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Old 13-08-2008, 13:02   #1
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Superstition or....

Alright I normally do not listen to this kind of information but a dock mate who is older than wood saw me adding some bleach to my fresh water tanks, he said he would never do that anymore since he found out about the magical properties of silver - all he did was drop two silver dollars into his water tank and thats it forever... we both have stainless steel tanks. Has anyone heard of this? Does it work? Does anyone do this? Thanks
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Old 13-08-2008, 13:17   #2
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Does it work?
I would bet they would stay in there but at a loss to say they could do absolutely anything. Any true sailor knows the silver dollar goes under the mast step not in the tank.

As far as adding Chlorine goes if you are using city water to fill the tank then you don't under normal conditions need any added or a silver dollar (why two is beyond me). What it is useful for is cleaning the lines. Generally enough so you can smell it and let is stand in the lines for no more than 24 hours then flush it all out with ordinary water.

Using added chlorine as a means of water treatment isn't very effective. It's added to municipal drinking water after it has been purified and not as part of the purification. It will inhibit algae growth but algae only grows in sunlight (it is green). It is not sufficient to kill most harmful bacteria in any concentration you might care to drink nor will it purify any water not already fit to drink. When left standing in a water tank the chlorine evaporates over a period of a few days. Added chlorine may not kill you but I doubt it will help to any significant degree. I'm sure the silver dollars will do even less since you really don't know where they have been.
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Old 13-08-2008, 13:39   #3
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In fact the idea of adding chlorine to water supplies was first suggested by US Army Major Carl Darnall in 1910. He was working on ways to prevent US troops from getting ill while in the field, and one of the major sources of illness was the drinking water. As further work was done, it was found that the most effective way of killing the micro-organisms which cause disease was by chlorination.
Chlorine Chemistry

Chlorine is a very reactive element found in the seventh group of the periodic table. It has seven electrons in its outer shell, which means it will readily react wit anything which will donate an electron. Chlorine is very abundant on Earth, mainly in the form of sodium chloride (salt). To produce chlorine from a solution of sodium chloride, an electrical current is passed through it, producing chlorine gas and leaving behind a solution of sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda.
Hypochlorous Acid

Chlorine is added to drinking water supplies either as the gas itself, or as sodium hypochlorite (bleach) or calcium hypochlorite solid. In all three cases the result is a solution containing hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which, depending on the pH of the environment, will dissociate to form H+ and OCl- ions. This chemical has a good ability to attack pathogens (agents that cause disease) because they penetrate their protective membrane.
Important Functions

Chlorine performs two important functions when added to drinking water. First it kills the bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms in the water, so that it is safe to drink. Second it remains at a residual level in the water so that any potentially harmful organisms that may enter the water during transport, storage and distribution will also be removed.
from Chlorine For Water Treatment: Why is Such a Dangerous Chemical Added to Water?

I wish they would have added how heavy a concentration is needed to kill those nasties.
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Old 13-08-2008, 14:13   #4
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Originally Posted by West Coast Cat View Post
Alright I normally do not listen to this kind of information but a dock mate who is older than wood saw me adding some bleach to my fresh water tanks, he said he would never do that anymore since he found out about the magical properties of silver - all he did was drop two silver dollars into his water tank and thats it forever... we both have stainless steel tanks. Has anyone heard of this? Does it work? Does anyone do this? Thanks
NO, it doesn't!
Perhaps the claim of "magical properties" might be a clue as to how seriously we should take these claims.


Chlorine is a disinfectant, added to drinking water to reduce or eliminate microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, which can be present in water supplies.

Chlorine is added as part of the drinking water treatment process. However, chlorine also reacts with the organic matter, naturally present in water, such as decaying leaves.

This chemical reaction forms a group of chemicals known as disinfection by-products. The most common of these by-products are trihalomethanes (THMs), which include chloroform. The amount of THMs found in drinking water depends on a number of things, including the season and the source of the water. For example, THM levels are generally lower in winter than in summer, because the amount of natural organic matter is lower and less chlorine is needed to disinfect at colder temperatures. THM levels are also low when wells or large lakes are the drinking water source, and higher when rivers or other surface waters are the source, because they generally contain more organic matter.

Current scientific data shows that the benefits of chlorinating our drinking water (less disease) are much greater than any health risks from THMs and other by-products. Although other disinfectants are available, chlorine remains the choice of water treatment experts. When used with modern water filtration methods, chlorine is effective against virtually all microorganisms.

Researchers have studied the long-term effects of using chlorinated tap water, and many have found a link between chlorinated water, and an increased risk of cancer, particularly cancer of the bladder.
Public Health agencies have guidelines about water chlorination, that help ensure people receive as much benefit as possible from clean drinking water, while reducing the health risks to the lowest possible level.

The risk of cancer from water chlorination is moderate when compared to the many health benefits of clean drinking water. Activated carbon filters can be used to remove chlorine, and its by-products.
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Old 13-08-2008, 14:46   #5
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There are a number of things using silver in them that have proven to reduce infection rates. Dresssings, foley catheters for two.

