Best Water Filter Systems

TOO MANY CHOICES

confused-which decision to make
confused regarding the right decision?

 

 

 

 

What does a “best water filter system” actually do to deserve such a rating?

The filters and media used inside of water filters are designed to remove specific contaminates from water.   There is not such a device as “the best” water filter system.  It depends on what constituents are in your water. And it depends on your personal choices regarding what you want removed from your water and what you want to remain in the water. In short, a properly applied water treatment system should deliver exactly the water that you require.

It is not the intent of this article to identify the hundreds of constituents that are commonly found in household water.  Nor is my intention to impose my personal values regarding what constitutes healthy water.  The intent here is to explain how you can get exactly the water that you desire in your house.

There is nothing which cannot be removed from water.  Even water itself can be separated into hydrogen and oxygen just by passing a small electrical current through the water.

MARKETING MISNOMERS

Over the past decade a new term describing a water treatment system has developed.  The “Water Refiner”.    HOGWASH!  That is what I think of the term “water refiner”.  All it is is some carbon thrown in on top of the water softener resin.  Within a year the carbon is saturated and now you have an old fashioned water softener again.  You paid that extra few hundred dollars for nothing. Ask the dealer who comes out with this term, how long is the guarantee on the refiner media.  He cannot give you even 2 years unless he is counting on you not noticing the gradual change back to your old water chemistry.  Carbon has as finite life expectancy. 

Another one is the “Saltless Water Softener”.  Another absolute lie.  Yes lie!  That is what I said. Any competent water treatment dealer knows that magnetic devises, sound resonance devices, electrical charge inducers do nothing to remove any substance from your water.  The Water Quality Association is your advocate for competent water treatment information.  You will see a link to their website in my tabs across the top of this site. You can click on that link and go there to check out anything which I tell you on this website.  They are there to protect the consumer.

SOLUTIONS

There are solutions to every water issue.  From simple technologies to remove calcium and iron from water supplies,  to complicated applications of chemical engineering needed to remove colloidal (microscopic substance suspended in the water) contaminates.

If you do not do at least a bit of research before you invite that hungry salesman in, you are subjecting yourself to the risk of an expensive and ineffective water treatment system.  If you just read the half dozen articles on this website you will know more than most of the salesmen who will come to your home and sell you equipment.

I have said many times;
“It is your home, your health and your water.”  That does make it your decision and your responsibility.  It would be nice if you could depend on others to be competent in their professions, but you cannot.  I have been treating residential, industrial and commercial water for 25 years and I still encounter challenges.  Most water treatment salesmen are exactly that.  A salesman.  Very few are water experts.  Or even competent for that matter.

I have made a comfortable living just by advertising our services. 

It is a very competitive industry so there is a lot of price competition.  Consumers  want the best value for their money spent.  Let me assure you that with the lowest price comes the lowest standard of material and the lowest standard of after-sales service.  If a dealer drops their price to the bare minimum, how is it that the dealer can offer warranty service?  They cannot.  The profit was too low on the sale and they are not in the business of losing money.  Besides, water treatment equipment lasts so long that it is seldom that the dealer has repeat customers.  So why care?  You won’t likely be coming back to their store anyways.  Unfortunately, this is often the prevailing attitude.

Ask for references?

There is not much point unless the dealer will give you a list of their problem accounts so you can call those customers and see how they were treated.  That is how you tell you the reputable stores from the fly-by-night dealers that get into this industry, make some fast bucks selling cut-rate then get out.  Just take a look at the business yellow pages for 5 years ago and compare to today.  Most of the water treatment dealers are gone and new ones are there.  Only about 5 companies are really the lifeblood of this industry.  And guess what?  They just happen to be the expensive brands.  Sometimes their equipment is better than others, but not always.  What you really hope is that the extra bucks you are going to spend buy you the integrity from the dealer that you know they should have anyways.  And some brands and dealers do have the highest levels of integrity.

Confused Yet?

If so, call me.  I will charge you $100 to test your water, give you a written synopsis of the water and your treatment options.  I will explain where you should purchase your equipment and why I recommend that source.  If you have equipment that is not working properly or has stopped working, we will repair, not replace the equipment.  It is seldom necessary to replace water treatment equipment.   The water chemistry may be a science but the equipment is not.  A canister, with media in it and a meter or a valve on top.  That’s it!

Bells and Whistles = Service Calls

Seriously, do you really need an electronic device in your kitchen that monitors how much salt your water softener has used and gives bells and lights flashing when the salt gets low.  I mean come on!  You need to put salt in the water softer 2 or 3 times  in a year.  Not every week, nor even every month.  This is another  SERVICE ITEM.  And it has the shortest warranty of course.  All you want is your water fixed!  Other devices include tank agitators, reverse flow brine  system, self monitoring water chemistry systems; on and on goes the list of add-ons as they try to convince you that their brand is better.

