Get informed about water science

Thirsty Nomad Water Laboratory

Bacteria can still grow in your tanks, even when they are full. Not all types of bacteria or fungi need oxygen to grow. There are two types of bacteria and fungi: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic means germs that need air to grow and anaerobic are germs that can survive and grow where there’s no oxygen. The most common cause of water contamination and gastro (E. Coli) is actually an anaerobic bacteria that doesn’t need air to grow.  Fish breath by using their gills to get oxygen from water. Bacteria can do the same thing: feed from oxygen that’s dissolved in the water.

In 2018, the World Health Organisation published the following;

“In summary, the current evidence is sufficient to indicate that: 

– Silver has not demonstrated significant capability to be considered a candidate  for primary disinfection of drinking water. There are insufficient data to        document that it acts against a broad spectrum of pathogenic organisms. Performance efficacy has been adequately documented only for some bacteria and not for viruses and protozoan parasites. The impact of water chemistry is often neglected in efficacy studies, and further, long contact times are generally required.” 

Download the paper here.
W.H.O. Conclusions about silver as a drinking water disinfectant

The truth is, the warning is based on fact. Do not drink water from the hose. Garden hoses, unlike plumbing inside your home, aren’t manufactured to deliver safe drinking water. In addition to bacteria, mold, and possibly the odd frog, the water from a garden hose typically contains the following toxic chemicals: lead, antimony, bromine, organotin, phthalates, BPA (bisphenol A). Lead, BPA, and phthalates are used in garden hoses mainly to stabilize the plastics. The most common plastic is polyvinyl chloride, which may release toxic vinyl chloride. Antimony and bromine are components of flame retardant chemicals. A study conducted by the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, M.I. (, found lead levels exceeded the safety limits set by the (American) Safe Water Drinking Act in 100% of the garden hoses they tested. A third of the hoses contained organotin, which disrupts the endocrine system. Half the hoses contained antimony, which is linked to liver, kidney, and other organ damage. All of the randomly selected hoses contained extremely high levels of phthalates, which can lower intelligence, damage the endocrine system, and cause behavioral changes. Download the Paper here;

Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. “Is It Safe to Drink Water From a Hose?” ThoughtCo, Oct. 29, 2020,

According to the (International) Water Quality Association, the leading voice of the residential, commercial, industrial and small community water treatment industry, representing more than 2,500 manufacturers, suppliers and dealers worldwide: 

Microbial and organic contaminants can’t always be detected through sight, smell or taste. You might go years before realizing a problem exists.


Although some waterborne microbes can cause illness, many microbes are harmless or even beneficial. Very small levels of microbes are naturally present in many water supplies, but some are more dangerous than others. Some of the more dangerous microbial contaminants, such as E. coli, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium, can cause gastrointestinal problems and flu-like symptoms commonly attributed to undercooked or improperly stored food. They include:


Bacteria: Single-celled organisms lacking well-defined nuclear membranes and other specialized functional cell parts which reproduce by cell division or spores. Bacteria may be free-living organisms or parasites. Bacteria (along with fungi) are decomposers that break down the wastes and bodies of dead organisms, making their components available for reuse. Bacterial cells range from about 1 to 10 microns in length and from 0.2 to 1 micron in width. They exist almost everywhere on earth. Some bacteria are helpful to humans, while others are harmful.


Viruses: Parasitic infectious microbes, composed almost entirely of protein and nucleic acids, which can cause disease(s) in humans. Viruses can reproduce only within living cells. They are 0.004 to 0.1 microns in size, which is about 100 times smaller than bacteria.


Cysts: Capsules or protective sacs produced by many protozoans (as well as some bacteria and algae) as preparation for entering a resting or a specialized reproductive stage. Similar to spores, cysts tend to be more resistant to destruction by disinfection. Fortunately, protozoan cysts are typically 2 to 50 microns in diameter and can be removed from water by fine filtration.

There are both chemical and physical ways to disinfect water. Chemical disinfection often uses halogens such as chlorine, iodine, bromine, or ozone, while common physical choices are ultraviolet (UV) light, ultrafiltration as used in the Thirsty Nomad’s 5 in 1 purifier, and distillation. These processes can eliminate 99.9 – 99.9999% of harmful microorganisms. Water treatment can address pathogenic microbiologicals through the following techniques:

The treatment process in which chlorine gas or a chlorine solution is added to water for disinfection and control of microorganisms. Chlorination is also used in the oxidation of dissolved iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide impurities. This method of disinfection involves adding chlorine to water to make it safer to drink. It’s common, cost-effective, and quick, killing many pathogenic microorganisms. It can even oxidize or break down iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide, which can result in water that is clearer and tastes better.

Some people find that chlorine gives water its own objectionable chemical taste and odor. It also can produce disinfection byproducts (which may cause health issues) by reacting with other substances in water when stored. These byproducts can often be filtered out with activated carbon.

Ultraviolet (UV) Light
The UV disinfection method, which does not involve chemicals, has long been popular for commercial use, but is becoming more common in homes. UV systems expose water to light at just the right wavelength for killing microbes. It’s a way to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoans, and cysts that may be present in the water.


The effectiveness of UV treatment depends on the strength and intensity of the light, the amount of time the light shines through the water, and the quantity of particles present in the water. The light source must be kept clean and the UV lamp replaced periodically. UV light treatment can’t remove gases, heavy metals, and particulates; for that reason higher-end systems may include additional filtration such as activated carbon.

Ozone is produced when oxygen is exposed to high-voltage current. The use of ozone in water treatment can destroy viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms, while also removing iron, sulfur and manganese. Ozone does its job quickly and then rapidly decomposes, cutting down on the introduction of harmful disinfection byproducts and foul tastes or odors associated with chlorination. This process tends to be more costly and energy-consuming and is typically used commercially or by large municipalities.


Many generic caravan inline filters on the market are often a 1 micron sediment filter with cctivated carbon to remove taste, odour, organics and chlorine.

The 1 micron filter will filter out cysts and most microorganisms that could be potentially harmful to your health. 
But, if microbiological contamination is a concern to those with compromised immune systems such as the elderly or the young, the Thirsty Nomad’s 5 in 1 purifier contains 0.01 micron Ultrafiltration membranes. Ultrafiltration is similar to reverse osmosis and is based on cross flow filtration through a semi permeable membrane rated at 0.01 microns. 

inline water filter for caravan

The Thirsty Nomad 5 in 1 Purifiers down to:

0.01 Micron and 
0.001 Micron equivalent 

best water filter for caravan

Giardia Trophozite
12 – 15 Micron Long
5 – 7 Microns Wide

caravan water filter kit

Giardia Cyst
8 – 12 Micron Long

caravan water filter kit

4 – 6 Micron Long

inline water filter for caravan

3 – 8 Micron Long
0.5 – 0.8 Micron Diameter

inline water filter for caravan

0.004 to 0.1 microns