Silver has been used as an antimicrobial for centuries. This is evident in ancient writings by Hippocrates (300 B.C.), who discussed the use of silver in wound care. Silver has long been utilized in wound care dressings and is becoming an industry standard for its antimicrobial activity. Silver-coated Foley catheters have been on the market for almost 10 years but are not the standard of care within any of the health care markets.
Studies have demonstrated that biofilm development on urethral catheters can be reduced in vitro when silver is added to the catheter construction (Ahearn et al., 2000). Research has been predominantly positive that a silver-coated catheter can reduce CAUTI in patients (Bologna et al., 1999; Gentry & Cope, 2005; Karchmer, Giannetta, Muto, Strain, & Farr, 2000; Lai & Fontecchio, 2002; Rupp et al., 2004, Seymour, 2006). Studies have focused on the acute care market more so than in nursing homes, long-term acute care, and rehabilitative hospitals.

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Wow! I don't know why it can't be gooten to from here but it can be fom the entry in the google search????????

use of silver in dressings and foley catheter microorganisms - Google Search

Medscape - second item.

Fleck says silver is broad spectrum, killing both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including resistant forms of MRSA and VRE, fungus, viruses, and yeast. “It is more universally effective than antibiotics and more broadly effective than chlorine,” she adds. She says silver is effective because it attacks the cell wall, membrane transport, RNA function, DNA synthesis, and protein function all at once.

Antimicrobials : Providing a False Sense of Security?

Dunno if it works in a tank full of dollars though.
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Old 13-08-2008, 14:57   #6
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I have found that by adding a small amount of unsented chlorine to our water tanks when we refill allows the water to be stored without ill effect much longer. We follow the Red Cross's suggestions as to dosages about 2 oz per 100 gallons. Within short order any taste or smell is gone and our Seagull Water Filter eliminates any of that beforehand.

As for relying on Silver see: Meet a real-life ‘Blue Man’ - TODAY: People - Today.msnbc.com .

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
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Old 13-08-2008, 15:17   #7
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As a water treatment professional I can tell you that bleach/chlorine will disinfect the system. If you are just trying to provide a safe kill a level of 0.5-0.8 ppm free chlorine will be enough. If you need to do a bioligical cleanup kill you need to get up to 2-5 ppm free chlorine. You can get test strips at pool stores or hardware stores for this. The chlorine will "burn off" with time, but a standard carbon filter will remove for taste. Be aware that chlorine will attack stainless steel, but is unlikely to cause a problem as there needs to be a stress to the metal to cause a fracture.

As to silver, yes silver will provide a disinfection. But the level needed and the amount of surface contact the water would need is large. The silver dollars would do nothing.
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Old 13-08-2008, 15:37   #8
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Silver...

Here in Mexico, almost all food stores carry a solution that you add to the water to clean and disinfect any fruit and vegitable items before you eat them. It also has instruction on the side for the amount to be added to each 5 gallons of water to make it drinkable. Of the 2 or 3 types sold, the one that we use is called BacDyn. The main ingredent in it is colloidal silver.
Colloidal silver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We use a 2 filter and UV light to treat water before it goes into our tanks. BUT we are concerned about using any bleach as it WILL damage our water maker is any of it founds it's way into the pressure vessel. So, we have been adding the suggested amount of the BacDyn to our tanks in addition to the above treatment.

A cruising doctor in a close boat also uses it.

It's not silver dollars! But as was said, they are better used for under the mast once bad water has at you.

Greg
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Old 18-09-2008, 22:57   #9
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Another $0.02

Once upon a time I did some research on this subject. Chlorine is clearly the most used of the disinfectants. You can get free chlorine (the oxidizer that is the main bactericide) from a number of chemical sources. For most people, sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is the easiest to obtain and handle.

Silver is also a good bactericide but I'm getting blonder and blonder and I can't remember the best concentration for common bacterial problems. But, it is silver ion that works and the chemistry of dissolution of silver dollars isn't going to generate enough silver ions to do much. Colloidal silver is metallic silver in small particles. It will have some inhibitory effects but I'd be pretty suspicious.

There are some other oxidizers that will work pretty well. Bromine is pretty good and I've used it backpacking, in my deep dark past. Hydrogen peroxide will work too. The nice thing about hydrogen peroxide is that the final products are water and oxygen. But I don't know what the H2O2 might do to stainless. Probably not good for it but probably not as bad as chlorine. And ozone, that is probably the biocide of choice if you can generate it and bubble it into your tanks.

Maybe I'll have to look into ozone generators for general sailing use. They should work to keep smells down in the cabin when your boat is stored, not when you are actually onboard. But it goes away pretty fast.

Bill
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Old 19-09-2008, 04:40   #10
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Once upon a time I did some research on this subject. Chlorine is clearly the most used of the disinfectants.
It is not alone suitable for properly treating water that might be contaminated. It it is used in the water treatment process but it does not kill many parasites that can be found in drinking water in concentrations you would care to drink. Bacteria are only one form of problem. Parasites are as dangerous and as much a health risk as any thing you might find. Parasites are quite large even if still too small to see. They can actually be filtered where bacteria can not.

RO water makers actually will filter anything you can call living from water as aqueous salts are almost at the molecular level. It does however require the proper maintenance of the membrane and testing.

It certainly is a good additive to water that is already safe.
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Old 19-09-2008, 07:09   #11
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Look into adding a Seagull IV filter for drinking and cooking water only. (generalecology.com).

Pricey, but they filter out everything that can harm you.
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