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SailAway
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I don't know that I would use all the water in my storage tank so looking for a way to keep the green stuff from growing. Would these work?

1. Throw in a couple of silver dollars? I read somewhere that silver is a natural disinfectant so wondered if this might work.

2. Throw in a shot or two of vodka. In a 10 gallon tank a few shots of vodka won't have any noticeable effect on taste but is it enough alcohol to kill the buggies?
 

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Yes, silver ions do have anti-bacteria properties...but the best way to keep the water fresh in the tank is to keep it moving... it only really goes bad if it sits there and stagnates. If you pump a couple of gallons into the sink each time you're at the boat, if you're not actively using the water tank..and add fresh water... its letting it sit for weeks on end that leads to the system getting really nasty.

Shock treat the system in the spring as Peggie Hall describes it..and then go from there.
 

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ASA and PSIA Instructor
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Add a couple of tablespoons of bleach into your tank each time you fill it, that will keep growth out of the tank. You can't really drink what's in the tank anyway, use bottled water for drinking.
 

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Don't do this if you have an aluminum tank... it's a disaster if you have an aluminum tank....
Add a couple of tablespoons of bleach into your tank each time you fill it, that will keep growth out of the tank. You can't really drink what's in the tank anyway, use bottled water for drinking.
 

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If your tanks are white plastic that lets light in, paint them with something dark - light causes stuff to grow. No light - no grow.

We had a huge farm tank on our property years ago and it gather rain water from the roof of the dwelling. It was completely enclosed and pitch dark inside. The water stayed fresh and crystal clear even when no "new" water went in for several months.
 

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If your tanks are white plastic that lets light in, paint them with something dark - light causes stuff to grow. No light - no grow.

I've also found keeping the water in the dark is a big help. Many brands of water hose are made of clear plastic -- which of course lets lots of light in, which is probably why much of the problem occurs in the transmission tubing vs the tanks (see the link SD's post above). Water systems that use semi-rigid plastic tube (vs flexible hose) have an advantage of keeping the light out. Where you have to use the clear, flexible hose try wrapping it in black electrical tape to block the light.
 

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Use a set of filters very close to the output. 20 microns, active carbon and 5 micron filters in series will keep all the growth in and supply fresh water.
 

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Why wouldn't you drink water out of the tank? With some bleach each time you fill it is perfectly fine.Bottled water should be banned,what about all that plastic in the landfills.
 

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Are there any special recommendations if a marine hot water heater is involved.
 

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Add a couple of tablespoons of bleach into your tank each time you fill it, that will keep growth out of the tank. You can't really drink what's in the tank anyway, use bottled water for drinking.
I'm going through a bunch of effort to make sure I can drink the water out of my tanks. And my kids will drink out of them too. (I'm using the method that Sailingdog linked to yesterday.) Do you know something else about drinking from tanks?
 

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If you're planning on drinking the water from the tanks, I highly recommend treating it with a Brita type water pitcher... it usually makes the water quite drinkable.

I'm going through a bunch of effort to make sure I can drink the water out of my tanks. And my kids will drink out of them too. (I'm using the method that Sailingdog linked to yesterday.) Do you know something else about drinking from tanks?
 

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We have used the water out of our tanks since we first started sailing in 1994 using the bleach method with no problems at all.
 

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We have used the water out of our tanks since we first started sailing in 1994 using the bleach method with no problems at all.
Yes, commercial airlines still use the system that Peggie Hall describes today and have use it for years, albeit a more aggressive solution. When applied on a time/phase basis, I've never heard of or experienced any premature failures to acft. tank, line, fitting or seals in the water systems.

In between 'shock' treatments, some cruisers use a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide, of the 3 - 5% variety, to keep the unwanteds at bay while not subjecting their water system components to the corrosive effects of chlorine. One cruiser told me he used 4 to 6 oz. of H P to every 50 gals., depending on his confidence in the quality of the water supply, to no ill effects to health or his water system... just another avenue. :)
 

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Peggie is a pro.

Sterling silver, nice idea, but coin silver may have other metals in it and not be such a good idea. ideally you want ionic silver or something on a similar level, but anything you add (silver, bleach, peroxide, iodine) may react to your plumbing or tank, metals and plastics all have to be considered.

Besides "shock and clean" you might want to reconsider and use the main water tank for non-potable water, and then either install a smaller tank that you can more easily keep fresh, or switch to water jugs for drinking water. Or a largish "day tank" that is more easily filled with potable water.

Size, capacity, duration, time effort and money...all to be balanced.
 

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Drinking from silver canteens (civil war era) or silver cups, or use silverware rather than flatware to eat your meals, does not cause argyria, or silver poisoning. Ingesting excessive amounts of silver, can do both. The "blue man" is a classic case of why folks who mess around making their own ionic silver solutions and imbibing them heavily should think twice about the value of everything they read on the internet.

FWIW I've had a piece of sterling in my Brita pitcher at home for 3 years now. Very very subtle change in the flavor, no noticable change in the sterling, but it seems to prevent "that black crud" from growing in the pitcher as often.
 

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...FWIW I've had a piece of sterling in my Brita pitcher at home for 3 years now. Very very subtle change in the flavor, no noticable change in the sterling, but it seems to prevent "that black crud" from growing in the pitcher as often.

Shouldn't need a piece of sterling in your Brita pitcher... if you change the filter out every month, like you're supposed to, the ionic silver in the filter should keep the crud away just fine by itself.
 

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Why wouldn't you drink water out of the tank? With some bleach each time you fill it is perfectly fine.Bottled water should be banned,what about all that plastic in the landfills.
I can't agree more.

We only ever drink water from our tanks. If you can't drink from your tanks then you can't do an ocean crossing unless you're going to sacrifice all your locker storage for water bottles. Remember they're on your boat whether they're full or empty. At least I hope they are ;) .

IMHO its an absolute myth that water is out to kill you. In Africa zillions of people drink water from rivers that carry animal effluent, fertiliser, insecticides and God knows what else and guess what? They are multiplying in their millions. They're not dying like flies. At least not from bad water. And in the places were they are dying because of water, it's not because of bad water, it's because of no water.

Water has to be really bad before it does you any real harm. When we were in the Marquesas two years ago we were told by everybody, including the locals to NOT drink the water. Well the locals did. The only reason they warned us off was because the change makes for an unhappy tummy. But if you stayed there and drank the water it would be only a short time before you get acclimatised to it and will not get sick.

So drink from you tanks, it'll make you stronger, not weaker.
 
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