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Most Popular Water Purification Technologies for Domestic Drinking Use
Start by reading about Doulton ceramic technology and various other technologies currently in use. This will familiarize you with the different technologies available to treat your water. Next, go to our Product Selector and follow the steps. Of course, you can always feel free to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will make some recommendations to you based on your water supply and personal preferences.
Before purchasing a drinking water device determine which contaminants you want to remove, are these contaminants in your water, the degree of "purity" of the water etc. as there is no such a device or technology that "does all".
Which point of use (POU) technologies other than Doulton are currently used in domestic water filtrations?
First of all, technologies are based on their physical properties and scientific facts that can be easily understood. Second, EPA does not certify POU water treatment devices. In U.S. any device containing man made or natural "purifier" such as iodine, chlorine, silver or copper oxides, "food grade" pesticides etc. must register that device with EPA.
Stay clear of the products that you cannot understand how they work or use pseudo scientific (vague) terminologies such as; "pre coat technology", "FDA approved", "molecular sieving action", "redox technology", "alkalizer", "NASA technology", "EPA certified purifier", "patented" or other mysterious "technologies".
The certification standards vary from region to region and some parts of the world don't have any. The certification standards are set by governmental institutions, industries associations and or combination of both. For example ISO (International Standard Organization, Zurich, Switzerland) sets world standards in manufacturing procedures (toughest to achieve and maintain), while in U.S., ANSI (American National Standard Institute) set standards. For example: In US for food equipment and POU devices NSF in collaboration with ANSI write standards that will meet EPA and FDA guidelines. NSF standards for POU filtration devices are 42, aesthetic contaminants (chlorine reduction) and 53, health related contaminants (cysts and turbidity reduction).
None. One was tested by NSF laboratory or their subcontract labs while the second one opted for less expensive ANSI accredited laboratory e.g. Underwriter Laboratories etc. One have to keep in mind that all those tests cost thousands of dollars.
"Contaminants" is a very general term which determines the use of treated water. For everyday drinking and cooking water a well designed activated carbon block is best in removing chlorine and it's by-products, pesticides, herbicides, carbon based industrial chemicals as well organic pharmaceuticals. In addition to good carbon block incorporates ion exchange media to remove heavy metals such as lead. Carbon block does not remove "contaminants" such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and other natural minerals which contributes to fresh, spring like thirst quencher.
A well designed and maintained distiller, laboratory grade* RO systems maintained and periodically tested by a qualified technician using high quality pre-treated water (*not to be confused with inexpensive domestic RO systems commonly sold in big box stores or by softeners salesman).
I am specifically concerned about removing parasitic cysts like cryptosporidium and giardia from my water. What is the best filtration or purification method for cysts?
Generally cysts size in range from about 3-7 microns and can be reduced by fine filters however to completely remove 100% a filter pore size have to be at least 1 micron absolute with greater than 99.99% efficiency. Many filters on the market claim cysts reduction using surrogates (AC fine test dust in 0.5-3 micron size range) test standards vs. live cysts method which is tougher and more accurate test.
For immune compromised individuals the following POU labeled devices may or may not remove Cryptosporidium.
Most all carbon filters are in particulate reduction range.
Distillers and RO manufacturers often "claim" that natural minerals in water are not beneficial for you while POU manufacturers "claim" the opposite. Who's right?
Our view is that we should rely on minerals through food intake rather than water. On the other hand have you ever tried "pure" water? It's flat and lifeless, taste stale and is very acidic. Laboratory water should be "pure". Drinking water should be safe and wholesome, free from pathogenic bacteria and chemicals, full of oxygen and mineral content that gives water spring-like taste and freshness. Should you opt for "pure" drinking water then distilled water is much "purer" than reverse osmosis water even under best RO performance conditions.
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Reverse osmosis (RO) is a membrane filtration process separating dissolved
salts from a water stream. In RO, not only are insoluble particles rejected
by the membrane but also molecules and ions in solution. Concentration
of ions near the membrane sets up ‘polarization’ phenomena which results
in an increase in the osmotic pressure of the solution to be treated,
sometimes followed by precipitation. The continuing flow of input water
under high pressure (>200 psi) flushes
the membrane, which removes the ion concentrations and/or precipitates.
Due to various factor that can affect membrane performance a major
membrane manufacturer have the following statement in red letters imprinted
on the packaging: "Do not rely on this membrane for Cryptosporidium or
Giardia cyst removal".
Distillation or demineralization is usually an effective method of
preparing safe drinking water. However, carry-over's of volatile organic compounds (herbicides and/or pesticides) may be an
issue since they may be evaporated and re-condensed with the water.
Ultraviolet systems (UV) expose supply water to intense ultraviolet
radiation, which kill pathogenic bacteria (cholera, typhoid, salmonella,
dysenteriae, etc.), virus however is not effective against cysts.
If you own a UV without Doulton ceramic pre-filter and rely on it for
microbiological protection make sure to clean the quartz sleeve often
and change the UV bulb once a year.
UV manufacturers performance claim is based on 1 or less than 1 NTU* turbid water.
* Turbidity refers to the concentration
of un dissolved, suspended particles present in a liquid measured in
Turbidity is a very complex analytical measurement which can be affected by many factors. Some are inherent in the instrument’s design such as angle of detection, light beam aperture, incident beam wavelength and colour sensitivity of the photocell. However, there are other factors such as stray light, air bubbles and care of vial, which can be prevented through proper care of equipment and accessories.
Most popular Ion exchange (IEX) media in POU for heavy metals reduction is ATS or ATC media, zeolite etc. Various IEX resins are often used for industrial processes for specific water use. Ion exchange theory in layman language is simply gaining and loosing atoms (swapping atoms). In drinking water for example soluble lead is a positive ion whilst chlorine is a negative ion (cat ions+, anions-). Most common ion exchange in rural area (well water) is "Softener".
An other popular often called "emerging technology" or "redox technology" etc. is IEX media used in POU is KDF 55 (copper zinc alloy in granule form) for it's high chlorine reduction. By simply swapping atoms this metal alloy turns chlorine into harmless chloride.
Many POU "makers" using this alloy claim soluble lead reduction, bacteriostatic proprieties, some go as far as cysts and bacteria removal and a host of other "miracles". We simply don't know what does it do with the lead, does it convert it to a particulate lead or what pH operating water conditions must be used? Under what condition is bacteriostatic?. If you plan on buying a POU using KDF media, do your investigating as to performance claims. KDF 55 is widely use for shower and garden filters which are impressively compact and effective de-chlorinator.
There is a range of water purification products on the market and there is Doulton. Effective and cost efficient drinking water treatment technology.
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