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What is the best way to know when to change my activated carbon filter?
  • This really depends on the application form which the activated carbon is being used. If the application is purely for aesthetics (taste and odor control), then simply replace the activated carbon when the taste or smell of the water becomes objectionable. This will not work if the activated carbon is being used to remove hazardous materials, since they can be harmful at levels the normal human cannot taste or smell. In this case, it is best to replace the activated carbon on the time or volume schedule suggested by the manufacturer. If the activated carbon is being used to reduce an extremely hazardous material, it may be necessary to have a number of filters in series and monitor the water quality on a regular basis.
If I use activated carbon filters, won't it eventually start putting more "Bad Stuff" into my water than I had when I started?
  • Not if you follow instructions and change the carbon bed at the recommended interval. You may have heard of a phenomenon called unloading. If the carbon bed's adsorption capability should become exhausted, the bed could release material which it has trapped. However, this should never happen since manufacturers recommend when activated carbon filters are to be replaced long before the bed reaches complete exhaustion. It does point out, though, that the user should be very careful to follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
Is the first water out of an activated carbon bed in the morning bad or good?
  • It should be good water, but it is possible to experience some desorption of materials when the bed is not exhausted. If the bed sits idle for an extended period of time, say overnight, it doesn't hurt to run the first bit of water produced down the drain.
Does activated carbon remove bacteria or make it worse?
  • Neither really. It is true that the level of bacteria in a water system is sometimes higher after a filter than before, and it is common knowledge that medium in systems on this type offer an acceptable habitat for nonpathogenics. However, if the water supply to the unit is potable, organisms pathogenic to man have not been demonstrated to grow in POU/POE treatment units.
  • It is worth noting as a result of a study at the Yale University School of Medicine, that there is no reason to believe that the bacteria in an activated carbon filter is a problem. Activated carbon filters are definitely not capable of removing all bacteria, and this type of system should only be used on water which is potable.
Does activated carbon make the water pure?
  • No. Activated carbon has the ability to reduce certain types of impurities. Passing water through the activated carbon will make the water "safer" with respect to those contaminants activated carbon is capable of reducing; however, there are many types of contaminants which will no be removed by a simple activated carbon filter. Calcium, magnesium, ammonia, sodium chloride, and nitrates are examples of impurities which are not removed by activated carbon.
Will activated carbon make our coffee, tea and juice taste better?
  • This depends upon what is causing the taste problems in your beverages. If the taste problem is being caused by chlorine or organic material, then the appropriate activated carbon filter will definitely make your beverages taste better. However, if the taste problem is being caused by dis¬solved minerals, the activated carbon, by itself, won't solve your taste problems.
Are all activated carbons the same?
  • No. Each activated carbon medium has its strengths and weaknesses. That is why it is of critical importance to decide what the carbon is expected to do, and then consult the manufacturers infor¬mation to select the appropriate carbon for the job.
Why is it called "activated carbon", and why won't just charcoal work?
  • "Activated" refers to the fact the activated carbon has been processed in a manner which cre¬ates large amounts of clean surface area in the carbon. The activated carbon is literally riddled with a network of tiny tunnels (pores) that are produced during the activation process. These tiny tunnels provide a very large amount of surface area, about 125 acres/pound of carbon. This clean surface area attracts organic material (nonpolar substances) out of the water. Ordinary charcoal won't work because it doesn't have the large amounts of surface area, and the surface area that it does have is definitely not clean.
What is adsorption??
  • In essence, adsorption occurs because all molecules exert attractive forces, especially molecules at the surface of solids like carbon. These molecules are seeking others to adhere to it. Water is known as a polar solvent; that is, the water has both positive and negative molecules. The acti¬vated carbon surface is nonpolar; it doesn't have a positive and a negative force. Most organic contaminants are also nonpolar, like the activated carbon surface, and they do not like to be dis¬solved in the water. As a result, if the nonpolar contaminants get close to the nonpolar carbon surface and there isn't something else already on the surface, they will adhere or be adsorbed (held) to the surface of the carbon because they would rather be on the carbon surface than in the water.
What is the difference between GAC and block carbon?
  • There are two main forms of activated carbon used in POU/POE applications (GAC and Block). Granular activated carbon is carbon which has been broken into chunks or granulars. It is ideal for larger filters, for example, a POE unit eight inches in diameter and three feet tall. The granular activated carbon or powdered activated carbon used in a precoat-type cartridge also works well in properly designed small scale units. Pressed block media is activated carbon which has been crushed very finely and then reformed into a porous block.
What is the "black stuff" that comes out of my tap when I first turn on the tap?
  • This is nothing to be concerned about. The black material is simply carbon dust. As the bed is used, the activated carbon is slowly eroded away, and when the bed is first flushed, some of this material which has worn off is washed out. If you run the water briefly before using it, you will eliminate this material.
When should an activated carbon filter be backwashed?
  • In essence, adsorption occurs because all molecules exert attractive forces, especially molecules at the surface of solids like carbon. These molecules are seeking others to adhere to it. Water is known as a polar solvent; that is, the water has both positive and negative molecules. The acti¬vated carbon surface is nonpolar; it doesn't have a positive and a negative force. Most organic contaminants are also nonpolar, like the activated carbon surface, and they do not like to be dis¬solved in the water. As a result, if the nonpolar contaminants get close to the nonpolar carbon surface and there isn't something else already on the surface, they will adhere or be adsorbed (held) to the surface of the carbon because they would rather be on the carbon surface than in the water.
