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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Provisioning
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  #21  
Old 08-10-2007
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The one thing I've noticed about RO water makers, is that sometimes the smaller units are far more expensive in energy required than the bigger units.

As for thin plastic bottles chafing through, if the bottles can't move, they can't chafe... coming up with a way to store them that is solid and rigid enough so they don't move would probably help protect them from wearing through.
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  #22  
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Some thoughts on water from a de-clutched mind.

The majority of water consumed in the US is well water. Chances are your municipal water is well water. Municipalities treat their water with chlorine and flouride, both known carcinogens. Excesses of both are undesirable.

Bottled water is just what it says it is, water in a bottle. There are no nubile blond maidens, standing beneath a mountainwaterfall with a muslin cloth filter collecting this water. In fact, most of it comes from municipal water sources. The testing done on bottled water varies greatly, with much of it being untested. Some studies have found levels of arsenic in som bottled water exceeding those standards for tap water. Buy only from a reputable source, better yet, bottle your own.

Water is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. As such, it doesn't "taste" to good. Minerals, particularly lime, add the flavor to desirable drinking water. Flat water, that is non-aerified water, does not taste well either. That is why well water will taste better than municipal water. It interacts with air in the well and contains small amounts of it. Municipal water, in storage, loses air and so, tastes flat. That's why you have aeraters on your sink faucets!

Water for uses other than direct drinking is better the more pure it is. Distilled water, or RO water, will make a superior cup of coffee. Most houses send un-softened water to the kitchen sink (if you have a softner). Try using softened water, from the bathroom sink or tub, for your coffee water and see the difference. You'll think you just upgraded your brand of coffee.

Pure water is the universal solvent. RO water approaches 99% pure. The closer you start to pure water, the easier the RO's job is. Softened water will have the majority of the minerals removed from it and so the RO will not have to deal with them. Longevity of the RO's membranes is gained. If you are using an RO, or producing pure water-which distilled is not, you should be carefull how you plumb your system. Use only plastic tyubing designed for the RO job as well as plastic fixtures. Pure water will eat away copper and all other metals, leaching them in to the water.

Water in tanks. Circulation, if possible, is a great aid. Bacteria does not like to form in mioving water. In static water it can grow prolificly. Chlorine or ozone are the only practical treatments for keeping tankage sanitary, unless usage and replenishment are high. A minimum amount of chlorine should be used, it can be removed with a charcoal filter. The best way to minimize the amount of chlorine is to adjust the pH of the water. The chemistry is not involved. Most drinking water has minerals in it, if you can fill with softened water-do it, and those minerals make the water alkaline. Alkalinity inhibits the oxidation performed by chlorine, and it's the oxidation that kills the bacteria. (same as with an ozonater) If the water is slightly acidic, with a pH of 7 or a high 6, the chlorine is much more effective at sanitizing and less is needed. Bleach, or sodium hypochlorite, is the best sanitizer. Use of calcium hypochlorite, ie...swimming pool sanitizer, aggravates the alkalinity issue and so, does not produce as much "free chlorine". How do you adjust pH? Simple. Pick up some pH test strips from your swimming pool supplier-Walmart has 'em, too. If your water is alkaline, with a pH over 7.2, you can get it to slightly acidic by adding white vinegar. One gallon, per hundred gallons of water, will reduce the pH by about 1 point. Experiment and test with the strips. Once you are in the high sixes you'll find that you do not need very much bleech to keep your water clean and sweet.

Circulating your water, especially with contact to fresh air, will keep it fresh and sweet as well. Depending on power supply this may or may not be practicable.

Tankage can impart unpleasant odors to water. Plastic of certain types is most noticeable. I have no experience with fiberglas tank storage, I'd think it would be quite good. Steel, including stainless, with impart a tin like taste.

Regular thorough flush outs of tankage and piping systems will go a long way to keeping the water carried in them fresh and in the best possible condition. Remember that bacteria needs standing, or static, water to grow. Bacteria will grow through your lines. If you are washing up food, say chicken, and touch your faucet spigot with your hand, you are imparting bacteria to the water line. Left standing, it will grow back through the line to your tankage. Wiping down with a bleach soaked cloth will go a long way to minimizing this problem. It is recommended that sinks and such have an air gap on their drain so that there is no physical contact between waste water and the fresh water supply.

Chlorination followed by charcoal filtration produces a better tasting product than boiling. If good quality fresh water is available it is not at all a bad idea to pump out your tankage and refill with fresh. Circulation, more than anything, will keep your tank and it's water clean and fresh.
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  #23  
Old 08-10-2007
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One argument that has come up recently is that many of the minerals a body needs (like calcium) ordinarily are in tap water--and are removed from bottled water. I don't know if a multivitamin cures this, I onyl note there's an argument that "pure" water isn't what we were evolved to drink.

