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Old 15-10-2016, 18:20   #1
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Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

Anyone have any insight for pumping fresh water from creeks or rivers for showers, washing, cooking, deck cleaning etc...?
Looking to avoid water maker expense and don't want to have to go to marinas either.
Any advice greatly appreciated.

Maybe a pump like the one below with 20-30' hose and 6-10' elevation gain?

Wayne 12 Volt Self-Priming Transfer Water Pump 340 GPH, 3/4in. Port, Model# PC1 | 12 Volt Pumps| Northern Tool + Equipment

Please refer to another thread if this topic already exists. I couldn't find one.
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Old 15-10-2016, 19:44   #2
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

Showers, washing, deck cleaning, probably. Cooking? Not so much.
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Old 15-10-2016, 19:44   #3
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

Kjbrahman I don't have a watermaker and rely on creeks and streams at times for my supply.

What country are you sailing.

In Australia it is getting more difficult to access free water in some towns, and ignorant clowns with water makers love swimming, washing and abluteing in what have historically been the boatmans watering points in wilderness areas.

That being said , gravity , the syphon and multiple garden hoses are your friend. Hard work lugging containers can not always be avoided.

Simple prefilters involving milk crates and T-shirts work great in keeping weed etc out.
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Old 15-10-2016, 20:20   #4
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

Thanks for the feedback. Haven't started cruising yet but will be around the SAN Juan and Gulf Islands of British Columbia. My thought was to either use 12v pump and battery on board dinghy to pump into portable 20 gallon bag then pump to onboard tank on boat. If the water depth and situation was right I might consider anchoring nearby and using gravity feed with 100' garden hose or similar. This would only be necessary on occasion when extended cruise away from civilization and water sources. I'm also considering the composting toilet so that pump outs would become non existent. I really like the idea of being self sufficient and off grid as much as possible. We will also have a small generator onboard so a 120v submersible pump is not out of the question either and might be better to move water faster and longer distances.
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Old 15-10-2016, 20:25   #5
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

Wayne 1/6 HP Submersible Utility Pump TSC160 at The Home Depot - Mobile

Something like this with a Honda 2000 generator.
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Old 15-10-2016, 20:33   #6
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

Yes, sounds good. We have also collected water with the dingy under waterfalls. Usually a late season method when the volume falling is lower. Takes a bit of effort with the oars to keep position as the downdraughts created by the falling water can be strong. We set up buckets in the available space and while one rows the rest bail the dingy like all heck to remain afloat. Provides hours of clean entertainment.

Late in the season when the water starts to get a lot of green algae in it , a few drops of bleach in the full washing bucket renders perfectly clear water by the next day, by scooping off the top 90% of water leaving the dead algae soup behind.

Contrary to what many may think the human body is designed to drink water collected from places other than a PERRIER sparkling water bottling plant. With a little prior investigation we have never had a problem with sickness.

Shock horror we have also lived for years back country drinking roof caught rainwater, complete with wrigglers and birds that actually fly over our roof
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Old 15-10-2016, 20:41   #7
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

Collecting water for cooking or drinking is tricky... any human activity or even wildlife 'upstream' puts you at risk of getting Giardia aka 'beaver fever' which is 'not nice'.

We only take shore water where it is coming straight off the ice.
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Old 15-10-2016, 20:49   #8
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

I don't know anything about water quality in bc, but in Colorado wildlife carry giardia. They carry t h e bacteria in their feces which contaminates the water. Aside from that, there are a number of other viruses and bacteria carried in pristine fres waters. The point being; filter any water you colllect. Even if it looks perfectly crystal clean. I got sick once. That is a memory I wish I did not have.
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Old 15-10-2016, 21:15   #9
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

My intentions were to only cook with the water if boiling. It is my understanding that once boiled all giardia, etc... would be killed. We would only use this water for drinking if purified with either a gravity filtration system or steri pen. Since most fresh water use on the boat is for non consumption this resource seems viable since. A smaller tank for consumption would be carried and filled at marinas when available. The larger fresh tank for showers, dishes, toilet, washdown, etc... could be filled when needed from nearby freshwater sources such as creeks and streams that have enough elevation drop to prevent brackish water. I haven't been cruising yet so maybe this is an on issue. Just seems to me that the tank size in most boats I'll be able to afford would work fine for a few days or maybe a weekend but would need to be filled if off grid for more than that leading to this desire.

Thanks for all the suggestions and input. Looks like it might just work. I'll try it out before totally relying on this method.
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Old 15-10-2016, 21:22   #10
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

Someplace like this
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Old 15-10-2016, 21:31   #11
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

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Someplace like this
Just because water looks clear and beautiful does not mean it isn't seriously contaminated with bacteria or viruses.
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Old 15-10-2016, 21:57   #12
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

I've filled up with stream water a fair few times. And once from a big ice pond in antarctica, lovely water, but when I cleaned out the tanks I found a few penguin feathers...

Commonly we fill up from the pristine streams in Port Davey, Tasmania, the water is lovely for a few months but after that it starts to sour no doubt from the lack of any chlorine. If you do fill up a water tank it is nice to be able to clean it properly every so often, and run a superclorinated mix through it occasionally to clean it well.

I usually fill up a jerry can or two when I go ashore to use for solar showers and washing when in remote areas.

As kids we only had a motley collection of 1 and 2 litre water bottles and old jerry cans aboard, no fixed tanks. Our job was to dam up small streams and refill them while cruising. Then afterwards we would bath in the dammed pond and do our laundry, and collect firewood for the woodstove.

I also keep a jerry can or two of 'drinking' water that I know is safe to drink unboiled. Giardia doesnt sound like fun!
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Old 15-10-2016, 22:41   #13
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

Boiling water kills the bacteria and viruses but does not eradicate the toxins they have already produced AFAIK.

I was my dishes in river water, rinse in fresh, but I chuck in a little squirt of bleach into the suspect water.

As for drinking and cooking, filling up at a fuel dock isn't expensive anywere I've been, however I do restrict use by using spray bottles.
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Old 15-10-2016, 22:43   #14
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

Use an electric pump and several household filters. Just use proper micron size and use a carbon filter to finish up.

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Old 16-10-2016, 09:16   #15
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Re: Fresh water supply from creeks or rivers for showers/cooking?

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Originally Posted by Kjbraman View Post
Since most fresh water use on the boat is for non consumption this resource seems viable since. A smaller tank for consumption would be carried and filled at marinas when available. The larger fresh tank for showers, dishes, toilet,
I sail on Lake Ontario. On my previous boats, I drank only bottled (4 litre jugs mostly, re-used many times) water, and used the fresh water tanks for washing. Washing (people and dishes) takes a lot more water than we actually drink. My last boat had a leaky tank, so I drank bottled water (as usual), and used a bucket from over the side for everything else. Of course I sail in fresh water, clean enough to drink, so its not a fair example. However, it did make me realize how much plumbing, tanks, pumps, etc were not needed.

I also replaced most of the electrical system with...a few flashlights.

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