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Old 08-18-2016, 06:19 AM   #1
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UV Light-Water Purification

As you can see from the number of posts DW and I are new to RVing. Will pick up our new 5W in early November. Our plan is to FT starting mid-2017. Boondocking, while not our primary method, is certainly in our plan. Many on this site rely upon bottled water for drinking, cooking, etc. I have read about, and interested in, UV Light being used to purify water. Just like a S&B application I think it can be plumbed into a RV. Would appreciate any first hand knowledge of such systems being used in the RVing community. Even without first hand experience, I would appreciate your thoughts.Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:07 AM   #2
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Here is a blog post by an RVer who uses a UV filter system.

Apocalypse Agua II « MyOldRV.com
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:15 AM   #3
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When boondocking we simpley use the onboard FW tank. We do have a whole house filter and a filter in the fridge but no need for anything else. We don't use bottled water as again there is simpley no need.
Unless you plan on using water from a rain catchment system or clear streams I don't see a need for a UV system; well maybe in Mexico.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:35 AM   #4
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My wife and I are getting ready to build a house and will be on well water. I have been researching water treatment and will include a UV filter in the system (which I have already bought).

The UV filters use a long slender UV bulb that is encased in a clear tube which seals at both ends with O-rings. The bulb is held in place with a small spring. One thing I would be concerned about would be how long the bulb would last if mounted in an RV with hard bouncing while traveling.

The systems are sized by gpm, higher gpm needs a UV bulb that creates more intense light. The bulbs themselves degrade over time. In my case they recommend replacement after 365 days. The UV filter I bought has a monitoring system which counts down the days. Other systems have a UV sensor which tells you how much light is being produced.

The only other thing is that the UV light is usually mounted last in the water treatment system. Prefiltering is important but they also have limits listed for hardness and levels of other elements like Mg. If you are moving around alot it will be difficult to know what quality of water you are starting with and how well a UV system may work.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:46 AM   #5
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Uv kills things and that is about it.

It will mitigate bacteria in the water nut not sure about other things many worry about.

If one wished for most optimum system for rv use make a reverse osmosis system could be used as they filter everything.

We drank from the yard hose growing up and survived just fine...Although the water did not smell like the stuff that flows out current ones...

Most water systems need to be free of nasties but often taste odd due to treatment and a charcoal filter usually can fix that.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:24 AM   #6
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Here is a great source for all things RV water filtering related: RV Water Filter Store: Standard Filter Canisters for Whole RV

I bought a multi-filtered reverse osmosis system from them. The owner will talk to you and answer any questions you may have.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:34 AM   #7
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We drink bottled water because of taste. So many of the places we have used water are either heavy with chlorine or tasteless like distilled. Other than that fact we brush teeth, bathe and what every. Power to run the UV light boondocking might be a problem. As a side note we have a UV system for or Home forced air heat and cooling.

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Old 08-18-2016, 09:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okplowboy View Post
As you can see from the number of posts DW and I are new to RVing. Will pick up our new 5W in early November. Our plan is to FT starting mid-2017. Boondocking, while not our primary method, is certainly in our plan. Many on this site rely upon bottled water for drinking, cooking, etc. I have read about, and interested in, UV Light being used to purify water. Just like a S&B application I think it can be plumbed into a RV. Would appreciate any first hand knowledge of such systems being used in the RVing community. Even without first hand experience, I would appreciate your thoughts.Thanks in advance.
Okplowboy
Where do you think you'll get water that needs to be purified??

We've been using water from our on board fresh water tank for 20 years and have never even FILTERED it....(let alone PURIFIED it).
(However I did sanitize both the fresh water tank and the fresh water system in 2001 and in 2012).

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Old 08-18-2016, 03:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Okplowboy View Post
I have read about, and interested in, UV Light being used to purify water. Just like a S&B application I think it can be plumbed into a RV. Would appreciate any first hand knowledge of such systems being used in the RVing community.
Before we started fulltiming, I installed a UV filter as part of my RV's water purification system:


A - Watts pressurer regulator
B - Sediment filter
C - Carbon filter
D - Water softener
E - Water flow meter
F - UV filter

After my wife (as well as 400,000 others) became very ill during the 1993 Milwaukee Cryptosporidiosis outbreak, it was a come-to-Jesus moment for me. I decided to err on the side of caution with respect to water purification.

