. Knocking on wood now :P

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Been doing this for more than 40 years and I can say with confidence Never use potable water for flushing ever. Doing so leaves a hazard for those following afterward to use the potable to fill FW. There is a reason now that the potable water hose is location further away from the non-potable water and dump location. :)

 

I have heard some be critical of us that use a white hose for flushing. I have retired my fresh water white hose for city hook up but it is a good hose(no leaks) and use it for that purpose and I have a new white hose for city hookup. Believe me I can tell which is which easily and if I could not would mark them so I could. :rolleyes:

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It would be a good idea to carry a bleach solution in a spray bottle to spray on the fresh water faucet before use because of this.

 

While this may make you feel better, unless you first clean the surface with soap & water, spritzing with bleach won't do much. Also, since diluted bleach degrades fairly rapidly, that spray bottle should be refilled daily.

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