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Old 08-17-2014, 10:04 AM   #21
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Andy, if your marina water is city water it is treating your system for you. Most municipal water systems are chlorinated and if you keep filling that frequently from a treated water source bacteria should never be an issue.

A more remote marina will likely be supplied with untreated well water. Not all well water is created equally due to a host of circumstances beyond your control. Couple that with reduced fill frequency and some boat tanks can become real science projects.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:00 AM   #22
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1950's/60's while growing up on boats I learned a strong shot of bleach in water tank at every other fill up is good to keep things in order. To this day I add bleach every other fill up. In 77 gallon tank-age I pour in about a cup o' bleach. Water looks sparkling clean with slight bleach smell; never have I "flushed-out" boat water tanks/system. Being that we do not live aboard... we bring ample drinking water aboard but do rinse food and brush teeth using tank water. Simple is as simple does!

PS: From taste while brushing teeth and clarity in a glass I feel drinking tank water would be OK. Good carbon filter on one tap should surely make even the slightest contamination a non-plus.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:21 PM   #23
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Chlorine within the system if maintained at 2 to 10 parts per million (which would be .2 -1 mg/l) will effectively eliminate most pathogens. Chlorine when exposed to air will gas out fairly quickly, thus using a hose to fill the tanks will deplete some of the Chlorine supplied with the municipal water. Rolling around in the tank will deplete some more. A swimming pool test strip will not even register such low amounts. Hach Company has a small test kit available. Remember that the household bleach is only about 6-7% chlorine if you do the math on the 2-10 ppm.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:34 PM   #24
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New municipal water tanks and main lines are chlorinated similarly to the prior posts to a point of 50 parts per million and held for 24 hours then flushed (or 50 mg/L.).
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:36 PM   #25
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what I plan to do...
Spray down the walls and baffles with bleach (full strength)
Waste of good bleach. There is a point at which a higher concentration of bleach adds NO additional ability to kill mold/bugs/whatever. That point comes at about a 5:1 solution of regular clorox. That is, 5 parts water to 1 part clorox. Mix it stronger than that and you are just wasting clorox.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:38 PM   #26
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Greetings,
Mr. d. 5:1-got it, thanks.
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:33 PM   #27
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Be careful if aluminum tanks - can cause aluminum hydroxide and aluminum chloride:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=410459
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:21 PM   #28
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To "shock treat" a new tank 50 parts of bleach to 1,000,000 parts of water. Then completely flush. For maintaining a Chlorine residual 2 parts bleach to 1,000,000 gals of water. Remember that what you think is a gallon of bleach is really only 5-7 % Hypo-chlorite solution. You can purchase a simple test kit from Hach that will allow you to maintain that 2ppm. That is lower than most swimming pool kits will go. Note, I am not associated with Hach but do use a lot of their test equipment in the water industry.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:40 PM   #29
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"To "shock treat" a new tank 50 parts of bleach to 1,000,000 parts of water."
Did you mean 50 parts of chlorine to a 1,000,000 parts of water?

Fifty gallons of 7% Clorox in a million gallons of water really doesn't sound like much.

Puriclean is another option for cleaning tanks and it won't hurt aluminum tanks.

Link: http://www.cleantabs.co.uk/puriclean.htm

Puriclean

Cleans and purifies all stored water systems in Boats Caravans Motor Homes Coaches
  • Unique dual purpose formula which both cleans and sterilises in one easy action
  • Cleans the complete water system: tank, pipes, pumps, taps
  • Eradicates bacteria, viruses, biofilm, algae and fungi
  • For maximum results, simply soak and flush
  • Powerful action without harming the components in the water system
  • Proven in use world-wide for 3 decades
Puriclean is easy to use, it is simply added to the water system and left to soak for 1 to 12 hours then rinsed. Periodic use will ensure a clean healthy system for water storage
When filling the tank, treat the water with Aqua Clean Tabs or Aqua Mega Tabs
Sizes
  • 100g Cleans tanks up to 90 litres
  • 400g Cleans tanks up to 270 litres
  • 4 kg Cleans tanks up to 2500 litres
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:31 AM   #30
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No, what was stated was 50 parts of chlorine to one million parts of water. Not 50 parts of Clorox. Clorox's active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite usually between 5-8% . In other words what we call bleach is not entirely chlorine. Chlorine is a fairly dangerous substance therefore you will not find it in a liquid state in any solution over 12% in the U.S. and that is an industrial strength commercial N.S.F. approved grade bleach. Most large water systems inject a chlorine gas into the drinking water with the very deadly gas located in a side building away from the plant operations and with alarms and remote shut downs associated within the chlorine building. Even then they will place a open bottle of ammonia near the door. As those substance come in contact a white cloud of smoke will provide a visible indicator of a leaking chlorine cylinder.
So, doing the math to get one gallon of active chlorine out of what is marketed as clorox it will take about 14 gallons at 7% solution. So if you had a million gallon water tank it would take 14 X 50 = 700 gallons to make a 50ppm chlorine / water treatment.

Both the 50 ppm shock type treatment and the 2 ppm maintenance are provided in the Rules for Safe Drinking Water.
As with most things in life there are good and bad aspects of anything we do. I would not suggest the shock type treatment very often, it is usually not necessary except with a new tank. Chlorine is corrosive and may lead to an increase in lead or copper in the drinking water especially if you have an older boat that may have bronze, brass, or lead in the fixtures or plumbing.
Given a 3 hour contact time between the small amount of chlorine added to a tank for maintenance and the water coming out if there is a residual (after contact) chlorine present even just a trace amount then there are no bad bacteria in the water.
I will research the "Puriclean" product. I have not heard of it used in commercial water treatment facilities.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:45 AM   #31
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HopCar:
That did not take long. The "Puriclean" product you mentioned has an active ingredient of sodium DiChloride the solid form of chlorine like used in swimming pools. It is National Safety Foundation approved for use in water systems. So both clorox and puriclean both use chlorine as the disinfecting agent. The puriclean product appears to do the shock type treatment requiring the rinse and flush. I do not think it maintains a residual.
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:11 AM   #32
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"No, what was stated was 50 parts of chlorine to one million parts of water. Not 50 parts of Clorox."
That's what I figured but I couldn't get my head around the math last night!


The same folks who make Puriclean also make tablets to add to water tanks if your not sure of the water purity. They are called Aqua Clean Tabs.
They don't make the water any safer than household bleach but they claim it's safe for aluminum tanks and figuring the dosage is easier. The cost is more than bleach but the tablets are easier to store.

http://www.cleantabs.co.uk/aquacleantabs.htm
Treating Stored Water


Aqua Clean Tabs and Aqua Mega Tabs are specifically formulated for maximum microbiological control in stored water, and will keep the water fresh. The water tank and system or container and filling hose should be periodically cleaned and purified with Puriclean
  • Aqua Clean Tabs: 1 tablet purifies 25 lts (5 gals) water
  • Aqua Mega Tabs: 1 tablet purifies 225 lts (50 gals) water
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:45 AM   #33
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I can see where they (Puriclean) tablets would make things easier, greater shelf life and certainly the dosage math. I do the math all the time and it does not get any easier. Usually have to figure the diameter of a new municipal line x distance installed and eventually get to the volume then the 50ppm dosage, etc...I have memorized the .785 x diameter squared x 7.5 equation. The new thing now is that you have to Un-Chlorinate prior to flushing into a waterway, the trick there is to pass it through a sock filled with Vitamin C tablets. Asorbic acid immediately removes the Chlorine.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:51 AM   #34
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Here is something I learned about boat water. Seagull filters they remove microbes and Chlorine. So with one of these filters at the galley sink I can give my whole system a heavy shot of chlorine when needed and still have potable water. It may be necessary to wait awhile to take a shower. Using this method I rarely have to do a major shock treatment. I developed this method because the water sources where I cruise are not always reliable. So if I have to take on questionable water the chlorine goes in with it and the filter sees to our potable water.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:00 PM   #35
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Boy - This is interesting, informational boat-water stuff. Thanks!