What problems does hard water cause?
  • Scale formation on the inside of pipes, water heaters, showers causing choking of pipes, loss of energy in heaters and clogging of showers.
  • In cooking hard water spoils the taste and needs more time to cook.
  • In washing, clothes requires more soap. vessels leave white stains.
  • It causes discomfort on skin and hair on bathing.
How does a water softener work? - The Ion Exchange Process.
  • The idea behind a water softener is simple. The Calcium and Magnesium ions in the water are replaced with ions of salt (either Sodium or Potassium). These salts do not precipitate in pipes or react badly with soap and therefore eliminate the hard water problem.
  • Water softeners contain Sodium rich ion exchanger resins that are designed to remove ions, mainly positively charged Calcium (Ca2+) and Magnesium (Mg2+) ions. This resin media exchanges the hardness minerals with its Sodium as the water passes through the media, thus making the water soft. This is called as the softening process.
Does the softener cartridge needs to be replaced after softener stops giving soft water?
  • In the process of softening the resin beads now exhausted with Calcium and Magnesium can no longer soften the water. Then it is time to recharge the resin. Recharging involves passing salt water ( common salt ) slowly through the resin bed in the reverse direction for a given time.
How does the POU softener compare with other softeners in the market?
  • Most softeners in the market are point of entry products (whole house ) hence large in size and high on cost. Other POU softeners are not user friendly. For recharging the softener the salt solution is to be made and poured from a funnel or allowed to trickle via a hanging bag. Also the port tubing's having to be physically reversed on the unit. The compact wall mounted POU softener has a multiport valve. Which directs the salty water to a separate drain line during recharging (no need to reverse the tubing's ). Solid salt has to be filled into the POU unit for recharging. The product is user friendly.
Where can the POU softener be connected at home?
  • POU Softeners can be connected to geysers, showers, wash sinks and washing machines.
How much soft water will the product POU softener give?
  • Based on the Hardness content in the raw water the output of the softener can be estimated, typically if inlet hardness is say 500 ppm as CaCo3 in Soft water output will be around 300 litres.
How much of common salt is required for recharging the softener?
  • Every time the softener stops giving soft water, the POU unit has to be filled with around 500gms of salt and left in the recharging mode.
For how much of hardness is a softener required?
  • Water with around 20 ppm hardness is termed as soft Water upto 60 ppm hardness slightly hard Water upto 120 ppm moderately hard (improves with a softener) Water upto 180 ppm hard (big improvements with softener) Water over 180 ppm hardness – very hard
How is RO water compared to bottled water?
  • Just as good or even better. We use the same technology, reverse osmosis (RO), as other major bottling plants use to filter water. Our drinking water has a refreshing taste with a touch of minerals —not like the flat taste of distilled or bottled water. The five-stage system is the most stable and complete RO process. The best part is that our system allows you to proactively monitor and maintain the unit's performance and measure the purity of the water to ensure your family's health yourself. That is something that you cannot do with bottled water.
Tap water safety: I thought my city's tap water was safe to drink?
  • It is a known fact that many municipal water distribution channels across American cities are in desperate need of replacement from old age and wear. Water contamination can occur at almost any point in the delivery channel including lead leaching from corroded pipe solder, bacteria entering the system from water main breaks, or gardening chemicals back-siphoned from a careless neighbour.
  • Unfortunately most local and state governments do not have the financial resources to address these very expensive problems now or in the foreseeable future. To make matters worse, most cities also add chemicals like chlorine and fluoride to their water. The truth is, tap water quality in the US will most likely continue to decline in the coming years. The best way to protect your family from the increasingly wide range of contaminants found in today's tap water is by installing a reverse osmosis drinking water system.
  • How effective is Reverse Osmosis filtration compared to other methods?
  • RO is the most convenient and effective method of water filtration. It filters water by squeezing water through a semi-permeable membrane, which is rated at 0.0001 micron (equals to 0.00000004 inch!). This is the technology used to make bottled water, it is also the only technology capable of desalinating sea water, making it into drinking water.
  • Non-RO water filters typically use a single activated carbon cartridge to treat water. They are much less effective, and the pore size on these filter media are much bigger, generally 0.5 - 10 micron. They can filter out coarse particles, sediments and elements only up to their micron rating. Anything finer and most dissolved substances cannot be filtered out. As a result, water is far less clean and safe compared to reverse osmosis filtration.
Does the reverse osmosis process affect water pH?
  • In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution. We humans drink a variety of different beverages with varying pH ranges, from highly acidic orange and apple juice (3.3 pH), to mildly acidic milk and coffee (6 pH). Liquids that have a 7.0 pH are considered neutral and anything above that starts to become alkaline. Prior to any chemical reactions in the body, almost all drinks are naturally acidic. Water is an exception and can be both slightly acidic to mildly alkaline and drinking water ideally falls between a range of 6.5 to 8 pH.
  • Reverse osmosis filtration may or may not reduce the pH level of water at a noticeable amount. The pH difference after the RO depends on the composition of your input water source as well as the amount of gases such as CO2 in your local water supply. Water pH is actually a very complicated subject involving water and open air chemistry.