It is not the equipment that you need to be wary of, it is the dealers themselves. Or even more specifically, the sales people that enter your home, who have been trained by the dealer.

 

SHOP SMART-SPEND A LITTLE-SAVE A LOT

Option 1:     Take your chances and call a water treatment dealer and see how you feel about their pitch.

Option 2:    Read articles, study, look through the WQA website link in the tab bar.

  • Option 3:    Spend $100 and I will
    supply you with all of the information and knowledge that you need to safely make a wise purchase
    explain how to achieve the water quality you desire.
    advise you on the actual dealers cost of equipment and what you should really expect to pay for it
    arrange for repairs rather than sales if you have equipment that is not functioning
    leave you feeling comfortable about your choices

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Water Treatment – A Methodical Approach

WATER TREATMENT-A METHODICAL APPROACH

 

WATER WIND AND SUN operates as a Water Problem Solutions Engineering Company. Water treatment encompasses many different problems and objectives.

 

Bad odors, foul taste, staining, chemical contamination, bacteria, microorganism infestation, excessive calcium (hard water), are just some of the problems which plague homeowners, businesses and municipalities.

 

“WWS” can provide solutions to many of these problems.

 

Proper technology applications can provide relief from these issues by removing odor, color, staining, foul tastes and bacteria from water sources.

 

Because no one product can correct all water problems, contaminates must be removed through correct applications of the appropriate technology. Furthermore, treatment applications must always be applied in a correct methodology. For instance, starting with removal of the larger contaminates and working towards the microscopic impurities.

 

Too often, over zealous water sales people tell prospective clients what the client wants to hear. Typically, ” this is the only apparatus you need to treat your water”. Too often, this information is incorrect and only aimed at getting the sale. The problems of incorrect treatment applications get handed up to the dealer to be dealt with later, much to the customers chagrin.

 

This attitude is culminated from the need for the salesman to make the sale, or not feed his family. The customers needs come second to the salesperson’s need to earn a living.

 

Let’s face the facts. If somebody ever invents the “do it all” treatment application, they will own the industry. In the meantime, it is imperative that the customer be informed correctly of the necessary steps in water treatment so that they can get proper value for money spent.

 

Let’s begin this series of articles on Water, by looking at some of the basic parameters of water.

 

Pure Water is one of the most efficient natural absorbents in existence. As soon as pure water contacts the earth, it begins absorbing bits of everything it comes in contact with. As the impurities build up in the water, its absorbency decreases. Eventually the water becomes saturated and looses its absorbent qualities.

 

How much impurity can water absorb? The drinking water guideline for safe water is generally accepted as 500ppm of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). Comparatively, the ocean is about 30,000ppm of TDS. Total Dissolved Solids is a measurement of the inorganic dissolved content, which has been absorbed into the water. Organic compounds are generally not conductive and therefore do not show up in this test.

 

Iron generally shows up as color in the water, staining of everything it contacts; clothing, dishes, appliances, toilets, bathtubs, showers, etc., and can give a metallic taste to the water. A future article will deal with this issue in much more detail. Iron is sometimes identified as a drinking water impurity.

 

Calcium is commonly identified as “hardness” in water. Calcium causes staining, poor taste, turbidity, mineral deposits, excessive spotting on shower walls, dishes, automobiles, etc. Laundry soap is often used in excess in hard water because the hardness prevents the proper assimilation of the soap into the water. As a result deposits of soap are left in the clothing, bedding, and towels often causing itching and rashes.

 

Sulfur is found in many rural water supplies, often accompanying the iron, although caused by different source contacts. H2S, absorbed by the water which comes in contact with sulfur deposits in the ground, absorbs oxygen (O2) when exposed to the atmosphere, evolving to H2SO4, a gas which causes strong obnoxious odors and can be a bronchial irritant for many people. Sulfur does not generally reach toxic levels in water due to the limitations of water to hold sufficient quantities. Also, sulfur in toxic levels cannot be identified by the olfactory senses as it has then exceeded the ability of our natural defense system to detect it. If you can smell the sulfur, it is not at a level yet of causing immediate health hazards.

 

Tannin causes color in your water, and staining. Decomposing organic matter in your water source causes this organic substance. It is often mistaken for iron because of the color and staining. It has plagued water treatment dealers in the past due to misapplications by sales people. Iron filtration is often applied ineffectively to tannin problems. Because the ionic charge of tannin is the opposite of iron, an iron filter has no effect on this substance.

 

BACTERIA are often utilized as the sales persons secret weapon. Almost any water will test positive for bacteria. The world around you, and your body is full of bacteria. Some bacteria’s are even beneficial to your body such as digestive enzymes and aerobic bacteria found in your gut. However, bacteria can exceed safe levels in drinking water. Heterotrophic bacteria are an example of bacteria, which is most often present at your kitchen tap. But unless levels become excessive, it is not identified as a health issue. Let’s face it; there can be upwards of 20 billion bacteria in a cubic inch of potting soil! Some bacteria though can cause serious illness, permanent health problems, and even death. Open water sources such as wells, lakes and rivers should always be tested for bacteria, and probably treated for potential bacteria regardless of any individual test result. A negative bacteria test today can easily and often show a positive result tomorrow. The water in your well is always changing.

