03 Nov Making Water Taste Good
The water here in the boatyard reeks of sulphur and isn’t potable. There’s one faucet behind the shower building with “potable water” and while it’s better, and may not hurt you to drink it and doesn’t smell in the shower, it also doesn’t taste very good. [NOTE: I wrote this in 2014, when we had just bought our boat and were prepping it in the boat yard. Now it’s 2016, and this “temporary” solution has worked so well that we’re still using it!]
Some people here in the yard buy bottled water, but the nearest place to get it is 12 miles away. You can also buy refills for your own containers in town. A couple of people just refill their jugs from the faucet at a park in town.
We didn’t like the sound of any of those options. Lots of work, schlepping jugs and making trips to town just for water. And the cost starts adding up, too – not just the water but the gas for the car.
Instead, we bought a PUR water dispenser for just under $30 (purchase link below). We’re using it now and we’ll continue to use it to make our tank water taste great. I mean, it’s seriously great . . . not just “it’ll do.”
“Tap” water goes in the top level, passes through the filter and into the lower chamber where it can go out the spigot. Filters last for about 40 gallons and you definitely tell by the taste when it’s time to change it. Filters vary considerably in price but you can get them in multi-packs for about $5 each (see purchase links below). The dispenser holds 18 cups, or a little over a gallon.Company literature says it removes 95% of mercury in the water, plus chlorine. I can also attest that it removes sulphur and whatever else is in the water here to make it taste nasty. I’ve talked to a couple of long-term “residents” here at the boatyard who previously tried using a Brita pitcher; they said that the Brita didn’t improve the water nearly as much as my PUR did (in the course of talking about other things we’d given them a glass of water and they asked where it came from because it tasted so good).
Even if the bottom portion of the dispenser is full, you can add water to the top and it will filter down as water is used. It does take a few minutes for the water to filter through, so we try to keep it reasonably full all the time (We fill a 2 gallon jug from that “potable water” spigot to bring back to the boat, then pour it in as needed).
One note about the dispenser – the plastic base can scratch a counter if you pull the dispenser forward to get water and back to be out of the way (guess how I discovered this?). I solved the problem easily by placing a folded up dish towel under it – it still slides easily but no marks on the counter. And of course, be sure to secure the dispenser when underway (if your sink is large enough, that’s a great place to put it).
I’ll admit, it’s still not a truly economical solution – the filter cost is about 13 cents a gallon, plus the cost of the dispenser. [NOTE: Now that we’re out of the boat yard, a filter lasts much longer with most of the water we use and ends up costing less than 5 cents a gallon.]
Installing a 10” filter housing on the line to the galley sink and using a 0.5 micron carbon block filter is cheaper in the long run. And I loved my Seagull filter on our previous boat, Que Tal. But we can’t do every project on the boat simultaneously and getting good-tasting drinking water without the hassle of having to go somewhere was a top priority.
I ordered the PUR filter/dispenser from Amazon when we left the house and it was here in the yard office when we arrived. A few minutes later, it was up and working. Exactly what we needed.
Links to buy on Amazon: