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Old 27-12-2015, 02:31   #1
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Free water at the pumpout station?

Have any California boaters been told they cannot top off water at the fuel dock/pumpout station?

We have a cruise out (raft up) coming up early next year. One of our tanks is down, we will need to top off after a few days (I need my hot water shower in 40f weather).

A friend, who organizes a weekend anchor out group once a month, but who isn't a very seasoned sailor, said he believes that water hose was only for washing off your boat after pumping out, not for refilling tanks. And said I probably shouldn't refill there (which would mean sailing over 5+ miles away or paying $45 for a guest slip, no thanks buddy).

Is he right? I think he is wrong, but I would like to know for sure before I tick off the marina w/the pumpout station.

Up in the Delta there was no charge, however there's tons more anchoring up there.

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Old 27-12-2015, 05:28   #2
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

i would not stick that nasty hose down my tank..i would use my own. btdt in san diego.
the hose at the pumpout station is , by some folks of dirty origins, no manners and fancy boats, stuck down into the holding tank for their washing out of that tank. i would not place those germs into my tank for drinking, cherise. i would definitely use my own hose, as i was instructed when i first tried this stunt.
have fun. water is free, still. make the best of it. with your own hose please/
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Old 27-12-2015, 09:26   #3
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

Oh gross, you are right Zee!!!! I never thought of that. Oh my, that is disgusting. We used our own in the delta or a valet came out with his own, thank goodness.

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Old 27-12-2015, 09:32   #4
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

Zee makes a good but seldom thought of point. I would never use any hose other than my own. You have no idea where a dock hose has been or what it was used for before you show up to use it to fill your tanks.


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Old 28-12-2015, 09:26   #5
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

Also most dock hoses are not of drinking quality, usually basic garden hose which leave a nasty taste. I often, when time permits, screw on an rv filter. It does double the filling time but well worth the cleanliness. Always always your own hose!!! Have fun...
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Old 28-12-2015, 09:35   #6
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
i would not stick that nasty hose down my tank..i would use my own. btdt in san diego.
the hose at the pumpout station is , by some folks of dirty origins, no manners and fancy boats, stuck down into the holding tank for their washing out of that tank...
... and, fwiw, for my potable water hose, I had a 5 Ft extension (black), for exclusive use in rinsing my holding tank.
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Old 28-12-2015, 09:41   #7
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

Our marina's pump-out has two hoses, one for flushing the black water tank and one for topping off fresh water. Definitely do NOT want to get them mixed up! They are two different colors, but unless you've been told you would not know.

Good idea on bringing your own hose. I don't drink from my tanks at this time, but may in the future after a good wash-out and hose replacement. (I do wash in it though, so still don't want to mix them up!)
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Old 28-12-2015, 10:09   #8
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

I use my own hose, the white RV kind that is for drinking water. Another trick I learned RVing is to roll the hose up and connect it to itself after you drain it so nothing can get inside of it.
Because I have an aluminum water tank, I filter all water through an activated charcoal filter that removes chlorine and does an excellent job for organic chemicals as well I think. I use the whole house filter you can get at any home improvement store, the kind with replaceable cartridges. If there is plenty of time, run the water through the filter slowly to allow the charcoal to do its job.


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Old 28-12-2015, 10:41   #9
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

I agree with Zee about your own hose. As a marina owner I have a back flow preventer / check valve at the pump out station as customers flush and rinse their holding tanks.. If the marina doesn't have one I wouldn't even chance using my own hose.
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Old 28-12-2015, 12:06   #10
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

We had pulled up to the pumpout dock at Marina Jacks in Sarasota to pump out after staying there and our waste and forward water tank we needed to pumpout and fill the water tank. On the pumpout machine there was a water spigot labeled Non-potable water for the fact that it was part of the machine and the dock attendant explained that it was simply labeled that because of the proximity. He also explained that it was city water and not reclaimed. It did have a backflow preventer and I supplied the hose and filled my forward tank. and everything was ok.
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Old 28-12-2015, 12:09   #11
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

I would question the cleanliness of the spigot but, if you run a little water... I would think if you were trying to get water from a place that pumps gas and crap... I would question the exposed spigot.
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Old 28-12-2015, 12:25   #12
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huey2 View Post
I agree with Zee about your own hose. As a marina owner I have a back flow preventer / check valve at the pump out station as customers flush and rinse their holding tanks.. If the marina doesn't have one I wouldn't even chance using my own hose.
IF they don't have a back-flow preventer I would call the health department.

This is a yes/no kind of issue that presents wide-area hazards. The slips aren't any safer.

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Assuming they do, it comes down to whether there is a line behind you. If not, stretch your white hose to a nearby slip. Easy.
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Old 28-12-2015, 12:44   #13
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

the permanently ingrained pic in my brain of the sailboat owner in san diego using the dock hose immediately after the huge power boat stuffed it waaaay down into the waste tankage just makes me shudder each and every time i read the title of this thread.
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Old 28-12-2015, 12:47   #14
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

When I owned a pumpout service, a customer told me that his previous service had pumped out his water tank once. I hate to think what might have backwashed down into the tank.
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Old 28-12-2015, 13:09   #15
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Re: Free water at the pumpout station?

Unless you are talking about a municipally owned and regulated facility with "RULES" to govern them...


Every fuel dock makes their own rules. If they say no water and a limit of five gallons of fuel per customer, that's that. If they say their water is NOT POTABLE, and they do not sell it for drinking, that's that. If they just say they aren't in the water business, hey, you know.


Now, if they bought a franchise in a municipal marina, they may be required to do some things, and you can always check on that too.


I've been to fuel docks in the off season when they were closed four or five days a week. No way to pump fuel, but the water hose was just sitting there, on the "honor system" pay what you please through the mail slot. Of course, that was garden hose not FDA-approved water hose, so sometimes...you just don't know.
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