  • We have done many laboratory tests on the effects of our RO systems on water pH composition. The Southern California water sources used in our tests were slightly alkaline with an average pre-treatment rating of 8.12 pH. After filtration through our RO systems, the resulting pH averaged 8.06. Our results confirmed the conclusions of others in the scientific community –the reverse osmosis treatment process has very minimal effect on water pH chemistry.
  • People that wish to increase the pH of their RO water can also easily add an optional calcite filter to increase the alkalinity of their drinking water.
Mineral Content: Is it beneficial to have minerals in drinking water?
  • This is actually the biggest myth in the water industry. To understand the issue clearly, first we need to examine "what minerals" are in our tap water. If we were to send a sample of water to a testing laboratory, we would get back a report that includes calcium, magnesium, and sodium along with a list of other minerals and contaminants. While some of these mineral are safe and benign, there are also many toxic ones on this list including fluoride, arsenic, chromium and radium just to name a few. Unfortunately there are no filtration systems available that can differentiate between good and bad minerals. Basic carbon filter systems will leave in all the minerals, including the highly toxic and radioactive ones. On the other hand, RO systems will remove 90-99% of these undesirable contaminants.
  • The truth is the majority of healthy minerals our bodies need come from the food we eat and not from drinking water. The main concern with water is actually over toxicity, not mineral content. Whether water contains 1 or 100ppm (parts per million) calcium isn't really important, but the difference between 1 and 100ppm arsenic is of grave importance.
Membrane Maintenance: How much water is used to flush and clean the membrane?
  • Our reverse osmosis systems use premium TFC DOW Filmtec membranes which offer long lasting performance and reliability. These membranes use a process known as "cross flow" which allows the cartridge to continually clean itself during water filtration. It is this innovative feature that allows our membranes to routinely last from 4-7 years between replacements while still providing 90-99% rejection ratings to deliver exceptional value and performance. The water used to wash and treat the membrane is known as RO rinse water and is normally directed towards the drain. However many RO owners do reuse this water in their gardens, swimming pools, aquariums or for many other general household purposes. The rinse to product water ratio will vary depending on water conditions and the type of system, but normally falls between a 3:1 (under counter) to 2:1 (countertop) ratio for open tank situations. For a small household, that is the equivalent of an extra 2-4 toilet flushes a day of used water.
How can bacteria be removed from water?
  • Bacteria and other micro organisms are removed from water through disinfection. This means that certain substances are added to kill the bacteria, these are called biocides. Sometimes disinfection can also be done with U V Lamp.
What is aerobic water treatment?
  • When bacteria are used for water purification there are two sorts of transfer; one of these is aerobic transfer. This means, that bacteria that are Oxygen dependent are converting the contaminants in the water. Aerobic bacteria can only convert compounds when plenty of oxygen is present, because they need it to perform any kind of chemical conversion. Usually the products they convert the contaminants to are carbon dioxide and water.
What is anaerobic water treatment?
  • When bacteria are used for water purification there are two sorts of conversion; one of these is anaerobic transfer. This means, that bacteria that are NOT oxygen dependent are converting the contaminants in the water. Anaerobic
  • bacteria can only convert when oxygen levels are low, because they use other sorts of substances to perform chemical conversion. Anaerobic bacteria do not just develop carbon dioxide and water during conversion, but also methane gas. This can be used to keep the machinery that supports the purification going. The anaerobic conversion of a substance requires more steps than aerobic conversion, but the final result is often less satisfactory. After anaerobic conversion usually aerobic bacteria (bacteria that do use oxygen) still need to finish the process, because the water is not clean enough yet.
How are fertilizers removed from water?
  • Fertilizers such as phosphate are removed through addition of another chemical, usually Iron. The substances than become solid precipitates, that can be filtered from the water.
  • The removal of ammonium and nitrates is a little bit more complicated; it is a purification process that takes both aerobic and anaerobic conversion to remove them.
  • In the aerobic conversion stage there are two bacterial species involved. Nitrosomonas bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite and Nitrobacter bacteria that convert nitrite to nitrate after that.
  • Although nitrate does not represent a direct health threat to most fish, high levels are still undesirable. Apart from encouraging abnormal extensive algal growth, it is now believed that high nitrate levels are implicated in some fish diseases. This means that the process cannot be stopped here. The anaerobic bacteria take over; they convert nitrate to atmospheric Nitrogen gas. This process only occurs in the absence of oxygen. The first stage is the reverse of the nitrification process, it converts nitrate back to nitrite. The second stage of denitrification converts nitrite to nitrogen gas (N2). This gas can be freely released into the atmosphere without causing environmental damage.
How does the water cycle work?
  • The freshwater we use from the surface first arrives as a result of rainfall, known as precipitation. Part of the precipitation falls on land and infiltrates into the ground. Another part of the precipitation evaporates and thereby returns to the atmosphere, to fall down again when it is raining. The last part of the precipitation is called surface run-off. Surface run-off flows directly into streams, lakes, wetlands and reservoirs. The precipitation that infiltrates into the ground moves downwards through pores, which are small voids in the soil. The precipitation moves towards a zone that consists merely of water, and then becomes groundwater. Groundwater slowly moves towards surface water in streams and lakes. Eventually all the precipitation will end up in surface waters at some point. Then the top layer of the water evaporates and rises up into the sky to form clouds. When the pressure builds due to increasing amounts of water, the clouds move inland and it starts to rain. The whole cycle as described here starts over again and will go on and on.
Which factors determine water quality?
