Please listen to this short excerpt from a previous podcast, then read the blog below.
Since recording this, the filter we talk about has been tested … with some surprising results.
Andrew and I recently chatted about water filtration device types and why you might want to include one in your ‘travel kit’ when touring around the country.
We looked at a few types of filtration mediums and whether to fit them permanently or keeping it portable. The consensus was it really didn’t matter what type you used, it was simply important to have one.
A recent trip around the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia was a perfect opportunity to show exactly why water filtration is so important.
Many people might speak poorly of SA’s water quality, but in reality it’s not all that bad. Until you venture further afield than the Adelaide CBD it seems. Our trip had us base ourselves at the very heel of the Southern Yorke Peninsula so we could check out some of the more scenic spots without needing to drag all our gear everywhere with us. This meant we had a constant water supply from the local infrastructure.
A safe bet for water quality one might think.
Well I’m glad I decided to give our new ceramic water filter a run and see how it performed. Now I must reiterate that it is important that if you are new to using a water filter, or new model filter, please Read the Instructions. They actually do provide good advice on preparing your filter, connection methods and direction of flow. Get it wrong and you may as well leave it off.
We prepped our filter appropriately, hooked up the water supply and walked away happy in the knowledge we would have an endless flow of crystal clear water from the van tap system for the duration of our stay. Until it stopped after just a few days.
Now being of a technical mindset, I started checking out pumps, fuses, taps and looking for kinks in the hose, and found nothing. The last resort was the filter, but whilst unscrewing the end cap I kept thinking what could have possibly gone wrong with a sedentary device designed to let otherwise clean water through. Releasing the filter element showed a filter medium stained with the build-up of enough material to restrict the flow to a mere dribble. A dark stain created solely from the normal household water supply feeding the entire town and no doubt the same water supply served to the entire peninsular population.
The photos tell the story better than words. Fortunately I had kept the instructions at hand even though I hadn’t expected to be needing them again so soon. The cleaning guide was as simple as using a scourer to scrub off the material building up over the ceramic filter medium. This is why it is important to have the flow direction correct as well, as a reverse flow would make cleaning the internal section of the filter impossible.
A quick clean up and it was back in running order again and keeping the water flowing. This is perhaps a good attribute of ceramic style filters as we need to regularly clean the filter every few days thereafter. Once the flow was sorted again, I performed a rather rudimentary comparison of the water quality, both pre and post filter, and was astounded by the results, shown in the photographs.
Filling a glass from the standard household tap anywhere in the region would have you holding the left hand side glass of water, pre-filter. The glass on the right is post-filter. So if ever there’s an argument around the value of installing a water filter to your van or RV, just show someone this photo and the discussion will move to what type.
From past travels around this grand country, we know of much worse water quality in more remote parts of Australia than rural South Australia, so we won’t be going anywhere without our water filter system on board.
I can only recommend our fellow travellers do the same. Now.
See you Outback