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Pennsic-water-msg - 2/25/12


Dealing with the Pennsic drinking water. Filters. Alternatives.


NOTE: See also the files: P-history-msg, Eatng-Pennsic-art, Pennsic-ideas-msg, P-stories-msg, BPThingie-art, camp-showers-msg, camp-kitchens-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is unclear  at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: "deborah minyard" <dminmin at hotmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mattress sacks for Pennsic

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 04:25:22 +0000


>By the way, bringing it back vaguely toward food stuff: does anyone have

>any experience at using filters (Brita or one of its clones) for the

>Pennsic tap water? Do they work well? Do they work at all?



The household I camp with uses 4 household filters in line. They're changed

once a day. We still don't drink it or cook with it.  It's still Orange.


Debbie Minyard



From: Bronwynmgn at aol.com

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 08:44:08 EDT

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mattress sacks for Pennsic

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Alban at socket.net writes:

> By the way, bringing it back vaguely toward food stuff: does anyone have

> any experience at using filters (Brita or one of its clones) for the Pennsic

> tap water? Do they work well? Do they work at all?


A new Brita filter will usually make it through Pennsic, but the two weeks

will totally kill it....We used a Brita pitcher in camp one year.  For a few

people they work fine; for more than about 5 you cannot keep enough water

filtered in a timely manner to be practical.  The pitchers are just too



Brangwayna Morgan



From: Bronwynmgn at aol.com

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 08:44:10 EDT

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mattress sacks for Pennsic

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


dminmin at hotmail.com writes:

> The household I cmp with uses 4 household filters in line They're changed

> once a day we still don't drink it or cook with it.  It's still Orange.


Obviously YMMV.  I've been cooking with Pennsic water for 12 years without a

problem.  It's only orange if you let it sit so the iron in it oxidizes.

Get it fresh out of the tap and use it! For that matter, even though my camp

puts bottled water in the jugs, I have no problem drinking camp water when

out on the battle field or elsewhere.  It has never bothered me, and for the

first five years I never even used bottled water.


I know some people get the runs or the opposite effect from it, because of

the mineral content.  All I'm saying is that it doesn't bother me, and I get

sick of people saying that the water is "unusable".  It's not unusable; if

you choose not to use it, it's an esthetic thing, not a "because we can't"



On the other hand, people choosing not to use it cuts down on the strain on

the wells, which is a good thing, and tends to keep it better for those of

us who do use it.  So go ahead and buy water.


Brangwayna Morgan



Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2006 13:41:25 -0400

From: "Saint Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pennsic on a shoestring

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


On 6/3/06, Sharon Gordon <gordonse at one.net> wrote:

>  I was talking with a couple of people going to Pennsic this year who are

> on a really tight budget.  They asked me if they cooked all their food in

> camp and brought food and firewood from home, if they could eat for $10 each

> per week.  I told them I doubted it, but I thought they could do it for $15

> each if they could get access to water filtered at Pennsic and didn't have

> to buy bottled water.  That's assuming they got all their food on sale and

> only used their cooler for the first day or two with ice brought  

> from home.


They can get access to filtered water, but it will require a bit of hiking,

if they're planning on camping as single. The spigot by Chirurgeon's Point

is filtered, deliberately, so people get the water they need, but the center

of Pennsic is quite a ways away from where most single campers camp, at

least any that get there after the first couple of days.


Saint Phlip



Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2011 17:37:19 -0400

From: Maymunah al Siqilliyah <alsiqilliyah at gmail.com>

To: atlantia at seahorse.atlantia.sca.org

Subject: Re: [MR] care with accusations Re: Pennsic Water Challenge


The "funk" in the water is just iron salts.  I live with a well and I

know for sure that you can have water that is perfectly safe that is

also unpleasant. A water filter can get out a lot of it.   I think that

lawsuits over people's health are also expensive and I don't think the

Coopers are stupid.


