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Boil water warning


Smitty77_7

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We called to alter our length of stay at a British Columbia RV Park, Quilchena On the Lakes Golf & RV. It's part of a pretty good size working ranch, Douglas Ranch (I believe is the name.). This is an old ranch, and they also have a quaint and old hotel and restaurant on premises. The manager of the hotel, before sending transferring me to the RV Reservations desk, wanted me to know that they had a 'Boil Water Warning' posted. Seems some authority in BC wants them add chlorine to the their water. They don't want to. The Manager of the Hotel said that 'the water is safe', but they were forced to post the warning.

 

We topped off our water tanks before leaving Revelstoke. And thought we'd get the lay of the land when we got to the park, which we did yesterday. The camp hosts said that this is the same water the ranch, hotel, golf bar and lounge, and RV park had been using for decades and decades. They're using the water for all of those areas, without boiling. As I walked the campground of about 25 sites, about 1/2 have water hoses hooked up. I asked the guy next to us, and he said they've been coming for years, and since the Boil Warning notice went up, they just now use it for washing and showers, but elected to use bottled water for cooking and drinking. He said a few of his friends in the park, just fill their tanks, and add a bit of bleach to the water, and also use it the same way. But also are using bottled water for cooking and drinking. He also commented that most of his friends, and he too, believe this is nothing about nothing. A sort of pissing contest between some local authority, and the ranch just not wanting to cave to someone telling them what to do. (Believe this ranch was bought by one of the Walmart heirs.)

 

OK, so what? Well I'm thinking of adopting the fill our tank and add a bit of bleach to the water route. We can easily get bottled water for the five days we're here. But I was wondering if that bleach would damage our water filters? (I'll turn off the water to the ice maker, and purge the line and inline finisher filter before activating.) We do have a whole house filter, with the KDF stuff and charcoal too, and that was the filter I'm wondering what the effect of a bit of bleach would be. Figured I'd add a 1/4-1/2 cup of bleach to the 100 gallon tank when we top off.

 

Opinions on this appreciated:)!

TIA,

Smitty

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The bleach won't damage your filter or system but it will speed up the depletion of any carbon based filters. Not a big deal unless you use way too much bleach, then rubber components are at risk of swelling and the carbon elements will be depleted quickly.

Other options exist that you might look into.

Peroxide: http://support.cleanwaterstore.com/blog/eliminate-well-water-odors-four-reasons-why-hydrogen-peroxide-well-water-treatment-is-best/

Why Hydrogen Peroxide is Better:
1. Works faster than chlorine, so often no contact tank is required
2. Unlike chlorine will not leave a chemical residual in the water
3. Peroxide works over a wider pH range
4. Hydrogen peroxide rapidly disinfects water, killing bacteria and viruses, unlike aeration alone

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Thanks for the info and the links:)!

 

We'll take a wait and see on this. May not even need to add water while we're here.

 

Another longer timer resident, comes every summer for two months to play the golf corse, said it's 'Much to do about nothing!'. Seems the gent that managed this area retired, and the newer gent that came into the district has a different opinion on how to do things. Wants the Douglas Lake Ranch, and all of the operations involved, to upgrade their watering system. As he put it, it's not the money, it's the principal.

 

So we'll see. Suppose the prudent thing to do, if we do add water to the tank, is to treat it. Better safe then sorry.

 

We do have the full house filter with KDF, as well as we have the RV Filter Stores under sink filter for drinking water. This is the larger 10" based ceramic filter, that does a fine job for our drinking source. Suspect between the two flirtations, we'd be fine anyways.

 

Thanks again, at least I now have two options to treat the water if we end up using it.

Smitty

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All RV parks I have worked in have to test their water once a month sometimes we posted boil water and next test might turn out good. A lot depends on how good the person is getting the samples, one lil speck of anything can give you a bad test. You can go to the office and ask what was in the test that made it come up negative. If its bad enough the county will shut water off completely until the contamination is resolved.

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Since we may be in so many different campsites in so many states, many of which may be Natl Forest or BLM, we choose to stay on what we consider the safer side and NEVER drink the parks water but keep plenty of store bought gallon jugs or bottles for coffee, tea and drinking water as its so cheap and readily available. Sure if you want to carry filters and purification equipment and supplies that's an option and your choice, just not ours, to each their own.

 

John T

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The manager of the hotel, before sending transferring me to the RV Reservations desk, wanted me to know that they had a 'Boil Water Warning' posted. Seems some authority in BC wants them add chlorine to the their water. They don't want to. The Manager of the Hotel said that 'the water is safe', but they were forced to post the warning.

