Aqua Safe Water Filters Australia

Aqua Safe Water Filters Australia

Aqua Safe - Water Filters and Filtration Systems
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Faqs

Purchasing and Shipping

  • I live on the Sunshine Coast, is the installation cost the same for me?

    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

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  • Do you offer delivery to a PO Box?

    We send packages by Courier (preferred) or Australia Post to either an address or PO Box.

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  • How much does shipping cost?

    Shipping is free for items above $55.00

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  • (RE:Aquasafe ASRO4R Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System)Hi,I was wondering what the tubes and unit was constructed from? I read the NSF cirt information and I realise that part of the certification is that the system not add contaminants/toxins t

    The tubes, filters and fittings are made from polypropylene, an inert material that does not add anything to the water and is NSF certified (Contact Aqua Safe for details on manufacturer & certification).

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Water Filtration

  • What options do I have for filtering tank water?

    When it comes to filtering tank water there are quite a number of options available, however they fall into two main categories; Point of Entry and Point of Use water filtration. Point of entry involves installing larger filters on the entry to the house thereby filtering all the water flowing into the house or through the house to external taps.

    These filters need to filter tens of thousands of litres and are therefore larger with a higher capacity. They also tend to be coarser and not filter as fine (approximately 10-20 micron) to try and limit pressure reduction throughout the house. The Point of Entry Systems are generally not designed to treat the water to the same quality as Point of Use Systems although it is now more common to install ultra-violet (UV) systems along with the standard filtration to kill viruses, bacteria and other living microscopic organisms.

    Point of Use Water Filters are designed to filter the water at one location where it is being used such as the kitchen sink. Water Filters and in some cases an Ultra Violet System are installed under the sink with a separate tap on the sink to dispense the water.

    The filters are usually lower capacity and filter down to 0.3 to 1.0 microns. Bacterial cysts such as cryptosporidium and Guardia are generally removed along with heavy metals, chemicals, tastes, odour and sediment. These Point of Use systems are therefore smaller in size, lower in cost, easier to install and produce higher quality water. Once you have decided on the type of system you require, the next step is to decide the water quality you wish to have.

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  • Does low water pressure affect the quality of Reverse Osmosis water?

    The performance & efficiency of a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system depends upon the membrane type, flow control, feed water quality (contaminants & quantity, pH, turbidity, total dissolved solids; TDS), pressure & temperature.

    RO systems require a reasonably high pressure in order to function properly. Most domestic RO systems require 400kPa (60 psi) to operate efficiently and maintain performance. A minimum operating pressure of 350kPa is recommended however the units will operate down to 240kPa although this will affect the quality of water produced. If the water pressure is too low the RO will not be able to overcome osmotic pressure (the bonding between water molecules and the dissolved impurities). The higher the contaminant or TDS level, the higher the osmotic pressure. If the water pressure is too low the treated water production will be less efficient and the contaminant rejection rates much lower resulting in poor quality treated water.

    A boost pump can be added to an RO system to increase the pressure and improve the quality and quantity of water produced.

    Bench top RO systems are able to operate at lower pressures than under bench systems due to the fact that they do not have to work against back pressure created in the storage tank as it fills with water and compresses the air in the tank.

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  • What is Water Hardness?

    This is generally the level of calcium and magnesium ions present in the water although other cations such as strontium, iron, manganese and barium can also contribute. Hard water requires more soap than soft water to obtain a lather or soapy bubbles. It can also cause scale to form on hot water appliances, air conditioners, etc.

    While some degree of hardness is present in just about all water supplies, many supplies using bore water have very high hardness levels requiring installation of a water softener or water conditioner.

    Water softeners remove the calcium and magnesium ions and exchange them with sodium ions or salt. Adding salt to the water supply can in many cases be undesirable along with the water volume and residual salt that is back flushed down the drain or out into the ground every time the water softener regenerates/ cleans. This regeneration maybe required every 3-7 days.

    Water conditioners on the other hand do not remove the calcium or magnesium ions they merely change the polarity or change of the ions so they do not attract each other, staying in solution rather than coating/ scaling up equipment.

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  • What is Butterfly valve?

    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.

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  • Can Water Filters Remove Fluoride?

    Fluoride is injected into drinking water supplies at various locations around Australia in the form of sodium silicofluoride and sodium hexafluorosilicic.  As per drinking water standards this is put into the water at up to 1.5 ppm (parts per million) although the average is 1.0 ppm with possible short (a few minutes or hours) spikes over this due to equipment malfunction or human error.  These short term spikes will have little effect on the capacity of fluoride removal filters.

    Standard carbon filters of any type are unable to remove fluoride without the addition of special media and even when this media added, they will only remove up to 40%.  To remove higher percentages requires reverse osmosis, distillation, resin, alumina or bone char. 

    Reverse osmosis (ie. Aqua Safe ASRO4) removes approximately 96% and requires resin post cartridges to achieve >99.99% reduction.  Distillation removes a higher than 96% but is a batch process and is not considered user friendly and therefore not very popular anymore.

    Alumina based systems (ie. Aqua Safe AS280) remove approximately 93% of fluoride but are not suitable for use in bench top systems or incorrectly designed under bench systems as very small trace amounts can under some circumstances leach into the water requiring removal with an additional specialised filter

    Bone Char made from animal bones has been used for industrial water treatment for many years although the vast majority is not approved for drinking water treatment.  Drinking water certified NSF61 granular bone char is available however, contact time with the media is very important for removal making cartridge design critical for performance. Removal rates tend to vary considerably and multiple (4 cartridges/stages) filters will be required to remove approximately 95%.

