RV & Marine - Basic Water Facts
There's more in your water than meets the eye.
Even though the quality of water in the United States is monitored, it is not assured. In one 27-month period, 23.5% of U.S. community water systems violated safe drinking water standards at least once, and sometimes more, for microbes that indicate the possible presence of microorganisms associated with human illnesses.1
Microbes are not the only contaminants affecting water supplies. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "pesticides, nutrients, metals, gasoline-related compounds and other contaminants" remain major challenges.2
Air and water issues are everywhere.
You don't have to be within sight of a factory to be exposed to air and water issues. Run-off from agriculture and lawns, petrochemicals and other contaminants from a wide variety of human activities make their way into the water supply every day. For example, a number of pollutants, such as benzene, toxaphene and dichlorobenzene are now found in some lakes, rivers and groundwater.3
What you can't see could hurt you.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists a very broad range of Agricultural/Rural, Commercial/Industrial and Residential/Municipal sources for 846 potential inorganic, organic, microbial and radionuclide contaminants.4
Microorganisms are a particular concern. Certain bacteria indicate the presence of other microorganisms that can cause illness. Giardia is a water-borne cyst that causes severe intestinal illness. The EPA lists campgrounds, RV parks and boat repair and refinishing as potential sources for both of them. In fact, in an area as remote as Alaska's Denali National Park, campers are advised to "boil all water, or use an approved filter of one micron or less" to help protect against Giarida.5
What does "Natural" really mean?
There are many naturally occurring substances in water. While some are not harmful or may even be beneficial, others can be troublesome. Metals such as lead and mercury are known toxins and must be addressed. Iron can turn water an unpleasant reddish brown color and stain appliances. Both iron and hydrogen sulfide can cause unpleasant tastes and odors. Even when they do not cause illness, bacteria and metals can affect taste and odor as well.
Filtering water with an appropriate system helps reduce the presence of microorganisms and other contaminants to help improve water quality and taste. Refer to Product Selection Guide (PDF) for filter specifications.
- Safe Water From Every Tap: Improving Water Service to Small Communities. Commission on Geosciences, Environment and Resources, The National Academies Press, 1997. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=030905527X.
- News Release: How healthy Are Our Rivers and Streams? USGS Report Shows Clear Picture. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, 2004. http://www.usgs.gov.
- 3M RV/Marine water filters reduce many of these contaminants, but not all. Please refer to the product specifications to determine which product reduces the contaminant that concerns you.
- Potential Drinking Water Contaminant Index. U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW/swp/vcontam3.html.