 

He also commented that most of his friends, and he too, believe this is nothing about nothing. A sort of pissing contest between some local authority, and the ranch just not wanting to cave to someone telling them what to do.

 

Don't you wonder how the Manager knows that the water is safe? Extensive chemical testing? Tarot cards?

 

I wouldn't camp there.

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Don't you wonder how the Manager knows that the water is safe? Extensive chemical testing? Tarot cards?

 

I wouldn't camp there.

 

 

Yes, I did. And we added about a 30-45 minute deviation from our travel plans, to find a dump and 'potable water' to top off our tanks before proceeding.

 

We do take water safety seriously. And until about 8 months ago, only drank bottled water (As good as that may be regulated:)!). We enhanced our water filtration system, after several calls to RV Filter Store, and only keep two of the large 2 1/2 gallon bottles on board for emergency. (Rotate them out every three months, is our plan.)

 

I always recall your posts on your experiences with water... We may go ahead and budget the UV Light next year. We do not do Reverse Osmosis, as we boon dock a good percentage of the time.

 

By the way, we had dinner at the hotel in this Double Lake Ranch tonight. I asked the bar tender where the ice came from, well, it was from their ice machine in the kitchen... So the Ranch, Golf Club, Hotel, Club House and Hotel Restaurant - have not been 'Closed Down' by the local authorities.

 

I 'think' we're OK. If I did not, well we'd for sure just stay on our tank, and when it runs out move on if I did not feel safe. I feel we could continue to purchase drinking water, picked a few more bottles today in the nearby town, and that bathing and dishes would be fine with either Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide treatment if we do end up needn't to 'top off' our tanks locally. (Heck, I could probably only add 30-40 gallons vs a full tank. And I could dump this at the next stop without feeling I'm wasting too much water.

 

Thanks again to you, and other posters too... And a second note, met two more longer term campers at the park, that laughed at my question about the water. They both have it as their primary water source, and will continue to do so. And one of them sneered at the 'New Guy' that caused this discussion, stating he is trying make a name for himself... WHO THE HECK KNOWS. Laboratory tests should be non controversial. The water should either be 'safe', or 'not'... But this has a soap opera fill to it here... And of course, human nature is to suspect those trying to control - and to 'want' the water to be safe...

 

Smitty

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Remember the old Debbie Reynolds movies (Tammy ) where she lived on a Riverboat with her Pa? They were on the Mighty Mississippi drinking the river water from quart jars muddy as could be. Lot's has changed since then.

 

You really don't know what has been dumped upstream anymore. Boiling the water will only effect bacteria contamination I believe. Chemicals (pesticides ,fertilizers and manufacturing waste) are a different story. The old adage 'a solution for pollution is dilution' only works for so long and then there is not enough clean water for dilution. Is there a filter that will catch everything, probably not. RO is probably the best but it requires much attention, planning and implementation.

 

Bottles of water in plastic is another issue, especially if they have sun or heat exposure. Then we have the RV water hose, lying in the sun all day. Maybe we should all have the "Dune" suit where all moisture from our bodies is recycled into consumable, at least you would know where it came from.

 

My Nieces 4 year old daughter was staying with my Nephew this weekend and they were playing outside. The 4 year old came up to her uncle with a piece of rubber she found on the ground and asked what she should do with it. He replied "just throw it back on the ground where you found it". I punched him in the arm and said " That is NOT the answer to that question. The appropriate answer is 'Put it in the trash can sweetie'." He said "It will blow away in the wind or rain" and I had to explain to him where it would wind up if that was to happen. I also said I had better not catch him throwing things out of his car window as he was driving down the road or it would be more than just one punch.

 

Maybe we need to bring back the pollution commercials on TV and get rid of the political ads.

 

Guess I got off topic and on tangent.

 

Rod

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I don't know squat about Canada Safe Water regulations. I retired as a Licensed Water Treatment Operator for NJ water systems. The regulations to require Chlorination depend on the system classification. Most camp grounds were transient and did not require chlorine. But all had to test for coliform bacteria monthly. If tests were positive, had to retest within 24 hours for Fecal Coliform. If positive, a boil water requirement had to be issued. This was required until the water tested clean for some many months, or a chlorination treatment could be installed. I also know different water systems have differing minerals dissolved and can cause distress until your body is accustomed to the change.