Wombat-
There's a great little gadget called a "Steripen" that takes 4xAA cells and runs a very bright UV-C light to sterilize water, sold mainly to campers. Take the "flashlight", stick the business end in a bottle, turn it on for 60 seconds, voila, you've got a pint of sterile water. That much UV-C at that range will break down ANY AND ALL DNA in the water, rendering it safe. $100US and goof for some 5000 pints of treatment, IIRC.
You can similarly, buy a larger UV-C light designed to be installed in your plumbing line and run from ships power, to sterilize your drinking water without chemicals. If you've got any good 60's black-light posters in the main cabin, they'll probably look good under it too.
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  #24  
Old 08-10-2007
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Steripen sounds interesting, thanks HS.

SD - may well be the case, re energency and small watermakers, i don't know. Have to check it out. Ref the plastic bottles it is the movement that's the problem but keeping those things isolated and apart is not easy.

Sway - I guess using bottled water when in an urban area is just another way of storing an extra supply in a handy sized container. Once out of urban areas I'd be just as inclined to refill the bottles from a tap, why not.
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Hello,
I am told that the minerals in the water are not absorbed by the body in any meaningful way. This makes a modicum of sense as there seems to be little demand for water with the levels of iron I see daily. (g) I see the converse much more frequently-people want to drink med-surg grade water.

Me? I drink what I pump out of the ground. If I am going to pump it through pipes I endeavor to remove the minerals from it so as to lessen the plugging of same.
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Old 08-11-2007
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I lived in the Bahamas for 8 years. The local bottled water company in Nassau used to hook up their trucks to the fire hydrants to gather their water, which was barged in from Andros. Hey, they put it in a bottle and it was water, I knew where my R/O water came from. Just food (or water) for thought.
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Tatoo,
Welcome!

Hehehehe. I am quite sure that is true. After all, the price was right!

Aruba, years ago, was having a drought and Exxon, I believe, has a large refinery there. They were, and do, refine home heating oil for NYC there. Instead of delivering the heating oil to NYC and returning to Aruba in ballast they hit upon the idea of discharging the oil, going out to sea to clean tanks, and returning to NY. They would proceed up the Hudson, until the water was no longer brackish, and ballast with fresh water which they sold in Aruba! Selling ballast is the ultimate in ship productivity. (g) New York state had a fit about it when they found out.
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Sailaway-
Yeah, NYS sure did have words to say about that.

Wombat-
A good way to protect glass bottles at sea is to slip them in old socks, the ones that have lost a mate or gotten "holy" work fine. If you are getting water in gallon jugs, I'd suspect you could drop each jug in an old t-shirt (neck hole down) and get similar chafe protection. Good enough way to store the "I can only use these for painting" t-shirts anyway.
If you carry Tyvek envelopes (Fedex, USPS, etc. large mailers) or pick up some sheets of Tyvek at a hardware store (sold as "home wrap") that also makes good chafe protection, very hard to wear through, nice and slick, and of course you can also send out overnight parcels with it.
Also makes a good gasket material to replace thin paper gaskets, quite handy to have a few on board.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
Some thoughts on water from a de-clutched mind.
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Nah, you're just losing your grip mate.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Sailaway-
Yeah, NYS sure did have words to say about that.

Wombat-
A good way to protect glass bottles at sea is to slip them in old socks, the ones that have lost a mate or gotten "holy" work fine. If you are getting water in gallon jugs, I'd suspect you could drop each jug in an old t-shirt (neck hole down) and get similar chafe protection. Good enough way to store the "I can only use these for painting" t-shirts anyway.
If you carry Tyvek envelopes (Fedex, USPS, etc. large mailers) or pick up some sheets of Tyvek at a hardware store (sold as "home wrap") that also makes good chafe protection, very hard to wear through, nice and slick, and of course you can also send out overnight parcels with it.
Also makes a good gasket material to replace thin paper gaskets, quite handy to have a few on board.
I've drunk some pretty vile concoctions in my time but I will not, repeat not, drink anything that has lived in one of my old socks.

Seriously, not a bad idea. We have used, with some success in the case of wine bottles, that waffley looking matting that you line cupboards with to prevent stuff sliding around. Don't have any here at home but I'll try and find out what it's called. There is also that stuff they use to wrap wine bottles in. It comes in a continuous tube and you cut off length to suit. Again, no idea what it is called but will look it up. Get back to you.
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