Drinking Water Reservoir or Tank - Material Consideration

Drinking Water Reservoir

If you holiday on a boat or in a motor home, you face different problems with the water supply than a backpacker would. Once dirt and bacteria have found their way into the water tank, it is difficult to get it clean again. A water bottle, on the other hand, is quickly rinsed out. The disadvantage is that the backpacker has to make use of every source of water he/she comes across.

Unfortunately, the water tap in the village square, at the camp-site, on the marina or at the filling station gives no indication as to the quality of the water. Because there is no knowing how long it has been standing in the pipe or where it comes from.

Similarly, hoses that are used to fill the tank are often contaminated. They come into contact with the harbour basin or dirty floors or are stored in compartments that are often dirty and contaminated with pathogens. This means that even the best drinking water can become contaminated.

The tank in a privately-owned vehicle is nearly always in better condition than in a charter vehicle. Cleanliness in a private vehicle is down to personal thoroughness, whilst with hired vehicles there is often insufficient time or know-how to ensure thorough cleaning between changeovers. Most of the previous users have probably regarded looking after the water as a necessary evil and possibly dismissed water disinfectants as “nasty chemical stuff".

Once the water tank in a house, boat or motor home has become contaminated, it takes a lot of effort to clean it. Any type of contamination in the water offers an ideal breeding ground for undemanding bacteria. Even colours that are used to coat drinking water containers or materials such as polyester resin, from which many containers are made, can serve as nutrients for microorganisms.

This immediately begs the question of what are the correct materials for water tanks. Stainless steel, hard or high-density polyethylenes (HD-PE) or anodised aluminium are the most suitable. With coated steel tanks or those with a protective coating, tanks made of soft polyethylene (low-density LD-PE), epoxy resin or polyester resin, the processing additives (plasticisers) find their way to the inner surface of the tank where they create a breeding ground for microorganisms. Pure aluminium or anodised steel plate containers can corrode and rubber tanks are more prone to reinfection than steel tanks. New plastic or rubber tanks often give off a plastic or rubbery taste. If the tank is inadequately cared for or ventilated, it will give off a musty smell. This can be eliminated by using certinox® TankFrisch.