 

These are some of the more common constituencies found in your water supplies. Even the treatment by municipalities has come under question. Chlorine, fluoride, bromine, flocculants such as poly-aluminum chloride, and many more have been used to achieve good looking, bacteria free water for municipalities. Pharmaceuticals, which pass through your body, through the treatment centers and back out into the water sources, are building in concentrations every year. They are drawn back through the water treatment facilities and appear in testable limits in your drinking water supplies.

 

Protecting yourself and your family against this array of contaminates is your responsibility, like it or not. Passing the buck back to the municipality may be convenient, but it is not effective. The municipality cannot treat for this wide range of issues, when over 95% of the treated water is used for washing cloths, watering lawns, and other utility needs.

 

Your safe water is up to you. It is your water, your home, your family, and your health. The applicable theory is “Short term pain, for long term gain”. Pay now for health, or pay later for sickness. It is totally up to you.

 

Thank you for your interest in informing yourself regarding water. More articles are on their way for your education and enjoyment.

 

  1. David Jollymore, B.Sc., Microbiologist

 

 

 

 

What is the color in my water?

TESTING FOR COLOR

To test your water for color, take a deep white bowl or a white margarine container and fill it 2/3 with your water. When looking into the container, compare the color of the container above the water line, to the color of the container (water) below the water line. Suddenly water which looked clear previously, shows some color in it. This is because you did not have a medium to test against. Now when your water is compared to a white container, the difference becomes apparent.

The color in pure water varies from clear blue, to clear green, to just clear. It usually depends on the water source. The key word is clear.

Color naturally found in water generally comes from one of 2 sources. Iron or Tannin. This article deals with IRON. 0.3 mg/ltr is the level at which staining from IRON begins. 0.3 is also considered the drinking water guideline. Again I will remind readers that IRON, as found in water, is not chelated, and therefore not assimilated by the body. Iron is dissolved into the water as water passes through iron deposits in the ground. It is often brown in color, especially when found in higher levels. But the water may remain clear unless allowed to sit in an open container for varying amounts of time. Then the dissolved iron precipitates out of the water because it is exposed to oxygen and oxidizes. The water will change to a brownish color and eventually the iron will settle to the bottom of the container leaving clear water at the top and colored water at the bottom. Often the iron turns to a particle which can be clearly seen at the bottom of the container. This oxidization process is why water which looks clear when first drawn from the tap, can still leave very pronounced staining in toilet bowls, sinks and bathtubs. Cloths, especially whites and light colors often absorb the iron and come out of the laundry with permanent stains and discoloration. Adding chlorine bleach does not resolve this problem. In fact it makes it worse because chlorine is an excellent oxidizer and creates an even more aggressive problem.

Removing iRON from water can be a nightmare for the consumer. If 4 water treatment equipment salesmen come into your home, you can get 4 different approaches and all of them might work. Some technicians will suggest a chemical using filter called a Greensands filter which uses Potassium Permanganate to regenerate the filter media, not unlike how a water softener uses salt. Another might suggest an air injection system often called an Air Birm filter. It too regenerates but uses water flow rather than a chemical to clean itself. Sometimes a chlorine system is necessary with ample retention time to give the chlorine time to work at oxidizing the iron to a particle which can then be filtered out. And of course Ozone can be used in some applications as well. The discrepancy always shows itself in the salesman’s attitude towards the other technologies. Each salesman wants to promote his or her system, when they really should be offering all of the above systems and explaining the pros and cons of each. A chlorine or ozone system for example will achieve other benefits at the same time as removing the iron.

Removing bacteria, or odors is an example of additional benefits. And none of these systems will work all the time on all iron applications. The study of competent water treatment applications is too complex to address in this article. I can only suggest three avenues for the consumer to take in this regard. 1. Get more than two opinions from experience water treatment technicians. Although there are certification programs available for water treatment technicians, often pure experience is the best qualification a technician can offer. 2. Look for similar approaches from the technicians. Three different stories should make you a wary consumer. 3. Contact us and we will test your water for free and make recommendations on proper applications as well as where you can locally obtain the right equipment from a reputable dealer. And there are many reputable dealers. But if you look in your past yellow pages, you will also notice how many of these water treatment companies spring up one year and are gone 2 or 3 years later.

A word of caution; don’t be a guinea pig for testing new technologies. You cannot afford it. You will be left with a bad taste (no pun intended!) for the water treatment industry. Use tried and proven technologies that many dealers provide. Granted, there are always new technologies springing up. I read about them all the time. Many of them I have tried on my own well. ( I have rotten water coming from my drilled well!) But you do not want to go down that path. There are organizations that do protect the consumer by offering good sound advice regarding water treatment technologies. If you wish to contact a consumer protection organization which specializes in water treatment but does not sell anything, please contact us an we will steer you towards these agencies, which are there to protect the consumer.

