Originally Posted by gasman94
Just finished disinfecting/cleaning freshwater tank. First time after two camping seasons. Do most others do it once a year? Just curious.
No, not at all; HOWEVER, I use the same system I used years ago on my sailboat: frequent turnover of the entire water supply except in cold weather. Use it all up, or drain and refill every two weeks. During winterization, I drain the tank completely. During dewinterization, I partially fill and drain two or three times in succession. I don't want either E. coli
bacteria OR excessive chlorine in my tank, since city water is already chlorinated. If I were ever to not comply, then I would definitely use the chlorine disinfectant in my tank at the levels prescribed in the literature
. True, wells are not chlorinated, but they are checked periodically for E. coli
, and inspected for, among other things, proximity to septic tile fields and other systems.
How do I know two weeks is the limit? Although a very
long time ago in the military my office used to be responsible for checking E.coli
levels in drinking water systems and ice machines, I don't have that type of equipment anymore. But if I keep an open bottle of water in my car, after two weeks when I go to drink out of it, it smells stale (like an old gym sock). E.coli
itself is a non-pathogenic indicator of the presence of other bacteria and viruses which are
pathogens, and is always present in fecal contamination.
I might add I use only potable water hoses (food grade PVC materials, with allegedly almost no (carcinogenic) vinyl chloride monomer/VCM content) dedicated to potable water use, which includes vehicle washing. I also finish handling the water hoses before I handle the waste hoses, and wear gloves while handling waste hoses.
I keep equipment for different systems (electrical, potable water, waste hoses, spare/unused waste hoses) in separate, dedicated
PE tubs from Walmart.