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Old 30-03-2010, 15:11   #1
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Thirty-Year-Old Plastic Water Tank

Could there be any danger from drinking from a 30 year old plastic water tank?
I have a 50 gallon tank on my boat. I heard a while back that plastic can get in the water. I'd rather not have my stomach turn into a Pacific Gyre...
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Old 30-03-2010, 15:21   #2
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The "garbage patch"(as big as Texas) is a myth but you're in luck with the tank. Unless it has some nasty stuff growing in it there shouldn't be any problem. Generally if the water you put in it is from a safe source and after it's been in the tank a short while tastes ok it's probably just fine...........m
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Old 16-04-2010, 02:11   #3
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Anyone else? I'm getting thirsty!
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Old 16-04-2010, 05:58   #4
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What does it currently taste like? If your not sure and don't want to try then can you see inside it? perhaps dropping in a torch (with string attached) to light it up.

Good dose of bleach and several flushes through if its not too bad. We do our 20 year old GRP tanks once or twice a year with bleach. Also we don't filter the water coming out. Personal view, but if something goes wrong because the tea tastes 'orrible, then I want to know straight away not after we haveing been using it for a while and a filter has taken the warning signs away.

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Old 16-04-2010, 07:26   #5
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30 years is a long time - start with a visual inspection of the inside. If you see goop, the cleaning is more difficult.
Take a look at this prior discussion for options.
What to Use to Clean Water Tanks ?

Also, if you have an accumulator or the lines themselves are contaminated, the job gets even larger.
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Old 16-04-2010, 07:35   #6
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I've used quaternary ammonium chloride (the same stuff they clean industrial kitchens with) to good effect in my water system. It leaves a slight lingering metallic taste to the water after two rinses but it goes away very fast and kills pretty much everything. I like it a bit better than bleach as its supposedly nicer to your plastics and such.

All epoxies have Bisphenol-A though, so any fiberglass water storage is putting endocrine-disruptors into your system (BPA is the substance that was recently banned in Canada for water bottle/storage use and has been linked to a lot of nasty stuff in people). Of course, I still keep my water in epoxy tanks - the alternatives are pretty damned expensive to retrofit.
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Old 09-05-2010, 17:14   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantxsailor View Post
The "garbage patch"(as big as Texas) is a myth but you're in luck with the tank. Unless it has some nasty stuff growing in it there shouldn't be any problem. Generally if the water you put in it is from a safe source and after it's been in the tank a short while tastes ok it's probably just fine...........m
As for 30 year old tanks, I have the same problem, two of them. At the moment I am unable to even get to them to check them out but I am wondering about breakdown of the material or leeching of chemicals into the drinking water. I am seriously thinking about having stainless tanks made up to replace the ones I have.

Sorry to cause thread drift but where did you get the idea that the pacific gyre is a myth? Just curious.




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Old 09-05-2010, 17:46   #8
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I have two 75 gallon plastic tanks that are 38 years old. I have given them a bleach rinse and flush a couple of times during my 25 years of ownership and I do rotate their contents at least once a month. I've had no taste issues, though that's not an evaluation of chemical contamination. I am not presently concerned. Aythya crew
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Old 09-05-2010, 17:49   #9
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I just carry drinking water in bottles.. use the tank water for other stuff. or when it's being boiled in things. Gad.. a sailboat can certainly hold a few cases of poland spring! (my fav)
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Old 09-05-2010, 18:46   #10
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I have the same problem, and my water tastes like pure plastic; I can almost feel the cancer every sip. Unsafe plastic is a real concern, and I doubt they thought of the dangers 30 years ago. I'm pretty sure MEC has taken some Nalgene bottles off their shelves because of the dangers of bisphenol.

Of course there will be the doubters, but when my water tastes like plastic I'm a believer!!
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Old 11-05-2010, 18:47   #11
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I wouldn't drink out of 30 year old plastic anything. I am with Freerider...

Quote:
All epoxies have Bisphenol-A though, so any fiberglass water storage is putting endocrine-disruptors into your system (BPA is the substance that was recently banned in Canada for water bottle/storage use and has been linked to a lot of nasty stuff in people). Of course, I still keep my water in epoxy tanks - the alternatives are pretty damned expensive to retrofit.
svalethiea - My husband had a "drifting off to sleep" idea last night that we could take too of our storage areas under our settees and turn them into built in water tanks with 'food grade' epoxy that he said he saw on the internet...seemed a bit of an oxymoron to me...anyone ever heard of 'food grade' epoxy?
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Old 14-05-2010, 23:46   #12
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Yes food grade epoxy does exist. Its used a lot for repairs in the food industry and to make tanks with. However, the recent discovery of Bisphenol A leaching from most plastics may mean that even food grade epoxy will leach it. I was at one point thinking of using about 150 2 liter coke bottles to store water, but after reading about the BPA I decided not to bother.

The problem is, just about everything we touch nowadays will kill you. Plastic tanks leach BPA, aluminum tanks give you alzheimers, and about the only way to go is super expensive. Stainless costs a fortune.

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Old 15-05-2010, 03:00   #13
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We dump a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide in each tank on every fill as our regular maintenance routine. It keeps everything nice and fresh, no algae, flavourless water every time.
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Old 13-06-2010, 11:30   #14
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Posts about the Bisphenol A diluting from the plastic to the water is absolutely true but I would like to point out few things here.

Bisphenol is an Endocrine Disrupting Chemical (EDC) but out there there is tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands and who knows maybe millions of other EDCs that people are exposed to in different quantities. It is everywhere, some studies have found significant quantities from for example certain canned foods and you can find them from make-ups, deodorants, hair sprays, you name it! Basically every product where there is industrial chemicals or something artificial. Anyway, as this is quite a new field of science it is still a matter of furious debate and the exposures in different areas, from different products etc. are poorly understood. Also, it is not really well understood what EDCs and what quantities effect us as we haven't even managed to ID all of them and most of the observations have been done on other animals which may be more sensitive to them. Then we get to my other point.

Exposure of Bisphenol A has been found to effect children but I am not sure if there is any studies out there which shows about the effect on mature humans.

So, in conclusion I am not sure if there is at present a clear answer for this so it is a matter of your choose if you wish to use the tank. Neither can't we know what is the exposure quantity from your water tank in relation to to the other EDCs your are exposed to. So, I would say that don't drink if you really like to take care of your health in every aspect but drink it if you give a toss and the water tastes OK.
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Old 13-06-2010, 11:34   #15
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I'm drinking out of 22 year old tanks. No filtering or anything. Water tastes just fine.
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