PURCHASING AND SHIPPING
+ Purchasing and Shipping
The installation cost is a flat rate for all customers living in towns and cities around Australia. If you are on a rural property more than 20km from a town or city, there may be an additional cost for installation. Please email or contact us so we can quote this for you
We send packages by Courier (preferred) or Australia Post to either an address or PO Box.
Shipping is free when spending over $75.00
+ Water and Your Health
As many know the stomach is highly acidic in order to digest the food we eat. The stomach pH value is maintained at around 4. If we eat and drink alkaline food and water, the pH value inside the stomach goes up. When this happens a feedback mechanism in the stomach detects this causing the stomach wall to secrete hydrochloric acid into the stomach to bring the pH value back down to 4. As more alkaline food and water is consumed more acid is produced.
The cells in our stomach wall must produce hydrochloric acid instantly as needed. To do this carbon dioxide (CO₂), water (H₂O) and sodium Chloride (NaCl) or Potassium Chloride (KCl) are required. When combined together they produce Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) and a by-product called Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO³) or Potassium bicarbonate (KHCO³) which goes into the blood stream. These bicarbonates are the alkaline buffers that neutralise excess acids in the blood. They dissolve solid acid wastes into liquid form. As they neutralise the acidic wastes, carbon dioxide is released as a by-product which is discharged through the lungs.
After the food in the stomach is digested it moves the small intestine where the pH needs to be raised to avoid damaging the intestine wall. To do this the pancreas produces alkaline pancreatic juice. This juice is essentially sodium bicarbonate and is mixed with the acidic food coming out of the stomach. In order to produce bicarbonates the pancreas also produces hydrochloric acid as a by-product which goes into our blood stream. If we consume acidic food and drinks the stomach can become more acidic with no ability to raise the pH and no bicarbonates are produced to neutralise excess acids in the blood.
As the human body ages the alkaline buffers reduce, (a condition known as acidosis) lowering our ability to dispose of the bodies waste products, one of main causes of ageing. These solid wastes build up in the body in the form of cholesterol, fatty acid, kidney stones, phosphates etc, causing ageing.
If we just look at the pH value of the stomach it seems drinking alkaline water has no benefit to the body, however when you look at whole body, there is a net gain of alkalinity that greatly benefits our health and well being.
Alkaline water is not a medicine to cure disease however if consumed regularly it will gradually reduce the accumulated acid wastes. Other benefits include declines in blood sugar levels, improvements in liver function, ulcers, hypertension, hypotension and allergic disorders such as asthma, urticaria, rhinitis and atopic dermatitis.
This is a single celled parasite that infects the gastrointestinal tracts of humans, animals, birds rodents, reptiles, amphibians, fish and cockroaches.
The most frequent symptoms are abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. It was originally thought to be protozoan but is now classified as a stramenopiles. Other stramenopiles include brown algae, mildew and diatoms. They all have 4 various life cycle stages including cyst forms. The blastocystis cyst form can infect humans with 9 species able to do this.
The blastocystis cyst form is the way the infection is transmitted. It is also very resistant to chemicals in this form and is able to survive in harsh conditions because of its multi-layered cyst wall. Blastocystis can remain in the intestines for weeks, months or years with many people having no symptoms at all. This parasite is very common in developing countries although it is also prevalent in many parts of Australia.
The cyst form varies enormously in size between 1 and 200 microns with an average size of 6-40 microns. Standard high quality 1 micron filtration should remove this parasite from the water although sub-micron absolute filtration would be recommended as a better preventative measure.
Boron is a non-metallic element found in the ground and many food products. It is used in glass manufacture, cleaners, antiseptics, flame retardants, fertilizers, algaecides, insecticides and herbicides. The concentration of boron in drinking water can be reduced by activated carbon or lime softening. High doses of boron are poisonous to humans leading to gastro-intestinal problems, skin eruptions, etc. Based on health considerations, the concentration of boron in drinking water should not exceed 0.3 mg/L.
Calcite is a crystalline calcium carbonate found in marble and other limestone. It is processed, graded to size and quality and used in specialised water filters, re-mineralisers & Pi-filters to raise the pH of the water.
Aluminium salts have and are used as coagulants in town water treatment plants with some carryover into the water supply after treatment. Aluminium in drinking water should however not exceed 0.2 mg/L and preferably under 0.1 mg/L. It is being phased out of use in drinking water treatment plants due to links with Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from water treatment it is also used in many other products such as antacids, anti-perspirants, food additives, vaccines, food packaging and utensils.
Water and in particular clean water transports the nutrients in food to all the body’s cells and in turn removes toxic wastes.
All the nutritional requirements that the human body has, all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, enzymes, carbohydrates and fatty acids that the human body needs to survive are found in fruits and vegetables and other foods we eat.
The nutritional requirements are carried by water into your intestines where almost all nutritients are absorbed.
Having good quality clean chemical free drinking water is the best thing you can do for your body and health. Since the human body is over 70% water it is best to eat a lot of food containing a high water content such as fruit and vegetables.
