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Old 03-29-2015, 05:30 PM   #1
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How Much Bleach- Water Quality

I recently emptied my 120 gallon fresh water tank after purchasing my Island Gypsy 32 that had been on the hard and not used for over a year.
I filled the tank bank up with fresh water. I was told to add ONE CAP of Clorox Bleach to the 120 gallon tank. I was hoping this would make the water at least ok for brushing teeth, showering, etc. Is this not the case?

Any ideas on how to make the water as clean and potable as possible?
Thanks
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:34 PM   #2
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Best advice I can give is to always use water from the tank. I also added a whole house filter after the pump, using tank water all the time keeps it fresh. Don't sit in the slip and use dock water and let what's in the tank stagnate and then use tank water while cruising. If you use bleach I'ld put in a cup of bleach and about 10 gallons of water, then run water thru each faucet until you smell the bleach. Leave this in the lines for 24 hours then pump the tank dry, then add 20 gallons pump dry and then fill. If you have a filter I would by pass it during this process.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:38 PM   #3
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MCA Regulation M1214 Prevent Contamination of Ships Fresh Water Storage
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:09 PM   #4
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Wow Bill - That link contains w-h-o-l-e lot o' jargon.

My simple remidy:

1. Add approx 1/8 to 1/4 cup Clorox bleach with each or every other 50 to 100 gallon fresh water fill-up. If you forget to add bleach once in a while - that's OK too!

2. Should always have very-slightly detectable bleach smell in water. Smell gets pronounced - don't add bleach for a couple fills!

3. Feel free to wash dishes and rinse mouth with tank water

4. Use carry-aboard potable water for cooking/drinking

That works well for multi-day-weekend and couple of week long pleasure cruises. Has for decades of my boating. YRMV!

For those living aboard or for longer cruises then entire tanked water system should probably be made-ready to consistently provide clean, potable, consumable water... that is a whole other ball game then what I mention above. Plenty of threads/posts available for research on such in TF Search feature.

Happy Potable-Boat-Water Daze! - Art
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:13 PM   #5
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I pretty much follow the same procedure that River Cruiser laid out. I never hook up to city water unless it's to fill my water tanks, and go through the water in the tanks fairly rapidly.

I bought a portable filter like this and hook it to my water hose, then run a hose from the filter town into the tank. NO water goes into my tank without first being run through this filter.


We never have a bad water taste or smell, and if we did I'd do the bleach for 24 hours again.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:17 PM   #6
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Google "Peggie Hall water treatment. " You will find some good suggestions
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFC View Post
I bought a portable filter like this and hook it to my water hose, then run a hose from the filter town into the tank. NO water goes into my tank without first being run through this filter.
I have a similar filter. Don't do as I did -- flip it upside down over the water to empty the water out. I guarantee the doggone o-ring will fall out and it does not swim well. Mine's had a temporary fix on it for a year now.

The model number is no longer sold. Of course not.

Eventually I'll get another filter assembly and do as we did on the 40'er. Aboard her, we had two of those filters, inline, and ran water from the shore-side spigot through the filters prior to filing the tank. We had an additional filter after the tank and before the pump.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFC View Post
I pretty much follow the same procedure that River Cruiser laid out. I never hook up to city water unless it's to fill my water tanks, and go through the water in the tanks fairly rapidly.

I bought a portable filter like this and hook it to my water hose, then run a hose from the filter town into the tank. NO water goes into my tank without first being run through this filter.

Peggie answered the "how much bleach" question in the parallel thread, so I'll just comment on the filtration idea here.

We do the same thing only we use two filters, in line, for all freshwater into our tanks, no matter how good the source.

The first is the larger version of that pictured, with a dual-gradient 25-micron/1 micron filter element. (See Big Blue housing and Pentek DGD 25-01 filters at someplace like filtersfast.com.)

And then we run the output through a smaller filter housing -- happens to be a GE SmartWater housing, inexpensive from Home Depot -- with a .5 micron carbon block filter element (See Pentek FloPlus 10)

The carbon block filter to fill our tanks is overkill, and the flow rate is significantly diminished. Not to worry, it fills while I do something else.

A better solution for secondary filtering could well be individual filtered-water faucets at the galley or in the head; we've just done a household install of Moen's under-counter system and it seems very promising so far.

FWIW, we usually filter through only the larger Big Blue when connected directly to shorewater. No flow issues, and I don't have to worry much about sediment build-up on our own internal freshwater lines either, as for instance if shorewater is coming from a well of varying degrees of quality.


But we seldom actually connect to shorewater. We usually cycle through our own tanks, which also seems to help keep the supply fresh.