  • Water quality is determined by the presence and quantity of contaminants, by physical/ chemical factors such as pH and conductivity, by the number of salts present and by the presence of nutrients. Humans largely influence all these factors, as they discharge their waste in water and add all kinds of substances and contaminants to water that are not naturally present.
What is the difference between salt water and fresh water?
  • Salt water is water that contains a certain amount of salts. This means that its conductivity is higher and its taste much saltier when one drinks it. Salt water is not suited to be used as drinking water, because salt drains water from human bodies. When humans drink salt water they risk dehydration. If we want to drink seawater, it needs to be desalinated first. Salt water can be found everywhere on the surface of the earth, in the oceans, in rivers and in saltwater ponds. About 71% of the earth is covered with salt water.
  • Fresh water is water with a dissolved salt concentration of less than 1%. There are two kinds of freshwater reservoirs: standing bodies of freshwater, such as lakes, ponds and inland wetlands and floating bodies of freshwater, such as streams and rivers. These bodies of water cover only a small part of the earth's surface, and their locations are unrelated to climate. Only about 1% of the earth's surface is covered with freshwater, whereas 41% of all known fish species live in this water. Fresh water zones are usually closely connected to land; therefore they are often threatened by a constant input of organic matter, inorganic nutrients and Pollutants.
How is water quality assessed?
  • To determine water quality, certified agencies take samples; small amounts of water in a medium which can be tested in a Laboratory . Laboratories test these samples on various factors, and see if they suffice water quality standards. One of these factors is the number of colonies of coliform bacteria; these are an indicator for drinking or swimming water quality. Another factor is the concentration of certain contaminants and other substances, such as eutrophication agents.
What are water quality certificates?
  • When water serves a certain purpose, such as swimming water or drinking water, people that use it need to know whether it is safe. A water quality certificate is a piece of paper that is given out by a certified agency for water quality assessment, after the assessments have taken place, when the company is content about the water quality. These certificates show people that water is safe to swim in or to drink. Water quality certificates are given out for example to pool owners. Bottled water sometimes includes a safety brand on the bottles, which shows that a certificate has been given to the supplying company.
What is in our drinking water?
  • Drinking water, like every other substance, contains small amounts of bacteria. Most of these bacteria are common ones and they are generally not harmful. Chlorine is usually added to drinking water to prevent bacterial growth while the water streams through pipelines. This is why drinking water also contains minimal amounts of chlorine. Water mostly consists of minerals and other inorganic compounds, such as calcium.
  • If you want to find out what substances your tap water consists of and whether it is totally safe to drink you can have a specialized agency check it out for you.
Where does drinking water come from?
  • Drinking water can come from different resources. For one, it can be pumped from the ground through wells. This groundwater is than purified, so that it will contain no more contaminants and is suited to drink. Drinking water can also be prepared directly from surface water resources, such as rivers, lakes and streams. Usually surface water has to undergo many more Purification steps than groundwater to become suited to drink. Preparing drinking water out of surface water is much more expensive due to this. Still 66% of all people are served by a water system that uses surface water. Part of our drinking water is pumped from the ground, usually under sand dunes. In sand dunes water can also be infiltrated. As it sinks into the ground through the dunes it is naturally purified. This costs much less money than the purification of surface water. Part of our drinking water originates from dune water.
How is drinking water purified?
  • Treating water to make it suitable to drink is much like wastewater treatment. In areas that depend on surface water it is usually stored in a reservoir for several days, in order to improve clarity and taste by allowing more oxygen from the air to dissolve in it and allowing suspended matter to settle out. The water is then pumped to a purification plant through pipelines, where it is treated, so that is will meet government treatment standards. Usually the water runs through sand filters first and sometimes through activated charcoal, before it is disinfected. Disinfection can be done by bacteria or by means of adding substances to remove contaminants from the water. The number of purification steps that are taken depend on the quality of the water that enters the purification plant. In areas with very pure sources of groundwater little treatment is needed.
What dangers can there be in drinking water?
  • here are several problems that can endanger the quality of drinking water. A number of these problems are summed up here.
  • Someone can detect coliform bacteria in drinking water. Coliform bacteria are a group of microrganisms that are normally found in the intestinal tract of humans and other warm-blooded animals, and in surface water. When these organisms are detected in drinking water this suggests contamination from a subsurface source such as barnyard run-off. The presence of these bacteria indicates that disease-causing microrganisms, known as pathogens, may enter the drinking water supply in the same way if one does not take preventive action. Drinking water should be free from coliform.
  • Yeasts and viruses can also endanger the quality of drinking water. They are microbial contaminants that are usually found in surface water. Examples are Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Giardia is a single cell organism that causes gastrointestinal symptoms. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is considered to be one of the most significant causes of diarrhoeal disease in humans. In individuals with a normal immune system the disease lasts for several days causing diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach cramps and fever. People with weakened immune systems can suffer from far worse symptoms, caused by cryptosporidium, such as cholera-like illnesses.
  • Nitrate in drinking water can cause cyanosis, a reduction of the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. This is particularly dangerous to infants under six months of age.
  • Lead can enter the water supply as it leaches from copper pipelines. As the water streams through the pipes, small amounts of lead will dissolve in the water, so that it becomes contaminated. Lead is a toxic substance that can be quickly absorbed in the human systems, particularly those of small children. It causes lead poisoning.