While some nutrients (a very small percentage) can be obtained from the water we drink, all can be obtained from the food we eat.
It is best to remove the chemicals and pollutants from the water we drink along with some of the nutrients than drink unfiltered water and consume many of the cancer causing chemicals.
The majority of fluoride is either a by-product of aluminium production or artificially produced. It is sold to government and councils around the world saving companies millions of dollar in disposal costs. This chemical is injected into town water supplies to reduce the incidence of tooth decay in children. Many studies have been undertaken over the last 50 years to prove or disprove the effectiveness of the product in preventing tooth decay. From the evidence available there appears to be as many studies concluding the benefits of its use as there are those concluding the dangers and ineffectiveness of the product.
The fluoride used in town water is either a by-product or artificial and man made as opposed to natural fluoride found in rocks and soil. Artificial fluoride is a different product altogether. It is an extremely corrosive dangerous chemical. While many dentist support its use there is an ever growing group of those who don’t.
Fluoride is currently included in just about all available toothpastes. Many countries and towns that have been putting fluoride into their water supplies for many years are now discontinuing this.
The Nazis under Hitler used fluoridation during WWII to reduce the resistance of the masses to domination, control and loss of liberty. The Russians have also used fluoride/fluoridation in the past for the same reason.
There are maximum levels set for the dosing of fluoride into town water supplies, however the chemical has a different weight and density to that of water and can therefore accumulate in water mains overnight or during the day. Water then used from these mains can have higher levels of fluoride.
High levels of fluoride can cause fluoridosis or tooth decay. Fluoride and Fluoridation has also been said to cause cancer based on studies carried out in America in 1980.
Consumers need to make up their own mind as to whether they want to leave it in their drinking water or remove it although it is a difficult chemical to remove and requires specialised filters or reverse osmosis systems.
Hydrogen peroxide is used as a natural alternative sanitiser to chlorine and other strong chemicals.
The chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide is H2O2 and is created naturally in the environment or artificially in a laboratory.
In the environment hydrogen peroxide is created in the atmosphere when ozone comes into contact with water in the presence of moisture.
Ozone (O3) is composed of free oxygen (O2) plus an extra atom of oxygen. This extra atom of oxygen can split very easily and does so when it comes into contact with water. The water (H2O) then becomes hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).
Ceramic filters are made from porous ceramic material with the micron rating and quality dependent upon the manufacturer. Ceramic filters are either hollow in the middle as is the case with ceramic sediment filters or contain carbon as is the case with single filter systems.
The ceramic outer case or shell of the cartridge is usually 5-8 mm thick and made from a similar material to floor and wall tiles except they are porous and have larger pore sizes allowing the water to pass through while trapping contaminants as small as 0.3 microns in size.
The micron rating of the filters generally varies from 0.3 to 5 micron with 1 micron the most common. Water travels/moves from the outside of the filter to the inside trapping contaminants on the outside. Due to the filter depth (5-8 mm) they also trap different shaped particles and provide an overall higher quality filtration than pleated cartridges or wrapped carbon cartridges. They can also be cleaned returning their performance to that of a near new cartridge and giving them a long usage life. They are however susceptible to breakage or cracking if dropped or knocked hard.
Of all the manufacturers, Doulton is considered the world leader for this type of filter. Their ceramic filters are rated at 0.9 microns absolute or 0.3 micron nominal meaning they will reduce/remove cysts such as cryptosporidium by 99.999% and bacteria by 99.99%. These filters are NSF certified and can be cleaned over and over again with a “scotchbrite” pad without affecting the performance.
Ceramic filters tend to be more expensive, but they last for years and generally have a higher quality of filtration increasing their popularity over the last few years.
Bottled spring water although promoted and marketed as being as fresh and clean as the water flowing from natural springs high up in untouched mountains with most brands thi is not the case. It is in most cases filtered town water with added salts to give it a particular flavour or character designed to attract and keep customers. It is also generally very acidic with a pH of around 4.0. Drinking water regularly with such a low pH is unhealthy for the human body.
Many studies have shown the quality of some brands to be worse than town water with regards to bacteria and chemicals and the cost is more than petrol. While some bottled water suppliers offer a quality convenient drink, it is more cost effective healthy and reliable to filter your own water and carry your own bottle when possible.
While bottled consumption continues to grow, in some cases this is because of convenience, in others this is because of perception that it is healthier. The water quality of bottled water is generally of a better quality than town water however this comes at a high cost both financially and environmentally. The cost of bottled water is up to $3.00 per litre while town water can be filtered to the same quality or better for as little as 0.2 cents per litre. From an environmental point of view their is substantially less green house gas emissions and use of resources such as oil when using filtered water as opposed to bottled water.
There is an upfront cost of buying a water filter, however this cost will be repaid within a few weeks with the savings of not buying bottled water. Sports bottles can also be filled from a home water filter for convenience at work, sport or the gym while helping the environment.
