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Just now, davewalton said:

Just booked a first narrow boat holiday and was wondering if it is generally accepted to drink the on board water?

Do most people drink bottled water?

Thanks

Tanks on hire craft get filled and emptied a lot, should be OK but ask the hire company if the tank has been sterilised recently and what they advise.

I have drunk the tank water in every boat I have ever been on and still function reasonably well, never been poisoned.

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3 minutes ago, davewalton said:

Just booked a first narrow boat holiday and was wondering if it is generally accepted to drink the on board water?

Do most people drink bottled water?

Thanks

 

We have hired boats for decades and owned one. We have always drunk the water from the boats tank.

 

We are not dead.

 

Enjoy your holiday and welcome to the forum.

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As above, we have always drunk the water from the boats tank on hire boats and our own boat.  Sometimes we will have a few bottles in the fridge just to have some colder water.

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19 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

As above, we have always drunk the water from the boats tank on hire boats and our own boat.  Sometimes we will have a few bottles in the fridge just to have some colder water.

We take a similar option in that when filling the water tank we fill water bottles for drinking as well that can go in the fridge. The water from the boat tank isn't actually that cold when the weather gets this hot. Two illustrations of this are 1) when using the washing machine on 30 degrees it takes about 5 minutes (if that) to heat the water up and uses about 2% of battery charge (during the winter it takes over 10 minutes and uses about 5% of battery charge and 2) I have started taking cold showers in this weather and at my postal address if I take a cold shower from the mains it is a chilly experience, yesterdays cold shower I could have stood under for hours.

 

Except in weather such as this I am not a big water drinker, it is usually coffee, tea or soft drinks (or stronger one's) so generally don't drink the water directly from the tank.

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We went with Wyvern and the kitchen tap on their boats has a filter. I’m fairly sure that any hire company that felt you shouldn’t drink from their tank would tell you that loud and clear - if only to make sure their own backside is covered! 

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On the one we were on a few weeks ago the kitchen had 2 taps, one normal filtered from the tank, the other had a double filter from the tank and was marked as drinking water.

 

The only reason I don't regularly drink the tank water from my own boat is because I'm used to really soft water at home and the harder water around the Midlands tastes foul to me by comparison...and that's out of the mains tap!

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9 hours ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

We take a similar option in that when filling the water tank we fill water bottles for drinking as well that can go in the fridge.

That's exactly what we have always done, since the 1990s when, on our first hire-boat holiday, we were told not to drink the water from the boat's tap. So it's not "bottled water", i.e. bought water, that we drink, it's tap water which we keep in bottles.

   This topic recently came up in another thread, and it has the potential to become as long-running and entrenched as the cassette v. pump-out debate!

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10 hours ago, gatekrash said:

On the one we were on a few weeks ago the kitchen had 2 taps, one normal filtered from the tank, the other had a double filter from the tank and was marked as drinking water.

 

The only reason I don't regularly drink the tank water from my own boat is because I'm used to really soft water at home and the harder water around the Midlands tastes foul to me by comparison...and that's out of the mains tap!

A lot of the West Midlands get's its water from the mountains of mid-Wales and is surprisingly soft.

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17 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

A lot of the West Midlands get's its water from the mountains of mid-Wales and is surprisingly soft.

 

Thats why the Llangollen canal has a 'flow' on it. It is the water supply for much of Cheshire.

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55 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Thats why the Llangollen canal has a 'flow' on it. It is the water supply for much of Cheshire.

Cheshire isn't in the West Midlands and it doesn't get its water from mid Wales.  I would expect the water travelling through the canal would become hardened.

Edited by doratheexplorer
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55 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

Cheshire isn't in the West Midlands and it doesn't get its water from mid Wales.  I would expect the water travelling through the canal would become hardened.

Hurleston reservoir is filed with water from Swallow Falls via the Llangollen canal and the good people of Crewe and Nantwich benefit from the soft water.

Greater Manchester water is from elsewhere up in the lakes and Derbyshire. Still soft compared with southern recycled waters. 

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We buy two 5 litre bottles of water from the supermarket at about £1 each ,  and refill them from water points and use that for drinking and cooking . With careful handling the bottles survive the year.

However a hire boat will have such a rapid turnover of water there should be no health  risk  from consuming tank water. 

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We always drank the water from the tank in the boat. Never really saw the point of lugging extra water around especially filling bottles from water points which is the same water that is going into the tank anyway.

