Your RV Tank May Be a Breeding Ground for Legionella

A flourishing RV industry means that each year, a growing number of North Americans are hitting the road in their homes on wheels. The majority of these RV travellers venture out seasonally, taking advantage of the warm summer months to explore new destinations, sometimes for long stretches of time.

While on the road, most RVers rely on local tap water or other municipal sources for their water supply and storage; however, there is evidence to suggest this practice may be putting travellers at unnecessary risk. Ambient temperatures and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can produce conditions inside water reservoirs that are prime breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful contaminants. While proper and regular disinfection can buffer against contaminant-related illnesses, many RVers are wondering: is there a better way?

 

Legionella in RV Water Holding Tanks

In collaboration with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, researchers at Georgia Regents University commissioned a study of RV water reservoirs following a case of pneumonia where both the patient and the reservoir of the RV he was travelling in tested positive for Legionella pneumophila. Organisms belonging to the genus Legionella have been clearly and repeatedly linked to contaminated potable drinking water, and tend to surface in high numbers when water is heated, unused, or under-chlorinated.

Data from the Collaborative National Waterborne Disease and Outbreak Surveillance System is proof that legionellosis is a growing concern for public health professionals, despite being entirely preventable. Between 2001 and 2006, Legionella accounted for nearly 30% of drinking water outbreaks and 80% of water-related deaths.

A research team travelled to three separate campsites and found that a staggering 20% of on-site faucets and RV water tanks tested positive for different Legionella spp. Researchers also spoke directly with RV users to learn more about their RV maintenance practices; these conversations revealed that RVers seldom use chlorine to disinfect their water tanks. Only 50% had performed any general RV maintenance over the past year, with only 60% spending the time to clean out their RV water tanks.

UV-LED Water Purification

Installing a UV-LED water purification system is a proven, effective way to keep yourself and your guests from getting sick (whether from pneumonia or other common waterborne diseases). Because improperly sanitized RV water tanks and weather conditions impact the quality of your RV’s drinking water, making sure water is free from viruses and other pathogens at the point of use is critical.

Learn more about our innovative solution here.