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Old 02-19-2017, 12:22 PM   #1
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Rainwater collection?

Hi all,

Has anyone played with a rainwater collection system? We're in the Caribbean for the next few months and, since we don't have a water maker, are investigating water options other than small docks and expensive water. I'm considering directing the water on our large roof towards one spot, gravity feeding it down through an inline filter or two to a hose that can be inserted in the tank fills.

I would welcome any input. Thanks

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Old 02-19-2017, 02:10 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. P. Rainwater collection is something I've considered as well but my concern is potential contamination from errant bird...um...er..."doings".
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:24 PM   #3
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We pump rainwater through a carbon/ceramic filter and then sterilize with an UV light. It's slow but the water is safe.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:33 PM   #4
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Large blue plastic tarp with a through hull in the center or where better suited for your boat.

Tube from throufh hull runs to water fill.

If tarp kept clean....clean water.

If still nervous, add Bleach to proper percentage.

Later tarp out on largest flat surface with a collection spot where you placed the through hull.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:46 PM   #5
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Friends I have catch rain water and allow the rain to flush their hardtop system well before directing the water to their tanks. They also clean their hardtop with a brush for the first few minutes when catching rain while flushing. So far, they have had no problems.

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Old 02-19-2017, 05:33 PM   #6
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I found using a pool chlorinator test kit is the way to go for adding chlorine. I add to the lowest detectable level. I can't taste the chlorine at that setting. Tad Roberts really has the best way to sterilize if power is always on.
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Old 02-19-2017, 06:26 PM   #7
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I have used one of these backpacking for years. It removes everything except viruses (bacteria are larger than viruses so it catches those). In theory it would pretty easy to just fill your holding tank with rain water and then pump a gallon or two for drinking. Takes about 2 minutes per quart if the filter is in good shape.

Also as others have noted, chlorinating is not difficult, a gallon of plain bleach will treat a couple thousand gallons of treated water.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:04 PM   #8
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A gallon of bleach will treat about 30,000 gallons of water.

I used collected, filtered, and treated rain water for a six month stay around the D.R. I would usually let the rain run-off for awhile before collecting. You would be surprised how much rain a .5 inch event produces in the water tank.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:57 PM   #9
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You would be surprised how much rain a .5 inch event produces in the water tank.
And the fuel tank, if the O rings need replacing.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:40 AM   #10
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The Beneteau Swift 42 is one boat I am aware of that actually builds their upper deck so as to collect rainwater, and I think has a built-in system like one can use on the house guttering that dumps the first water produced before diverting it to the tanks.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:38 AM   #11
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Rain water must be filtered as every drop carries dirt.

Called condensation nuclei, they are what the water vapor condenses about to create the rain drop.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:05 AM   #12
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FF: I am not sure what all you refer to as dirt in the condensation nuclei. There are sea salts also involved. You may also wish to continuously wear a dust mask to filter those same particles from your lungs when breathing.
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:28 AM   #13
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About half the boats we know here in the Eastern Caribbean collect rain water in one form or another. Only one boat I am aware of drinks the rain water, the rest of us use it for washing. I joke that my face is so much smoother in the winter since I shave with rain water.

We do not send our rain water to our tanks. From my experience and the comments of others a filter would be essential if you do. I collect the rain water unfiltered in a five gallon pail. At the end of the week the bottom of the pail is loaded with dirt particles. I scoop the rail water out of the pail with an old gallon water container cut down.

The collection systems vary from tarps with a center hole attached to a hose, attaching hoses to one of more of the upper deck drain plugs (my system) to actually installing residential gutters on the sides of the upper deck.
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:13 PM   #14
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A good domestic rainwater collection system has a "first flush" diversion(to the drain) to prevent the initial water going to the tanks.
I have 5000L water tanks at home, installed after an extended drought and water usage restrictions. And the warnings of pessimistic "warmists" it would never again rain sufficiently to fill our dams, which I note have been virtually full due to rainfall ever since. Sydney Water paid a small subsidy towards the tanks, so they know who has tanks.
There is nothing wrong with collecting rainwater and drinking it, though so far we restrict the use of ours to gardening, washing cars, cleaning etc. People in rural areas depend on tanks for drinking water etc, and have done so for centuries. But diverting and discarding the "first flush" to get rid of surface dirt picked up makes sense.
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:22 PM   #15
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I am sure that we are all aware of the "water cycle" and know that there is no new water on this earth. It is all the same water we have been collecting, using, and returning to the cycle. Where we gather it during its cycle whether underground through wells, lakes and streams as surface water treatment plants do or collecting it from rain. It is all the same water its just the methods that we use to put it to our uses. Filters and light or chemical treatments for bacteria then storage.
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:02 PM   #16
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Not my intend to hijack the thread but regarding filtration, does anybody ever fitted something like that in their boat? Is it possible to fit this in the fresh water line under the galley sink?

https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/watts-5.../6000075838712

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Old 02-21-2017, 07:11 PM   #17
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Tired of taking bottled water onboard, a friend fitted a filter system to purify water drawn from the water tanks of his Resort 35.
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Tired of taking bottled water onboard, a friend fitted a filter system to purify water drawn from the water tanks of his Resort 35.
That is exactly the point of my question. I would like to get rid of all these plastic bottles that take a lot of place onboard, full as well as empty. It would be nice to draw water from tanks and be able to safely drink it. I guess that if the tanks are clean and water regularly used, a simple filter system would be enough?

I prefer to drink wine but sometimes a good glass of water is needed when switching from one wine to another
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Tired of taking bottled water onboard, a friend fitted a filter system to purify water drawn from the water tanks of his Resort 35.
Wow is that the norm? Hesitance to drink water filled from potable sources put into water tanks on board?

The only plastic water bottles I have onboard are distilled for the batteries (and maybe coolant). Have a filter like this on board, use the better carbon type cartridges.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:00 PM   #20
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Wow is that the norm? Hesitance to drink water filled from potable sources put into water tanks on board? ...
Can`t speak for everyone, but it is common here. I happily refill 10L bottled water containers with "tap" and drink that, rather than via the tanks. Probably overly cautious, I`ve often thought the tank stuff is drinkable.
You might be kinder to your cooling systems and batts, than yourself. We also use distilled or demineralized water for batts, and engine cooling systems.
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