Drinking Water Issues on Boats
                    BACKGROUND

We all have to drink water, but at the same
time there are no established standards
worldwide that can guide us in telling of what is
a minimum standard of quality for your drinking
water.

This may sound implausible since water is so
critical for all.

There are US minimum Federal quality
standards, but most of those issues have to do
with contamination of the water on land. There
are also some state and local standards in the
US, but there is no consensus as to what a
minimum standard is.

So obviously there is no minimum standard as
to what the water on a boat should contain.
  WHY BRING UP THE WATER ISSUE?

The issue comes up on boats in recent years
because there is a sense that we all should be
more "green" and when it comes to drinking
water this translates to not using disposable
bottled water.

On the surface this seems a very
commendable endeavour and we all agree we
should all be "greener". You really cannot
argue against that logic.

The problem in this drinking water issue the
cleanliness of the containers you are using.

Even if the container is brand new, was it
sterilized before you put water in it?

Was the container cleaned between uses?
How? And how is this cleaning process adding
to "green"?

If you are given a number of containers with
your name and you are very thirsty and you
need one more. What happens at this point?

After you finish the charter what happens to
the containers? You take them home? You
dispose of them? They wash them out and
re-use them for the next charter?

How is this hygienic, clean and "green"?
                   WHAT DO WE DO?

We know we cannot control everything around
us, but we can learn from past mistakes and
solutions.

The beer and soft drink industries had to give
up re-usable bottles years ago because they
could not keep them clean. Airlines also gave
up their re-usable water containers because
they were not clean.

We cannot say all bottled water is perfect, but
the bottler can inspect and control the quality
of the water and the containers much better
than any boat can do, no matter how hard the
boat tries.

We go through the trouble of carrying the full
bottle to the boat and the empty ones off the
boat, which is a chore compared to re-filling
containers, but we do not have to be
concerned with all the obvious and not so
obvious hygiene and health issues.

Granted, it is a more expensive procedure to
supply water to you this way, but we believe we
should continue with this procedure until there
is science that can show that re-used bottles
are as safe for you as the bottles we currently
use.
RETURN