While the quality water we use at home is usually not a concern, drinking and using water that has high level of bacteria contamination during a camping or boating trip can make you seriously ill. People with a weak immune system are particularly at risk.
Water from natural sources such lakes, rivers and mountain streams and ponds may contain invisible but harmful micro-organisms called pathogens. The same is true with water stored in containers on the boat, during long sailing trips.
Using bacteria contaminated water can cause symptoms ranging from mild nausea and fever to severe diarrhea and hepatitis.
It is important to take the necessary precautions while boating or RV-ing to make sure the water you use is safe.
What Precautionary Measures Should I Take?
If you are out in the nature avoid drinking water from lakes, rivers and ponds without testing it first, using a do-it-yourself test kit. These sources of water might look clean, but may be polluted due to industrial and agricultural activities, and other human causes.
During your boating or RV trips drink only bottled or boiled water if possible. Only brush your teeth with safe drinking water.
Finally, make sure you clean the water storage containers periodically and thoroughly. Stored water may easily become contaminated.