Water and Waste Fittings: Too Close for Comfort
Plumbing convenience shouldn't trump safety concerns. Builders take note.
Question: At a recent boat show I noticed something on a brand new boat that put me off a bit. The enclosed photo spells it out, I think. As I was walking around on deck I noticed that the waste holding tank pump-out deck fitting is located right next to the potable water deck fill. This seems wrong to me because there may be a risk of contamination to the potable water system. Is there an industry standard that specifically addresses this? Is the boat compliant with industry standards if it is set up like this?
Answer: This is a really good question. I have also noticed this sort of arrangement as I’ve looked at new boats at the fall boat shows.
The bottom line here is that the ABYC standard H-23, which addresses potable water systems, is quite clear on this matter. It states, in regard to potable water system tank inlets: “The storage tank inlet shall be permanently installed, preferably in a vertical plane, in an accessible and protected location, as far as practicable from the fuel tank fill and sewage pump out fittings.”
I think the reasoning behind the above statement is quite obvious. I’ve personally seen at least three of four new boats this fall that do not even come close to meeting the spirit of the above standard. Listen up builders!
- Ed Sherman is a regular contributor to boats.com, as well as to Professional Boatbuilder and Cruising World, where he previously was electronics editor. He also is the curriculum director for the American Boat and Yacht Council. Previously, Ed was chairman of the Marine Technology Department at the New England Institute of Technology. Ed’s blog posts appear courtesy of his website, EdsBoatTips.
Tags: ABYC Standard H-23, boatbuilding, Ed Sherman, potable water safety