In closing this article, I will again remind you; A wise consumer makes wise choices. Don’t be a fool and later complain that you were taken advantage of. Do your homework. There is a fool born every minute, and someone to take advantage of the fool is born every 59 seconds. Good water is available to every person. Get yours now.

David Jollymore, B.SC

Other Valuable Water Treatment Links

Water-Pure and Simple

Introduction to Water Treatment

It is Tannin

Water Softening

Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Purifier

Ultra Violet

Bacteria? Ultra Violet Water Disinfection!

Bacteria in water supplies has been scientifically proven to be the cause of 85% of child sickness and 65% of adult disease. The world World Health Organization claims that over 3 million children die every year of environmental hazards. Inappropriate water conditions can lead to health problems such as hepatitis B, tuberculosis, meningitis, typhoid fever, tricomoniasis and cholera, glaucoma, gastrointestinal pain, salmonella and the list goes on. Continued progress towards providing everyone with access to protected wells and ultimately, treated, piped water supplies will radically reduce illness caused by water impurities. In the meantime, disinfection and filtration at home are simple measures that make an immediate difference to the lives of those at risk from contaminated water supplies.

Ultraviolet light provides an environmentally safe, well proven method for in home disinfection of drinking water. The ultraviolet light is enclosed in a transparent protective sleeve which is mounted so that the water can pass through the flow chamber, becoming exposed to the ultraviolet rays which are absorbed into the bacteria. When the bacteria is exposed to the UV rays, the reproductive ability of the bacteria is eliminated. The risk of disease is eliminated.

UV disinfects water without adding chemicals, and therefore does not create new chemical complexes in the water. It also does not change the taste of the water. Ultraviolet disinfection requires pretreatment of the water to remove debris, iron, color, turbidity and excess calcium. Any significant amount of the above can cause the UV rays to be unable to gain proper exposure to the bacteria, which will allow the bacteria to survive. At the very least, sediment and carbon filtration should always precede ultraviolet systems. Often, pretreatment includes iron removal and calcium removal. Both iron and calcium can reduce the exposure of the micro-organisms to the light and also build up a film of scaling on the light which reduces the amount of UV light penetrating the water.

Regular cleaning of the protective sleeve can reduce this accumulation of film on the UV light, however the sleeve and the UV light are both very, very delicate and easily broken. This cleaning should only be performed by a water treatment technician experienced in proper UV maintenance procedures.

Ultraviolet does not leave any residual disinfection in the water. Therefore UV applications need to be placed as close to the water exit tap as possible. This makes ultraviolet an excellent application to be added to an in-home reverse osmosis system. The reverse osmosis technology also removes all the inhibitors from the water before exposure to the UV light. The ultraviolet rays are then enabled to achieve maximum penetration to assure a complete elimination of micro-organisms and bacteria from the drinking water. Ultraviolet light is a natural, cost effective, environmentally friendly disinfection process for use in homes where healthy water is a concern.

David Jollymore, B.Sc, Microbiology

Links To Other Water Treatment Articles

Introduction to Water Purification

Water Softeners

Water Disinfection – Ultra Violet Lights

It’s Tannin

Color in water caused by Tannin

Tannin? Something new? No, but certainly a recent addition to water treatment technology.

For many decades an effective treatment for Tannin has eluded water treatment specialists. With many common characteristics similar to its opposite, iron, Tannin is commonly mistaken for iron. It always shows itself as color in the water and often causes staining, especially on clothing. The only visible means of telling the difference between Tannin and iron is the type of stain found on clothing. Tannin leaves splotches of stains, often in the middle of a shirt or bedding. Iron generally stains uniformly throughout the whole garment and shows a preference for seams, folds and collars. If your towel has a splotch of stain, or two, almost appearing like a spill on the towel or shirt, you could easily be dealing with Tannin. So what is it?

Tannin is the color left in water from the leaching of color from organic matter. A tea bag is a Tannin bag. Dip a tea bag in water and you have color and taste. Spill it on your shirt and you have a tannin stain. Tannin is most often caused by decaying organic matter in the water table. Or when the water is drawn from a surface source such as a lake or river, it is caused by dead leaves and trees in the water. Low hanging branches will leach color into the water. In my area of North America, Cedar trees are a major source of Tannin. The dead needles from a Cedar tree turn brown and cause much color in lakes and shallow wells.

Tannin has the opposite ionic charge from its co-conspirator, iron. Iron caused by inorganic substance has a “plus” charge where as Tannin, caused by organics has a “minus” charge. Therefore, although it is easily mistaken for iron, it is not removed by an iron filter.

