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Old 07-12-2016, 08:49 PM   #1
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Filtering fresh water

If I were backpacking the shoreline of the Loop, I'd filter water every morning and night to fill hydration bladders, cook, clean, etc. At least in the freshwater sections. Does anyone use a simple gravity filter to "purify" river or lake water to keep the freshwater tank full?
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:53 PM   #2
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I suppose it could be done. Sooner or later you will need to stop for groceries, pump the holding tank, and maybe do some laundry. Most marinas and quite a few free docks will give you all the water that you want.

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Old 07-12-2016, 08:56 PM   #3
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Just install a watermaker, dosent get much more "purified".
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:57 PM   #4
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I make all my fw wherever I am thru my water maker in fresh or salt. Any gravity system would be a very low volume. Probably a small reverse osmosis with a uv light would make 20+ gallons a day but need power.
The backpack systems I have seen use a hand pump for pressure. You really need a light or chlorine to kill bacteria. The ICW is the bottom end of all the runoff and industrial waste of the last centuries.
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:59 PM   #5
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Considering the type of successive filters you will need to use to take raw water from the river and make is clear enough to be use safely I sincerely doubt you can do that by gravity. Moreover trying to fill your tank by gravity filtration would take forever.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:06 PM   #6
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Oh, it can be done with gravity. "Slow" depends on your perspective. I can make a gallon in about 5 minutes with a gravity filter system that weight less than 6 ounces. Seems scaling that up to trawler size would produce an adequate supply.

And am I correct in reading that watermaker in boating terms means reverse osmosis system?
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:14 PM   #7
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Question: Does the water maker feed the water holding tanks or the tap?
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:35 PM   #8
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And am I correct in reading that watermaker in boating terms means reverse osmosis system?
Yes.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:33 AM   #9
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Question: Does the water maker feed the water holding tanks or the tap?
Water maker fills the holding tank. For our size boats, it only produces a modest number of gallons per hour not per minute.

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Old 07-13-2016, 10:09 AM   #10
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The term "holding tank" usually refers to the black water tank. Or in some instances the grey water holding tank.

It's not commonly used to refer to a fresh water tank.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:34 AM   #11
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As stated earlier, fresh drinking water is plentiful in and along the Loop. I would assume that most of it is municipal and therefore is regularly tested and meets the EPA's specifications. If you were headed to the Leeward Islands it might be a different situation. I have used a rain collection/filtration/chlorination process making about 6 gpm to the freshwater tank. I would imagine that is considered a gravity system considering its gravity that was making the rain "fall".
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:50 PM   #12
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As stated earlier, fresh drinking water is plentiful in and along the Loop. I would assume that most of it is municipal and therefore is regularly tested and meets the EPA's specifications. If you were headed to the Leeward Islands it might be a different situation. I have used a rain collection/filtration/chlorination process making about 6 gpm to the freshwater tank. I would imagine that is considered a gravity system considering its gravity that was making the rain "fall".
I'd put a rainwater system many levels above his creek and river system. Many cities get their water from such rivers and just look at the trouble they have staying in compliance with it with their massive treatment facilities. Close to shore is absolutely the worst place to collect water.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:26 PM   #13
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I filter all of my water that is ingested. I put a Big Berky water filter on the bridge. $250 or so through Amazon. There are instruction on Pinterest on how to use food grade buckets to make your own using Berky filters.

I set it on the bridge, ran 2 runs of Pex 1/2" pipe. One from the pressurized fresh water system, with a on off valve to a hand held shower faucet for filling. The other to the sink with a single valve bar type faucet that sits beside the regular kitchen sink fixture. All ice, drinking, cooking and so forth come from there. Usually fill 3x a day for 2 of us.

Gravity was not enough so I had to but in a cheap $30 pump and had to switch it because when Berky ran out, air gets into the line and the pump will not shut down. I would recommend the charcoal filters, even though I have no complaints about the ceramic I bet the charcoal will do even better. Both are good for a LOT of gallons. The missionaries use thes filters in the wild.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:45 PM   #14
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The missionaries use thes filters in the wild.
You were doing fine until that line. A tremendous number of missionaries are evacuated every year, many with water carried illnesses. They willingly take the chance, but they understand the risks. They just don't have options.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:11 PM   #15
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RO systems have become very inexpensive and if that's what the high end users use, it seems like the right solution for lower end users too. Membrane life depends on fouling, so good pre-treatment would be important to an efficient system. Seems like overkill to me given what backpackers use, but like BandB points out, we have options; Missionaries and backpackers have fewer.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:15 PM   #16
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Where do those tremendous number of missionaries being evacuated come from ? I spend about a month each year "in the wild" putting in water systems and drilling wells in and for remote villages. Most of the people I work with and myself carry a bunch of Cipro with us to prevent such things. It is pretty common practice.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:29 PM   #17
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Where do those tremendous number of missionaries being evacuated come from ? I spend about a month each year "in the wild" putting in water systems and drilling wells in and for remote villages. Most of the people I work with and myself carry a bunch of Cipro with us to prevent such things. It is pretty common practice.
I strongly suggest that you view the Ciprofloxacin the same way you might a Life raft on your boat. Keep it at the ready but do everything in your power to avoid having to use it.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:31 PM   #18
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Absolutely correct Dave
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:35 PM   #19
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You were doing fine until that line. A tremendous number of missionaries are evacuated every year, many with water carried illnesses. They willingly take the chance, but they understand the risks. They just don't have options.
You have a point? Just because the Berky is the standard, I would not want to assure every drop of water, ice or swimming water injested came through a Berky that a Missonary ingested.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:41 PM   #20
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Not sure why this has wound up where it has....

If coastal cruising most of the western hemisphere, I have never heard of a huge problem with water.

If you really need to conserve, there is a big difference in separating drinking water from fresh water used for most other things.

Once you determine how mush drinking water you need, plan around it. Most reasonable sized trawlers can carry more "drinking water" than most things, so I really can't understand this "survival thread".
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