Water Tank

toxic hose and water supply

Ive got a new water tank and am about to put on the pipework to take water in and out of it...
I bought a Flexihose from Hozelock, as the feeder hose from tap to tank, and when it came it had a label on it saying something like... 'DPMD -NOT FOR DOMESTIC USE' ( Yes, i have put the label somewhere and mislaid it!)... do i need to worry.. ?
Is this hose made from something really nasty, and so should i get a different hose?

cheers, oli


Depends on what it's made of (DPMD doesn't seem to exist). An internet searcd suggests that Hozelock Flexihose has a PVC liner. I avoid PVC myself, but most boaters use PVC hoses to fill up at least.

For internal piping, where the water could sit for a while I have pushfit fittings such as JG Speedfit (other brands are available, and are often compatible, despite what they tell you in the plumbers' merchants).
It's supposedly non-toxic, and has survived several hard winters without bursting.

access to water tank

I , like a few people making comments on discoloured water have a problem with brown(rust coloured) water emptying and refilling does not resolve the problem. It is a 1991 n/b with integral tank. I recently bought the boat and issue did not show itself in the survey. From previous communications it would seem I need to open up the tank and repaint or install a plastic or material type tank instead. Before I do this I need to get into the tank!! Looking at the footwell at the front of the boat it has never been lifted before. Plenty of coats of paint have seriously sealed it !! Any ideas as to how to gain access ?

Your rusty old tank

I would also consider the damage done to your pump, if your water has so much rust and gunk in it that it can look brown, then your filter is letting all of that into the water pump, and can cause wear and leaks and vibration, which leads to more damage, im in the same position and am looking at cleaning the sharp bits off my tank, then lining it with either a water tank lining (on a roll kind of thing) or installing a flexible plastic water tank. the benefits to me seem to be the speed of installation, compared with a weeks drying time, possibly two weeks with multiple coats of bitumen systems. and also the peace of mind that i wont get rust again. just a thought

water tanks

I've just cleaned mine out, removed some large rusticles scraped it clear of loose rust then dried it and bitumined it, let it dry fully for 1 week whilst on hoilday, Refilled it on my return and now the water is clear and tastes great, probably highly toxic but great tasting none the less!

Collecting Rainwater?

Has anyone set up a rainwater collecting system on the roof of their boat?

============= I live on my narrowboat with my cat, Bella.

Have a look at: the Water -

Have a look at: the Water - Rain Harvesting and Filters section - somebody has put a report with pix up there.

Cleaning tank out?

My boat was built 5 years ago. I don't filter the water from the water tank, just drink it as is. When the tank is nearly empty the water comes out a bit brown coloured. What, if anything, does this mean? Do I ever have to clean the tank out or anything? If so, when, how, and would I use a cleaning substance? What?

============= I live on my narrowboat with my cat, Bella.

brown water

It could also just be silt and other stuff settling out of your water. You can get rid of that by a) opening up your tank and giving it a good clean, or b) flushing it through well by putting a gallon of water in, emptying it, putting another gallon in etc until it's clean.

Tank sounds rusty

My guess is that you have a tank which is integral to the hull (not plastic, nor stainless steel insert), and that has rusted. You need to open the water tank, wire-brush the interior surfaces to remove all the rust, and then treat with a paint for water tanks (whose name i don't have to hand - but sure the more knowledgeable or a chandlery will be able to tell you about that). After doing that you are unlikely to get the rust colour as the tank empties. Bear in mind you will no longer have that handy 'indicator' of when your tank is empty.

That'll be it then

I made further enquiries after your suggestion and it seems you're right, I do have an integral tank and I'm supposed to clean it out every I don't-know-how-often. Thank you, I might get a quote from a boatyard for the job as I'm a little claustrophic (not enough for inside boats but I suspect too much for inside water tanks!) Guess that's what I'm stuck with, but does anyone have an opinions on the best kind of tank to get if you're starting new built?

============= I live on my narrowboat with my cat, Bella.

...but maybe it's not a problem!

I rang to get a quote for water tank cleaning, and the boatyard guy actually said he wouldn't advise it. He says his intergral water tank has been going just fine without cleaning for 11 years, and his advice is, if it aint broke don't fix it. He says brown water at the bottom of the tank is normal, and if the water is otherwise fine he wouldn't recommend cleaning after only 5 years. His only advice was, if you let water sit in your tank for a while (ie you shut up your boat for a season) to drop some sterilising tablets in the tank before you being to use it again. I'm quite happy to NOT spend money on getting the tank cleaned and see how it goes.

============= I live on my narrowboat with my cat, Bella.


clean your tank boats rust faster on the inside than they do on the outside ....they are made of mild steel it rusts like hell....clean it with a 4" angle grinder where rusty. if it has been painted with bitumen re coat it and let it dry ....put a heater in there for 24h.....the best thing to paint your tank with is 2 pack epoxy it will last for years but best done when new it likes a really clean surface to adhere to

Rust & Epoxy

I would like to back up the last post regarding the rusting of boats. I live on-board a Sailing boat, and i have yet to find a spot onboard for a water tank and fuel tank, without upsetting the balance of the boat. aaarrrrgggghhhhh!

Anyway, i recommend you do grind out the rust, put on a coat of primer (to prevent further rusting), then epoxy the tank. There are a few products on the GRP market that may do the job. Gelshield 200 is one of them, but i don't know if this would contaminate the drinking water.

Hope this helps you.

Enjoy life on the water - it is a simple life for simple people like us!