Whether your are on 23 ft cabin cruiser or a 100 ft yacht, chances are you store fresh water.
Marine fresh water tanks are designed for storing potable water. The larger tanks with capacity to accommodate several days away from port are found in yachts, large sailboats and deep sea fishing boats.
The water that ends up in these tanks can come from many different sources - when options are limited sometimes the water can be less than tasty and in some cases downright risky to your health.
Add the fact that the tanks themselves, often difficult to clean, can become a breeding ground for bacteria and other organisms not conducive to healthy living at sea.
For all of these reasons, water filtration and water purification are essential elements in a good potable water system for larger sea going boats - or any boat that is away from port for an extended time and relies on fresh, onboard water.
How to Purify Water
While water can be purified by boiling or with chemicals such as chlorine, the focus of this post is on water purification equipment that uses ultraviolet light to sanitize the water.
Germicidal ultraviolet light is a powerful sanitizer that does the job without adding any chemicals to the water. At proper dosages, germicidal ultraviolet light can inactivate 99% of specific microorganisms shown on the table below.
|Bacillus subtillis spores||B.subtilis||Bacteria||n/a||22,000|
|Coxsackie virus||n/a||Virus||Intestinal infection||6,300|
|Shigella spores||n/a||Bacteria||Bacterial dysentery||4,200|
|Escherichia coli||E.coli||Bacteria||Food poisoning||6,600|
|Fecal coliform||n/a||Bacteria||Intestinal infection||6,600|
|Hepatitis A virus||Infectious Hepatitis Virus||Virus||Hepatitis of the liver||8,000|
|Influenza Virus||Flu Virus||Virus||Influenza||6,600|
|Legionella pneumophila||n/a||Bacteria||Legionnaires’ disease||12,300|
|Salmonella typhi||n/a||Bacteria||Typhoid Fever||7,000|
|Staphylococcus aureus||Staph||Bacteria||Food poisoning, Toxic Shock Syndrome, etc||6,600|
|Streptococcuss spores||Strep||Bacteria||Strep throat||3,800|
* Nominal Ultraviolet dosage (μWSec/cm2) necessary to inactivate better than 99% of specific microorganism.
UV Water Purification Equipment
The equipment that utilizes the specialized germicidal lamps comes in various sizes and capacities measured in gallons per minute of sanitized water.
Here is one example:
This unit comes in 1, 1.5, 3, 6 and 9 gallon per minute versions. Designed to be installed horizontally the sizes range from roughly 12" x 3" for the smallest unit to 30" x 6" for the largest.
This size range and capacity is ideal for yachts and other boats carrying storage tanks to accommodate a few people.
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