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The bleach won't damage your filter or system but it will speed up the depletion of any carbon based filters. Not a big deal unless you use way too much bleach, then rubber components are at risk of swelling and the carbon elements will be depleted quickly.

 

Other options exist that you might look into.

 

Peroxide: http://support.cleanwaterstore.com/blog/eliminate-well-water-odors-four-reasons-why-hydrogen-peroxide-well-water-treatment-is-best/

 

Why Hydrogen Peroxide is Better:

1. Works faster than chlorine, so often no contact tank is required

2. Unlike chlorine will not leave a chemical residual in the water

3. Peroxide works over a wider pH range

4. Hydrogen peroxide rapidly disinfects water, killing bacteria and viruses, unlike aeration alone

Hydrogen peroxide is not better than bleach for disinfecting water.

 

The statements above come from the www.cleanwaterstore.com run by Gerry Bulfin who describes himself as a "licensed water treatment contractor and consultant".

 

Nevertheless, his statements are incorrect unless he's talking about (probably) something like accelerated hydrogen peroxide -- which is much much stronger than over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide.

 

Anyway, the linked article is about treating smelly well water that's been fouled by hydrogen sulfide.

 

Here's what the EPA says about hydrogen peroxide water disinfection.

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Interesting link form the EPA.

 

I found a lot of articles discussing hydrogen peroxide in water disinfection, the one I linked above had the simplest explanation. Others go into a lot more detail and seem to be aimed at offering an alternative to chlorine which has health impacts, both directly and in the byproducts it leaves behind.

 

If I had to disinfect water I was going to run through expensive carbon filters I'd really lean towards the peroxide option or I'd remove the carbon filters and live with the chlorine issues while drinking bottled water.

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We took a 9-day raft trip down the Colorado River though the Grand Canyon. Everyone drinks the water out of the river but it is filtered by hand beforehand.

 

We got our water from various sources during our 16 years of full-timing and drank from our tank...never an issue. We used the http://www.rvwaterfilterstore.com/ for our quality filters - quite different than what WalMart sells. We filtered the water going into our tanks and for taste, used a special one at the kitchen faucet.

 

Public campgrounds do have their water tested on a strict schedule. While volunteering, we've been there when they do. They certainly wouldn't risk people getting sick.

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Well for us, this will be a non event:)! We decided to treat this as if we were boon docking, and have been watching water usage closely. (Using the parks washing machine, instead of our own...)

 

We also located a source of potable water in the town of Merritt, BC, about 20 minutes away. So if we get low, we'll take our collapsible water bottles, and puck up another 10 gallons.

 

Good info sharing, and appreciated the linked sources. Maybe help others down the road too:)!

 

Best to all,

Smitty

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Public campgrounds do have their water tested on a strict schedule. While volunteering, we've been there when they do. They certainly wouldn't risk people getting sick.

 

I would trust the water in a Federal campground much more than in a private one.

 

I have seen the boil water advisories throughout BC and the Yukon and thought that it was the water testing requirement. The only interesting part is some boil waters were for two minutes while others were for one minute!!

 

For most RV'ers I would be more concerned about their freshwater holding tanks than water at Federal campgrounds.

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We always disinfect our tanks when we start up our winter travels. Every person we have mentored were told how to disinfect their tanks and when. If we fulltimed we would do it once a year. This year we will do the disinfecting twice: once for Escapade and once for our winter trip.

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A contaminate can easily be introduced into any fresh water tank. Chlorine is the way to insure there are no pathogenic organisms. Not much is needed. less than parts per million. We treated to 0.2 ppm free chlorine. The chlorine residual is what protects the system. 3% Hydrogen Peroxide does not work.

The reason for boil water alerts is to be sure the water is heated to at least 180 F.

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We've never disinfected our water tank. As full-timers I don't think it's needed . . . We drank and cooked from our tanks for 16 full-timing years.

 

The I'm-Still-Alive-So-It-Must-Be-OK-To-Keep-Doing fallacy.

 

If you did get sick from drinking from your tank, you may not have known it was from the water. You could have attributed your illness to bad food, a virus, etc.

 

Finally, your "16 years" of experience may be a bad guide for the future. Remember Flint? That situation resulted from city officials trying to save money, like http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/02/25/Roads-Crumble-Infrastructure-Spending-Hits-30-Year-Low

 

If you filter the water going into it and use that water continuously, there's no issue.

 

How do you know this? Please, not the "16 years" again.

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