The most common system for Tannin removal is an anion filter media. This porous media adsorbs the Tannin onto the resin, and is then backwashed with sodium chloride. The system functions very much like a water softener but is opposite in charge. It also uses much more salt than a water softener and the resin bed has a finite life expectancy of 3-5 years, if cleaned regularly. Whereas efficiency can be sought after in a water softener, such luxury is not advised in a Tannin filter. You must dump the salt to it to keep the resin clean or it will saturate and need replacing. The resin is much more expensive than a softener resin.

Another possible agent for Tannin control is an oxidizing agent such as chlorine, ozone, or hydrogen peroxide. But each of these needs to be tested on the subject water to determine which will have the best effect. Ozone or peroxide are my personal choices over chlorine for health and environmental reasons, but the final decision needs to be based on the test results of a laboratory test application. Of course the anion filter will always remove the tannin but then the amount of salt needed can be the detriment to the application.

Tannin will show up positive on an iron test. This makes assumptions regarding iron in your water very hazardous to successful treatment applications. Unlike iron, in which the oxidizing agent precipitates the iron into a particle to be filtered out, Tannin is bleached out. The trial run is to take a liter of the water in a white bowl, put 3 drops of chlorine in the liter of water, and sit back and watch. If the water bleaches clear after a few minutes (5-20 minutes) the color is tannin. If the water goes darker, or if you can visibly detect particles in the water that were not there previously, the color is caused by iron. In any geographical area where Tannin is a possibility this test should always be performed.

When dealing with chemical treatment of water problems, remember two rules of thumb.

  1. Contact time is critical. The longer the contact time of the water with the chemical, the better the results.                                                                             2. Remove the chemical before sending the water throughout your home. Some chemicals are toxic to ingest of course, but some are even toxic to breath the fumes.

My personal preference when removing Tannin from household water, is the anion filter media. The large amounts of salt needed to regenerate the system will require a separate sump hole to be dug in the ground where the regenerate can be disposed of. I believe this should be done for water softeners too. Salt is very bad for septic systems, and even municipal water treatment systems are better off without this bacteria killing agent which deplete the systems ability to treat water and it also corrodes cement holding tanks.

Unfortunately, as we move into the more complex problems which can present themselves in water, there are no magic solutions. You have to look at the available technologies and decide which applications will achieve the desired result. What is the capital cost, the environmental cost, the maintenance cost? How much room will it take up in your home? Also, you must deal with a reputable water treatment dealer and obtain as much assurance from the dealer as possible regarding the outcome of the recommended treatment. Please, do not be enticed by price cutting on the part of over zealous sales people. Complex water may require expensive complex solutions. Sorry!

  1. David Jollymore, B.SC., Microbiologist

Reverse Osmosis Purifiers

The most popular water purification process on the market today is Reverse Osmosis. This water purification process was pioneered in the early 1950s in response to the increasing incidence of kidney disease. RO was designed to replace the filtration function of the kidney, and is still used in the dialysis units of hospitals for this purpose today.

Reverse Osmosis utilizes the properties of a membrane to prevent the passage of particles through the membrane. Any particle larger than a water molecule is prevented from passing through the membrane, while the H2O is permitted to flow through to the “pure water” side. Because of the incredibly small pores which the water passes through, pre- filtration is necessary to prevent the plugging up of the membrane pores. Pre-filtration can combine 1, 2 or even 3 pre-filters. These pre-filters are combined to remove larger particles, chlorine, and even some chemicals and pesticides, before the water is subjected to the membrane purification technology. The number and type of pre-filtration depends on the water quality and impurities which are determined to be present in the water. Common pre-filtration includes, sediment filtration, chlorine removal, and chemical absorbent. The purpose of the pre-filtration is to protect and give longer life to the expensive membrane portion of the system.

SEDIMENT is first removed by a 20 micron filter. This filter may be constructed of tight wound cotton string spun around a spool, or it may be a pleated paper filter. By the way, this dot, “.” is approximately 50 microns in size. Therefore a 20 micron filter would remove any substance which is half the size of a dot such as this one “. ” Sediment, might include particles released from the inside of the pipes which deliver the water to your home, iron which has come out of solution and is now visible in your water as color, or just debris from the water source where your water is drawn from.

GRANULAR ACTIVATED CARBON (GAC) is most often used as the second filter, if the water source is chlorinated, as most municipal water is. Chlorine will destroy the Composite RO membrane quickly, so the chlorine must be removed before the water reaches the RO membrane. GAC filters are simple filters which are filled with small grains of carbon which are highly absorbent and effectively remove chlorine. When the water source does not contain chlorine, the GAC is usually replaced with a sediment filter of perhaps 10 microns of effective filtration, although some GAC filters can act as both a taste and odor filter, as well as a 10 micron sediment filter. It should be noted though, that because a GAC filter does not give “absolute” filtration results for sediment, the water treatment technologist who is applying the application for water treatment should be aware of what objective is to be attained. Is the objective tighter filtration after the 20 micron by placement of a 10 micron filter, or is ithe objective taste and odor removal, such as the rotten egg smell of hydrogen sulfide (H2S)? A GAC will reduce H2S levels where as a pleated or string sediment filter will not.

