Water filtration system on a motorboat

Water water everywhere…but what’s in it? Discover the water filters designed to look after your health and protect the environment...

We’re surrounded by water when boating, but how often do we consider how we can help keep the water coming onboard and the water being emitted overboard clean and free from pollution?  

savvy navvy talks to Wave International, a UK-based manufacturer of products designed to operate throughout a motor yacht from the water we drink through to the waste water pumped over the side.

Water filtration system on a motorboat

Clean and safe drinking water

When it comes to water used for drinking, cooking and for “hotel services” such as showers and wash basins, it’s key to ensure there’s a plentiful supply of safe, clean water onboard.  Often this means having an efficient and reliable watermaker, or carrying a lot of bottled water.  However, with more awareness about single use plastics, many boaters now try to avoid the waste resulting from single use plastic bottled water.  

Wave’s Flostream is a compact filter system which sits in line between the vessel’s water tanks and the tap, and delivers a mighty 10 litres per minute flow rate of fresh and clean filtered water.  Water is passed through three stages of multi-media filters which remove all impurities down to 10 microns.  For comparison, a human hair is 50 microns in diameter, and anything below 40 microns is invisible to the human eye.  

Flostream filters ensure that all chlorine taste and bad odour is removed from water, as well as taking out heavy metals and other impurities.  In addition, with its built-in bacteriostatic control, the Flostream removes cyst and harmful bacteria, and prevents any risk of micro-bacterial growth when the water filter is not in use.  

The Flostream improves the taste and quality of water coming from a vessel’s water tank, no matter how long the water has been stored there or how poor the original source of the water.  Using a Flostream also removes limescale, helping keep taps and sinks clean.

Protect your watermaker

Filters will also protect your valuable equipment on board, such as the watermaker.  Users simply replace the watermaker’s standard sediment-only filter with Wave’s Prostream dual sediment and oily water filter, to ensure full protection against any ingress of any contaminated sea water into the watermaker.  This means that boat users can run their watermakers when in a marina or close to shore, something normally avoided for fear of getting contamination into the watermaker unit.  

Avoid creating pollution from the bilge

How often do you look at what’s in your bilge water?  Everyday activities on board create pollutants, from the microplastic fibres off clothing, to scraps of paint, or traces of oil, suncream, and cleaning materials.  To ensure that no pollution from waste water is emitted overboard, the Wavestream filter removes dirt and pollutants from the bilges.  Any trace of oil, microplastics, microfibres or other contaminants are filtered out before bilge water is pumped overboard.  If not removed, these very tiny waste particles, which are invisible to the naked eye, sink and could be ingested by fish and other wildlife.

Even a tiny trace of diesel or oil causes low level of surface pollution such as ‘blueshine’ which is when spills of oil or diesel can be seen on the water surface. 

And what about grey water?

The Wavebrite performs the same task for grey water, ensuring that all harmful bacteria or pollutants are removed before the grey can be safely pumped overboard. 

Wave has just launched its new Wavebrite SMART, a single integrated unit which can be easily retrofitted into motorboats.  Its multifunction display screen shows the flow rate, daily and total volumes of filtered grey water, and the condition and status of the filters.  Up to 20,000 litres of grey water can be processed before the main filter needs to be changed, which is indicated by a clear warning signal on the display panel.  Fitting the Wavebrite SMART onboard also alleviates the need for boats to have a grey water holding tank. 

Wave’s range of filter systems are designed to last for 2-3 years, depending on use, and can be easily replaced.  Most boaters carry spare filters with them and used filters can be disposed of safely at marinas and boat yards.  

More information about how boaters can be sustainable and protect the environment is available through Wave International at www.waveinternational.co.uk and via The Green Blue at www.thegreenblue.org.uk

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