  • Legionella is a bacterium that grows rapidly when water is maintained at a temperature between 30 and 40 degrees for a longer period of time. This bacterium can be inhaled when water evaporates as it enters the human body with aerosols. The bacteria can cause a sort of flue, known as Pontiac fever, but it can also cause the more serious deathly illness known as legionellosis.
How is drinking water quality protected?
  • All countries have their own legal drinking water standards. These prescribe which substances can be in drinking water and what the maximum amounts of these substances are. The standards are called maximum contaminant levels. They are formulated for any contaminant that may have adverse effects on human health and each company that prepares drinking water has to follow them up. If water will be purified to make it suitable to drink it will be tested for a number of dangerous pollutants, in order to establish the present concentrations. After that, one can determine how much of the contaminants have to be removed and if necessary purification steps can be progressed.
Is bottled water safer than tap water?
  • Many people worry about getting sick from tap water, because of articles on the news and in the papers, for instance about Legionella outbreaks. They may either drink bottled water or install expensive water purification system as a result of this. However, studies have indicated that many of these consumers are being ripped off due to the expenses of bottled water and in some cases they may end up drinking water that is dirtier then they can get from their taps. To be safe, consumers that buy bottled water should determine wheather the company that supplies them with water belongs to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and lives up to the testing requirements of drinking water. The IBWA sends inspectors to its companies annually, to ensure that a plant produces safe drinking water.
  • People can also spare themselves the costs of bottled water and have their tap water tested by local health authorities or private labs. If any contaminants are discovered they can buy a unit that removes the contaminant in concern, but for most households this is not necessary because their tap water is safe enough.
Why should we drink so much water?
  • Water, after oxygen , is the second most important substance for human health. Water is a universal solvent and transport medium, and because of that it is the basis of all biological processes in the human body.
  • Water is mainly important for the digestive system, because it contributes to the constant supply and export of products and substances. The transport of nutrients can only take place through a solvent, and as such water acts as the main transport medium of nutrients.
  • Water also attends heat regulation in our bodies. For humans it is of vital importance that the body temperature stays at a standard level. That is why we have to drink water, when we are infected with a fever. Water takes up heat and transports it out of the body while we are transpiring.
  • We can survive without food for about 30 to 40 days, but we can only survive a few days without water. This is a factor that proves how important water is for us.
  • When the human body gives off water the amount of saliva in the mouth will decrease. When our salivary glands give off less saliva, our mouth will become drier. This dryness of the mouth is experienced as thirst.
Why should we not drink seawater?
  • A long time ago a group of people were shipwrecked, but they had been able to save themselves and now they were floating around on a raft that they had constructed out of wooden boards from the ship that came floating up to the surface. They had no food and no water and they were so far away from the main land that they had no hope of being discovered any time soon.
  • Because they were very thirsty, life became very hard on the raft after several days. Some of the passengers started drinking seawater in despair. But this made them die of dehydration pretty soon.
  • How could this have happened while they were drinking water? It happened because seawater contains a lot of salt. When salt enters your body it will absorb a lot of water through a process called osmosis . This will cause the water content of your body to fall, which causes serious dehydration. That is the main reason why we cannot drink pure seawater and why salt is removed from seawater during drinking water preparation processes.
What health effects do microrganisms in water cause?
  • A string of microrganisms Microrganisms are the perpetrators of many health effects caused by contaminated drinking water.
  • For example, the bacteria legionella can cause legionellosis, a lung disease and the cryptosporidium parasite is the cause of gastrointestinal diseases.
  • Various health effects and their causes are shown in this table:
Type of organism Disease Effects
Bacteria Typhoid
Diarrhoea, severe vomiting, enlarged spleen, inflamed intestines; often fatal if untreated
  Cholera Diarrhoea, severe vomiting, dehydration; often fatal if untreated
Diarrhoea; rarely fatal except in infants without proper treatment
  Enteritis Severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; rarely fatal
Viruses Infectious
Fever, severe headache, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, jaundice, enlarged liver; rarely fatal but may cause permanent liver damage
Severe diarrhoea, headache, abdominal pain, chills, fever; if not treated can cause liver abscess, bowel perforation and death
  Giardiasis Diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, flatulence, belching, fatigue
Schistosomiasis Abdominal pain, skin rash, anaemia, chronic fatigue, chronic general ill health
What is Cryptosporidium?
  • Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is commonly found in lakes and rivers. It enters water supplies through sewage and animal waste. It causes cryptosporidiosis, a gastrointestinal disease, with people that suffer from damaged immune systems. The largest water systems are now entering a testing program in which they check their source water for Cryptosporidium each month.
Are there any risks to hard water?
  • For many uses, hard water does not cause any problems. Hard water is not damaging to your health either. In the domestic environment hard water is not very efficient for certain uses: for bathing, washing dishes and clothes, shaving, washing a car, etc.
  • There are a number of negative effects to hard water, for instance: soap does not mix with hard water very well, when hard water is heated the hardness minerals can plug the pipes and hardness minerals often interfere with industrial processes. That is why hard water is often softe.
What is microbiology?
  • Microbiology is the scientific field that is occupied with the study of microscopic organisms, commonly known as microrganisms.
What are microrganisms?
