Most water-making equipment on yachts and boats today uses the reverse osmosis technique for converting seawater into drinking water.
These RO systems remove solids, bacteria, and most viruses from the water, and the water produced is often better quality than water from a city water supply. We all use a considerable amount of water, so fresh and clean water is a must-have for those folks who plan to be on anchor or away from a good water source for an extended period of time.
Today’s yachts and boats will often have a washer and dryer on board which can use upwards of 20 gallons of water during each washing cycle. Longer showers, doing the dishes, freshwater toilets, and boat cleaning all add to large amounts of fresh water consumed by today’s boating travelers.
A good rule of thumb for water consumption is 20 gallons per day per person. A reliable water maker, producing 20 – 30 gallons per hour, will more than handle the requirements of 2 – 4 people on the boat. The key word there is “reliable.” While most systems start out as dependable, reliable equipment, neglect or improper use can soon make the system problematic.
Two factors can severely limit or destroy a water maker’s ability to produce ample quantities of clean drinkable water. Those two factors are:
- Exceeding the maximum operating pressure range
- Lack of proper flushing after every water-making cycle
There are a few other aspects of operating the water-making equipment that will improve the life of the system, but those two factors are paramount.