CARBON BLOCK filters are usually placed as the third pre-filter in a RO filter system. Carbon block filters have the potential to filter down as small as one-half micron. This is very small. As well, carbon blocks are reasonably effective at removing most chemicals and pesticides from the water. The effect of placing the pre-filters in this arrangement contributes to both the increased life expectancy of the RO membrane, as well as reduced pre- filter maintenance. The least expensive of the filters, the 20 micron, takes out the bulky larger substances. The next filter in expense, the GAC, takes out the chlorine and more particles which the 20 micron could not capture, and the most expensive of the pre-filters, the Carbon Block, is left to just absorb the chemicals.

THE MEMBRANE is the heart of the Reverse Osmosis System. As the water is forced through the membrane by water pressure, the impurities are held back and flushed out of the system through the brine water drain line. The membrane is capable of removing upwards of 95% of all impurities, if sufficient feed water pressure is available. Higher feed water pressure increases the efficiency of the membrane. Absolute minimum feed water pressure is 40 psi. If the pressure is not high enough an electric pressure booster pump must be added before the system.

After the purified water has passed through the RO membrane, it is stored in a small storage tank, waiting to be delivered through a dedicated tap, to the consumer. The tank only holds about 6-8 liters of water at a time. This small tank is designed to fit under the kitchen sink for convenience. Larger tanks can be ordered and easily installed for consumers who desire more water available at a moments notice. It generally takes about 2 hours to fill an empty 8 liter tank. Most RO systems deliver from 35-75 gallons (160-340 liters) every 24 hours, depending on the membrane capacity which came with the RO system, and depending on the water pressure. (more pressure = more purified water)

Finally, on some systems the water may pass through a final carbon filter which is installed in the delivery line between the tank and the faucet, just as a final polish for good tasting water.

CRITICISM is often voiced about RO units because for every liter of purified water, 2-3 liters of brine water are discharged to the drain, to clean the impurities out of the water. This is true. However, this water is not gone! It is simply sent back out to where it came from, the water table. Nothing has been added to the water. The impurities it picked up as it passed through the ground, is returned to the ground.

CONCLUSION: Reverse Osmosis is the number one choice of consumers around the world who wish to provide pure, safe, good tasting drinking water for themselves and their families.

You can contact us by filling in the form and we will respond within 24 hours.

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Links To Other Water Treatment Articles

Introduction to Water Purification

Water Softeners

Water Disinfection – Ultra Violet Lights

Water Softening

Water softening is probably the most popular of all water treatment technologies. Although there is much mis-conception about how a water softener works, the end result of a proper application is always the same. Water softeners bring most families a much higher quality of household water. Mineral deposits are eliminated. Water spots on shower walls and glassware, gone! Laundry comes out cleaner and softer. No more soap deposits left in the clothing causing itching and rashes. The total overall quality of the water improves, and truly does feel “softer”.

When is a water softener needed? Just about any time the water comes from a ground water source such as a dug or drilled well. About the only time one can argue against the benefits of water softening is if the water is drawn from a surface supply such as a lake. Even rivers generally pick up mineral content as they flow over the ground and become “hard water”.

Water hardness is measured in grains of hardness per gallon or liter. It can also be measured in PPM with 17.1 ppm per one grain of hardness. Water over 7 grains hard begins to benefit from the effects of water softening. At 10 grains the effects of softening are readily noticeable. At 15 grains of hardness rush out and buy a water softener, you will be pleased you did.

David’s believe-it-or-not says the most common complaint I have heard about the effects of soft water are: No 1-the dishes are very slippery when wet (true) and No 2- my hair has gone all pouffy! (true again-the mineral deposits are gone!)

How does a water softener work? Does a water softener leave salt in my water? Let’s get this straight once and for all. A water softener works on a system called “ion exchange”. For every grain of hardness (calcium/magnesium) your water softener takes out of the water-IT MUST REPLACE IT WITH AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF SALT. Let me repeat this. The softener exchanges the calcium with salt. The calcium is actually a salt as well, so I should properly say that the calcium salts are replaced with sodium salts. If the softener works perfectly, the exchange would be exact but this is not possible. There is always more salt left in the water than the amount of calcium it removed. The ratio of exchange used to be terrible, and still is in some older model systems. But many newer technologies incorporate systems of rinsing that reduce the left over salt in your water to very acceptable standards. The exchange can be measured with a TDS meter which every salesman should carry, or he is not testing your water properly. The increase in TDS from your feed water to your product water will identify how much excessive salt is left behind. An efficient softener leaves less salt behind than in one gallon of water than is found in one piece of white bread.