  • All living creatures consist of cells. Cells are very small basic units of life. They are the smallest structures capable of basic life processes, such as taking in nutrients and expelling waste. Cells can only be made visible by microscopes. Microrganisms are organisms that usually consist of one single cell. Because of this, they are often referred to as "single-celled organisms". They are so small, that humans cannot visualise them. We can only see them through microscopes, by which the cells are greatly enlarged.
  • At first, microorganisms were not seen as a separate kind. Microrganisms that carried out photosynthesis , were classified in the plant kingdom, and microrganisms that ingested food were placed in the animal kingdom. However, in the 19th century, scientists had identified a wide variety of microrganisms with diverse cell structures, very specific internal structures, and specific reproductive patterns that made them realize these organisms did not belong to the plant or animal kingdom.
What kinds of microrganisms are there?
  • Microrganisms are divided up by their cell characteristics, in the same way as plants and animals. There are two kinds of (micr)organisms. The first kind is the eukaryotic organism (protista). Most organisms are eukaryotic, which basically means that the cells they consist of contain nucleuses and other internal parts, surrounded by membranes. The second kind of microrganisms is the prokaryotic organism (monera). Prokaryotic cells are surrounded by a membrane, but they contain no nucleus or other internal parts (organelles), contrary to eukaryotic cells.
  • Monera and protests
  • The monera are bacteria and cyanobacteria. They are single-celled prokaryotic microrganisms, as was mentioned earlier. Bacteria are very important for other organisms, because they break down organic matter. During this process nutrients are formed, which are reused by plants and animals. Some of the bacteria that live on earth can cause disease, but most of them are quite useful as they aid animals in the decomposition of food in their bodies. Bacteria differ from other types of cells in the fact that they do not have a nucleus. With plants and animals this is where the DNA (genetic information) can be found. With bacteria the genetic material floats within the cell. They reproduce by first copying their DNA and than performing cell division. Bacteria also lack membrane-bound organelles, such as mitochondria, the cell structures involved in energy metabolism.
  • Bacterial cells are so small that scientists measure them in units called micrometers (µm), a millionth of a meter. An average bacterium is about one micrometer long. Bacteria know several different kinds of subdivisions, such as spherical (coccus) and rod-shaped (bacillus) bacteria.
  • Spherical bacteria Rod-shaped bacteria
  • The protists are single-celled eukaryotic microrganisms, as mentioned earlier. Examples are amoebas, diatoms, algae and protozoa. These can be a danger to human and animal health, as certain protists can cause diseases, such as malaria and sleeping sickness. There are a wide variety of protists, and they inhabit many different environments; fresh water, seawater, soils, and the intestinal tracts of animals, where they perform crucial digestive processes.
  • Many species of protists can produce their own nutrients by the process of photosynthesis and many protists can also move around on their own accord. Protists vary greatly in size and shape; the green alga Nanochlorum is only 0.01 mm long, but giant kelps can grow to 65 m or more in length.
Which microrganisms in water cause diseases?
  • Sometimes microrganisms that cause health effects can be found in drinking water. However, as drinking water is thoroughly disinfected today, disease caused by microrganisms is rarely caused by drinking water. People that swim in swimming pools will find that the water they swim in is disinfected with either chlorine, ozone, UV or chlorine dioxide. But there are people that swim outside in surface water every year. These are the people that are most susceptible to bacterial infections and infections caused by other microrganisms, because microrganisms often enter surface water through industrial discharge and animal excrements. When you are an outside swimmer, you always have to be careful and read the signs placed by the waterside, because the water you are swimming in may be infected, for example with botulism. There are various bacteria and protozoa that can cause disease when they are present in surface water.
  • Bacteria are not only known to cause disease when they enter a human body through food, surface water may also be an important source of bacterial infection. In this table you can see various bacteria that can be found in surface water, and the diseases they cause when swallowed in large amounts, along with the symptoms.
Bacteria Disease/ infection Symptoms
Aeromonas Enteritis Very thin, blood- and mucus-containing diarrhoea
Campilobacteriose Flue, diarrhoea, head- and stomachaches, fever, cramps and nausea
Escherichia coli Urinary tract infections, neonatal meningitis, intestinal disease Watery diarrhoea, headaches, fever, homiletic uraemia, kidney damage
Plesiomonas shigelloides Plesiomonas-infection Nausea, stomachaches and watery diarrhoea, sometimes fevers, headaches and vomiting
Salmonella Typhoid fever Fevers
  Salmonellosis Sickness, intestinal cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea and sometimes light fevers
Streptococcus (Gastro) intestinal disease Stomachaches, diarrhoea and fevers, sometimes vomiting
Vibrio El Tor (freshwater) (Light form of) Cholera Heavy diarrhoea
  • Protozoa can accumulate in certain body parts, after they have penetrated a human body. The accumulations are called cysts. Because of their parasitic nature, protozoa can cause various diseases. In this table you can see various protozoa that can be found in surface water, and the diseases they cause when swallowed in large amounts, along with the symptoms.
Microrganism Disease Symptoms
Amoeba Amoebic dysentery Severe diarrhoea, headache, abdominal pain, chills, fever; if not treated can cause liver abscess, bowel perforation and death
Cryptosporidium parvum Cryptosporidiosis Feeling of sickness, watery diarrhoea, vomiting, lack of appetite
Giardia Giardiasis Diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, flatulence, belching, fatigue
Toxoplasm gondii Toxoplasmosis Flu, swelling of lymph glands With pregnant women subtle abortion and brain infections
How do we eliminate harmful microrganisms from water?