What worries me now is the reduced government spending on infrastructure (roads, bridges, and water treatment) -- that's how Flint, MI happened.

However, even with this elaborate setup, I have to add that you will probably not get ill from any US water source. Probably.
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:25 PM   #10
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However, even with this elaborate setup, I have to add that you will probably not get ill from any US water source. Probably.
....but as you've told me previously, if we had a tummy ache during our 16 years of full-timing - oops, sorry, - then it could have been caused by our water tank - even though the next days we'd be just fine. The only times we get tummy aches or intestinal problems were if we had the flu and I can't remember the last time.

OP: We boondocked a lot and used state parks and various public parks a lot - national parks, national forests, etc. We had a good filtering system leading into our tank and a filter at the kitchen sink. Safe water was not an issue for us in our travels. We drank the water from our tanks and cooked with it.

Parks test their water. We've seen it done. They would not risk people getting sick. Flint is a completely different political issue.

The above link for the RV Filter Store gives a lot of excellent information. If you have questions call and they are extremely helpful on the phone. That's where we bought our filters and we'd highly recommend them.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:59 PM   #11
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Uv kills things and that is about it.

It will mitigate bacteria in the water nut not sure about other things many worry about.

If one wished for most optimum system for rv use make a reverse osmosis system could be used as they filter everything.

We drank from the yard hose growing up and survived just fine...Although the water did not smell like the stuff that flows out current ones...

Most water systems need to be free of nasties but often taste odd due to treatment and a charcoal filter usually can fix that.
RO systems DO NOT remove bacteria and viruses they remove cations and anions found in the water, ie beneficial cations such as magnesium and calcium that we need for our bodies and bones. Also because RO Systems remove these ions from the water the water it produces is extremely corrosive water.
You want to get rid of the bad taste use an activated carbon filter, if you are concerned about bacteria and virus, UV. You want health body leave the ions in the water, mother nature put them there for a reason. if you think eating vitamins is a health alternative, just picks up some gravel from the parking lot and chew on those same affect.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:51 PM   #12
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Tech writer's system is ideal, and you will note the lack of a reverse osmosis filter. It is not needed and the water retains all the minerals and electrolytes that make it healthy and taste good.

I use a UV filter on my aquariums and I do use a reverse osmosis filter for the water I use for those but only because I can then add the perfect blend of minerals for the species I am keeping. Much harder to do if your water has some minerals in it already.

As for not needing filtered water at all as was mentioned earlier, you don't need water filtration until you do, and when you find out it is too late. Most campgrounds do a poor job of maintaining the infrastructure already so do you really trust that they have the appropriate anti-siphon valves on every spigot? How many campers have altered the black tank plumbing so it could be siphoned into the fresh supply as well? Too many chances to not protect yourself in my opinion. Just because it has worked in the past is no guarantee.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:21 PM   #13
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Tech writer's system is ideal, and you will note the lack of a reverse osmosis filter. It is not needed and the water retains all the minerals and electrolytes that make it healthy and taste good.
Tech Writer does indeed use an RO system -- see 1st link in post #9 above. My RO info is near the end of the web page.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Okplowboy View Post
As you can see from the number of posts DW and I are new to RVing. Will pick up our new 5W in early November. Our plan is to FT starting mid-2017. Boondocking, while not our primary method, is certainly in our plan. Many on this site rely upon bottled water for drinking, cooking, etc. I have read about, and interested in, UV Light being used to purify water. Just like a S&B application I think it can be plumbed into a RV. Would appreciate any first hand knowledge of such systems being used in the RVing community. Even without first hand experience, I would appreciate your thoughts.Thanks in advance.
Some folks only drink, cook with bottled water, saying they don't want to get sick. Ask them how many folks they know who have became ill from drinking from their fresh water tank.
I've never read one post by someone who became ill that way.

As for us, I sanitize our tank each year, store MH with full tank of water in above freezing weather for months at a time.
One time long-ago, I was on a team cleaning out old bomb shelters in the local college campus. We opened a barrel of water once in a while and tested it for bacteria or virus' in the water. Every test came back negative, after 40 years in storage.
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