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Old 18-04-2013, 20:05   #1
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Drinking Water

We plan on doing some sail on the great lakes. How do you get fresh water for showers and washing on the lakes? I don't plan on drinking the water but if I have to I guess I will. Any way gan I just buy a inline filter and pump water through them then add cholrine tabs to my tank? Run it though a RO? Any Ideas? I want to be able to stay out as long as I can stand just to do it.
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Old 18-04-2013, 20:23   #2
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Where on the Great Lakes? I'm familiar with he Canadian side of L. Superior, the Apostles, the North Channel and the noth end of Georgian Bay.
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Old 18-04-2013, 20:42   #3
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Re: Drinking water

For washing or showers just use straight out of the lake (at least if Lake Superior) or a simple filter. For drinking water a good micro filter like:
Products - Katadyn Products Inc.
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Old 18-04-2013, 21:22   #4
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Re: Drinking water

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Originally Posted by Dreamsailoring View Post
We plan on doing some sail on the great lakes. How do you get fresh water for showers and washing on the lakes? I don't plan on drinking the water but if I have to I guess I will. Any way gan I just buy a inline filter and pump water through them then add cholrine tabs to my tank? Run it though a RO? Any Ideas? I want to be able to stay out as long as I can stand just to do it.

I typeset a medical book on microbiology, and I have to tell you -- you can't completely sterilize a water tank. And, they can be filthy. How well do you know the history of the boat? Do you know for sure that the water was never let to go stagnant?

But I can top that. Someone "helped" me by cleaning out my fuel tank. To do that he had to disconnect the hose from the scuppers and to the water tank.

Unfortunately, when reconnecting, he got them switched. The scuppers now drained into my water tank. I knew something was up when I found a thin film of (gag) KITTY LITTER on the side of the tank -- sometimes the kitty litter was up in the cockpit. You can imagine what else went in there -- bird poop tracked into the netted enclosure, etc.

I would NEVER drink water from that tank. In fact, I would not drink from any water tank. They can't be sterilized completely, no matter how much bleach you put in them. As Michael Crichton said, "Life finds a way."

Keep your tank as clean as you can, and then purify smaller amounts a little at a time. That's my opinion and it's a firm one.

This book I typset covered dental instruments. You can soak them in bleach, and then alcohol, and then autoclave them, and STILL culture germs off them. No kidding.

I'm not a medical expert but this is what the medical experts said in the book. The book was published by Mosby, a well respected medical publisher.
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Old 18-04-2013, 22:12   #5
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Re: Drinking water

Water does not need to be "sterilized completely" to be safe to drink, but does need to be free of significant concentrations of pathogenes. This can be done by various means, but microfiltering is maybe the easiest.
I have used water filters for drinking water on many backpacking, canoe, and rafting trips (sometimes many weeks at a time) using water from rivers, lakes, ponds, and some fairly foul looking desert seeps and have never had an issue.
Check this document for good background on drinking water purification issues: http://www.katadyn.com/fileadmin/use...r_Guide_EN.pdf
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Old 18-04-2013, 22:26   #6
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Re: Drinking water

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I would NEVER drink water from that tank. In fact, I would not drink from any water tank. They can't be sterilized completely, no matter how much bleach you put in them. As Michael Crichton said, "Life finds a way."
.
How you protect yourself from the spray? Think about all the germs in those drops just trying to find a way on your face
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:14   #7
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Re: Drinking water

Think for a moment, if you fit a water filter in line then all subsequent water must pass through the impurities collected in the filter body. Personally we check our water before our tanks which are interior polished (bright annealed, mirror finish)stainless steel and all pipework is food grade. We simply add a tablespoon of Bi-Carbonate of soda disolved in a little warm water per 200 gallons when filling. We've never had any problems at all. We live in a world of 'normal' germs and our bodies adapt naturally to regional variations and builds up it's own resistance. If you become too sterile your body loses that resistance and is more susceptable to any sickness.
There is a county in England called Yorkshire and a local saying is that 'Never worry, tha'll eat a peck of muck before thee die lad' they also a have a saying that 'If tha does owt for nowt, do it for thisen' and that makes even a Scotsman seem generous !
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:15   #8
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Re: Drinking water

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Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
Water does not need to be "sterilized completely" to be safe to drink, but does need to be free of significant concentrations of pathogenes. This can be done by various means, but microfiltering is maybe the easiest.
I have used water filters for drinking water on many backpacking, canoe, and rafting trips (sometimes many weeks at a time) using water from rivers, lakes, ponds, and some fairly foul looking desert seeps and have never had an issue.
Check this document for good background on drinking water purification issues: http://www.katadyn.com/fileadmin/use...r_Guide_EN.pdf
You're right. It doesn't have to be sterilized 100%. Good thing, can't be done, but you have to be sure you've gotten things like listeria, which can make you quite sick. You're prudent to be looking into that.

