Epoxy Integral Potable Water Tanks - Regulations? Health Issues?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by CatBuilder, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I had planned all along to use the bilge of my catamaran for an integral water tank by putting a food grade epoxy barrier coat on it.

    Recently, looking at a similar boat listing, I saw the following on the equipment list:

    "2 x 60 gallon epoxy water tanks built integral to the hull, 7 coats FDA approved food gradeepoxy coatings"

    Link To Listing

    Then there is this information from West System that directly contradicts what they have done at Gunboat:

    Epoxy Tanks

    There is also a thread on this forum where people don't seem to have an answer on fuel tanks (diesel fuel).

    Does anyone know the current state of affairs with this?

    Gunboat obviously does like I am planning to do and makes the bilge into an integral potable water tank. They use food grade epoxy, like I plan to do. Do you think they got around ABYC regs somehow, or is this somehow allowed if you use the right epoxy barrier coat?

    Confusing stuff. :confused:
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,249
    Likes: 949, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Epoxy is food grade, but any leaks in the bottom will contaminate the water. I got into a bad situation many years ago in a delivery from Brazil to Martinique. I was counting on the keel tank, but it got contaminated and we run out of water right in the middle of the Atlantic. Fortunately, I was able to collect rain water.
     
  3. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    There is one fail safe - it's a catamaran, so each hull would have its own water tank. If necessary, I could also wall off each tank in the center by making the center baffle into a sold wall and have a total of 4 separate tanks.

    Good point though, regarding contamination. I wasn't even thinking about it from that point of view.

    I did find this information right in Wikipedia. The first sentence gives me pause:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A
     
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,249
    Likes: 949, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You would be in danger of growing boobs while cruising.
     
  5. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 4,862
    Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Ive not drank tank water on a yacht in decades. no matter what the material used, after a few seasons the entire FW system becomes so polluted that only a ..well...tourist , charter guest or fool would drink the ships water.
     
  6. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,249
    Likes: 949, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    How do you carry enough water to drink and cook for a few weeks and sufficient for the whole crew?
     
  7. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 4,862
    Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    48 bottles on port, 48 bottles on starboard , I generally do three week oceanic passages with three people. . Coffee, tooth brushing and cooking with tank water...tea prepared only with bottled water. Tank water is a science project. I never drink it. I never use the watermaker....it reguired much generator time and simply fills the toxic tank with pure water.
     
  8. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    We have very good tap water in the States. I know in Europe nobody drinks the water but ours is very clean and healthy.

    There is chlorine already added to the water (and fluoride), which keeps the tank clean for a long time. I shock treat the tanks (with chlorine) every so often if they are developing any growth inside.

    We also run our high quality tap water through a 1 micron membrane filter and through activated charcoal filtration. This removes all the chlorine and any other impurities before it becomes drinking water.

    It's better than anything you can buy in a bottle. No taste at all. Especially no plastic taste, which is why bottled water is terrible (aside from the environmental problems wasting all that plastic).

    You just have to take care of your system and of course, start with high quality water going into the tanks. :)

    Anyway, I wish someone knew why there is such a conflict between the West System link and how Gunboat builds their integral water tanks.
     
  9. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 4,862
    Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I would think that leeching of any materials from the tank walls would be a minor issue on small tanks that are rapidly emptied and refiled with fresh water..

    On metal boats I regularly paint the tanks with two component paints. very few of my crew have actually keeled over and died...some of them walk funny and talk to themselves but I not convinced that you can attribute this behavior to tank water.
     
  10. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,249
    Likes: 949, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    I've had good luck with bladder tanks. The water had no flavor after several weeks.
     
  11. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 1,618
    Likes: 89, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 1240
    Location: The Netherlands

    Herman Senior Member

    Definately NOT all epoxy is food grade. Many are not. Epoxy which is food grade, has been composed from materials which are on a "positive" list, composed by the FDA, or the equivalent in European countries. All others are not.
     
  12. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 1,618
    Likes: 89, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 1240
    Location: The Netherlands

    Herman Senior Member


    You are kidding, right? I guess in about 75% of Europe tap water is definately potable for all. I am even counting the former Eastern European countries within that.

    Over here we have a spring, where about 25% of the water is bottled, and 75% is put into the tap water system.

    Best regards from the Netherlands, where everyone is walking on wooden shoes, and smoking pot...
     
  13. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    That might be true, but in my experience, people did not drink it. I have been in Europe for at least 2 years total time and I'm a citizen of Ireland and the USA.

    In Italy, they were shocked that I drank the tap water in my hotel room and advised me never to do that again. They said I would risk becoming sick from it.

    In any restaurant in France, you simply cannot order tap water with your meal.

    In Spain, they politely looked at you like you were a monster if you ordered tap water.

    All through my time in Western Europe in the late 1990's, bottled water was provided in lieu of tap water everywhere I went and there was no other option.

    People thought you were a stupid American if you wanted to drink tap water, which they associated with the water you use to wash dishes and flush toilets. Now, I'm a stupid American again, for remembering this?? ha ha ha :)

    This isn't some kind of stereotype... I've spent years in Western Europe (but not the Netherlands).
     
  14. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 1,618
    Likes: 89, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 1240
    Location: The Netherlands

    Herman Senior Member

    In the Netherlands, you will not get tap water in restaurants either. All commercial BS. Just for the money.

    In NL, the red cross advises to rinse wounds with fresh tap water...

    Anyhow, above approx halfway France you should be safe anyhow. Perhaps except for Berlin. Below that it depends.

    Nothing bad happens when drinking tap water.

    Oh, got to go, my wife calls me!
     
    1 person likes this.

  15. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Ha ha ha!!! :D

    So it is a southern Europe thing? I mean literally, the guys I was working with in Milano thought I'd get sick from drinking the tap water. Since I already drank it, they were worried. This wasn't a restaurant or fancy thing. This was some regular guys I was working with.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.