  • To eliminate harmful microrganisms from water we tend to use disinfectants. Examples of disinfectants are chlorine , , UV , Ozone ( O3) and chlorine dioxide . Chemicals that are harmful to certain types of microrganisms are often used to eliminate them. These chemicals are known as biocides , because they are mortal to microrganisms.
How can microrganisms be made useful during water treatment?
  • Microrganisms can be used to decompose contaminants in wastewater. This kind of water treatment is called biological water treatment. During biological water treatment microrganisms break down organic matter, nitrates and phosphates. This is a brief explanation of how these biological water treatment processes work.
  • Removal of organic matter
  • Biological water purification is performed to lower the organic load of dissolved organic compounds. Microrganisms, mainly bacteria, do the decomposition of these compounds. There are two main categories of biological treatment: aerobic treatment and anaerobic treatment. Aerobic water treatment means decomposition of organic matter by bacteria that need oxygen during the decomposition process. Anaerobic water treatment means decomposition of organic matter by microrganisms that do not use oxygen.
  • In aerobic systems the water is aerated with compressed air (in some cases merely oxygen ), whereas anaerobic systems run under oxygen free conditions.
  • Removal of ammonium and nitrates
  • The removal of ammonium and nitrates is quite complex. It is a water treatment process that takes both aerobic and anaerobic conversion to remove the contaminants.
  • In the aerobic conversion stage there are two bacterial species involved. Firstly, Nitrosomonas bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite. Secondly, Nitrobacter bacteria convert nitrite to nitrate. These two processes together are commonly known as the nitrification process.
  • After that, the anaerobic bacteria take over. These bacteria convert nitrate to atmospheric nitrogen gas. This process is called denitrification. Denitrification is accomplished with many anaerobic bacteria, such as Achromobacter, Bacillus and Pseudomonas. The first stage of denitrification is the reverse of the nitrification process, it converts nitrate back to Nitrite The second stage of denitrification converts nitrite to gas ( N2). This gas can be freely released into the atmosphere without causing environmental damage.
  • Removal of phosphates
  • Phosphates can be removed from waste water by an aerobic (oxygen-dependent) bacterium, called Acinetobacter. This bacterium accumulates polyphosphates in the cell tissues. The Acinetobacter can take up a higher amount of phosphates than it needs for its cell synthesis. The extra amounts of phosphates are stored in the cells as polyphosphates. The storage of polyphosphates causes the Acinetobacter to be able to temporarily survive anaerobic circumstances. When the Acinetobacter resides in an anaerobic zone in the wastewater, it takes up fatty acids to store them as spare substances. During this process, polyphosphates are decomposed for energy supply, causing phosphates to be released into the aerobic zone. When the Acinetobacter enters the aerobic zone it takes up phosphates and stores them as polyphosphates in the cell tissues. This causes the phosphate content of the wastewater to decrease.
Are National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified water filters better than non-NSF certified water filters?
  • Not necessarily. To become certified by NSF, water filter manufacturers have to pay NSF various fees on an ongoing basis. A large number of manufacturers choose not to pay these fees and therefore not to have their products endorsed by NSF. Many of these manufacturers produce filters that are more effective than those produced by companies that have opted for NSF certification. You should evaluate a water filter based on the materials it is composed of and the reputation of the company that stands behind it.
What is Backwashing and do you recommend it?
  • Backwashing is the process of forcing water through a filter in the wrong direction to unclog the dirt and sediment which has blocked the filter. Backwashing is a common practice for certain whole house and commercial units which are treating large volumes of water for utility purposes but it is not a recognized practice for small point-of-use drinking water systems.
  • I notice that a reverse osmosis system will remove just about everything from my water, including some nutrients that are good for the body. Should I take a supplement to counteract the nutrients that I will no longer get through my water.
  • No, this is not necessary. You should already be getting all of the nutrients such as essential salts, vitamins, and other trace minerals from the food you eat and the other beverages you drink.
What is "crossflow"?
  • Quality reverse osmosis systems use a process known as crossflow to allow the membrane to continually clean itself. As some of the fluid passes through the membrane the rest continues downstream, sweeping the rejected contaminants away from the membrane and down the drain. This prevents contaminants from backing up against the membrane and clogging it.
How much purified water can a home RO system produce?
  • Our RO systems come standard with a membrane that produces about 50 gallons of purified water per day. An upgrade is available at a relatively low cost which allows you to boost production to 100 gallons per day. The upgrade kit includes a larger membrane and housing and a larger storage tank (20 gallons). The actual amount of water produced in your home will depend on your household water pressure. Because reverse osmosis water purification occurs slowly (it is a very fine filter!), a storage tank is used to hold 3 gallons of purified water at all times so pure water is always at your fingertips.
Do RO purifiers require frequent maintenance?
  • Maintenance needs of RO purifiers depend on the quality of incoming water. High turbidity in incoming water tend to choke first stage sediment filter frequently. Organic load and chlorine in the incoming water decide the life and efficiency of second stage activated carbon filter. Calcium, magnesium or other salts tend to scale third stage RO membranes which may require cleaning or replacement. Thus RO purifiers require planned maintenance schedules for replacements and cleaning.
Do RO purifiers remove pesticides?
  • RO purifiers reduce pesticide level in the water to certain extent. But a specially designed RO purifiers like Pristine is tested to remove generally encountered pesticides in surface and ground waters.
