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Old 03-19-2023, 09:43 AM   #1
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Water Filtration System

I'm looking for recommendations for a water filtration system that will purify less than desireable potable water for drinking. I really don't want a watermaker as I don't use one that much and don't want the maintenance, but maybe my only option.

My main cruising grounds is the northern Bahamas and have access to marina water. Most of it is not something you want to drink right out of the faucet. I'm guessing most of it is somewhere around 1000 ppm TDS. I don't know of any regulatory agency over there, so no idea what is really in their water.

So I'm looking for a system that can purify that level of contaminants for drinking and cooking. Anyone been there and done that, I'd love to know their experience and recommendations.
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Old 03-19-2023, 10:08 AM   #2
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I'm looking for recommendations for a water filtration system that will purify less than desireable potable water for drinking. I really don't want a watermaker as I don't use one that much and don't want the maintenance, but maybe my only option.

My main cruising grounds is the northern Bahamas and have access to marina water. Most of it is not something you want to drink right out of the faucet. I'm guessing most of it is somewhere around 1000 ppm TDS. I don't know of any regulatory agency over there, so no idea what is really in their water.

So I'm looking for a system that can purify that level of contaminants for drinking and cooking. Anyone been there and done that, I'd love to know their experience and recommendations.
A watermaker is just a really good filter.
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Old 03-19-2023, 10:34 AM   #3
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you have several choices, for clean water. You could just buy and transport bottled water. A filter based RO system either under sink or counter top. Problem with these is waste water they may consume up to 5 gallons of water to get 1 gallon of "clean" water. Or as Kevin posted a water maker then you have basically an unlimited supply of clean water for drinking, ice, bathing and boat washing...
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Old 03-19-2023, 10:54 AM   #4
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I use a Pentek filter housing that accepts a 20" x 4.5" filter cartridge. I use a Viqua C2-02 high efficiency carbon block cartridge that removes chlorine, odour, and VOC. The cartridge is large enough to have ample water flow through any faucet or water appliance. It's installed after the pressure tank and services all fixtures. I change the cartridge annually.

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Old 03-19-2023, 11:09 AM   #5
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The system I've got won't generally reduce TDS, but it'll otherwise make funky tasting water useable. I use an inline hose filter when filling the tank to keep sediment out (and it does contain carbon and KDF, so if filling slowly it'll remove some taste). If chlorine level is a concern, a splash of bleach in the tank replaces any that was stripped by the filter.

After the water pump and pressure tank, the water goes through 3 of the 4.5x10 filter housings. One has a 1 micron sediment filter (Pentek DGD-2501). The second contains a carbon and KDF cartridge (Pentek DBC-10EX2). The third is a 0.5 micron carbon block (Pentek Floplus-10BB). For higher flow rates and/or worse input water you could use the bigger 4.5x20 filters to get more carbon contact time and more effective adsorption of contaminants into the carbon. At 1.5 gal/min, my filters strip chlorine well enough that even if the tank water smells like a swimming pool you don't smell or taste it at all from the tap. The water comes out pretty much entirely tasteless.

Since I put that system in, the admiral jokes that we have better water on the boat than we do at home.
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Old 03-19-2023, 11:24 AM   #6
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We use two 10" Pentek filter housings. Both in line when filling the tanks, only the first when (occasionally) connected to shore water. Latter is about flow rate for showers and so forth.

First, wide housing uses a DGD-2501 dual-gradient (25m/1m) filter element, and the second thinner housing uses a FloPlus-10 .5m element.

We also use a Pur or Brita filter pitcher after that that we keep full in the fridge.... but that part is more about convenience, not so much about filtration.

I intend to add an in-line drinking water filter at the galley faucet, possibly to eliminate the second filter in line when we're filling our tanks, but haven't gotten around to that yet.


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Old 03-19-2023, 11:36 AM   #7
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If TDS is your main concern and don’t want a water maker, RO water is readily available for purchase in the Bahamas. Most marinas have RO systems and a lot of towns do also, Bimini is one. You can use the tap dock water for washing and bathing and buy RO water for drinking and cooking or just buy RO water for your boat while you are there. Have a great trip! Some of the best cruising and close to the US.
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Old 03-19-2023, 12:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBill36 View Post
I'm looking for recommendations for a water filtration system that will purify less than desirable potable water for drinking. I really don't want a watermaker as I don't use one that much and don't want the maintenance, but maybe my only option.
Hi TBill36. How pure is pure???? Early in my now 11-year battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), my oncologist(s) were aghast at my plans to venture up the Inland Passage in the PNW, using a reverse osmosis (RO) watermaker to provide all potable water along the way. They were in universal agreement that, even below the industry-accepted PPM value of total dissolved solids (TDS) of 500, RO units will not remove contaminants (particularly viruses and bacteria) sufficient to protect my blood supply. They were only appeased when I agreed to add UV sterilization downstream from the fresh water tank, operating whenever the water system was in operation.

So, I dutifully included UV sterilization, which required 110VAC power, and inclusion of a 12VDC-110VAC relay to turn on the UV sterilizer whenever my fresh water pump(s) were in operation. Not a particularly cheap or easy addition to my boat, but if it made my quacks happy, and helped to keep me alive, I complied. And it obviously worked, as I'm still kicking.

