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Old 08-10-2017, 08:20 AM   #1
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Potable Water

I have plastic water tanks and am wondering how folks treat the potable water to keep it fresh. What do you folks use to treat their tanks from a day to day? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks JD
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:48 AM   #2
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I was a full time liveaboard for over 17 years......I just used the water and refilled the tanks using a "whole house filter" with charcoal cartridges. Never had bad water with that method.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:09 AM   #3
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I typically fill my tanks with treated city water. Once in a while I will add a tablespoon or so of chlorine bleach (unscented) to each tank if the water seems suspect.


I only use my own personal "drinking water approved" hose that's used for nothing else and kept hidden on the boat so others can't borrow it to rinse out their holding tanks. I let the water run for a few minutes before filling the tanks.


I've never had a problem with bad or "stale" water.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
I typically fill my tanks with treated city water. Once in a while I will add a tablespoon or so of chlorine bleach (unscented) to each tank if the water seems suspect.


I only use my own personal "drinking water approved" hose that's used for nothing else and kept hidden on the boat so others can't borrow it to rinse out their holding tanks. I let the water run for a few minutes before filling the tanks.


I've never had a problem with bad or "stale" water.
+1
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:36 AM   #5
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1. Always let the water run long enough before filling the tank to purge all the water that's been sitting in the dock supply line and your hose. The water will no longer be warm when it starts coming directly from the main.

2. USE your water...replenish and refill often.

3. Recommission the system at least annually or when it starts to taste a little "funky" using the directions I've posted here several times and have also included in my books.

That will keep your water tasting and smelling as good as any that comes out of a faucet on land. If that doesn't suit you, put a faucet filter on the galley sink. You don't need filtered water to shower, brush your teeth wash dishes or flush the toilet. Just remember that a filter is not a substitute for maintenance.

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Old 08-10-2017, 11:42 AM   #6
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Any recommendations other than bleach?
I have stainless tanks and am concerned about bleach removing the coating on the stainless
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:13 PM   #7
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Bleach is chlorine and is what the water company uses to treat your water. You won't be using enough to harm the water tanks.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:26 PM   #8
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One possible consideration with (white) plastic (polyethylene) tanks is light transmission. Enough light may enable the growth of algae on the inner walls. If this could be a concern might be worth covering tank sides that are exposed to light.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:37 PM   #9
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Any recommendations other than bleach?
I have stainless tanks and am concerned about bleach removing the coating on the stainless
Using Peggie's recommendations as Wes said, the amount of bleach used for maintenance (if even required) isn't enough to cause a problem. The amount of bleach used for yearly commissioning is not in the tanks long enough to create corrosion problems.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:38 PM   #10
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Water sitting in tanks, especially occasional use boats, will acquire organisms. They come on the air, thru the vents as the tanks heat and cool with daily temperature changes. If you're not using treated city water, or if the water sits in the tanks, you need to treat it or suffer the consequences.
Inexpensive filters sets can be found on Amazon, Ebay and other places that remove chlorine, organic chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, and hundreds of other man-made chemicals found in tap water creating better tasting water in the process. Common sets usually include a 1-5 micron filter and GAC & CTO filters.
In my system, I use these filters both before the RO membranes and after the tanks. I add chlorine when making water (no dock water since 2011) and use a cheap pool test kit to keep chlorine at a very low level. I have great tasting water, dishes and glasses are cleaner, and laundry comes out better.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:42 PM   #11
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We just use the hose attached to the dock - let it run - then fill our plastic tanks.
We liveaboard, so the water is used but can be as much as 12 weeks between fills.
No filters, no chemical, no dramas.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:02 PM   #12
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When at the dock, we filter all water before it goes into the tanks. We use a combination filter; particulate and carbon. Away from the dock, we use the watermaker. We turn the water over enough that we have never had to "shock" the system with chemicals. Like Simi 60, we've never had any problems. I think the key is starting with a clean system, using/turning over the water and know what goes into the tanks.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:18 PM   #13
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I carry 300 gallons with full tanks. Used for laundry, showers, dishes and fresh water flush toilets. I am a traveling live aboard. With three people on board it lasts about a week. When I'm solo it lasts three weeks. Have a new water maker on board and have yet to use it. I use only bottled water for drinking. Only problem I've ever had was taking water in Apalachacola where the city water had a rotten egg smell. Apparently there is no issue with it and the town all use it regularly without issue. I pumped out the entire load at the next port, flushed the tanks and refilled with clean Tarpon City water.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:32 PM   #14
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.............. I use only bottled water for drinking. ..............
Once we empty a bottle of "bottled water", we refill it from our boat's water system, screw the cap on and put it back in the refrigerator.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:54 PM   #15
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Once we empty a bottle of "bottled water", we refill it from our boat's water system, screw the cap on and put it back in the refrigerator.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:23 PM   #16
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Potable Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
Once we empty a bottle of "bottled water", we refill it from our boat's water system, screw the cap on and put it back in the refrigerator.


