Fulltimers are exposed to potentially unsafe water in campgrounds

Most people – RVers included – do not think much about the quality and safety of their water supply. And they also tend to overlook potentially unsafe water supplies when staring them in the face, such as at some RV parks. And fulltimers spend more time (like 24/7) in RV parks than part-time RVers, increasing their exposure to unsafe water. Here is info you need to take seriously – or you will discover the hard way. 

By Chuck Woodbury
Would you drink the water from either of these water faucets? Both are currently at hookup sites in American RV parks. RV Travel reader Don Callahan spotted them and sent the photos.

“I’m a civil engineer and have designed community water systems,” he wrote. “I was appalled at these setups. Worse yet, the people at the parks ‘blew me off.'”

I asked Doug Swarts at Drain Master, an authority on RV waste management, for his thoughts:

“The person that designed the sites should have put the fresh water spigot beside the electrical pedestal and isolated the sewer inlet and put it at ground level as is the one with the cap. The sewer inlet breeds flies and other bugs which is food for birds which sit on the water spigot and drink from it. I personally would not have stayed there.”

RVtravel.com reader Laura P. Schulman, M.D., M.A., told me this: “That’s just basic third world sanitation: This is a serious health hazard. Just imagine, if you can stomach it, that this hookup gets inundated in a downpour. If there’s any standing water, it’s for sure going to be full of sewer…stuff.  If your sewer and fresh hoses get sloshed with that stuff, it’s going to get on your GLOVES when you disconnect. You’d better have some bleach ready, and disinfect, well, everything. Bottom line: this oughtta be illegal! How can these campground operators get away with it?”

My own opinion is that it’s simply common sense to have the fresh water and sewer drain as far apart as possible to avoid contaminating the water. I would never hook up at either of these parks.

Please keep your eyes open for unsanitary hookups like this that you come across in RV parks. Please take a photo and send it to me. We’ll publish them on this website. Let’s see if we can put some pressure on the campground industry to ensure that setups like this are closed down. We’ll likely save some RVers from getting sick (or worse). Send your photos to chuck (at) RVtravel.com . If possible, include the name and location of the RV park or campground.

If you have not seen the video of an unsanitary RV campsite where I recently stayed, watch this.