 

Our tank was not very big and easy to inspect to check that it was clean. Never had a problem in 13 years of owning the boat.

 

On the van we take 2 litre bottles of water and put them in the fridge but this is purely so that we have colder water to drink now that we have a larger fridge and the bottles fit in the door. For making coffee and cooking we use the water from the tank.

 

Again the tank is easy to access to check for cleanliness.

 

ETA: We have always drunk the water from the hire boat tanks as well. Apart from in Brittany when we were specifically told not too!!

Edited by Naughty Cal
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2 hours ago, Naughty Cal said:

We have always drunk the water from the hire boat tanks as well. Apart from in Brittany when we were specifically told not too!!

 

You probably wouldn't drink the water from the (mains) tap in Brittany. ISTR that it's very much chemically treated.

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We’ve always drank the water from our tap. We did sterilise the tank a few times when we first moved on but haven’t since. 4 years on we are still alive. As people have said the hire boat company will probably tell you what’s best. 

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One hot summer day when I was a nipper I was in the Peak District and asked my dad if I could drink from a stream, "aye owd lad tha can" he replied. Seeing my dad was the fount of all knowledge I drank deeply, later I wandered upstream a couple of hundred yards and just round a bend I came across a dead sheep in the stream, gently rotting away. 

 

That was the first clue that my dad was flawed 🤔

 

ETA: I'm 74 and still alive btw. 

Edited by nb Innisfree
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I wouldn't hesitate to drink from the tap on a hire boat due to the rapid changeover of water in the tank.  I normally do also from ours although during this really hot spell I have to admin to using bottled water from an outside tap, mainly so its cold but also it can't be good to really heat up can it?  Maybe it'll boil itself clean!

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I think when we hired we probably drank the water from the tank, Today I wouldn't consider it after seen a hose dragged from boat to boat on changeover day, the  end going along the ground, through the grass and pulled from boat to boat through the canal its self. On our boat we drink straight from the tank because we take care what goes into it.

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8 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

Upon purchase out of a hire fleet our boat had  a ceramic filter to a special tap in the kitchen. Upon inspection, the filter was disgusting. Absolutely covered and full of foul slime, hairs and rust particles. I would never drink water from an onboard filter unless I was maintaining it and knew when the filter wad last charged.

What type of tank was that? Steel inbuilt with well deck cover, stainless steel? I imagine the former with the rust in the system. I would not have a problem drinking from stainless steel or polypropylene sealed tank and system, however I would double filter an inbuilt tank with well deck hatch cover and inspect regularly.

Edited by PD1964
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15 minutes ago, PD1964 said:

What type of tank was that? Steel inbuilt with well deck cover, stainless steel? I imagine the former with the rust in the system. I would not have a problem drinking from stainless steel or polypropylene sealed tank and system, however I would double filter an inbuilt tank with well deck hatch cover and inspect regularly.

 

Stainless with a proper capped filler pipe under a well deck seat. I think the rust came from the land side iron water pipes or from the small amount to iron pipe between filler and tank.

 

I used to sterilize  the tank with bleach about every 5 years and occasionally throw in a few sterilizing tablets until SWMBO complained about the taste. Then we just used tank water for everything, although I drained it down each autumn. Never had even  a hint of a tummy bug from the water.

 

 

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1 hour ago, nb Innisfree said:

One hot summer day when I was a nipper I was in the Peak District and asked my dad if I could drink from a stream, "aye owd lad tha can" he replied. Seeing my dad was the fount of all knowledge I drank deeply, later I wandered upstream a couple of hundred yards and just round a bend I came across a dead sheep in the stream, gently rotting away. 

 

That was the first clue that my dad was flawed 🤔

 

ETA: I'm 74 and still alive btw. 

You Dad was spot on correct you doubter, you could indeed drink from the steam, and did so to proove him right.  I doubt you had any "is it safe to" follow up questions so he taught you to always check the small print  😁

 

Lovely story btw 

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1 hour ago, ditchcrawler said:

I think when we hired we probably drank the water from the tank, Today I wouldn't consider it after seen a hose dragged from boat to boat on changeover day, the  end going along the ground, through the grass and pulled from boat to boat through the canal its self. On our boat we drink straight from the tank because we take care what goes into it.

I think that is the relevant bit, with our own boats we know where the hosepipe has been and have kept it clean and make sure nothing goes into the water tank except water. Can anyone guarantee that the hose on a hire boat hasn't been in the canal? or mud off the foredeck gone through the filler?

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