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Old 12-06-2014, 06:21 PM   #1
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Contaminated fresh water tanks

I the misfortune to have a a helper put about 6 ounces of stabil in my fresh water tank 150gal. Thank goodnes they realized the mistake before putting the full amount in. Any ideas on flushing it out.
So far I have over flowed my water tank for about 30-45 min. Now I'm draining my water by faucets. And I an on putting some bleach in when I refill the tanks. Anyone have any input on this
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:31 PM   #2
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Dilution is the best answer.just keep putting in 5-10% of volume empty and do again and again for several times. Check in a clear jar to see if the contaminant floats to top sinks or mixes with the water. If it sinks you might want to put a hose to suck out bottom of tank. If it floats to top maybe a oil sponge type of absorbent on top of tank if you have an inspection port. Then repeated overflow may be good hoping the floating stuff will go out the overflow drain. If miscible with water just the repeated dilution will do. A lot depends on how the stuff reacts (float-sink-mix )to water.
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:56 PM   #3
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I once read from a book about ships in world war 2 that one tablespoon of oil could contaminate 10,000 gallons of water. Hopefully it will flush out ok.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:02 PM   #4
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I once read from a book about ships in world war 2 that one tablespoon of oil could contaminate 10,000 gallons of water. Hopefully it will flush out ok.
If it was I, a couple of tablespoons of Dawn detergent and flush until it doesn't foam anymore. You might also need to add a carbon house filter, which is a good idea anyway.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:13 PM   #5
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:40 PM   #6
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Why using the plumbing/faucets to rinse when the contamination was isolated to the tank and fillup tube?

Too late now ... now, bleach bath first to dislodge any biosludge that could absorb the contaminants and rinse, then detergent bath, rinse, another detergent bath as needed and rinse, rinse, and repeat as needed. Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:58 PM   #7
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It is a VOC or Volatile Organic Chemical. All approaches listed above will help but I would add aeration as the best form of limiting the continuing potential of contamination. If you have an access hatch remove and once the tank has been flushed several times and emptied place a fan blowing in it. The nature of VOC's is that they have a very low boiling point and will vaporize fairly quickly. The problem arises on whether they will bind with your tank material. If it is a plastic or PVC tank you may have trouble.
The health risks associated with VOC's are multiple and usually develop over a long period of time. I would highly suggest that you contact one of your local water professionals and have a VOC test done prior to consuming any of the water and after you have flushed and aerated. Don't just ask for a water test - specify VOC. Your state EPD lab can do it but there are some guidelines in collecting the samples. Primarily in collecting the sample in an air tight container 50ml with a cap that will seal and NO AIR trapped in the sample. PM me if you have any questions about that.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:07 PM   #8
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Stabil is most likely made up of several different VOC's. You can easily find the EPD's MCL on each one listed on the label. MCL is Maximum Contaminant Level. Google VOC and MCL and you may find the info on the net. Once again if taking a sample be sure to do it with a meniscus forming on the sample container to insure no air in container.
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:30 PM   #9
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I agree with the multiple flushes with dawn and agree with the ventilation of the empty tank between flushes. If you don't have a tank clean-out you can positive ventilate your tank by blowing air down the fill line with one of those high volume air pumps like you use on water toys / inflatable boats some of the air will exit the overflow. I would not reverse a wet/dry vac as the air can be bad from the vacuum. Not the best but better than nothing.
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:42 PM   #10
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Great idea, I will remember that.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:04 PM   #11
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I looked up the MSDS on Stabil. It doesn't sound like 6 oz. in 150 gallons of water will kill you. Might make you wish you were dead.


"Ingestion: Toxicity is relatively low, there is a risk of aspiration of product into the lungs. On ingestion of large quantities, slight GI discomfort diarrhea, and headache may occur. Small doses may produce irritation and diarrhea."


Here is a link to the MSDS: http://www.americanamb.com/ops/1101M...Stabilizer.pdf
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:05 PM   #12
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It's hard to find good help! Just keep flushing and make the guy that did this test the water after each flush. Good Luck!
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:50 PM   #13
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Thanks to everyone, I have flushed and reflushed and bleached and rebleached and reflushed again, tomorrow comes dawn dish washing liquid. If this doesn't work, oh well, I've been wanting to lose a few pounds. See what happens.
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:22 PM   #14
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Dishwashing detergent? What about something without suds like luandry detergent instead. Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:41 PM   #15
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I would contact Stabil customer service. I would ask them for the protocol they recommend. A friend put several gallons of diesel in his water tanks. The first thing he did was disconnect his tank from the rest of the plumbing. He then drained the tank. Refilled and flushed many times. Then used a charcoal filter. All was good.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:25 AM   #16
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Not uncommon in my industrial experience to see an organic misdirected. Sodium carbonate or baking soda is a good organic neutralizer. Same for caustic soda or sodium hydroxide.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:50 AM   #17
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Once again, air stripping and/or aeration is the preferred method on water tanks. You would be using its own properties to dissipate the VOC's. In other words, they want to be part of the air-let them.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:22 AM   #18
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Some idiot (me) put a few quarts of diesel in one of my water tanks last summer. I tried all sorts of concoctions to flush the tanks with no success. After searching online for days I found a thread that gave me the answer. I mixed 2 gallons of bleach and one cup of dish detergent in my empty tank and filled it with water. Then I opened the tank and cleaned out the couple of gallons in the bottom of the tank. After rinsing I repeated the process and rinsed twice with clean water. Next water test was perfect.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:07 AM   #19
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Larmex99:

Just wondering what water test was performed and how it was collected.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
Larmex99:

Just wondering what water test was performed and how it was collected.
In Florida you can get a sample kit from the health department and have them test

in most of the larger counties they do it on site for you
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