As a rule of thumb or guide the average person should drink eight (8) 300 ml glasses of water every day. This equates to approximately 2.5 litres however this is dependent upon weight and exercise.
The greater your weight and the more exercise you do the more water you require. As a guide we have included a calculator below to provide a more accurate minimum requirement based on weight.
Children require less water per day than adults depending upon the level of exercise.
Water is an important structural component of skin, cartilage, tissue and organs. For human beings, every part of the body is dependent on water. Our body comprises about 75% water; the brain has 85%, blood is 90%, muscles are 75%, kidney is 82% and bones are 22% water. The functions of our glands and organs will eventually deteriorate if they are not nourished with good, clean water.
The average adult loses about 2.5 litres of water daily through perspiration, breathing and elimination. Symptoms of the body’s deterioration begin to appear when the body loses 5% of its total water volume. In a healthy adult, this is seen as fatigue and general discomfort, whereas in an infant, it can be dehydration. In an elderly person, a 5% water loss causes the body chemistry to become abnormal, especially if the percentage of electrolytes is overbalanced with sodium. One can usually see symptoms of ageing, such as wrinkles, lethargy and even disorientation. Continuous water loss over time will speed up ageing as well as increase risks of diseases.
If your body is not sufficiently hydrated, the cells will draw water from your bloodstream, which will make you heart work harder. At the same time, the kidneys cannot purify blood effectively. When this happens, some of the kidney’s workload is passed on to the liver and other organs, which may cause them to be severely stressed. Additionally, you may develop a number of minor health conditions such as constipation, dry and itchy skin, acne, nosebleeds, urinary tract infection, coughs, sneezing, sinus pressure and headaches.
So, how much water is enough for you? The minimum amount of water your need depends on your body weight and the amount of exercise you do each day.
Daily Water Intake Formulae:
Amount of water in ounces = ( Your_Weight_in_Kg × Your_Age ) ÷ 28.3
Amount of water in ounces = ( ( Your_Weight_in_Pound ÷ 2.2 ) × Your_Age ) ÷ 28.3
Amount of water in litres = ( ( Your_Weight_in_Kg × Your_Age ) ÷ 28.3 ) × 0.03
Amount of water in litres = ( ( ( Your_Weight_in_Pound ÷ 2.2 ) × Your_Age ) ÷ 28.3 ) × 0.03
Amount of water in Cups = Amount of water in ounces ÷ 8
Sample Water Intake Calculation:
Your_Weight_in_Kg = 70
Your_Age = 30
Amount of water in ounces = ( 70 X 30 ) / 28.3 = 74.20 ounces
Amount of water in ounces = ( ( 154.324 / 2.2 ) X 30 ) / 28.3 = 74.20 ounces
Amount of water in litres = ( ( 70 X 30 ) / 28.3 ) X 0.03 = 2.23 litres
Amount of water in litres = ( ( ( 154.324 / 2.2 ) X 30 ) / 28.3 ) X 0.03 = 2.23 litres
Amount of water in Cups = 70.20 / 8 = 9.275 cups
*this is a general guide only and for specific water intake requirements please refer to a medical professional
Skin is the biggest organ in the human body and readily able to absorb chemicals and other pollutants.
Chlorine and other chemicals are therefore absorbed every time we shower, bath or swim. Half of our daily chlorine exposure is from showering.
Chlorine readily passes through the skin and cell walls attaching to the fatty acids of the cell, disrupting the life sustaining functions of the cell.
Chlorine is not only absorbed through the skin, but is also vaporised in the shower, inhaled into the lungs and transferred directly into the blood stream. In fact the chlorine exposure from one shower is equal to that received in a persons daily water consumption if they were drinking chlorinated water.
Removing chlorine from shower and bath water leaves your hair softer and your skin smoother and reduces or eradicates brittle hair, dry skin and dandruff.
Chlorine by-products present in the water also cause cancer of the bladder, liver, stomach and colon along with allergies, heart disease and high blood pressure. All of these harmful effects can be avoided by removing the chlorine from the shower or bath water through the use of a simple high quality, NSF certified shower or bath filter or installing a whole of house filtration system.
Shower filters containing carbon are not suitable for this purpose as there is not enough contact time to remove the contaminants and carbon is very inefficient at removing contaminants from hot water.
Chloramine is now becoming a common disinfectant for drinking water supplies replacing Chlorine in many capital cities including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This rollout will continue in the future with more and more towns and cities moving to this form of disinfectant. The main reason for this is the considerably reduced level of carcinogenic by-product trihalomethanes (THM’s) formed when using chloramines and it stays in the water much longer, a much higher residual.
The most common form is Monochloramine with concentrations ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 mg/L. Typical residual in Australia is 0.5 mg/L with a maximum of 3 mg/L. It is less effective than chlorine and therefore needs a higher initial dose and longer contact time. Unlike chlorine, monochloramines do not add any taste or smell to the water.