Can RO products be installed for any kind of water?
  • RO products cannot be installed for any kind of water. Contaminants like Iron, Manganese and Oil can cause severe damage to RO membranes. The manufacturers of RO purifiers specify the maximum limit of contaminants (like heavy metals, organics, nitrates, chlorine, oil, hydrogen sulphide, silica, iron, manganese, etc.) in water. They also mention maximum limit of feed TDS (generally 1500 to 2000 ppm) to ensure adequate RO membrane life.
Why do you need an RO purifier at home or office?
  • Municipal water treatment plants are miles away from our homes, treated water is likely gets contaminated during distribution.
  • Chlorine introduced by treatment plants can form harmful disinfection by-products such as TTHMs (total trihalomethanes) and HAAs (haloacetic acids) in drinking water. These chemicals are known carcinogens or cancer causing. Hygiene of underground and overhead tanks of apartments and residential complexes is always a question.
  • Ground water is invariably high in salts and harmful chemicals. Conventional water purifiers does not ensure complete removal of harmful chemical, excessive salts and all germs from drinking water.
What are the signs in raw water to go in for a RO water purifier?
  • A Reverse osmosis purifier should be purchased by anyone who is concerned about the purity/quality, hard water taste odor or levels of dissolved chemicals and excessive minerals in their drinking water.
What factors should a buyer look for in a RO purifier?
  • Is the product tested and certified from an accredited laboratory for complete removal of all organisms, harmful chemicals and for any specific chemical like Pesticide, Arsenic. Does the product water quality meet international drinking water standards like USEPA, WHO. Ensure that the product is from a company that thoroughly knows water purification – useful indicator is the number of years of experience and presence in this field.
What kind of Service attention does this RO purifier need?
  • When a purifier conditions or traps impurities, its filtering elements become a storehouse of dirt and disease causing organisms. Service is required for periodic washing, sanitizing and replacement of these filters.
  • This ensure good life of the filtering elements and therefore consistent purification performance.
What impurities are removed by RO ?
  • Reverse Osmosis System removes excessive salts, bacteria, virus, cysts, suspended solids and all harmful chemicals like Pesticides and Arsenic and others from the water.
Does RO remove any useful minerals? If so, why should i purchase an RO system?
  • RO removes most of the minerals from the water; however the mineral content in water is much less than the mineral found in food. Minerals required by our body is derived mainly from food and less from water. For example, a 250 ml glass of milk contains more minerals than 20 litres of water. RO removes all objectionable minerals and chemicals from water which are responsible for the bad taste, saltiness & metallic taste in water. Reason, why Drinking water standards like USEPA has not set the lower limit of TDS (mineral salts) in drinking water.
Does a Purella RO kill or remove all bacteria & viruses present in water?
  • The RO membrane has a pore size (.0001 micron) much smaller than bacteria virus, pyrogen or the Cryptosporidium parasite. Hence it will remove all microorganisms.
How does it differ from my existing UV water purifier?
  • Conventional water purifiers use a filter to separate out only the larger particles of dirt sediments from water. UV Systems use an ultra violet lamp to deactivate the bacteria & viruses present in the water without physically removing them. It does not alter the taste of water. On the other hand, Reverse Osmosis not only removes suspended particles and microbiological organisms but also removes excessive salts, all harmful chemicals from raw tap water. Giving crisp, crystal clear double safe germ free water.
What is the difference between Purella RO purifier and other competitors?
  • Product comes from a company that leads the water treatment Industry in Indian since 40 years.
  • Product tested by leading laboratories in India for Microbial and chemical removal performance.
  • All products are backed by prompt & efficient after sales & service.
Is RO water equivalent to distilled water?
  • Distilled water is boiled, and the steam is then condensed for drinking water. Distilled water contains practically no minerals or dissolved solids, whereas RO water does contain trace amount of minerals and salts. Most people report RO as tasting better than distilled water, which can taste flat. Distillers use high electricity, whereas ROs work on mini low power booster pumps or on line pressure from the household plumbing.
How is RO water different from mineral water?
  • Mineral Water - Water which is first made absolutely free from minerals or salts. Thereafter, minerals or salts are added in required proportion for taste and to meet the drinking water standards.
  • RO Water can not be called mineral water because the salts or minerals are not dosed in it but are maintained by the rejection level of particular membrane.
Can an RO purifier work on borewell water?
  • Yes, an RO purifier will work on borewell water with limits of the water as specified. The raw water should not have Iron, Manganese or Oil.
How much of raw water is required to make 5 liters of good water?
  • About 15 – 20 of water is required to make 5 litres of pure water. Any RO purifier recovers about 25 – 30 % of the incoming water, the remaining impure water is rejected, it also keeps the membrane surface from too much salt build up and therefore gives better life of the membrane.
What does RO purifier comprise of?
  • Typical RO purifiers are multistage purification system. The first stage is sediment filter which reduces suspended particles. The second stage is carbon filter which reduces volatile organic matter, chlorine and other odour & taste causing compounds. Third stage is the membrane filtration using RO membrane. It is responsible for rejecting upto 98% of the total dissolved solids in the water. This is where purification takes place.
  • Conventional RO purifiers do not guarantee 100% bacterial removal all the time, especially in the event of an accidental failure of RO membrane. Pristine has got additional back up purifier which ensures 100% bacterial removal.
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