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post #11 of 89 Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Drinking water tank water.

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Wow.
Different strokes for different folks indeed.
Not only do I drink from my tanks, there have been times I was overjoyed to be able to fill them from a primitively built, unfiltered catchment system.
In the Bahamas we figure if there are frogs swimming around in your catchment tank, then the water is not poisonous so it's good enough to drink.
Be that as it may, I bet my immune system is better than all you cautious bottled water drinkers.
Mike your just very very lucky!

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #12 of 89 Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Drinking water tank water.

I bought my boat with unknown water in the tank. I've since used half and filled and use half that and filled. What can I do to clean it and start using it to drink? Taste doesn't bother me. I've been thinking about this. I don't have a good way to empty it. It has a hand pump sink and probably would take hours to pump it all empty. Just out some bleach in and call it good?
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post #13 of 89 Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Drinking water tank water.

You should have an access plate (if you dont consider adding one).

I empty the tanks in the winter. To empty the tank i use a small rule pump. I wired in a cigarette lighter adapter to power it. And i have a length of hose connected to the discharge. I drop the pump in the tank,plug it in, and let it empty the tank. I use a sponge to scrub and get the last of the water.
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post #14 of 89 Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Drinking water tank water.

Even municipal water systems kill people.
Why would anyone even chance it. Without bottled water, using your water tank as your only source of water is risky at best.
I can just imagine what it would be like to have 4-5 people on board, 3 days out, and you all have violent diarrhia with no water to drink.
Now there is some good planning.

We have three rules;
No screaming.
No bleeding on the sails.
No slobbering on the charts.
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post #15 of 89 Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Drinking water tank water.

Yes, I drink, cook, shower with my water tank supply. I get my water from a safe shore supply. But here are a few things that I have done or currently do to ensure my water is safe.

Water tank treatment (Peggy Hill)

Turn water heater off at the breaker before beginning. Do not turn it on again until entire recommissioning is complete.
1. Prepare a chlorine solution using one gallon of water and 1/2 cup Clorox or Purex household bleach (5% sodium Hypochlorine solution ). With tank empty, pour chlorine solution into tank. Use one gallon of solution for each 5 gallons of tank capacity, which results in 4 Ounces of bleach for 10 gallons of water.
2. Complete filling of tank with fresh water. Turn on every faucet and allow water to run until what's coming out smells strongly of bleach.
3. Turn off faucets--but do NOT turn off the pump...it must remain on to keep the system pressurized so that the solution remains in the lines. Allow to stand for at least 3 hours, but no longer than 24 hours.
4. Drain the tank through every faucet.
5. Refill tank with clean fresh water and drain again through every faucet.
6. To remove excess chlorine taste or odor which might remain, prepare a solution of one quart white vinegar to five gallons water and allow this solution to agitate in tank for several days by vehicle motion (iow, go sailing and tack a lot).
7. Drain tank again through every faucet, and refill with potable water.

Beneteau Horizons

How to Purify Water amount of bleach per gallon
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post #16 of 89 Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Drinking water tank water.

For my tanks, (30 gallons) this would mean that I would be pouring 3 cups of bleach and 1 1/2 gallons of vinegar into the ocean.
We use a small chlorine puck to make the water safely useful, but we still show concern for our environment.
If we do need to use some of the water for washing, doing dishes, etc, we will boil it, but even boiled we still don't drink it.

We have three rules;
No screaming.
No bleeding on the sails.
No slobbering on the charts.

Last edited by Dog Ship; 06-15-2013 at 08:49 PM.
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post #17 of 89 Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Drinking water tank water.

Mike, you must be the luckiest guy on the planet. Especially if you drink water from a source that you believe is safe because you've seen frogs swimming around in it. Keep in mind that those frogs eat many of the other insects and insect larvae that also survive in those waters, critters that can eat holes in your intestines and take up refuge in other body parts. There are loads of parasites in those ponds. Now, I have to admit it has been a long time since I was in the Bahamas, but if I recall, the municipal water supplies there were not all that safe. Yeah, you might get away with drinking tapwater, but that doesn't mean your immune system is any better than anyone elses - it just means you've been quite fortunate.

As for bacteria resistant to chlorine, I don't know of any. In fact, good old Clorox Bleach, especially in heavier concentrations, kills all living cells. It doesn't discriminate. When I was a young man and working for University of Maryland Hospital, one of the projects we were researching was trying to find a new antibiotic that would be effective on TB. We would pipette live TB into Petri dishes, then add tiny tabs coated with various, new antibiotics to see which ones killed this very virulent strain of TB. We wore full body, disposable coveralls, full face mask, gloves, booties, etc... - that virus was really nasty.

Our pipets were precision, glass tubes that accurately measured microscopic amounts of the virus in solution. They cost a bundle, and normally, they were washed, then steam sterilized. About half of them usually ended up broken just from the sterilization process. I made the big mistake of adding a capfull of Clorox Bleach to the washer, which was less than an ounce. The pipet washer ran all night long, probably a couple hundred gallons of water went through them, then then next day they were steam sterilized and dried for use.

We thought we had discovered the miracle antibiotic - one that killed the TB instantly. Each day, when we pipetted the TB into the petri dishes it died - instantly. After a week, we got a new shipment of pipets in the lab, went to work, and damned if the TB didn't grow just like it always did. It didn't take long to narrow down the reason the virus died. It was the residual chlorine in the pipets.

Now, if anyone out there knows of any form of bacteria that is resistant to chlorine, please feel free to post the information. I, for one, would really like to know about it.

Cheers,

Gary
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post #18 of 89 Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Drinking water tank water.

I don't think anyone is debating the effectivness of chlorine.
It kills everything, including us.

We have three rules;
No screaming.
No bleeding on the sails.
No slobbering on the charts.
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post #19 of 89 Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Drinking water tank water.

Gary,
When I said there were several "bugs" resistant to chlorine I was referring to protozoa and viruses, not bacteria. Particularly giardia, cryptosporidium, entomoeba, and the likes. They are highly chlorine tolerant but also nearly non-existant in municipal water supplies.

Significantly greater threat from surface water sources, even swimming pools.

Dog Ship- a quick Pub Med search shows 79 deaths related to drinking water in the US from 1971-2004. Not perfect but not bad for a population of 200-300M imho.

Any system aboard that is required to maintain life should have redundancy if you are going offshore. Again, only my own opinion. More than one pump, more than one fire extinguisher, more than a single flare, more than one can of beans, 8-) point is I take more than one water source. I carry bottled water as well when off shore.

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post #20 of 89 Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Drinking water tank water.

We do carry some bottled water, and will drink that if we're drinking a glass with a meal, for example, but we use our tank water for coffee, tea and other hot beverages as well as washing up, of course.

We use a Brita faucet filter, and everything we drink goes through that. Since the filter is selectable, we don't waste filter life on wash water and water not intended for consumption.

There's no filter in the head so we use tank water directly for brushing teeth with no ill effect to date...
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