BUT, BUT, an AML patient's drinking water "purity" standards are likely much greater than the norm. How much greater? Follows right along with "what is the best anchor" question. You'll likely get as many opinions as responders regarding water quality required aboard a cruising boat, and how to achieve it. So a very real answer only you can provide to yourself, is how pure is pure? You need to satisfy YOURSELF of a workable (and quantifiable) metric, and then pursue solutions to satisfy that metric. Is the metric strictly PPM for salinity, or are there additional considerations? Smell, color, taste, bacteria, viruses? Personally, I have 100% faith in the opinions rendered by my oncologists, so post-RO UV sterilization it became. For awhile.

For what it's worth, I operated my vessel, using strictly RO water and a UV sterilizer, for the first 5 years of my treatment. Given 5 years is the threshold for cure for AML, I declared myself cured and ditched the sterilizer. And as I mentioned, I'm still kicking. And my choice these days is to add only RO water to my vessel's tankage, and maintain it's health in accordance with Peggi Hall's guidance. I use no further downstream filtration. YMMV, and your solution is highly likely a regional one, and strictly personal.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 03-19-2023, 02:35 PM   #9
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We've been going to the northern Bahamas on our boat for 16 years now, we spend between one and three months at a time there. We do have a watermaker and use it when we are on the hook, but we also fill up with marina water when convenient. I use a hose end water filter for the fill up and a basic, single element, under sink filter for the galley faucet. We drink the water straight from the tap, always have, and have had zero problems with it. It is better than the water in South Florida, honestly.


Some Bahamas marinas also offer "wash water" at the dock, it is not RO and I would not drink it, even with filtration.


My point is that I would not invest much money in a fresh water system for the Bahamas unless you have real health concerns.
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Old 03-19-2023, 04:34 PM   #10
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Filtered water

We filter all marina water going into our tanks with a Big Boy 5 micron sediment filter and a Big Boy carbon filter. When close to 100 gallons are used, we run our water maker producing water with around 180 TDS, much less than the typical marina water. We do run this water through a block filter to add a small amount of some essential minerals. Water for flushing the water maker at the end of a cycle is run through a carbon filter.
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Old 03-19-2023, 06:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TBill36 View Post
I'm looking for recommendations for a water filtration system that will purify less than desireable potable water for drinking.
I found this article on SeaBits helpful when I was looking:

Fresh water system improvements

Rick
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Old 03-19-2023, 09:43 PM   #12
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When not using RO use
One on end of the hose and a second filter (carbon and I think 2 or 5u) under the sink going to its own faucet. No sulfur, chlorine or other smell. Good taste. Haven’t had any G.I. troubles either. The one on the hose you can buy at Wally world or Costco and saves the one under the sink which is more expensive. Multiple choices for both. It’s night here but ask if you want what brands.
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Old 03-22-2023, 10:32 AM   #13
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I have a 3m full flow filter 3MFF100 for cold water tap and ice maker. Works good.
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Old 03-31-2023, 03:35 PM   #14
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Water Filtration

I installed the dual Spot Zero RO system that is a water maker and an RO system for Dock water.
Best money I have spent to date on updating our boat. My wife loved it. No calcium deposits on showers, sinks, etc. we also installed a mineralizer on our bar sink.
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Old 03-31-2023, 04:12 PM   #15
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I use this one in my home and boat, great tasting water filters good for 25,000 gallons
$525


https://novafilters.com/whole-house-water-filter/

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Old 03-31-2023, 05:23 PM   #16
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Hi TBill36. How pure is pure????

So, I dutifully included UV sterilization, which required 110VAC power, and inclusion of a 12VDC-110VAC relay to turn on the UV sterilizer whenever my fresh water pump(s) were in operation. Not a particularly cheap or easy addition to my boat, but if it made my quacks happy, and helped to keep me alive, I complied. And it obviously worked, as I'm still kicking.

Pete
This is much easier.
https://aquisense.com/products/water...rl-aqua-micro/
also available at Lowes

Good enough to even drink canal water in Europe safe
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Old 03-31-2023, 07:30 PM   #17
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It seems like there might be a misunderstanding on what TDS indicates. The TDS is the dissolved solids which are typically things like minerals (e.g. salt) but tells you nothing about bacteria or viruses.

You could have, for example, very low TDS water that is contaminated with E. coli due to mishandling.

TDS is a reasonable measurement for water makers because you're getting the results straight from the membrane output and a low TDS tells you the system is working properly. Note the average RO filter membrane pore is 0.0001 micron... not something you're going to get with a cartridge filter.

If you want something better than a normal cartridge filter but less complicated than an RO system, check out Doulton. They can filter down to 0.2 micron.
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Old 03-31-2023, 07:45 PM   #18
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Consider a water distiller. They require 120 volts but produce about three to five gallons a day of sparkling pure drinking water. The taste is wonderful.

They start at about $100 on Amazon.

pete
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Old 04-01-2023, 12:20 PM   #19
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I installed the dual Spot Zero RO system that is a water maker and an RO system for Dock water.
Best money I have spent to date on updating our boat. My wife loved it. No calcium deposits on showers, sinks, etc. we also installed a mineralizer on our bar sink.
Those look really nice. Iíve been thinking about getting a portable unit for doing longer trips.
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