Water Treatment Systems



 
 
BYRON DUERKSEN, ACI, CMI, PHI
ASHI CERTIFIED INSPECTOR,
NACHI CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL INSPECTOR
CERTIFIED THERMOGRAPHER

707.245.7545 (cell) or 707.987.9970 (office)
Email:  Housecheck@mchsi.com




God Bless America!

 
 

  Many people now filter their drinking water.  That's a start but it's just the beginning if you have problem water.  Your body can absorb a significant amount of contaminants from a hot shower or bath.

There is a major difference between bottled water and normal tap water.  Tap water is never 100% pure in the following respects: 

1.                  It does contain a minimum level of numerous contaminants.

2.                  Tap water contains purifiers that are carcinogenic and known to be harmful and those produce harmful water vapors that may be inhaled when showering, possibly causing lung issues.

3.                  No conventional water treatment plant provides water free from all bacteria.  Water treatment plants do not kill viruses or other serious contaminants that are known to cause fatalities.

Most if not all bottled water is pure when entering the bottle in the following respects:

1.                  The water is generally purified by Ozone and Ultra Violet rays, both of which kill all bacteria and viruses as well as other dangerous contaminants including residuals that may be in the untreated water from drugs, e.g. those flushed down toilets or from meth labs.

2.                  Many utilize a process known as Reverse Osmosis for a portion of their treatment.

3.                  The filtration process and methods utilized exceed those used by water districts.

Hepatitis is a virus known to be dangerous and even deadly. Conventional water treatment does not kill or remove it.  There are other very serious viruses known to be in tap water and as stated before, chlorine and other similar disinfectants do not kill them.   The process used by bottled water plants does kill them.

It is a known fact septic tank or sewer effluent (water) can be converted into 100% pure drinkable water in a very short period of time as can sea water.  I’ve done both.  I drank both minutes after clarifying and purifying it.  Point is that in most instances it actually matters not where the water came from, but what matters is how it is purified and delivered.

I was a member of Water Quality Association for a number of years and sat on four task forces for water purification.  I owned a water bottling company and delivered ultra pure water for hemodialysis and medical use to clinics and a hospital.  I worked with the National Sanitation Foundation. When attending national conferences, I took a number of classes with the Center for Disease Control.  I have also been involved in sampling and testing for Cryptosporidium (a water borne protozoan parasite) and Giardia (a parasitic organism).  I have designed and installed hundreds of water purification systems for major clients including General Motors and a division of Toyota Motors - aluminum castings plant.  I cite these facts not to be boastful but rather to assure you that I am knowledgeable in addressing the water quality issue.

SOME WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS

Although it is an opinion many will argue with, particularly the municipal water treatment operators, the fact is, universally, we have a safe drinking water problem.  We all know that tap water probably is not the best water to drink.  Some suppliers of tap water have water that is superior to others yet none produce pure water free of all contaminants.  Chlorine is a carcigen and it does not kill any virus, does not kill all bacteria.  Flouride is argued by many to be a dangerous additive to tap water, there is a great deal of research evidence that backs that position.  Old galvanized or lead pipe will add contaminates.  Many of us drink bottled water or filtered water with good reason though some of the  plastic bottles may come into question.  Some have spring or factory treated water delivered.  There are filter gadgets to attach to the kitchen faucet.  But did you know you actually absorb what is in the water through your skin when you bathe?

Bathing and showering in chlorinated water exposes us to absorbtion of chlorine and breathing chlorine gas into our lungs, the warmer the water the greater the risk.  Our pores enlarge and become thousands of tiny mouths that take in the impurities in our water.  That is why you no longer see chlorine as a recommended purifier in a hot tub.  That is why charcoal filters are sold in a shower head.  Many swimming pools are no longer using chlorine because of its dangers and drawbacks.

Whether the house you are buying is new and fancy or a vintage cottage with all the charm you could imagine, you may have possible health issues facing you if you do not have your water tested.  In a modern society, water is one of the things in life we often take for granted. When we turn on the tap, we expect water that is clean, safe and suitable for all household tasks.  But in recent years, there has been a growing concern about contamination of our water supplies. We hear unsettling news accounts that make us question the safety of our water.  Boil orders are not uncommon.


Identifying Water Quality Problems

No untreated water is 100 percent pure. It contains contaminants from natural and man-made sources, such as minerals, gases, bacteria, metals and chemicals. Many of these contaminants are harmless. However, some impurities can adversely affect your health, some such as hepatitis and cryptosporidium which can be ingested from drinking water have been known to be fatal.  Some items found in water damage equipment, stain laundry and fixtures and emit odors.

The first step in eliminating exposure to water-borne contaminants is to assess your situation. If your water comes from a public or municipal system, it is regularly tested for contaminants regulated by federal and state standards, such as microbial pathogens, radioactive elements and certain toxic chemicals. These are some of the contaminants that affect the safety of water and may cause health problems.  Water quality problems such as hardness, corrosivity, foaming, staining or bad tastes, smell or color are undesirable. However, these factors do not necessarily make the water unhealthy.

If your water supply is a private well, you are personally responsible for testing and treating the water to avoid health risks. One of your major concerns should be microbial pathogens (bacteria, virus and parasites) in the water supply. This is especially important if your well is near a septic tank, or an area subject to animal wastes or nitrates. For further information, request a copy of Water Quality Problems - Health and Household and Testing for Water Quality from your Cooperative Extension Service agent.

If you are concerned about or dissatisfied with the quality of your water, have it tested by a state-certified laboratory. The analysis will identify the contaminants that are present and the extent of the problem. Determining which contaminants are present is essential in selecting a treatment system. Many types of water treatment systems are available. Each type of system is designed to treat specific water quality problems.  Some systems provide solution a few issues others are more inclusive.   Ultraviolet light when properly installed and maintained does kill all bacteria and virus, so does ozone, both require other filtration to remove undesirable elements.  Unfortunately the purer water is the harder it is to keep it pure so it is imperative a system for purification and delivery be utilized.

Water Treatment Systems

Methods used to improve the quality of water are referred to as treatment or conditioning. What is the difference? Water treatment refers to systems that reduce harmful contaminants in the water, dealing with health and safety of the water. High levels of pathogens, coliform, nitrates, arsenic, lead, mercury, herbicides and pesticides are examples of harmful contaminants that must be treated before water is safe to drink.

Water conditioning refers to water problems that effect water taste, color, odor, hardness and corrosivity rather than health and safety. The presence of high levels of magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese and silt are common contaminants that require water conditioning. It is not uncommon to use both treatment and conditioning methods to improve water quality.

 
    Ozone Water Purification                              Under Sink Reverse Osmosis System
 
Whole House Pre-Filtration            Whole House Reverse Osmosis System


Here is a list of possible treatment and conditioning methods:

Mechanical or Sedimentation Filtration

Activated Carbon Filtration which must be monitored and maintained

Oxidation Filtration

Reverse Osmosis or Membrane Filtration requires some filters changes

Distillation which is not 100% reliable

Ultra-violet Treatment effectiveness of the bulb diminishes with each hour

Water Softener There are excellent units and some scams, not all are alike

Chlorination Disinfection has some merit and numerous drawbacks


For more information on your water treatment needs, call me at 707-245-7545.