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bansil 02-23-2012 07:41 AM

water tank and quality of water
I posted this on another site and 100+ views no responces so I am going to the folks that use and store water on their rides more frequantly

Original post:
(mounted tank in pull behind trailer)In the past we fill tank,use two days and empty,next time a little bleach goes in and some water shake well(drive trailer around the block) :mrgreen: , empty and then fill and use and then repeat.

Our water after a few days leaves a slimy pinkish sludge around say the animal water bowls and the shower, water dept says it's "extra flouride" in the water.(been this way for years)

On our next build (our bus) I plan on using a normal RV water tank and need to keep water for a week or more,how do I keep the water usable? I don't like the idea of not being able to scrub out the tanks every couple months

The water coming out of our tap is not slimey or stinky, so it seems to come from it sitting exsposed to air

Is this a normal problem or one with our area,I know from past 12 years that our water will leave a buildup in a tank that is mounted under say our beds, and normal rv tanks can't be scrubed out


bold wording is edited for this site

TheRainbowBoxer 02-23-2012 08:31 AM

Re: water tank and quality of water
Not sure how widespread the problem is... the only issue I have had with water causing buildup was in my previous community, where there was excessive calcium in the water. It did not come out unless the water was heated, but it caused problems with coffee makers, hot water heaters, etc.

I know they make kits to put sprayer jets in waste tanks to aid in cleaning them out... you might look into whether something similar is available for fresh water (don't know if those are manufactured with potable water in mind). You could also look into putting a larger diameter drain than normal in it to get any chunky stuff out.

Good luck!

Diesel Dan 02-23-2012 09:10 AM

Re: water tank and quality of water
My solution to the fresh water issue: I will consider the water in my tank to be non-potable. I will use a large jug (2.5 or 5 gal) as a potable water dispenser for drinking and cooking. This way I know it is refreshed regularly and I can easily clean the jug. There is a certain hassle factor involved in this approach, but I just don't feel comfortable drinking out of a tank under my bus that may sit for long periods of time. I should add that I am not a full-timer and only use the bus for trips occasionally, so that is also a factor in my strategy.

TygerCub 02-23-2012 09:13 AM

Re: water tank and quality of water
You know, I just saw a website that deals with this today!

Go to: This guy sells a port-hole device that allows RV tanks to be cleaned out easily.

Hope it helps!

bansil 02-23-2012 10:18 AM

Re: water tank and quality of water
thanks now I know how to clean the tank out (install a couple openings for access) thanks for the link

chev49 02-23-2012 10:31 AM

Re: water tank and quality of water
There are several ways of making a opening that seals up for the fresh water tanks. A problem will be in many cases, how to get access to the tank, if, for example it is bolted down underneith the bus.
I haven't had the above problem as yet, and thankfully, my 5 tanks in my current bus are in the back storage, misc room.

bansil 02-23-2012 11:09 AM

Re: water tank and quality of water
plans are to have the fresh water tank under a rear bed,with hinged lid for access to pump etc.

lornaschinske 02-23-2012 12:27 PM

Re: water tank and quality of water

Originally Posted by bansil
On our next build (our bus) I plan on using a normal RV water tank and need to keep water for a week or more,how do I keep the water usable? I don't like the idea of not being able to scrub out the tanks every couple months

Our proposed set up (I need to buy the water softener & pump yet... our water system is not in place at all, we only have cold water to the toilet & bathroom sink... kitchen needs to be built before we install fresh water system)
campground pipe stand > DIY insulated water hose (drinking water safe)> sediment filter > 0.5 micron water filter/housing > water softener > fresh holding tank > Shurflo pump > plumbing fixture

We have used the filters noted above since 2006. No pink water. We fulltime. I would get pink in the pets water bowl at our house which had city water but not in campgrounds. DB2 filters down pretty good for every place we have been. I suspect the bacteria that causes the pink is large enough to be filtered out by the DB2 (or similar) filter We do not drink the water in NM due to concerns about the arsenic. RO water costs 25 per gallon in Roswell. Water here is very hard, hence need for water softener. I heat water on the stove to wash dishes with. The inside of my SS dutch oven is almost completely white from heating local city water in it since !2/12/2011. The above list will be our water system on the bus. We have never bleached out the ABS fresh holding tank we installed on the Class C except for first use. Unfiltered water has never been in it.

