Tiny Water Treatment
water treatment for small spaces

Water Sources

A guide to water sources for nomads and full-time RVers.



When we're filling up our tanks, we try to use the best available source. 

Just because the water comes out of a tap does not mean it's treated, tested, or good to drink.  Just because water is treated for one purpose doesn't mean it's suitable for all purposes.  And if your Air BNB host is raving about how great her spring water is, you might have reason to be suspicious about its source (photo related).

Municipal water, household well water, and campground water can be made much better with secondary treatment.  The garden hose behind the gas station would not be my first choice for a water fill, but sometimes it's the best option available.  Secondary treatment can make it much safer.  Surface water from springs or streams needs thorough treatment -- avoid it if you can, treat it if you can't.  Cloudy purple water out of the swamp next to the power plant?  Find somewhere else to get your water.

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  Help support Tiny Water Treatment by purchasing products you need through the links from this page.  If you buy something based on our recommendation, we might earn a small commission for referring you.


If you're a nomad, you'll want to be prepared to capture your water from various sources.  A water bandit can help you get water into a hose from a faucet with odd or no threads.  A couple of jerry cans are good for hauling or short-term storage of (chlorinated) water.  And just a few small pieces of water treatment equipment can vastly improve the quality of water you're putting in your tanks, and your body.

If you stay in one location, you can more tightly tailor your approach to your water source.  But tiny house dwellers and stationary RVers can benefit from the same small-scale treatment approaches as their nomadic counterparts.

If you don't trust your water source completely, the method I recommend is practical, inexpensive, and very effective at making your water safe, both for your appliances, and for your body.  If you just want to make your water quality better, or you've read the news too much to trust municipal water, this method will also address nearly every concern you might have.  If you use this method on every fill, regardless of the source, you'll save some money on soaps, cleaners, and repair bills, and maybe even avoid some health problems.