Types of Chloramine
There are 3 forms of inorganic Chloramine; monochloramine, dichloramine and trichloramine. All of these can be formed when water containing or injected with ammonia is chlorinated. The pH and the ammonia/ chlorine ratio determine which kind of chloramines is formed. At a pH <3 mainly trichloramine is formed, at pH 4-7 mainly dichloramines is formed while at a neutral pH >7 or above monochloramine is the main form produced.
The ammonia component of chloramines is also different depending upon the pH of the water. At pH levels >7 ammonium hydroxide is formed, <7, ammonium ion is formed. The ammonium ion is readily removed by cation resin (softener resin) or mixed bed resin however water hardness can substantially affect this. Ammonia is removed preferentially to sodium by cation resin but is displaced by calcium and magnesium (water hardness). Therefore a resin filter will remove ammonia initially but will then release the ammonia when it becomes exhausted with hardness. This could lead to an ammonia spike in the treated water.
Due to the low molecular weight, chloramines and in particular monochloramines are difficult to remove from water by reverse osmosis (RO), distillation, water softeners or resin filters. Distillation or evaporation does not remove chloramines effectively as the chloramines are volatilized and carried over to the product water (distillate). Pre-treatment is required for RO systems to remove chloramines prior to reaching the membrane with specialised carbon filters.
Standard activated carbon (GAC), carbon block or enhanced carbon filters do not remove chloramines. The carbon in these types of filters, whether it be coal, coconut shell or wood based carbon does not absorb chloramines. It removes or reduces them to some degree through a reduction-reaction, its ability to act as a catalyst for the chemical decomposition or conversion of chloramines to chloride (salt) in water. This reaction converts the chloramines into chloride salt and ammonia. This reaction releases the ammonia allowing it to pass through RO membranes and other filters excluding resin. The ability of resin to remove it is dependent upon the pH and other contaminants in the water. The free ammonia can also come in contact with other contaminants in the water and form undesirable Nitrates and Nitrites.
Granular activated carbon (GAC) filters can be used to remove/ convert chloramines however long contact times and low flow rates are required to achieve >95% removal. The cartridge rated capacity will also need to be reduced to 12-25% of the rated chlorine removal capacity for chloramines removal. This is dependent upon the cartridge manufacturer, type of GAC etc. Standard carbon block filters have very low removal/ conversion rates and are not recommended. These filters will not remove the ammonia from the water. For this reason we do not recommend the use of these carbon filters and suggest the use of chloramines reduction cartridges for cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane where chloramines are currently used.
Potassium or sodium metabisulphite can also be used for chloramines removal.
Chloramines Reduction Filters
Specialised Chloramines reduction cartridges are manufactured specifically to remove chloramines and ammonia in one. They use a specially developed catalytic carbon to absorb and bond the chloramines. These cartridges need to be installed before or in place of any other carbon cartridges to be effective.
The main manufactures of these filters are; Omnipure Chloramine Reduction, Pentek Chlor Plus, and Filtrex Chloraguard. These are all high quality US made cartridges with a proven track record and available specification sheets.
Over the last few decades there has been a large increase in Alzheimer’s disease within the Australian population. This increase has been linked to the widespread use of aluminium salts to purify town water supplies. In the April 1995 issue of The International Science Journal, Neuron-toxicology an Australian research group reported the widespread use of Aluminium salts in drinking water purification may account for the large scale loss of memory experienced by Alzheimer suffers.
The Australian Institute of Biomedical Research based in Sydney, have conducted experiments with rate to show that tiny amounts of aluminium consumed in water found its way to their brains and accumulated there. It has also been known since the 1970’s that if aluminium accumulated in the brain over a period of time it could kill off neurons and cause memory loss. The accumulation of eating and drinking it over a life time can lead to a substantial build-up by the time we in our 70’s or more.
Based on widespread research, use of aluminium salts to purify water is being phased out along with the use and sale of aluminium pots and pans?
Aluminium, is however still widely used in food emulsifiers, anti-persperant deodorants, toothpastes and many cooking utensils. All of these products are adding to our lifetime exposure and build-up.
We often take it for granted that the water from our kitchen tap is safe and healthy to drink but is it really. While it is better to drink tap water then many other beverages available, tests show that tap water contains contaminants some of which are not healthy to drink.
The tap water quality varies from suburb to suburb and state to state depending upon the water source and treatment process. To get an idea of the water quality coming from your tap, go to “water quality in your suburb” section.
Water quality tests carried out have discovered up to 260 contaminants found in drinking water many of which are unregulated by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. The most common of these are industrial pollutants followed by agricultural and water treatment chemicals.
The two main chemicals added are chlorine and fluoride with smaller amounts of other chemicals such as aluminium sulfate added during the treatment process. All or some of these contaminants or added chemicals can be removed if required.
This chemical is added to disinfect or sanitise the water at the end of the treatment process killing bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms. The by-product of this disinfection process is the production of THM’s or Trihalomethanes which are known carcinogens or cancer causing substances. For this reason many water supplies are now disinfected with chloramine.
