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Old 29-03-2016, 12:54   #16
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Re: Great Lakes as fresh water supply?

I live and sail mostly the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Say Kingston to Sackets Harbor NY. Occasionally Oswego. while I do not drink the water even out in middle of lake, I would not be afraid of it in a pinch as someone else said, we swallow gallons of it when horsing around when the wind is not behaving. No grey water tank needed. As someone else said, you will regularly be in marinas for fuel or whatever so take on your drinking water then. More importantly, make sure your black water discharge is sealed officially. If you are boarded, it will certainly cause you a problem and fine if not sealed. Not sure how you are coming to our wonderful water (Erie Canal or St Lawrence R) however upstate NY is just passing a law where there will be no discharge even in the St Lawrence. So if coming up that way, get sealed by the time you are in Montreal. If coming up the Hudson to Erie canal, I suspect you would have to be sealed by NYC. You can see Ardbeg on AIS. Say hi if you are around me.
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Old 29-03-2016, 12:57   #17
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Re: Great Lakes as fresh water supply?

You should be aware that if you are spending much time in marinas and YCs, you will want to change your zincs from "zinc" to "magnesium", as fresh water requires a different anode metal.

As for cooling and washing, it's usually pretty good. You could RO filter, but it's not necessary in the middle of the lakes, particularly in the upper parts of Huron and Superior.
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Old 29-03-2016, 13:43   #18
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Re: Great Lakes as fresh water supply?

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Originally Posted by tdominic_97 View Post
I am sure the water is fine, its not like the Flint river dumps into Lake Huron or anything. Not that there is anything wrong with Flint water.
Signed,
Governor Rick Snyder
This comment reflects a poor understanding of the water issue in Flint, MI. The water from Flint river is just fine for drinking - municipal water utilities would chlorinate in case some microbes were lurking. The problem came because the Ph of the river water is acidic. Many Flint water pipes are made of lead. This is common in many urban water systems in the U.S. The lead oxidizes and doesn't leech into the water. Unless you pass acidic water thru it. The good folks who ran the city (Americans will know which political party runs most cities in the US) ignored the warnings of water dept staff and turned on the water without adding the simple treatment that would have raised the Ph to proper levels.

Signed, informed US citizen
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Old 29-03-2016, 13:48   #19
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Re: Great Lakes as fresh water supply?

BTW - most upper lakes water is fine to drink - away from shore. Closer to land there is agricultural runoff (think cow manure and fertilizer). Bird poo concentrates near shore. The water is warmer near shore. If you are squeamish use a filter. In many places there are frequent docks and marinas where potable water is readily available - right at the fuel and holding tank pump out stations. A properly equipped Great Lakes boat has sized tanks and fridges so the water runs out about the same time the holding tank is full and the beer runs out.

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Old 29-03-2016, 13:49   #20
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Re: Great Lakes as fresh water supply?

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Originally Posted by crazyoldboatguy View Post
This comment reflects a poor understanding of the water issue in Flint, MI. The water from Flint river is just fine for drinking - municipal water utilities would chlorinate in case some microbes were lurking. The problem came because the Ph of the river water is acidic. Many Flint water pipes are made of lead. This is common in many urban water systems in the U.S. The lead oxidizes and doesn't leech into the water. Unless you pass acidic water thru it. The good folks who ran the city (Americans will know which political party runs most cities in the US) ignored the warnings of water dept staff and turned on the water without adding the simple treatment that would have raised the Ph to proper levels.

Signed, informed US citizen
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Old 29-03-2016, 14:05   #21
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Re: Great Lakes as fresh water supply?

Now that I'm no longer peeing in Lake Ontario (for the moment), you will find the water here excellent. For swimming, doing dishes, scrubbing the boat, cooling your engine, all excellent.

When I sailed Georgian bay (Lake Huron) we drank the water from right over the side...just scooped up a bucket...and it was the most delicious water I ever had. I believe the same is true of Superior. You likely could drink the water in the lower lakes, but I would not recommend it. However, water is usually free and readily available at every dock...so its easy to keep the tanks full and fresh.

I know you will enjoy your cruise of the Great Lakes, you are in for a treat.

PS. Bring bug nets for all your windows and hatches.
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Old 29-03-2016, 15:56   #22
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Re: Great Lakes as fresh water supply?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyoldboatguy View Post
This comment reflects a poor understanding of the water issue in Flint, MI. The water from Flint river is just fine for drinking - municipal water utilities would chlorinate in case some microbes were lurking. The problem came because the Ph of the river water is acidic. Many Flint water pipes are made of lead. This is common in many urban water systems in the U.S. The lead oxidizes and doesn't leech into the water. Unless you pass acidic water thru it. The good folks who ran the city (Americans will know which political party runs most cities in the US) ignored the warnings of water dept staff and turned on the water without adding the simple treatment that would have raised the Ph to proper levels.



Signed, informed US citizen

I think post was a Michigan joke and or a political statement. Very sad for a lot of children.


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Old 29-03-2016, 18:27   #23
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Re: Great Lakes as fresh water supply?

Most marinas do not charge for water. We wash by bucket on deck, even in Lake Superior. You will want a bucket, possibly folding bucket, on a rope for washing the deck, your body, hair, clothes. On the days you run into the Great Lakes Ankle-biting flies, jump in, cool off and remove the sweat. They will leave you alone. Once you get above Lake St Claire, the open waters are all pretty clean. You might be wary in Green Bay and Southern Saginaw bay. Water flow at Chicago is out through the ship & sanitary canal so the waters off the city are crystal. Dive opportunities abound on wrecks all around the lakes.


Plan to have a really great time in the North Channel (Canada). Get the cruising guides to the North Channel and to the Great Lakes. Note the hospitality in places like Little Current where the city docks are free till nightfall so you can charge batteries, buy groceries, do a restaurant, Laundry, hot showers. Many superb anchorages. Note that almost every Michigan harbor has a craft brew pub nearby. I highly recommend you test them all. Grand Marais - Lake Superior Brewing - excellent. Three in Marquette, more in Houghton & Hancock. In Houghton, free indeffinite tie up at the city wall by the parking deck and at both ends of the Keweenaw canal. Many places are no-charge tie-up.
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