A water softener should not be installed where a sodium restricted diet is recommended. Although I would suggest that the softener still be installed if the water warrants the application, and a reverse osmosis unit be placed in the kitchen to remove the salt, and all other impurities, for cooking and drinking water. Water softeners will often remove small amounts of iron from your water. But this will increase the salt used, and the salt left behind. Larger amounts of iron, over 1mg/ltr will cause excessive salt use, and eventually foul the bed of the softener. A water softener should not be used as the primary means of reducing iron in water.

Another consideration in softening is your septic system. Water softeners rinse large amounts of salt into your drain water. If you are on a septic system, as many rural systems are, you will damage the cement holding tank and salt will harm vegetation in the area where the septic is located. Potassium Chloride is a suitable replacement under these circumstances, or if you just want to be more environmentally conscious in your water treatment application. Potassium is far less corrosive and does not have as much negative impact on the environment. Potassium is also often recommended as a sodium replacement for people on salt restricted diets. (although my preference where health concerns are an issue, is the application of a reverse osmosis after the softener).

Saltless Water Softeners? RUBBISH! There are no saltless water softeners which have been tested and certified. But lots of them have been tested and discarded as rubbish. The Water Quality Association is an organization which is there to inform and protect the public in regards to the water treatment industry. To my knowledge they have tested many electronic, electric, or magnetic devices and found that none of them remove one grain of hardness from water. Some of these devices will reduce scaling, the effect of mineral deposits sticking to surfaces, but none of them remove anything from the water. Once again, I see this as dealerships and sales people who just want to get the sale, so they give the customer what the customer wants. A magic wand. Well I can supply you with magic wands for $1.29 so don’t pay more than that for any magic wands. I am sure these statements will ruffle some feathers, but until I see the WQA certifying a saltless water softener, I will stick to my statements.

If you install a water softener in your home, and keep it for six months to get used to it, you will not likely ever be without one. I have had mine for 14 years now. Yup, the same one. Make a wise purchase and you will have a long lasting piece of equipment.

I have said many times, ” a wise and educated consumer makes wise choices”. Your water, your health, your responsibility.

Links To Other Water Treatment Articles

Introduction to Water Purification

Water Softeners

Water Disinfection – Ultra Violet Lights

Water Purification – An Introduction

WATER TREATMENT-A METHODICAL APPROACH

 

WATER WIND AND SUN operates as a Water Problem Solutions Engineering Company. Water treatment encompasses many different problems and objectives.

 

Bad odours, foul taste, staining, chemical contamination, bacteria, microorganism infestation, excessive calcium (hard water), are just some of the problems which plague homeowners, businesses and municipalities.

 

“WWS” can provide solutions to many of these problems.

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Proper technology applications can provide relief from these issues by removing odour, colour, staining, foul tastes and bacteria from water sources.

 

Because no one product can correct all water problems, contaminates must be removed through correct applications of the appropriate technology. Furthermore, treatment applications must always be applied in a correct methodology. For instance, starting with removal of the larger contaminates and working towards the microscopic impurities.

 

Reclaimed_Water_Jars

Water can always be filtered to be potable and healthy.  Yes, any water can be purified.

In fact, technology now available to the residential consumer, is capable of identifying and applying select removal, of only the constituents which you are concerned with.

You can have the water you want.

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Too often, over zealous water sales people tell prospective clients what the client wants to hear. Typically, ” this is the only apparatus you need to treat your water”. Too often, this information is incorrect and only aimed at getting the sale. The problems of incorrect treatment applications get handed up to the dealer to be dealt with later, much to the customers chagrin.

 

This attitude is culminated from the need for the salesman to make the sale, or not feed his family. The customers needs come second to the salesperson’s need to earn a living.

 

Let’s face the facts. If somebody ever invents the “do it all” treatment application, they will own the industry. In the meantime, it is imperative that the customer be informed correctly of the necessary steps in water treatment so that they can get proper value for money spent.

 

Let’s begin this series of articles on Water, by looking at some of the basic parameters of water.

 

Pure Water is one of the most efficient natural absorbents in existence. As soon as pure water contacts the earth, it begins absorbing bits of everything it comes in contact with. As the impurities build up in the water, its absorbency decreases. Eventually the water becomes saturated and looses its absorbent qualities.

Animated Water Cycle

 

How much impurity can water absorb? The drinking water guideline for safe water is generally accepted as 500ppm of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). Comparatively, the ocean is about 30,000ppm of TDS. Total Dissolved Solids is a measurement of the inorganic dissolved content, which has been absorbed into the water. Organic compounds are generally not conductive and therefore do not show up in this test.

 

Iron generally shows up as colour in the water, staining of everything it contacts; clothing, dishes, appliances, toilets, bathtubs, showers, etc., and can give a metallic taste to the water. A future article will deal with this issue in much more detail. Iron is sometimes identified as a drinking water impurity.

 

Calcium is commonly identified as “hardness” in water. Calcium causes staining, poor taste, turbidity, mineral deposits, excessive spotting on shower walls, dishes, automobiles, etc. Laundry soap is often used in excess in hard water because the hardness prevents the proper assimilation of the soap into the water. As a result deposits of soap are left in the clothing, bedding, and towels often causing itching and rashes.