I do the same. My wife is a bit paranoid and will only drink bottled water on the boat. Doesn't make a bit of sense to me as she has no problem cooking with our boats water, using it for coffee etc but she likes to drink bottles water. I think it is an extravagant waste of money and resources. We have a filter on our galley sink. Our water tastes great. I don't get it. However, I lug cases of bottle water to the boat for all the time.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:37 PM   #17
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Our Tolly has two, plastic, 40 yr. old water tanks = Total 77 gallons.

They are completely in the dark.

I add 1/2 cup Clorox bleach in each tank every third time I refill. They are about 50% down at each refill.

Have no problem of clean looking, good smelling and good tasting water. Do rinse mouth for brushing, wash dishes and shower. Do not drink it.

Always bring good supply of home tap water in good containers for drinking.

As our current life style mandates long weekends and not long trips aboard boat the drinking water we transport is plenty enough.

When our lives get more time for duration boating I plan to fully flush the tanks and put filters for drinking water out of both tanks.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:11 PM   #18
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Our Tolly has two, plastic, 40 yr. old water tanks = Total 77 gallons.

They are completely in the dark.

I add 1/2 cup Clorox bleach in each tank every third time I refill. They are about 50% down at each refill.

Have no problem of clean looking, good smelling and good tasting water. Do rinse mouth for brushing, wash dishes and shower. Do not drink it.

Always bring good supply of home tap water in good containers for drinking.

As our current life style mandates long weekends and not long trips aboard boat the drinking water we transport is plenty enough.

When our lives get more time for duration boating I plan to fully flush the tanks and put filters for drinking water out of both tanks.
1/2 cup in each tank
I have put half of that one day to clean the tanks (total 70 gal) and water was smelling like a pool! I needed 2 or 3 complete flush to get rid of the chlorine taste!
Maybe what you use is not the same concentration though.

L.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:47 PM   #19
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I fill my tanks with tap water. Our tap water already has chlorine. I don't add anything else. My 35 year old tanks tanks are fibreglass; the original pipes are copper. The original water pump is still operational. No UV chlorinators, no triple charcoal filters.

I open the tap, I fill a glass and drink it. It tastes great.
If I put it in a trendy bottle, people can't tell the difference from something that costs $3/litre.

You have to admire companies like Coca Cola, and Puratap who have made millions by convincing people that tap water is not fit for drinking. or not.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
I typically fill my tanks with treated city water. Once in a while I will add a tablespoon or so of chlorine bleach (unscented) to each tank if the water seems suspect.


I only use my own personal "drinking water approved" hose that's used for nothing else and kept hidden on the boat so others can't borrow it to rinse out their holding tanks. I let the water run for a few minutes before filling the tanks.


I've never had a problem with bad or "stale" water.
+1
We have been living aboard almost 10 yrs and use the water in our tank every day for everything. All water coming aboard comes via a specific white hose, through a charcoal and particulate filter, and a water softener.
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