    Reverse Osmosis is the recommended system for fluoride reduction/removal followed by correctly designed alumina and bone char systems.  For reduction levels above 99%, we suggest specialised resin deioniser cartridges installed after a reverse osmosis or alumina system.  This type of system may then also include a pH balancing and re-mineraliser cartridge to increase the water pH and add minerals back resulting in a 6 stage water filtration system.

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  • What is the difference between the Big White and Big Blue Whole of house filters?

    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.

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  • Do Reverse Osmosis systems remove essential minerals from drinking water?

    A common misconception is that drinking water is an important source of essential minerals for the human body. While many minerals such as calcium, magnesium and sodium can be obtained from drinking water, research has shown that mineral uptake from tap water is very low. An adult can generally fulfil between 5-20% of their recommended daily intake of selected essential minerals by drinking tap water

    This is provided they drink 2 litres of tap water per day and that the tap water has a relatively high mineral content. Most cities in Australia have low mineral content, partially due to the water source and the water treatment process; making it unlikely to even achieve these levels. Bear in mind there are only a select few minerals contained in tap water, while a great many are required, and essential for the basic functions of the human body to complete.

    The main source for these essential minerals is from the food we eat, not from the water we drink. A balanced diet is the best method to providing all of the minerals our bodies require.

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  • Why do Reverse Osmosis systems have wastewater?

    Part of the water that flows into a reverse osmosis (RO) system flows through the membrane and comes out as treated water. The rest is used to wash away the rejected contaminants down the drain as waste.

    If not properly designed, RO systems can use large quantities of water to produce little treated water or use small quantities of water and produce low quality treated water while shortening the membrane life.  Most domestic RO systems are designed for a 20-30% recovery up to 50% recovery, i.e. 2-5 litres of water produced for every 10 litres of water used. This can also be expressed as a ratio of 1:4 down to 1:1. Higher recovery rates can be obtained but doing so will shorten the membrane life.

    RO membranes are easily fouled if contaminants or concentrated impurities are not washed away quickly enough. The higher the contaminant or TDS level the lower the recovery rate of treated water or the more wastewater required.

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  • What is Reverse Osmosis?

    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.

    TFC Membranes

    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.

    CTA Membranes

    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.

    Contaminant Removal

    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.

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Products

  • How long does it take to install an AS200 system?

    It takes approximately 1.5 to 2.0 hours to install the AS200 system including flushing the cartridges ready for use.

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  • How long does it take to install an AS280 system?

    It takes approximately 1.5 to 2.0 hours to install the AS280 system including flushing the cartridges ready for use.

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  • How long does it take to install an ASRO4 system?

    It takes approximately 2.0 to 2.5 hours to install the ASRO4 system including flushing the cartridges ready for use.

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  • How do you switch between running water from the tap and from the spout?

    The diverter valve that connects to the tap switches between the tap and spout when required.

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  • What is the difference between an E type connection kit and a P type connection kit?

    The ‘E’ kit is for connection to a ½” stopcock / ½” under sink outlet or ¾” dishwasher connection.

    The ‘P’ kit is for connection to ½” copper pipe where there are no current outlets and generally needs to be done by a licensed plumber as the copper pipe has to be cut.

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  • Is it normal to get small golden flakes in the shower filter cartridge packaging or brown flakes inside the shower filter?

    Parts of our filtration media are thin and brittle, meaning they can break down into smaller pieces through the mixing process, transport and use. It’s not uncommon to notice that some of the fines have escaped through the filter cartridge screen; this is normal, harmless and not a faulty filter. This is also more noticeable if you reverse the filter cartridges more often.

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  • Will my Doulton® Ultracarb filter remove Nitrates?

    Unfortunately the ceramic filter elements will not remove nitrates. In the home the only effective method that can be used to remove nitrates is ion exchange media.

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  • Could you please advise the bench hole size required for the tap displayed on this drinking water system?

    The tap hole size is the same for all systems. A 10-12mm hole is required.

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  • Will my Doulton or British Berkefeld filter element remove Chloramine?

    Chloramine may be removed by passing through a bed of activated carbon, but requires much greater contact time with the carbon than chlorine, so a slow flow rate through the carbon must be ensured.
    Unfortunately although the Doulton or British Berkefeld, Supersterasyl, Carbosyl, Supercarb and Ultracarb filter elements contain activated carbon, they may reduce levels but will not remove chloramine because there is insufficient contact time with the carbon.

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Water and Your Health

  • How Much Water is Enough?

    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

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  • How does Chlorine affect Skin?

    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.

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  • What’s in Tap Water?

    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.

    Chlorine

    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.

    Fluoride

    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.

    Fertilizers

    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.

    Parasites

    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

    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.

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  • Can Water help Weight Loss?

    8 glasses of water a day will help keep the fat away.

    Water and Weight Loss

    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.

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  • Does Water affect Constipation?

    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.

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  • What nutrients are in drinking water?

    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.

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  • Is Alkaline Water Healthy to Drink/ Is Alkaline Water Good for you/ Is Alkaline Water Bad for you/ Is Alkaline Water Healthier?

    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.

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  • What is Chloramine and how do you remove it from drinking water?
    Chloramines Removal

    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.

    Ammonia

    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.

    Removal

    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.

     

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  • How do Ceramic Filters work?

    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.

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