Artificial fluoride is added to many drinking water supplies around the country based on the premis of reducing dental decay particularly in children. Although there are a great many studies showing the benefit of fluoride there appears to be just as many revealing adverse health effects.
Aluminium and Water Treatment Chemicals
Aluminum sulfate and other flocculant chemicals are used to remove suspended materials from the water supply. Small amounts or traces of these chemicals carry through the treatment process through to your tap.
Pesticides, Herbicides and Insecticides
These agricultural and industrial chemicals can wash into rivers, lakes and dams or leach into groundwater supplies sometimes several years after application. These chemicals are generally not removed by standard water treatment processes.
Some agricultural fertilizers once applied to the ground are very mobile leaching into ground water or running off farmland during rainfall into rivers, creeks and waterways. These fertilizers particularly nitrates find their way into town water supplies where only some is removed by the water treatment process.
Rust, Copper and Lead
All of these contaminants generally come from pipe work supplying water to your house or from pipe work within the house. This may be old galvanized pipes, copper pipe corrosion or lead leaching from old pipe joints. All of these things slowly contaminate the tap water endangering the health of those drinking the water.
Calcium and Magnesium
These naturally occurring minerals cause water hardness when their levels get too high in the water. Hard water requires more soap than soft water to obtain a lather or soapy bubbles. Water hardness can also cause scale to form on hot water appliances and air conditioners increasing corrosion and reducing efficiency. It can also alter the taste of the water.
Protozoan parasites contaminate drinking water supplies from time to time. This can be the case for treated town water supplies and rainwater tank storages. The two most common and well known types are giardia and cryptosporidium. These parasitic cysts have a hard shell protecting them from chlorine and other disinfectants making it very hard to remove from water supplies once they are contaminated. Both of these have contaminated major drinking water supply systems around the country causing mild to severe gastrointestinal symptoms in whose who ingest the parasites.
Bacteria levels and type are closely monitored in Australian Drinking Water supplies because they breed quickly and can cause large scale illness. Bacteria is generally killed by the treatment process and chlorine however if they are detected in water supply systems, the chlorine levels are immediately increased or consumers are asked to boil their water before drinking.
Water is a natural appetite suppressant, helping to increase the body’s metabolic rate and metabolise stored fat.
Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake causes fat deposits to increase while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits, thereby reducing weight.
However this is only up to the recommended daily water intake, beyond this there is little to no effect. Diet and exercise are also important factors.
The kidneys require water to operate properly, lack of water stops them from operating to capacity with some of their work then needing to be done by the liver.
One of the primary functions of the liver is to metabolise stored fat into usable energy for the body. If the liver has to do some of the kidney’s work it cannot operate efficiently and as a result metabolises less fat, storing it in the body thus impairing weight loss.
Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body gets less water, it perceives this as a threat to survival and begins to hold onto every drop.
Water is stored outside the cells in extracellular spaces. Signs of this can include swollen feet, legs and hands.
If you have a constant problem with fluid retention, excess salt may be the cause. The human body only tolerates salt/sodium in a certain concentration.
While the body does need salt, excess causes the body to retain fluids/water to dilute it. Drinking more water and/or reducing salt intake will allow the kidneys to flush away the excess leading to reduced fluid retention.
Constipation means different things to different people, however constipation is generally referred to when you have less than 3 bowel movements in a week or when you find it hard or painfull to go to the toilet.
Constipation can be caused by a number of factors such as diet, exercise, stress, medicines and dehydration.
Having a balanced diet including a lot of high fibre foods like vegetables, fruits and grains is important along with regular exercise. However one of the primary factors is dehydration or lack of fluids in the body.
If the body does not get enough water it has to get what it needs from internal sources. The primary source for this is the colon resulting in constipation.
If sufficient water is consumed, normal bowl function returns. Drinking plenty of water and other liquids such as fruit and vegetable juices is critical to avoiding constipation.
Chlorine is highly corrosive, poisonous powder, liquid or gas.
It is used as a bleaching and disinfecting agent and in the manufacture of explosives, plastics and dyes.
It is also extremely irritating to the nose and throat and has suffocating qualities.
It is so corrosive that when stored in steel drums it can eat its way out of the drums within weeks.
Its biggest use in Australia is in the disinfection of tap water followed by use in the swimming pool and spa industry as a disinfectant.
How it works:
When chlorine is poured into water it breaks down into various chemical compounds including hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion. Both of these chemicals kill micro-organisms and bacteria by attacking the lipids in the cell walls and destroying the enzymes and structures inside the cell rendering them oxidized and harmless. The difference between the two chemicals is the speed at which they oxidize/kill micro organisms. Hypochlorous acid is able to oxidize organisms in several seconds while hypochlorite ion can take up to 30 minutes.
When chlorine is dosed/added into water, the organic substances in the water are broken down/oxidized forming new organic compounds called trihalomethanes. These compounds are carcinogenic/cancer causing.
Chlorine is made by passing an electric current through salt water. This process produces chlorine, hydrogen and sodium hydroxide. Chlorine is then changed into a liquid form by compressing the gas.