I simply add about 1/2 cup Clorox to each tank every third to fourth tank refill. Total gallons is 77 - in two tanks. I figure after three refills the amount of previous Clorox residual is minimal. I also keep close olfactory review of Clorox odor out of tap. If it becomes too pronounced then I simply let the refills amount to 5 or 6 between adding any more Clorox.

Also, we bring drinking/cooking water and other refreshments aboard for our jaunts. We never drink out of or cook in boat's freshwater. We do wash/rinse dishes in it. I use it to rinse after brushing teeth... gives me another way to keep tabs on boat's water. It always looks crystal clear in a glass.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:24 PM   #36
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I think I did the math correctly, but with 7% bleach solution out of the bottle, about 10 oz will treat 200 gals up to 2PPM.

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Old 12-07-2014, 02:40 PM   #37
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At 2ppm it takes roughly 28 gallons of clorox to treat 1,000,000 gallons of water. 200 gallons of water is .0002 million. .0002 x 28 = .0056 gallons. There are 128 oz. per gallon so it is less than one oz of clorox to treat 200 gallons.
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:04 PM   #38
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tank water

I never drink the tank water. My daughter got real sick one time, some sort of bacteria.

I use a Seagull filter. You can put dirty water from a puddle thru this filter and still drink it. It's a little pricey, about $400. The filters last 2 seasons and cost $60. You can't put the pink stuff thru it, you have to remove it when you winterize.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:49 PM   #39
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I just read up on the Seagull filter system is does look impressive in filtration capabilities. It lists the really large bacteria and pathogens such as Giardia and Cryptospordia as being effectively removed. Personally, I would rather kill the little fellows rather than catch them. Most water born viruses and most of the other bacteria found in water are smaller than the .4 micron that filter system is capable of catching. What is somewhat interesting in the filtration processes for water is that particles and pathogens have a tendency to gather together based upon there positive/negative charges which helps to make the filtration more effective. Most water plants that I have been associated with will often add an ionic polymer that assists in the process this floculation process creates the binding of those bacteria and particles prior to filtration = larger particles more effective with whatever type filter is being used. Temperature and Ph also effect the entire process. The plants still use a process of either ultraviolet light and/or chlorination to actually kill the pathogens sometimes both are used in the total process. It is desired to maintain a chlorine residual to treat anything that may occur in the distribution side of the the system. Bacteria and viruses often are in a size range of 0.01- 1.0 micron. So yes, the Seagull filter will remove most by not all. A combination of filtration and chlorination has been and will probably always be the standard in the water industry.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:37 PM   #40
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Hello all, I have been told to add a small amount of bleach when filling the water tanks to help keep the bugs at bay. Anyone know the right amount per gallon which is safe. We don't drink our tank water, but want to keep it at a safe level just in case someone does. Thanks Gary
There is a much better and safer way to preserve the freshness of water than with household chlorine which affects smell and taste of water, and is short lives as it evaporates. The other way is to use, already mentioned in this thread, stabilized chlorine aka chlorine dioxide. It is safe for drinking and for any and all installations. Small amount keeps the water fresh and potable for up to 5 years. I never had any problem with my fresh water and water tank since I disinfected the tank and started using PUROGENE just after we've got our boat four years ago.

I just add more water to the tank with a prescribed amount of PUROGEN as needed ... no slime, no aftertaste, just fresh water and clean tank at all times. Chlorine dioxide is used for decades by food industry, air lines, cruise lines, etc. It is sold under a few different brands by various outlets.

I prefer the liquid (PUROGENE) over the tablets (AQUA CLEAN) as it gives me a way to mix and add any amount of water to the tank.

PUROGENE
https://readymaderesources.com/produ...free-shipping/

AQUA CLEAN TABLETS
http://www.hopkins-carter.com/aqcltamflpso.html

Hope this helps ...
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