And don't ever -- EVER -- drink from my water tank.

Oh yeah -- the guy who did this to me denied it, said he couldn't possibly have made such a mistake. So I went to the store, bought some red food dye, and poured some red water down a scupper.

The water in the tank turned red. Tale told.
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:16   #9
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Re: Drinking water

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How you protect yourself from the spray? Think about all the germs in those drops just trying to find a way on your face

What spray? You mean from sailing? Water on my skin isn't going to give me listeria.

DRINKING water with listeria in it -- bad plan.
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:19   #10
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Re: Drinking water

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Originally Posted by Irish rambler View Post
Think for a moment, if you fit a water filter in line then all subsequent water must pass through the impurities collected in the filter body. Personally we check our water before our tanks which are interior polished (bright annealed, mirror finish)stainless steel and all pipework is food grade. We simply add a tablespoon of Bi-Carbonate of soda disolved in a little warm water per 200 gallons when filling. We've never had any problems at all. We live in a world of 'normal' germs and our bodies adapt naturally to regional variations and builds up it's own resistance. If you become too sterile your body loses that resistance and is more susceptable to any sickness.
There is a county in England called Yorkshire and a local saying is that 'Never worry, tha'll eat a peck of muck before thee die lad' they also a have a saying that 'If tha does owt for nowt, do it for thisen' and that makes even a Scotsman seem generous !

I agree with you. I never advocated a perfectly sterile environment. In fact, I said the opposite -- it can't be done.

I believe that hypercleanliness can interfere with the strength of your immune system.

But at the same time, I'm not going to drink water with cat litter and bird poop in it. Just not gonna, period.

I understand it's stainless steel. I'm just saying it can't be completely sterilized. Leave that water in there long enough, and it WILL get nasty and stagnant. All you can do is the best you can do, and I'm urging that. Intestinal ailments and a cruise with a finite head? NOT a good combination.
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:45   #11
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Re: Drinking water

aren't the great lakes (like most others in the states) full of pesticides and fertilizers?
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Old 19-04-2013, 00:01   #12
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Re: Drinking water

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aren't the great lakes (like most others in the states) full of pesticides and fertilizers?
There's a world of difference between Lake Erie (near the OP and I wouldn't feel comfortable drinking it) and Superior which I'd have no problem drinking w/ the most basic of filtration.

There's even a huge difference between lower Lake Michigan around Chicago vs. the upper part of Lake Michigan (which again I'd feel comfortable drinking w/ basic filtration).
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Old 19-04-2013, 07:09   #13
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Re: Drinking water

So a good filter is what I will get. The tank is new and is plastic. I plan on bring drinking water I just conserned if I ran out or something happened .
I will be on Lake erie most of the time but hopefully sail around to other areas. See what happens.
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Old 19-04-2013, 07:21   #14
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Re: Drinking water

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So a good filter is what I will get. The tank is new and is plastic. I plan on bring drinking water I just conserned if I ran out or something happened .
I will be on Lake erie most of the time but hopefully sail around to other areas. See what happens.
Well, you're on the right track -- on the important things, have a plan B.

But ... just because the tank is new, doesn't make it clean. it would be no great joy to have a serious intestinal ailment out on the middle of Lake Superior!

My daughter did a three-week backpack/hiking trip into the Sierras when she was in HS. It was highly organized by very experienced people. They sanitized all water, even from mountain streams: bears, beavers, all animals -- poop. They've been found in the most pristine mountain streams, water flowing straight from melted glaciers -- but over stream beds that had been previously contaminated by some stupid bear who forgot to wipe! Don't believe those TV commercials! (grin)

Just have a plan, and ... you do.
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Old 19-04-2013, 07:37   #15
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Re: Drinking water

I would never bother to put those sterilizing tablets in the water, makes everything taste like a swimming pool.

I clean my tanks once a year. Just wipe them out, no chemicals, just a mild vinegar solution. I have opaque pipework, black tanks and a charcoal filter. Not much grows in the dark. I always drink the tank water; accepted there is the odd bottle of soda water in the fridge, as I like the bubbles.

I'll carry on until I go down with some lurgy that can be directly attributed to the water supply. If you are too pure, your immune system will never build up any resistance.

The only place on an Atlantic Circuit the mains water was truly undrinkable was Ft. Lauderdale. Flavoured with soap and had a green tinge, probably makes you glow in the dark.
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