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Old 24-08-2012, 07:59   #1
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Water System Sanitation

I've searched on C/F but haven't found any post that directly relate to keeping the fresh water on boats clean. I did find on the Pacific Puddle Jump Yahoo Group

http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/0Ho3UAx...r%20System.txt

an interesting discussion there that addresses my concerns.

My question to the C/F is: How do you maintain your fresh water system? Do you scrub the interior of your tanks periodically? Do you add chlorine? Do you know any cruisers who have gotten sick and suspect their water system was the source of their illness?

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Old 24-08-2012, 08:14   #2
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Re: Water System Sanitation

We opened the tanks a couple of times, most recently about 3 months ago for a good cleanup. Water, dishwashing liquid, rags and chlorine. Several rinses to avoid drinking any of those later. Second time in 6 years but using some chemicals from Katadyn in the intervening period. There was some dirt inside but none of our passengers ever had a problem.
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:32   #3
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Re: Water System Sanitation

We add liquid bleach each time we fill up our water tanks. It doesn't take much (we use about 1/2 oz. to 20 gallons) and you can't even smell it in the water. We do use a home-style water filter right at the cold-water tap in the galley for drinking water (plastic bottled water takes too much space and makes too much waste, in my opinion. You can recycle in some places in the US, but most of the islands just end up burning them...be careful where you anchor on "burn day!").Anytime that we haven't added chlorine bleach to the tanks, we ended up with problems. Use only good old-fashioned bleach without any additives like scents, softeners etc... I think Ultra Clorox is fine too, but it does have a higher chlorine content...so use a little less. Hope this helps.
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:35   #4
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Re: Water System Sanitation

hot water "rotten egg" odor
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Old 24-08-2012, 10:01   #5
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Re: Water System Sanitation

On most boats I never felt the need to clean the tanks. One boat had sat for 3 years so I chlorined and flushed the tanks out (just by refilling and draining). In the third world I would usually use a little bleach when I filled. I know people that got sick in mexico.... mostly just low grade "tourista", but one got really sick from an ameoba. Once the intitial cleaning is done after purchasing a boat, I just let it be.... the tanks get used up pretty fast... so the water is usually pretty fresh anyway.
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Old 24-08-2012, 10:46   #6
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Re: Water System Sanitation

This link has some guidelines.

How to Disinfect Drinking Water - HealthLink BC File #49b
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Old 24-08-2012, 11:53   #7
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Re: Water System Sanitation

Try using the Google custom search and "Potable Water".
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Old 24-08-2012, 11:58   #8
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Re: Water System Sanitation

We have a countertop Berkey water filter that we will use when we cruise for drinking water. It's the filtration system the UN and red cross use worldwide and it's simple, simple.
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Old 24-08-2012, 12:48   #9
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Re: Water System Sanitation

Never had a problem with the boat's water. Added chlorine to water obtained from local sources outside the US but don't do anything with the water obtained from my community water supply here. Use a standard household charcoal filter to get rid of the chlorine and any other tastes that may creep in. To me it's a NON ISSUE.
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Old 24-08-2012, 12:52   #10
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Re: Water System Sanitation

I am fine with the tap water we are using. In other locales we have used small amounts of bleach or Gin.
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Old 24-08-2012, 15:15   #11
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Re: Water System Sanitation

I got pretty bad gum injection last year that I blame on a water tank, so I add chlorine to mine. I test for free chlorine level in my tanks (I'm a water treater and don't really bring my test gear and just use the color and a guess for level), you an get a chlorine tester at a hardware store or pool supply place.

I have a carbon filter at the gallery sink to remove the chlorine for drinking, but for the most part don't notice chlorine normally.
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Old 27-08-2012, 10:52   #12
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Re: Water System Sanitation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReMetau View Post
In other locales we have used small amounts of bleach or Gin.
Gin!?! You would have to mix it to about 5% alcohol before it would have a significant ability to kill bacteria. So if you carry 50 gallons of water, you would need to mix in 2.5 gallons of gin. Would make for a very mellow passage, I would think, but awfully expensive. Particularly when you consider that a teaspoon of bleach is enough for 5 gallons of water.
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Old 27-08-2012, 11:07   #13
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Re: Water System Sanitation

I remember reading somewhere that chlorine can be bad for stainless steel tanks, the article suggested using the sterilization products used by home beer brewers for cleaning the system.
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Old 27-08-2012, 11:33   #14
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Re: Water System Sanitation

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I remember reading somewhere that chlorine can be bad for stainless steel tanks, the article suggested using the sterilization products used by home beer brewers for cleaning the system.

That's true about the chlorine and SS. But if you added enough bleach to the tank for it to become a corrosion issue you would long ago stopped drinking it!

Now if you have aluminum tanks this is a different issue.
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