On 7/16/2011 4:47 PM, Becky McEllistrem wrote:

I know I have had Pennsic water before and while not what I've wanted, when you're hot in the middle of the field I know it never made me truly sick.


Are we sure that Pennsic water is what made people unhealthy and have documented it?  I ask because I worry that if we relate stories like that and they're not well documented with medical testing we could become the group that brings SCA into a slander suit with Coopers Lake Campground.  From what I understand slander suits are kind of expensive.




--- On Fri, 7/15/11, Logan<Logan at ebonwoulfe.com> wrote:

From: Logan<Logan at ebonwoulfe.com>

"safe and drinkable"?  I would hardly suggest that.  The purity level of

pennsic well water is horribly turbid and anyone who consumes it runs the

risk of peeing from their butt for some time.  In our camp we have to change

each of our filters several times a week and upon returning from pennsic you

can literally scrape the funk off your skin and nails.  bad news......


Also, transporting water to pennsic isn't necessary.

There are some tiny small towns nearby that have places to buy the water

there.  ;^)





From: Anne <orionsdaughter at gmail.com>

Date: Sat, Jul 16, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Subject: Re: [MR] care with accusations Re: Pennsic Water Challenge

To: Becky McEllistrem <bmcellis at yahoo.com>


So........ if you have a question about the quality of pennsic water.. carry

a gallon of bleach with you and an eyedropper... a few drops per gallon and

the water is potable.  It might taste a bit funky but it is drinkable.. and

no not due to bleach if you don't overdo it.  If you do let it sit over

night and the taste will disappear, bleach taste that is.


I sail boats. I sail in some truly funky places. I drink the local water

that goes into the boat tanks. Before we fill I put in bleach.  Cheap and

solves pretty much any problem.  I have other methods of water purification

but this one is the cheapest.  One can also buy water purification tablets



I drank the water at Coopers for yrs. I am still alive to tell the tale.  I

seem to remember it had a bit of a mineral taste. shrug... cannot be any

worse than the "iron water" I grew up drinking in SC.


lady aine



Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2011 19:52:32 -0400

From: "Logan" <Logan at ebonwoulfe.com>

To: "'Merry Rose'" <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

Subject: Re: [MR] Fwd:  care with accusations Re: Pennsic Water



Some folks can drink well water without issue. Heck i've been to Haiti,

where the water is infested with giardia, and they drink it all the time

without issue.  My caution has to do with folks that are not used to well

water, bad city water, or any other water with a turbidity level as high as

the water at coopers lake which stains everything.  Can you bleach it to

make it safe?  Sure.  Is it unsafe (as in bacteria that would cause health

issues in healthy adults?) Probably not.  


I tested it a few years ago and its contaminant level was above 400ppm (my meter only went to 400ppm).  For a reference charlotte city water (which is nasty) was at 34ppm and Aquafina (and Lebleu) both came in at 1ppm.  Harris Teeter (grocery chain) has a admirable mention with their "purified water" in gallon jugs at 2ppm and only .89 per gallon.  


Its probably cheaper for most folks to just buy purified water in town for the week than to buy bleach.  Of course if you're used to well water none of this matters but if you live in a city and drink municipal water you should stay clear of the water at Pennsic.  Or not.......





Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2011 05:39:09 +0000

From: Gina Shelley <paintedwheel at hotmail.com>

To: <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

Subject: [MR] Pennsic water and pennsic sanitation


I don't drink Pennsic water, not because I don't think it's potable (I don't know if it is or not. I know people drink it without ill effects), but for two other reasons.


1. I'm not used to that water and it obviously has a very heavy mineral content (Iron, evidently, for the most part.) Even potable water full of minerals you're not used to can upset your tummy. Especially in a situation where you're going to need to drink a lot of it. Why risk that in a place like Pennsic?


2. If water tastes bad or odd (or, say, like a rusty nail for instance), you are going to tend to drink less of it. You're at Pennsic, you need to drink more water, not less (you're welcome, Morwenna.).


