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How my partner nearly poisoned us all

Over the last school holidays, we took the caravan away for a week of camping.  We were headed to a caravan park for a couple of days and so we had a site with power and water access.  As usual, we were frantically packing in between work and sleep and all our other obligations.  At the last minute on the day of departure, we realised we hadn’t put in a hose.  So may partner ran around the back of the house and grabbed one from the garden and threw it in.

Having a camp site with power and water is a real luxury, especially for me.  It means I don’t have to cart buckets of water around and boil the kettle just to wash the dishes.  It also means we can use the tap on the caravan sink that you turn on and off like a normal tap, as opposed to the pump tap which requires physical effort.

I noticed that when I filled up my 1L drink bottle, the water had a lot of bubbles in it.  I put it down to air in the lines and assumed they would go away and the water would clear up, as I have seen before.  I noticed the same bubbly consistency when I filled up the kettle to boil.

I drank from my water bottle and it tasted ok.  Not great, but ok.  Not great is sometimes to be expected at regional caravan parks because the water can come from local sources and may be treated differently to home.  I thought no more about it.

Then I had a cup of tea which had a distinctly soapy taste to it.  How odd.  I decided that there must have been some muck in the lines and I would make another cup with a fresh pot of water and see how that tasted.  The second cup was a soapy, if not more, than the first.  I mentioned it to my partner and he said his coffee also tasted soapy.  I went and got water directly from the tap outside the van for the next cup of coffee to test out whether it was just the taste of the local water or something more suspicious.

That cup of tea tasted just fine.  I reported this to my partner.  Then we hopped in the car and went for a drive to do some exploring of the local area and thought no more of it for a while.

About two hours later my partner suddenly gave a yell.  “I know why the water tastes soapy!” he shouted triumphantly.  Turns out that in his rush to grab a hose, he grabbed the hose that comes out the window of the laundry onto the grass.  The hose that all our dirty laundry water flows through….Awesome….

So here we were drinking residue of dirty laundry water, including laundry detergent and fabric softener.  In a household using supermarket products full of toxins, this could have made us very, very sick and possibly even had us end up in hospital.  BUT we use Tri Nature, so that wasn’t an issue in our house.  Just another “thank goodness it’s Tri Nature” moment.  And a note to self to buy a hose that is just for the caravan…

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