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Old 03-31-2015, 11:59 PM   #9
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OK- Stupid question time.
Why the water filter from the hose which delivers clean and purified city water.
Is it because the hose can become contaminated?
Can you recommend an online source for such filters that aren't too expensive?
Thanks,
Rick
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:23 AM   #10
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I've found eight "glugs" of bleach to 130 gallons or so of water to be a good balance between taste/smell (little/no detection) and bacteria.
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:27 AM   #11
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I am assuming a glug is the sound made from the bleach bottle as the bleach is pouring???
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:30 AM   #12
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I am assuming a glug is the sound made from the bleach bottle as the bleach is pouring???
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
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OK- Stupid question time.
Why the water filter from the hose which delivers clean and purified city water.
Is it because the hose can become contaminated?
Can you recommend an online source for such filters that aren't too expensive?
Thanks,
Rick

The dockwater at our home marina is not "city" water, and it's common that many of the marinas we visit are also on a well. Usually good enough, certainly potable, but we use the big filter primarily to eliminate (well... reduce, at least) sediment.

The smaller carbon block filter can remove some other stuff, like chlorine from treated "city" water... but I've been more focused on removing any cysts, and I think I understand the big filter we use is too coarse for those.


(Our filter regime is heavily influenced by our household process, where we are also on a well with serious iron content in the water.)

Yes, hoses can become contaminated, especially left out in sunlight. We always drain and "dry" our "freshwater" hoses (which are separate from our washdown hoses) after filling our tanks, then store the hoses out of sunlight. Not perfect, though.

I use filtersfast.com, but I haven't really shopped to find if there are better prices somewhere else.

-Chris
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandgypsy View Post
OK- Stupid question time.
Why the water filter from the hose which delivers clean and purified city water.
Is it because the hose can become contaminated?
Can you recommend an online source for such filters that aren't too expensive?
Thanks,
Rick
If you get your city water in Florida, it may not be as clean as you think. Prior to going to an on demand system, we drained our water heater tank even year. You would be surprised at the sand and gunk that accumulates. Not the kind of stuff you want to make it into your boat water heater....or your ice maker.
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:44 AM   #15
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A few years ago, for no particular reason I grabbed a clear gallon jug and filled it with water at a dock before filling the tanks. I was surprised to see very very brown water. It looked perfectly clear coming out of the hose. So I started the jug quality check as routine before filling the tanks. I check how it looks, smells and tastes. Well if it didn't happen again a few marinas later.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:01 AM   #16
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From the Homeland Security site regarding the storage of emergency drinking water which seems fairly applicable to storing water in our boat tanks.

Do I Need to Treat Water?
Once you properly clean containers, fill them with potable, or safe, drinking water. All public water supplies are already treated and should be free of harmful bacteria. However, as an additional precaution, it is recommended that you add 5-7 drops, about 1/8 teaspoon, of chlorine bleach per gallon of water stored. This precaution protects you against any lingering organisms in storage containers that may have been inadvertently missed during the cleaning process.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:10 AM   #17
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6 years and 3 boats- we've always just used the water from the tanks as is. Haven't gotten sick or suffered any ill effects.

The tanks are filled a couple times a week (2 souls onboard living life + a washer/dryer) and the water is fine.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:00 PM   #18
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6 years and 3 boats- we've always just used the water from the tanks as is. Haven't gotten sick or suffered any ill effects.

The tanks are filled a couple times a week (2 souls onboard living life + a washer/dryer) and the water is fine.
I'm with you. I shock the tank in the spring at launch. I have a filter under the galley sink. That's it. Water always taste fine. Ice is good. Nobody's ever complained or gotten any bugs.
Must be the wonderful Great Lakes water.

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Old 04-03-2015, 10:18 PM   #19
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Not sure if this was already suggested ... stabilized chlorine instead of unstabilized contained in bleach. Comes in tablet or liquid form ... I prefer liquid (3R Purogene for example) as I can measure any quantity necessary to purify any volume of water.

My new to me boat came with slimy water tank. That slime and the associated unpleasant aura was gone after the first treatment and "rinse". Now, I treat the water regularly and never empty the tank for winter storage ... the tank is spanking clean, and water taste great, always.

Here is a link to product info (UK) ... Purogene | Tristel
Here is a link to product info (US) ... Purogene Fresh Water Treatment Information

Available via lesser known online retailers ... do the search for your country/region.

Two of the USA online vendors:
https://readymaderesources.com/produ...ter-treatment/
Cademaster/BillyDump Online Store (Powered by CubeCart)

BTW, after using Purogene for 5 years I feel like this is the best kept secret. Why bother with bleach and chlorine that stinks, burns, taste awful, and evaporates after a while?
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:47 AM   #20
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I think the issues may be overblown in this article about bleach causing lung infections, but may be worth considering if you have children onboard.

How cleaning with bleach can make children ill | Daily Mail Online
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