You can buy it in five gallon tanks at the Giant Eagle up there. You can buy it at Coopers. It's cheap. I know for a fact you can get the big tanks of it in the Bridgeport West Virginia Walmart, because that's where we do our Pennsic grocery shopping every year.


I think people tend to get Pennsic Plague because in a situation like that, you really have to mind your camp kitchen. You have to keep your food on sufficient ice. You have to wash your hands A LOT. You have to keep your kitchen supplies scrupulously clean (and I mean clean like "Gypsy" clean, too. Pretend you're Mr. Monk.). We bring up tons of hand sanitizer (not a substitute for washing), Clorox wipes, dishwashing supplies. I bring a spray bottle of vinegar and one of hydrogen peroxide. Spraying them both on surfaces, letting it sit, then rinsing off with clean water provides a food grade sanitize for your feastware, your cookware, and even your fresh produce. It produces peracetic acid when mixed (do NOT mix these chemicals into one bottle). I do this at home. I don't even put produce in my refrigerator before treating it in this way. I treat raw meat and unwashed produce like it's toxic waste. (that produce Delia brought up to Morwenna's vigil last summer probably didn't have enough bacteria left on it for the leftovers to rot when we got finished with it down in camp. )


Do not allow flies to land on your food or gear. (it's not that you don't know where they've been. You do. They've been in the privy. Where the guy in the next camp who does not practice these things I'm telling you is spending A LOT of time. ) Big box of large zip lock bags helps with that. Food goes in, clean gear goes in.


Watch where you put your shoes. They've been in the privy, too, slogging around in all that nice fresh norovirus. I tend to keep my shoes under the vardo. They are marhime...contaminated with something that can make me sick. I might put them inside the vardo if the weather is really bad, but I have a special place for them on the little porch, outside the door jamb, where they won't touch anything else. For God's sake don't put them on your bed or (shudder) your PICNIC TABLE. (just...no.)


It helps if your camp has hot water. If you don't, heating water to wash dishes is something you should take the time to do. We're lucky down in The Court and have a Zodi water heater, which I highly recommend. Hot water makes it easier to keep yourself and your gear clean, so you're more likely to do it right.


You might laugh at my obsessiveness, but I have yet to puke at War. I'm just saying.



Who finds a great deal of irony in the knowledge that people think "gypsies" are dirty.



Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2011 10:08:42 CDT

From: "Bambi TBNL" <hippy_dippy_dancer at yahoo.com>

To: morgul at sc.rr.com, atlantia at seahorse.atlantia.sca.org

Subject: Re: [MR] Fwd:  care with accusations Re: Pennsic Water



Folks, even though the well water is as pure as the local tap water and bottled water, how many of our encampments run garden hoses to their encampments to have running water in camp? How many of those hoses are brand new every year or have been stored for an entire year reserved for that purpose but no one flushed and sanitized them before drinking water straight from them. Human error lurks everywhere even though the actual water was fine at the point it was tested. My dad was a pretty well known micro biologist. In my youth I also knew him as a fun spoiler and a suspected sufferer of OCD. I was invited to a lake swim party at my Godmother's  when I was 23 and he showed up the day before to test the lake water for parasites........pretty funny now but .....any way, my point is, he was right to assume possible contamination and options for illness everywhere but wrong to believe putting the world in a sterile bubble would fix it.. As far as following govt regs...the coopers water does that. Pennsic wouldn't happen otherwise.


As far as the options for that to get screwed up in between source and consumer? 10,000 give or take a few thou. Bottled drinking water, sanitizing your drinking vessels and other dishes, covering your food, boiling or cooking at high heat, washing and sanitizing anything eaten fresh, and knowing your personal limitations as in alergies, sensitivities and triggers, is a way to protect yourself and be able to enjoy more. If you see a place selling food that seem to not be in compliance with the health dept. regs, don't eat there or ask about their ratings.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org