This year’s Palma International Boat Show, was the 36th edition on the island of Mallorca, and it was the 7th year that the show has run concurrently with the Palma Superyacht Show (PSYS.) Last year we published a blog about Marja Kok, a Palma based superyacht captain who had taken the personal initiative to carry out a plastic water bottle survey amongst superyacht crews, and we bumped into her again at the Palma show.
Start at the yard
Marja’s survey results revealed that well over 40 million litres of bottled water were being consumed onboard by crew, owners and guests (Link to article).
Since then Marja has dedicated her time to researching the possibilities for installing water filtration and purification systems on the downstream side of the water tanks, which can actually provide a real alternative to bottled water, giving a safe and attractive drinking water choice for all of those onboard. She has named her advisory concept ‘Water without Waste.’ (WwW).
In the crew area organised by ACREW at this year’s PSYS, Marja had a pop-up display and sampling model, where she showed some working drinking water system alternatives, and invited visitors to try the water quality and taste. I was able help myself to a welcome glassful on a warm sunny day, and could choose from ambient or cooled water, which can be dispensed from a galley tap as still (no bubbles,) or carbonated (with C02 added;) and very nice it was too!
The background facts
“On all yachts, extra care has to be taken since the drinking water source is coming from a tank” explains Marja.
Reverse Osmosis treated seawater (coming from a water maker) is one source that is commonly found on medium sized and large yachts which is usually of superior quality to potable water. However, a variety of minerals, essential to a healthy ph. level (alkaline, above 7 ph) and the pleasant taste is lost in the process.
Once in the tank, the water is subject to further possible contamination. Temperatures around 25°C provide ideal conditions for diverse pathogens (bacteria, viruses, cysts). Also, older tanks potentially leak heavy metals into the water, either from non-food-grade coatings or from the tank material. Disinfection via chlorination or silver ionization takes care of bacteria, however this can leave by-products in the drinking water which are considered carcinogenic, and can damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.
The water quality provided from mains (tap) connections in port strongly depends on the yachts’ cruising area. Although the mains water will comply in most countries with national potable quality standards it cannot always be considered safe, healthy and tasty. Besides having questionable levels of organic and inorganic matter, these sources can contain pharmaceutical residues, micro plastics and by-products from disinfection, all of which can cause long term health risks.
The drinking water solutions which are advised under the ‘Water without Waste’ concept are aimed at reducing plastic waste by providing the healthiest drinking water from safe, reliable onboard installations.
The recommended systems provide the highest possible level of purification and are always installed after the water tanks, thus taking care of all possible contamination coming from the raw water source or possibly developing in the tanks. Bacteria and viruses, heavy metals, pesticides, disinfection by-products (for example from chlorination in the tanks), antibiotics and micro plastics are all efficiently dealt with.
The WwW range is based on a KISS (keep it small & simple) concept. The products offered are compact and complete solutions combined into one relatively small unit. There is also an advanced ‘Smart System’ with probes, sensors and NFC reading, indicating the water quality standard, and when maintenance is due. Both product lines available offer the convenience of purified drinking water on tap, with sparkling and chilled options to suit all tastes.
Find more details here.