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Old 02-12-2017, 07:49   #1
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Watermakers and Harbors

I've been reading a book abut a cruising couple, and in the book they state that if you are going to be anchoring or mooring in harbors or mooring fields, a watermaker would be a waste of money. They stated that you couldn't make drinkable water out of most harbor waters in the carribbean, citing sewage.. oil spills, garbage, etc as a reason for not using it. I had never really thought of this, and it certainly makes sense. But, is it true? and, if so.. how can you tell if water is safe to make drinking water from? I was under the assumption that a watermaker filters out not only salt, but other contaminants. If it doesn't do that.. then how would you ever know if your water was safe to drink? Isn't it feasible that you could anchor somewhere, even just a nice small mooring field.. and because of recent use by other boaters, there could be something that taints the water in that area?

I'm just wondering... what are the general safety rules when it comes to making water to drink?
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:52   #2
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

following...
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:14   #3
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

The RO watermakers filter out all the contaminants you need to worry about, but the membranes are adversely affected by oil in the water and the filters will fill up with other junk in dirty harbors. Normally, the boat will have sufficient tankage to spend a week or more in harbor, and all you have to do is go out a couple of miles and run the watermaker in clean ocean water.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:29   #4
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

While I tried to make all the water I needed prior to harbor, long stays required making water in harbor. I had no issues. Even in pretty bad harbors. Fortunately oil lays on top of the water and my inlet was a well down.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:55   #5
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

A UV filter of your product water prior to entering FW tank will take care of anything that gets past the RO membrane.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:07   #6
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

No problem, watermaker water can be made in harbors. The only issue in a dirty harbor will be plugging up the pre filter more rapidly, just change it when this happens, the membrane will be fine.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:59   #7
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Watermakers and Harbors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightsky View Post
A UV filter of your product water prior to entering FW tank will take care of anything that gets past the RO membrane.


I don’t think anything gets by, including a virus, which is tough to believe cause I think a virus is the smallest life form there is?
As stated hydrocarbons is the issue, not so much for you, but for the membranes.
http://www.purewaterproducts.com/art...does-ro-remove

I think smallest virus is .004 microns where an RO membrane is .001 microns
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:51   #8
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

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I don’t think anything gets by, including a virus, which is tough to believe cause I think a virus is the smallest life form there is?
As stated hydrocarbons is the issue, not so much for you, but for the membranes.
What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove? –Â*Pure Water Products, LLC

I think smallest virus is .004 microns where an RO membrane is .001 microns
Salt is to virus like bicycle is to school bus. Or something like that...
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Old 02-12-2017, 13:43   #9
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

made me think of an article I was reading awhile back about dirty water in Rio. At least one expert says viruses live in saltwater. Not as much for bacteria.

Rio pumps huge amounts of raw sewage directly into the ocean (or at least they used to). I'd have to be near dying of thirst to drink any water from the sea near Rio no matter what the RO it pressed through was rated at.

"bacteria tend to break down in salt water, so there's a lower risk of bacterial infections, Muñiz Crim said.
In contrast, "Viral organisms can persist in the salt water and the sand for days, weeks and months," Muñiz Crim told Live Science."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/7-infec...2016-olympics/


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Salt is to virus like bicycle is to school bus. Or something like that...
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Old 02-12-2017, 13:51   #10
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I don’t think anything gets by, including a virus, which is tough to believe cause I think a virus is the smallest life form there is?
As stated hydrocarbons is the issue, not so much for you, but for the membranes.
What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove? –Â*Pure Water Products, LLC

I think smallest virus is .004 microns where an RO membrane is .001 microns
Hydrocarbons float and the intake for the watermaker should be under the boat, well away from the surface and any hydrocarbons.
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Old 02-12-2017, 14:02   #11
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

Large continuously running watermakers on ships have an oil separator on the intake water. I never make water while at a marina. I see too many times where the diesel rainbow sheen is floating by. Making water in a busy anchorage is fine. Just use a little common sense.
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Old 02-12-2017, 15:04   #12
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

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Hydrocarbons float and the intake for the watermaker should be under the boat, well away from the surface and any hydrocarbons.


They do, however I believe sometimes they can be emulsified, steam cleaner is one way, Dawn dishwashing liquid another.
I believe “dispersants” that are sprayed on spills may not be much more than detergent.
I believe your right, I plan on making water in anchorages, just be watchful I guess.
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Old 02-12-2017, 15:48   #13
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

I am new to the water making game and required some help last year while in Rodney bay marina in St Lucia where I spoke to the local spectra rep a very helpful man . the long and short was the machine will always make clean water but the filters will clog up quickly in dirtier water . AS an example he suggested that in Rodney bay marina they would only last half an hour
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Old 02-12-2017, 16:40   #14
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

Oil is heavy, so when detergent is put on oil it sinks to the bottom. I've been drinking ship and boat made water, off and on, for my whole life and I'm 69 and still healthy. I've had my water tested several times and never had a bad test. I only use water I've made because many coastal water supplies have salt and other contaminates along with poor taste.
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Old 02-12-2017, 18:15   #15
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Re: Watermakers and Harbors

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
They do, however I believe sometimes they can be emulsified, steam cleaner is one way, Dawn dishwashing liquid another.
I believe “dispersants” that are sprayed on spills may not be much more than detergent.
I believe your right, I plan on making water in anchorages, just be watchful I guess.
We’ve been making water in anchorages for six years, six months per year without a single problem; just keep the intake strainer clear of grass and change the prefilters when necessary. We clean our Spectra prefilters 2-3 times and reuse them.
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