Food trucks get their water from a water tank inside the truck that is expected to be regularly filled, cleaned, and maintained.
Having a reliable and functioning water system in your food truck is very vital to your cooking, cleaning, and gray water system (waste). In fact, the water system’s built-in holding tank in any truck is always expected to be FDA approved before it can pass inspection.
Water plays a very crucial role in the operation of food trucks. Hands are renowned to be deadly carriers of disease. Washing hands during the preparation of food is imperative because it prevents the transmission of unwanted germs. Note that the repercussions of the non-observance of this rule are enormous.
In most situations, food poisoning results. Same goes for ingredients and utensils. They are carriers of bacteria. Fresh produce may have bacteria present in them.
Therefore, before peeling that vegetable or fruit, food handlers are advised to wash it first. Utensils can also carry bacteria picked from the previous ingredient it had contact with. To avoid the spread of bacteria from one food to another, it is necessary to wash the utensils.
In the United States, water tanks in a good number of food trucks today offer the same quality as those accorded with a restaurant sink. However, there are rules stipulating that a holding tank must be made from certain materials that are both strong and easy to clean.
Water tanks used in food trucks are mostly made with polyethylene plaster resin that has non-corrosive characteristics. However, if you are looking to prevent leakages, water tanks made from one piece of plastic should be your utmost priority.
In addition, you should also consider UV protection so you won’t have to bother so much about premature aging or cracking when the tank is exposed to sunlight. Since almost every plastic water tank looks the same when it comes to quality and texture, the UV option will help you prevent unexpected damage and also increase the life span of your water system.
Best Places to Fill Your Food Truck Fresh Water Tank
In terms of tried and true places to fill your food truck water tank, you can always count on these places mentioned below:
A commissary is a very popular location where food trucks can dump their waste water and also fill their water tank. A commissary is a licensed or permitted food service establishment that offers certain necessary services to a mobile food dispensing vehicle.
These locations may provide anything from a source for obtaining potable water and disposing of wastewater; storage for food and supplies; or cooking facilities to prepare the food for sale and consumption.
In the United States, one of the best places to find potable water is at the local campground. Have it in mind that almost every type of campground offers potable water, and since they also offer dump stations for heavy trucks, you can source portable water too.
Usually, it costs about $20-25 to dump. However, potable water may not be located near or at the dump station, so you may incur a separate charge to fill your water tank.
Indeed there are actually designated dump stations located throughout the United State and knowing where to locate them doesn’t have to be tasking. Have it in mind there are great online resources and smartphone apps that can point you to nearby dump stations.
Apps like Campendium, SaniDumps, RV Dump Stations, and RV Dump are also being used by food trucks in the United States. Most are crowd-sourced where others post locations and services as they find them.
Note that for food truckers who already own a restaurant, this is more or less the perfect option for them. It makes everything easier and also limits the stress of always sourcing alternatives. However for good truckers who do not already own a restaurant, other alternatives mentioned in this article can seem ideal, only that they might have to pay a small fee.
It is indeed another wonderful place to find potable water. However, note that not all travel centers have a fill station, so you will have to verify ahead before arriving. Nevertheless, if you call ahead and ask, the attendee can provide you with all the details on where the spigot is located, and any special instructions you may need for finding/using it.
Rest stops are also a very good place to find potable water. Just like travel centers, not all rest stops have a site to hook up a hose to fill a tank.
Therefore, it is imperative to consult your travel Apps or route direction apps for information. Also note that some rest stops have dump stations, which is very effective because you can empty your black and grey tanks at the same time you refill your fresh water tank!
City, County, and State Parks
In the United States, another good place to find potable water is at a city, county, or state parks. Note that many of these types of parks offer camping or day-use areas with water. It’s although harder to reach a city, county, or state park rep on the phone to answer questions, so it is advisable you leverage app reviews to choose the best option for your needs.
As with the above travel centers and truck stops, some of the bigger fuel station chains also have either dump stations or potable water spigots, or both. Although most may not accommodate big rig RVs, but if they do, there is, most likely, a nominal charge to fill your food truck water tank.
BLM and U.S. Forestry Ranger Stations
Also note that some BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and U.S. Forestry Ranger Stations have sewer and potable water facilities coupled with restrooms, picnic areas, and separate campsites. You just have to ask the Ranger on duty if there is a dump station and potable water spigot so you can self-service your food truck utilities.
The only issue with sourcing good water from churches is that you have to be there when the church staff is present. Do not just drive up to their water spigot and fill your water tank. Even if the clergy or church staff do allow you to fill your water tank, don’t forget to make a donation.
Do not ask if you can make a donation. Just do it. $5-10 for a small truck would be nice. But for a big truck that is filling 50+ gallons, $10-20 should be ideal.
Water is a very vital resource to almost everything done or needed to be done in a food truck, and it’s critical to have plenty of it. Note that the last thing you want to run out of is water when you’re preparing meals for customers. Therefore, always make sure to plan accordingly.