This setup will not suit every one
. We have hit more than one place with unacceptable water for various reasons. I have almost lost my pets due to bad campground water and I now run filters that will remove cysts because of it. Yes I am paranoid about water. We drink only filtered water while traveling. I have yet to have "tap water" since we left NC back in 2009.

Side note: Given the hard water scale that has been building up in the pots & sink, the sediment filter (which rarely has anything in it unless the city pipes broke some place) will end up catching flaked off lime scale deposits from the water hose. In other words, I will need to replace my water hose more often due to the damage from hard water before it enters the bus.

Just one of many similarly worded statements regarding the Pink stuff

Pink residue is generally not a problem with water quality. In fact, pink residue is likely a result of airborne bacteria, which produce a pinkish or dark gray film on regularly moist surfaces. Such surfaces include toilet bowls, showerheads, sink drains, and tiles.

Some people have also noted that the pink residue appears in their pet's water bowl, which causes no apparent harm to the pet and is easily cleaned off.

Many experts agree that the bacteria that causes these pink stains is most likely Serratia marcesens, a bacteria which is found naturally in soil, food, and in animals. Serratia, which produce a characteristic red pigment, thrive on moisture, dust, and phosphates and need almost nothing to survive. The pinkish film often appears during or after construction or remodeling, when dust and dirt containing Serratia bacteria are stirred up. Once the bacteria is airborne, it will seek a moist location in which it can grow. Some people have reported that the pink residue only appears during certain times of the year, when their windows are left open for most of the day. This bacteria is present in a number of environments and wind can carry the airborne bacteria or stir up dust in which the bacteria is present.

The use of activated carbon filters, which remove chlorine from the water, can make the problem worse. The absence of the normal levels of chlorine in tap water allows Serratia to thrive.

How do I get rid of pink residue?
The best solution to this problem is to continually clean the involved surfaces to keep them free from bacteria. Compounds containing chlorine work best, but keep in mind that abrasive cleaners may scratch fixtures, making them more susceptible to bacterial growth.

Chlorine bleach can be used periodically to disinfect the toilet and help to eliminate the occurrence of the pink residue. An easy way to do this is to stir three to five tablespoons of fresh bleach to the toilet tank, flush the toilet to allow the bowl to be disinfected, and add another dose of bleach to the tank as it is refilling. The use of toilet "cakes" containing disinfectant can help keep the problem under control. By keeping bathtubs and sinks wiped down and dry, the formation of pink residue can be avoided.

bansil 02-23-2012 12:50 PM

Re: water tank and quality of water
wow,I knew the crap about flouride was just that...crap :)

We don't plan on drinking the water in the holding tank(unless emergency etc and then I know enough to just boil it and filter)

The water will be for showers,toilet, sink etc.

The "pink" stuff is slicker than Iguana poop :shock: and doesn't come off easy since it clogs whatever you wipe it with.

I actually thought of just adding a little extra chlorine to the tank on fillups(like we did in the military to water buffalo's) to control the "pink demon"

oh and Lorna
Thanks for the awesome links you always provide :wink:

bapos 02-23-2012 01:08 PM

Re: water tank and quality of water
My first inclination is to say take a sample and have it analyzed buy someone who tests water? I dont think floride would get slimy like that on its own. It has to be interacting with the compounds in the tank materail or something. Is this tank food grade plastic?

Do you get the same result when filled up from a different area?

Not sure how much access you have to the opening but as you said bleech or chlorine in the right concentration should kill most things you will encounter.

I have heard some people putting a lot of ice in tanks (gray and black) for the scrubbing effect to keep them clean.

Let us know how it plays out. I am interested.

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