In a study reported in the American Journal of Public Health, Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee concluded that people who regularly drink tap water containing high levels of chlorine by-products had a greater risk of developing bladder and rectal cancers than people who drank un-chlorinated water. They reported that people drinking chlorinated water over a long period have a 21% increase in the risk of contracting bladder cancer and 38% increase in the risk of rectal cancer.
The contamination of our drinking water is directly related to the degree of contamination of our environment. Rainwater flushes air borne pollution from the skies which then washes over the land, picking up more pollution before running into rivers, aquifers, lakes and dams that supply our drinking water. This pollution is why our drinking water contains many herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals and why water filters are so important to our every day health.
With over 75,000 chemicals now in use it is no surprise that our drinking water is contaminated. More than 2000 toxic chemicals have been detected in Australian drinking water supplies many of which have been linked to cancer, illness and nervous disorders.
The majority of water treatment plants are also not designed to remove these toxic chemicals leaving this to be done by consumers themselves with water filters or water purification systems.
There has also been a demonstrated link between water chlorination and atherosclerosis (clogging or hardening of the arteries or blood vessels caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits, usually cholesterol) by Dr MV Joseph and Dr Jim Price in the 1960’s. Cholesterol is essential to life and is in all animal cells, however excessive cholesterol is considered unhealthy. Dr Jim Price MD discovered that excessive chlorine absorbed from chlorinated water through drinking, swimming or bathing reacts with cholesterol in the blood forming fatty deposits which accumulate along artery walls. This discovery is well documented and is backed by clinical studies dispelling many of the common myths promoted today. While reducing cholesterol intake will obviously reduce the problem, the reduction or removal of chlorine intake through our drinking water, showers, baths and pools would have more impact.
Heart attacks, atherosclerosis, heart disease and may other diseases are rare or of lower rates in countries such as China and Alaska. Even the Eskimos with their massive intakes of cholesterol are relatively free of heart attacks and cholesterol based health issues. More can be discovered in the book, Coronaries – Cholesterol – Chlorine, written by Dr Price.
+ Water Filtration
Zeolite is a naturally occurring aluminosiliate mineral used in the water industry for filtration and ion exchange. It can also be synthetically produced. It is a more efficient media than sand for the filtration of water and is very effective for ion exchange, ion removal and water softening. Like standard ion exchange resin, once its capacity is reached it needs to be re-generated for water softening or cleaned in the case of heavy metals, iron and manganese removal.
Megohms is a unit of measurement just like metres is a unit of measurement. 1 Megohm is equivalent to 1,000,000 Ohms and is used to measure the electrical resistance or the ability of water to conduct electricity. The more pure, water is, the greater the Megohms and the lower the ability of the water to conduct electricity. Ultrapure water does not conduct electricity.
The units size wise are essentially exactly the same, they have the same pressure rating and the cartridges fit both units. The Big White housings are much stronger though, built from a harder more dense material than the Big Blue units hence we offer a 10 year warranty with the Big White and a 3 year warranty with the Big Blue. The Big Blue are more popular due to price. If kept out of the weather and used in rural applications the Big Blue units should last as long as the Big White however we would recommend Big White units for town water or higher pressure applications.
Bore water can have a great many contaminants in it, from high hardness, salt, iron, heavy metals, Arsenic and bacteria to name a few. Without a water test we are unable to recommend any cartridges. If the water supply is of unknown quality it may be best to use reverse osmosis filtration as these systems provide the highest degree of filtration or seek an alternative higher quality supply.
An electrode, rod or pole through which a low voltage electric current flows. This low voltage causes a process called electrolysis whereby salts in the water collect on the electrode or the electrode erodes by oxidation.
This is a form or type of activated carbon. Anthracite is a hard, compact variety of mineral coal that is graded to size and quality and used in commercial water filters due to its very high carbon content and low impurities. High grade and ultra high grade anthracite are generally only used in water filtration.
A naturally occurring element that forms a number of poisonous compounds. Organic arsenic is less harmful than inorganic. Inorganic arsenic compounds are mainly used to preserve wood, insecticides, pesticides and weed killers. Pentavalent arsenic is generally the most common form found in surface waters while the trivalent form is found mainly in ground waters and deep lake sediments. The concentration of arsenic in drinking water should not exceed 0.007 mg/L.
These are an electronic device that regulate the flow of current through a Ultra Violet (UV) lamp.
These are a type of isolating valve containing a circular ball with a hole through it. They are turned 90° or ¼ turn to open or close.
This is a type of isolating valve containing a circular disc inside a pipe. It is normally used in large diameter pipes and often geared to make it easier to open and close.
Resin media are generally small beads, approximately 1mm in diameter made from an organic polymer. They are yellowish or tan in colour and porous creating a large surface area.
Most commercial resins are made from polystyrene sulfonate. They do not dissolve in water, not affected by hot water and are widely used to create Ultra Pure water for use in the pharmaceutical/ medical and technology industries.
