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post #1 of 9 Old 09-04-2008 Thread Starter
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Dockside Water Filtration for Mexican Water

I have a General Ecology water filter for use as a dockside filter here in the U.S. I also have a water purifier on my galley faucet. That's fine for our basically clean U.S. water, but neither handle cysts, bacteria, viruses, etc. I'm heading down to Cabo and La Paz, and will need to fill up my tanks (162 gallons) for the ride home. I've looked at RO and UV systems, but all of them are for filtering after you've put the water in the tanks (ie; between tank and faucet).

Does anyone know of a dockside filter system that captures Mexico water badness before it reaches the tank?
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-05-2008
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I think there are some sort of sanitizing tabelets you can put into the deck fill that sterilizes the water once it is in the tanks. There is also a recipe for adding bleach but I'm not sure how much you need to add to chlorinate it at the correct concentration (it's something like 1tsp/5 gallons but not sure). Can't think of another way to pre-filter the bugs unless you bought a household reverse osmosis filter and used it to slowly fill your tank. You would have to be in a slip with pressure water at the dock to do this; letting the "waste" water go overboard.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-05-2008
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I've not watered up in Mexico before but I know that most dockside facilities will object to filtering into your tanks because it takes too long.

Is the water in Mexico that bad? The Mexicans seem to survive pretty well on it.

Andre
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-05-2008 Thread Starter
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I've been to both Mexico and India many times. They are very similar in terms of their water sanitation (basically is none). I wouldn't drink the water if I was in the desert. Like all humans, their systems just adapt.

To give you an example, while vacationing in Cabo, I ate some of their fantastic authentic mexican food in a small town restaurant. They put a lime on my Corona that had been washed with tap water. They call it Montezuma's Revenge, and it just wreaks havoc on your digestive system.

In any case, Costco is selling an undersink RO system, so I guess I'll just use my dockside filter, and then RO the galley water, wilst also shocking the tanks with bleach.

Any other thoughts?
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-05-2008
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Any other thoughts?
I wouldn't use any tap water. I also got Montezuma's Revenge, and it was so bad we had to get a doctor as I was running a 106 fever along with the other stuff......

I would see if you can find a coke or Pepsi bottling plant and buy water from them as they use extreme filtration.

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post #6 of 9 Old 09-05-2008
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A big problem with your plan... the RO filters membranes are generally destroyed by any exposure to chlorine bleach—so unless the RO system is isolated from the shock treated water supply, it will be a huge problem. I also doubt that the RO system sold at costco is designed for use on what is basically untreated water. Most RO water makers and filtration systems don't like to be used in bacterially contaminated waters. IMHO, to sterilize the water of cysts and such, you'd be much better off using a UV light treatment system—not an RO filter.

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I've been to both Mexico and India many times. They are very similar in terms of their water sanitation (basically is none). I wouldn't drink the water if I was in the desert. Like all humans, their systems just adapt.

To give you an example, while vacationing in Cabo, I ate some of their fantastic authentic mexican food in a small town restaurant. They put a lime on my Corona that had been washed with tap water. They call it Montezuma's Revenge, and it just wreaks havoc on your digestive system.

In any case, Costco is selling an undersink RO system, so I guess I'll just use my dockside filter, and then RO the galley water, wilst also shocking the tanks with bleach.

Any other thoughts?

Sailingdog

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post #7 of 9 Old 09-05-2008
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They do sell bottled water in the 10+ gallon jugs like we have here in the offices in the USA. My wife's family gets that for me when I visit Mexico during the holidays. You might want to go that route with a water delivery vendor and just pump it into your boat. The bottled jugs from a reputable company should work fine. I have not had any issues with it during any of my visits. Do try the Coke or Pepsi local distributors as well as suggested above. In Mexico they do sell large container bottled water as well. At least they do in my wife's small town.


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post #8 of 9 Old 09-05-2008
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Hey Vitesse,

We are fellow SF Bay sailors and I would be happy to share our 8 month Mexico cruise after the 06 Ha-Ha.

As to the water issue we installed a water maker which freed us from chasing drinking water. The water was great tasting a caused us no health problems and we even made water in Zihuatenjo bay which is shall we say - bacteria rich.

The down side to a full bore ocean water maker is of course the expense and then since we have been back in the Bay it just sits and gets back-flushed on a regular basis.

Lots of folks take on tank water at the more upscale marinas which is usually treated water and is said to be potable. They use it for everything including coffee etc. Then as almost everybody in Mexico does, they drink bottled water which is sold everywhere.

I have installed and used a Costco undersink R/O watermaker at home and they work well but understand the only a percentage of the water going over the membrane goes through the membrane to become product at something around 5 gals per hour. This would mean you would need a shore side water supply to run a long time to fill your tanks.

Hope this helps.

Craig Alger
Blog: Sailboatsailor.wordpress.com

Last edited by harryhoratio; 09-05-2008 at 12:48 PM. Reason: corrections
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-05-2008
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Not exactly on topic...

But. If your water filtration method fails to work. Having antibiotics in your med kit can be very useful. Talk about your plan with your Family Doc and see if he/she will write you a prescription for Flagyl 500 mg 4x/day for 1 week will take care of most gastrointestinal infections caused by bad water.
Michael

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