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Full Version: New England Campgrounds--FOUL water!!
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I spent the fall in 05 traveling New England, staying in various campgrounds in Massachusetts, Maine, VT, NH, NY and CT. I chose the best ones I could find in the areas I wanted to be. Had a lovely time, but since most of these campgrounds are older, I guess, I found the water situation to be just awful. I have 3 water filters. Two whole house filters on the outside and a ceramic one inside for drinking water only. I also filter my drinking water through a PUR filter pitcher. I travel all over the US and have never encountered such consistently bad water as I did in New England. Normally I replace a sediment pre-filter about one per month or less, the main heavy duty filter about once every 3-6 months and I clean the ceramic filter every month. I could not go two weeks ( I came to find out) on my sediment filter without it being MUDDY brown which also destroyed my heavy duty filter in a month (used 2 in 2 months time @ $30.00 a piece mad.gif ) I wish I would have checked the filters at every campground but I was not expecting that problem to be so bad.

After I got to Washington DC and ever since going south, my filters have barely shown much contamination. I changed sediment filters twice since November 1 and I actually could have used them longer.

I have never encountered anything like it. I did get into some bad iron water that fouled a brand new set of filters( and tanks, lines etc...) at a KOA in Iowa... but that is another story about KOA I will save for a different post. I put it in my review.

I would just post this to anyone traveling in New England to be wary of the water in these campgrounds as they must not be keeping up with their infrastructure needs since they are so seasonal. I can see how dirty my filters get, when I open up the canisters, but I know many people use completely encased filters so you cannot tell when they are contaminated. I am telling you the filters turned muddy brown within 2 weeks. sad.gif And I always flush the line out first in case there is stuff in the water line. That did not make a difference. It makes me wonder if anyone ever checks their water quality in those campgrounds I guess if everyone drinks bottled water they wouldn't care. Being a fulltimer, I don't like to buy bottled water.
Travelin Rose:

We had the exact same problem with a number of parks in the northeast. As I earlier posted, we went to the New England area once, but never again. Although there are exceptions, they generally do not maintain their parks, the fees and charges are way out of line, and, as you noted, the water quality is deplorable at many of these parks. Stay away.
Well, I would not say " stay away," because there are so many wonderful places to visit and people will want to go for the fall color.

But I did think it would be responsible to let people know about the water situation, because it can cause numerous issues, including health issues or water pump failure etc. unsure.gif

But it would be wise to be cautious about having a good filter system and checking it often, which I did not do because I was not expecting them to be so dirty so quick. I could have changed those sediment filters more often and showed the campground managers/owners and extended my whole house filter use, if I had. My bad.

I have encountered bad water in other locations, but it is usually older parks.
so campers beware! This is an issue you may not be able to know about especially if it is a brief stay. But it can sure cause a lot of problems. It took many gallons of water to flush the iron from my tanks and I ruined a load of clothes I washed in that orange water in Iowa. I flushed the hose first, but could not see rust...

And for the record, it was a KOA. I contacted the corporate office, but it took many emails to get a tepid response. I wanted my brand new filters replaced. But the campground managers were upset that I contacted corporate about that and only gave me a refund on my night stay. KOA after many many emails, finally sent me a couple of certificates for a free night of camping at a KOA to make up for the new filters that were ruined. When I pressed them about making this franchisee repair their water, I got the runaround... with corporate "language" for "don't worry, be happy." dry.gif

I still stay at some KOA's, but they are not my first choice after my experience with corporate. Boy was I naive... they are more concerned about outward appearances of the campgrounds than infrastructure.

If you have a problem with one KOA and corporate gives you the typical corporate run-around, why do business with any others?
When they lose business across the board due to there lack of action at one place, then and only then will they take notice and possibly do something.
The New England states, and New York, have high concentrations of a mineral called "manganese" in it's potable waters. This mineral rusts like iron and does damage clothes and about everything it comes in contact with. sad.gif The number one reason this problem exists is, the heavy draw of water needed to service the system within the cg. If the need for the water is not heavy, the mineral will settle out before the need for water presents itself. Of course during the camping season this does not have a chance to occur. so the water is not desirable. This condition exists mostly in well or aquifer water systems.The answer is filtration, but a cg could not afford such a filter system, as the system could cost in the hundred of thousands of dollars. We have the same problem within our local water system here in upstate New York, and the filtration system on the initial start up was over one million dollars, and have put over another million in additions to the system over a period of years. The population I'm speaking about is by no means large. The system serves a population of around 3500 people. The other correction is to obtain your water from a river, lake, and or build a reservoir system. The reservoir system is the most desirable as it allows the mineral to settle out. I hope this explanation will educate everyone to what we live with everyday, and how we have to deal with the problem. The maintenance and upkeep cost are high, but you have to have water. sad.gif sad.gif

In my opinion, it would be unfair to penalize all KOA campground owners because of the attitude of corporate and one single KOA. Regular readers of this site know how KOA corporate, in Billings, Montana, is lobbying the city council in that city to ban overnight parking at Wal-Mart for passers-thru, and how they rip people off, and most readers know that, as the saying goes, "KOA ain't what it used to be." Also, the number of negative comments on this site about bad KOA parks is overwhelming.

Still, each KOA is independently owned and some of the owners really work hard to maintain a quality park or remodel a dump. We would probably only stay again at only 5% of the KOAs we've visited over the years. But there are some quality KOAs--for instance, the KOA in Petoskey, Michigan, will measure up against any of the top campgrounds in this country. I think we just all need to be very careful about stopping at KOAs, read this site carefully, and be selective. But arbitrarily banning ALL KOAs from consideration would be wrong, I believe. That's just my opinion and, despite what others might think, this site IS for opinions.
I understand what you are saying.
The point I'm trying to make is the fact that like any thing else in life all suffer because of the actions of a few. If all do not suffer from corporate inaction then we have no means of getting them to react.
As you say KOA's are a franchise, if the owner of a great park feels they are losing business due to corporate inaction they will put pressure on them to clean up the bad apples.

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