This water purification process has gained in popularity over the last 20 years since it was first used commercially in 1968. It is used extensively for purifying sea water and uses membrane (a thin film or skin through which water molecules can pass) technology.
The easiest way to explain reverse osmosis is by firstly explaining osmosis.
Osmosis is the movement of a low concentration solution through a semi permeable membrane into a high concentration solution such as sea water or contaminated water.
In reverse osmosis, the idea is to use the membrane to act like an extremely fine filter to create drinking water from contaminated water. Pressure is applied to the contaminated water, reversing the osmotic process and forcing water molecules through the membrane.
Reverse osmosis membranes don’t allow particles or molecules larger than 0.0005 microns to pass through to the other side of the membrane. Essentially only water (H20) passes through while other contaminants, bacteria, viruses, chemicals and other dissolved substances are flushed to drain.
As a size comparison against 0.0005 microns; a human hair is 100 microns, the smallest particle visible to the human eye is 50 microns, the smallest bacteria is 0.2 microns and the smallest virus is 0.002 microns.
Reverse Osmosis membranes are manufactured with different pore sizes and support structures and from different materials. Membrane pore sizes can vary from 0.0001 microns to 5 microns depending upon the type and purpose.
Sea water or Desal membranes are constructed to operate at very high pressures up to 7,000 kpa with small pores that reject in excess of 99% of salt at loading greater than 32,000 mg/l.
Brackish/Salt contaminated water membranes operate at high pressures around 1,500 kpa and have larger pores to reject in excess of 99% of salt at loadings greater than 2,000 mg/l.
Lower pressure/low energy membranes are designed to operate between 400 and 1500 kpa with more open larger pores designed to reject 99% of salt at loading around 500 mg/l for ground water and municipal supplies.
There are two main types of reverse osmosis membranes commonly used in home reverse osmosis filter systems:
- Thin Film Composite (TFC)
- Cellulose Triacetate (CTA)
TFC membranes have considerably higher rejection rates; and filter out more contaminants than CTA membranes. However they are more susceptible to degradation by chlorine and other oxidants and need to be protected from them by pre-filters.
These membranes are made by forming a thin, dense contaminant rejecting surface film on top of a porous substructure. The materials of construction and the manufacturing process for these two layers can be different and altered for the desired combination of pure water produced versus contaminants rejected. The pure water production and contaminant rejection characteristics are predominantly determined by the thin surface layer which thickness ranges from 0.01 to 0.1 micrometres.
Several types of TFC membranes have been developed including aromatic polyamide, alkyl-aryl poly urea/polyimide and polyfurane cyanurate. Polyimide membranes are highly susceptible to degradation by oxidants such as chlorine and chloramine. These must be removed to prevent damage and destruction of the membrane.
These membranes were developed along with the first reverse osmosis systems in the late 1950’s. They are composed of a thin dense surface layer (0.2 to 0.5 micrometres) and a thick porous sub-structure. Contaminant rejection is undertaken by the thin dense layer with the sub-structure providing structural support. They are relatively inexpensive to manufacture and hence are cheaper to buy than TFC membranes.
CTA membranes also have a low rejection of organic contaminants, low pH tolerance but a high tolerance to oxidants such as chlorine.
The chemical 1,4 dioxane is used to create the membrane porosity features. This chemical causes cancer with some traces of it left after manufacturer requiring considerable flushing before use.
The removal of inorganic contaminants by reverse osmosis membranes is complex and is dependent upon the interactions and mixture of irons in the feed water. Ionic contaminants are more readily rejected than neutral ones and polyvalent ions are rejected to a greater extent the monovalent ions. If the polyvalent ion is strongly hydrated, rejection is even higher.
As electrical neutrality must be preserved, ions diffuse across the membrane as a cation-anion pair. As a consequence, rejection of a particular ion depends on the rejection of its counter ion. An example of this is with sodium; sodium sulfate has a higher rejection than sodium chloride because the divalent sulfate ion is rejected to a greater extent than the monovalent chloride ion.
pH variations also affect the rejection characteristics of the membrane depending upon membrane composition and ion type. For example, fluoride rejection increases from 45% to over 90% as pH increases from 5.2 and 7.2 whereas nitrate rejection decreases slightly as pH increases from 5.2 to 7.0.
A large number of councils are now using chloramine to treat drinking water supplies instead of chlorine. This chloramine contains ammonium ions which are poorly removed by activated carbon causing dramatically reduced rejection rates and degradation of the membrane. The variability of local water conditions and sources also varies the performance of the membrane although a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) monitor will show the current performance of the unit. Specific ion rejection performance can however only be determined by selected testing. As a general guide reverse osmosis membranes are more effective in rejecting ions or organic solubles with molecular weights greater than 200 however carbon filters before and after the membrane can greatly affect the contaminants rejected or absorbed thereby affecting the overall performance of the system. The larger the pre-carbon filter ie 12” in the Aqua Safe ASRO4 unit the greater the chloramine and contaminant removal.
