The cloudiness of the diesel fuel is the result of it being emulsified with water. There have been major differences of opinion on the best way to treat minute
amounts of water in fuel...some contend it is best to "demulsify" the fuel (using a product like Stanadyne) while other argue encouraging "emulsification" is best. There are good arguments from both camps but they are discussing small amounts of water
. For example:
According to the Stanadyne website:
"Helps Remove Water – special demulsifiers cause tiny water droplets to come out of suspension/emulsion, so the filter/separator can more effectively remove water"
And the counterpoint:
The downside to a Demulsifier causing excess water to fall out of the fuel is the water will sink below the diesel and sit in the bottom of the tank where it contribute to corrosion/microbial growth and may possibly freeze in the fuel lines during winter months.
However, I think everyone agrees that when significant amounts of water are introduced into the fuel tank such as in your case then a more aggressive method of removal must occur or large amounts of water can be introduced to the mechanical filter TOO FAST allowing some water to reach the injectors and combustion chamber.
Another negative to a passive approach to water removal is the longer water is present in a fuel system the greater the opportunity of microbial development. BTW, microbes will not be distributed equally throughout the fuel tank, it will be heavily concentrated in a layer at the interface of the water and fuel layers so your fuel pick up might not access this layer and therefore it won't be visible in your sample bottle. I think everyone agrees that microbial contamination of diesel is a bad thing.
Unfortunately, an "all-in-one" product like Stanadyne Performance or Diesel-Kleen additive cannot remove significant amounts of water such as you have in your fuel. Here is a good explanation by Power Service of why you must use a product dedicated only to treating water contaminated fuel:
"There is a lot of misinformation about additives and water dispersants. When you use an additive like our Diesel Fuel Supplement or Diesel Kleen these are mixtures of additives in a package. These various chemicals have to be balanced so they will not separate when you mix them together. It doesn't matter if you use our additives or one of our competitors, a good water dispersant takes a lot of room in the additive package. If you add a strong detergent, strong cetane, excellent lubricity, corrosion, top of the line antigel, and stability to the additive package there is not much room left for a water dispersant. A good multiple benefit package will always have a weak water dispersant package. It is a matter of chemistry. The only way to get a strong water dispersant is to get an additive whose top attribute is to control water like our Diesel 911. It takes a lot of water dispersant to take care of free water so it will take up a lot of room in a container."
Probably should just drop the tank, clean it, dry it and be done with the possibility of water from that fillup. Future fillups is another deal altogether.
I still am bothered by the amount of water you have come up with....doesn't make sense.
Both Ford and Wingnut are on the right track about dropping the tank but at the very least, you might want to add Diesel 911 or a similar dedicated product that will aggressively deal with the presence of WIF.