 

Sulfur is found in many rural water supplies, often accompanying the iron, although caused by different source contacts. H2S, absorbed by the water which comes in contact with sulphur deposits in the ground, absorbs oxygen (O2) when exposed to the atmosphere, evolving to H2SO4, a gas which causes strong obnoxious odours and can be a bronchial irritant for many people. Sulphur does not generally reach toxic levels in water due to the limitations of water to hold sufficient quantities. Also, sulphur in toxic levels cannot be identified by the olfactory senses as it has then exceeded the ability of our natural defence system to detect it. If you can smell the sulphur, it is not at a level yet of causing immediate health hazards.

 

Tannin causes colour in your water, and staining. Decomposing organic matter in your water source causes this organic substance. It is often mistaken for iron because of the color and staining. It has plagued water treatment dealers in the past due to misapplications by sales people. Iron filtration is often applied ineffectively to tannin problems. Because the ionic charge of tannin is the opposite of iron, an iron filter has no effect on this substance.

 

BACTERIA are often utilized as the sales persons secret weapon. Almost any water will test positive for bacteria. The world around you, and your body is full of bacteria. Some bacteria’s are even beneficial to your body such as digestive enzymes and aerobic bacteria found in your gut. However, bacteria can exceed safe levels in drinking water. Heterotrophic bacteria are an example of bacteria, which is most often present at your kitchen tap. But unless levels become excessive, it is not identified as a health issue. Let’s face it; there can be upwards of 20 billion bacteria in a cubic inch of potting soil! Some bacteria though can cause serious illness, permanent health problems, and even death. Open water sources such as wells, lakes and rivers should always be tested for bacteria, and probably treated for potential bacteria regardless of any individual test result. A negative bacteria test today can easily and often show a positive result tomorrow. The water in your well is always changing.

 

These are some of the more common constituencies found in your water supplies. Even the treatment by municipalities has come under question. Chlorine, fluoride, bromine, flocculants such as poly-aluminum chloride, and many more have been used to achieve good looking, bacteria free water for municipalities. Pharmaceuticals, which pass through your body, through the treatment centres and back out into the water sources, are building in concentrations every year. They are drawn back through the water treatment facilities and appear in testable limits in your drinking water supplies.

 

Protecting yourself and your family against this array of contaminates is your responsibility, like it or not. Passing the buck back to the municipality may be convenient, but it is not effective. The municipality cannot treat for this wide range of issues, when over 95% of the treated water is used for washing cloths, watering lawns, and other utility needs.

 

Your safe water is up to you. It is your water, your home, your family, and your health. The applicable theory is “Short term pain, for long term gain”. Pay now for health, or pay later for sickness. It is totally up to you.

 

Thank you for your interest in informing yourself regarding water. More articles are on their way for your education and enjoyment.

David Jollymore, B.Sc., Microbiologist

Valuable Links

Water Pure and Simple

What is the color in my water?

It’s Tannin

Water Softening

Reverse Osmosis

Ultra Violet Lights

 

Water – Pure and Simple

Constructed of two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen, this substance better known as water, is the most essential element, next to air, to our survival. Water truly is everywhere, still most of us take it for granted.

Water makes up more than two thirds of the weight of the human body, and without it, we would die in just a few days. The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82% water and lungs 90%. A mere 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. (Are you having trouble reading this? Drink up!) Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. An estimated seventy-five percent of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. Pretty scary statistic for a developed country where water is readily available through the tap or bottle.

Water is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organ functions made up in our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning.

! Water serves as a lubricant
! Water forms the base for saliva
! Water forms the fluids that surround the joints.
! Water regulates the body temperature, as the cooling and
heating is distributed through perspiration.
! Water helps to alleviate constipation by moving food through
the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste- the best detox agent!
Water regulates metabolism.

The more contaminate that the water contains before drinking, the less activity the water can produce in the body. Contaminated water, which is carrying dissolved rock called “dissolved mineral content”,  is less able to pick up the nutrients in the digestive system and carry these nutrients to the cellular level for use. And on the way out of the body, the water is meant to clean the body of toxins. But if the water is already saturated with various inorganic minerals and other contaminates, it cannot carry nutrients into the body, or waste toxins out of the body.

In addition to the daily maintenance of our bodies, water also plays a key role in the prevention of disease. Drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50% and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer. And those are just a few examples! Since water is such an important component to our physiology, it would make sense that the quality of the water should be just as important as the quantity. Drinking water should always be clean and free of contaminants to ensure proper health and wellness.

Links To Other Water Treatment Articles

Introduction to Water Purification

Water Softeners

Water Disinfection – Ultra Violet Lights

Reverse Osmosis Under Sink Water Purifier

What is the Color in my Water

Tannin – Color in Your Water