While membranes are successful at removing bacteria and viruses the systems can be contaminated from the product water side colonizing the tape tubes and storage tank. Regular disinfection (every 6-12 months) is necessary to maintain the water quality. This can generally be done by the system owners at very low expense or carried out by service technicians.
Contaminants in drinking water vary in size considerably from grains of sand and grit that we can see to viruses and soluble salts that we cannot see. The contaminant or particle size determines the type of filtration required or able to remove it. For instance 1 micron filters are able to remove or stop particles greater than 1 micron such as sand, silt, algae and a large portion of bacteria.
Micro filtration or finer is required to remove particles greater than 1 micron along with some viruses and all bacteria. For greater contaminant removal, finer filtration such as Nano filters would be needed remove all of the previous contaminants plus some dissolved organics and salts. Where the maximum contaminant removal is required, Reverse osmosis would be used as this is the highest quality of filtration available. Micro, Nano and Reverse osmosis filtration all use membranes to achieve the required level of contaminant removal or reduction.
The micron rating in the chart below indicates the absolute micron rating of the filter required to remove the contaminants not the nominal rating. For further information on this please refer to the glossary of terms.
This is used to accurately define the grade or level of filtration delivered. An absolute rating means 100% of particles larger than the filter rating (usually in microns) will be removed or entrapped on or within the filter medium i.e. 1 micron absolute will remove or entrap all particles greater than 1 micron as opposed to 1 micron nominal which may still let particles greater than 1 micron through.
This is a filter material made from coal or coconut shell carbon that has been processed causing the carbon to pit and change shape much like popcorn. This gives it an enormous surface area to absorb chemicals and odours from water and air. It is black in colour and comes in powder, granulated or extruded block form.
These are simple tiny plants or seaweed that grow and multiply if nutrients are present and chlorine or sanitizer levels are low. Most algae are invisible except in millions. In sunlight they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen by photosynthesis. They are larger than bacteria and viruses but generally smaller than 5 microns and vary in colour from green to blue, brown and red. They can be seen inside water filter housings and on water filter cartridges, often giving a slimy feel.
This is the sum of all alkaline chemicals in the water. A measurement of all carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides and other alkaline substances. It is closely related to pH and known as the buffering capacity of the water. A low alkalinity can cause the pH of the water to fluctuate widely and rapidly with small additions of acid or alkaline chemicals.
Alum or Aluminium Sulphate is a flocculant product used in water treatment to coagulate (bind together) colloidal very fine dirt particles and other organic materials so they fall to the bottom of a tank where they can be removed. This process then leaves the water clear. Alum is also used to remove phosphorus from water. Alum used to be used extensively to treat town water supplies. However it is being phased out due to the carryover of aluminium into the water supply. Other more synthetic chemicals are now generally used.
This is the current or average air temperature in the room/location or environment. This is usually 18°C to 28°C.
This is a colourless gas with a sharp offensive odour. It can be manmade or produced naturally and dissolves easily in water. It is made up of 1 nitrogen and 3 hydrogen atoms and is very alkaline in water based solutions. It is found in many household cleaners and chloramines; now used extensively in town water treatment in Australia and throughout the world. It is irritating to the skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Levels in drinking water should not exceed 0.5 mg/L.
Carbon water filters are generally made from either charcoal or coconut carbon. While coconut carbon is considered the best or healthiest for drinking water treatment, charcoal is still used by some manufacturers as a more economic alternative.
The carbon is either broken up and graded into a granular form or ground into a powder and processed into a carbon block filter. Hollow carbon technology is now the latest advancement in carbon filtration providing 10 times the surface area of standard granular carbon with considerably higher flow rates and substantially higher filter capacity. Hollow carbon is derived from granular form.
The general term all of these types of carbon is activated carbon.
How Does Carbon Work
Carbon filters remove or reduce water contaminants by physically trapping them or by absorption. Each piece of carbon is generally activated with a positive charge and is designed to attract negatively charged water contaminants absorbing them as they pass over the carbon surface area. The larger the surface area of the carbon and the slower the water moves past the carbon or through the filter, the higher the contaminant removal.
Carbon coated filters have very low absorption. Higher absorption rates are achieved by carbon block filters followed by granular filters and hollow carbon.
Carbon filters are very effective at removing chlorine, herbicides, pesticides and other volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) from water but are not very effective at removing minerals, salts and dissolved inorganic compounds such as aluminum, copper, fluoride, iron, lead, silver, etc.
While carbon filters remove contaminants they also remove chlorine and other sanitisers that kill and prevent bacteria growth within the cartridge. Therefore after a period of time bacteria will start to grow with carbon cartridges. For this reason manufacturers put a usable lifespan on their cartridges much the same as a use by date on food. This is usually 6 or 12 months; after this time the cartridge should be removed from the system and disposed of even if the system has only been used for a few days during the year.
Some cartridge filters do however use secondary media such as silver or KDF-55 to prevent bacteria growth within the filter. This media cannot really be said to kill bacteria but more inhibit its growth, providing an unpleasant environment for it to grow.