Water Treatment Diaries

  • Posted in Default
  • By admin
  • Date July 15th, 2011 18:03
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  • Our Research Team did a deep dive on kitchen appliances last week (2011, 7.4-7.8), researching range hoods, electric and gas ranges, sinks, ovens, ect. (Click here for more info), and water treatment equipment (Click here for more info). Our research team continually struggles to find verifiable information from manufacturers. Despite bold claims, few are backed by credible, validated data. In general, all manufactures are encouraged to submit more information to help users better understand the benefits of their materials.

    Following our research, results were presented to designers and we found that they were most interested in water treatment equipment and technologies. There are loads of water treatment companies and products available in China's markets, and like most materials, all are not equal. Below is a crash course in water equipment - key issues and ideas to help you select the right residential water purifiers.

    Step 01: What are you working with?
    Before you do anything, it's best to know what you're dealing with. Do you have heavy metals? Chlorine? What about contaminants? Selecting water systems without knowing what you are given is similar to a military general leading troops into battle without knowledge of who or what they are fighting. The risk of doing too little or too much is quite high. If you need help measuring your water quality, Pure Living China is a recommended service provider.

    Step 02: Install a primary filter
    This machine does the heavy lifting. Installed just after the municipal pipe (the water pipe that enters your house or apartment) and it is your first line of defense against chemicals, corrosion, contaminants, odors, VOCs, particles and any other nasty things that might be flowing through your pipes. It's best to filter out the things you never want to deal with. Some filters also eliminate nutrients (see below) - if you want these left in your drinking water, your primary filter shouldn't filter them out. Cleaning water at the entry point can help extend the useful life of piping (particularly metal pipes), as minerals and other corrosive materials can be eliminated. Make sure that your primary filter is installed in a location that is accessible to maintain. These technologies are usually not terribly demanding to keep running, though they many require a filter change or a cleaning from time to time.

    Step 03: Install a point of use (POU) filter
    How water is used should determine the level to which it is purified. Purifying all water to a 'pure' state (see below) is typically overkill. Logically, your toilet water can be of a lower quality than your drinking water. Save some budget for other good green materials. Residential POU filters typically come in two types:

    Pure water purifier
    Pure water purifiers deliver exactly that, pure water without any extra baggage. Even nutrients and minerals that are healthy are filtered out. It may not be safe, long-term, to only drink pure water. Some manufacturers are developing new technologies to add these nutrients to 'pure' water. 'Pure' filtration technologies primarily include PP (polypropylene), active carbon, and RO (Reverse Osmosis) film - the RO film is the key purifying technology. Electric power is required to operate pure water purifiers and waste water is often created as a byproduct of operation.

    Water purifier
    Primary alteration technologies include PP (polypropylene), active carbon, and hollow ceramic fiber filters. Every filter is designed to eliminate certain things, you must specify according to your own individual requirements. The lowest grade purifiers only use active carbon filters, which is not recommended for drinking water mainly because active carbon does not remove heavy metals. Electric power is not required to operate most water purifiers, and no waste water is generated.

    Step 04: Maintain as needed
    Every filter/purifier requires at least a little maintenance. Be sure you know what this entails before purchasing. Some purifiers come with expiry indicators to show when they need to be cleaned or replaced. Others require replacement after a certain volume of water is filtered. For these cases, setting a conservative replacement schedule is recommended.

    Other: water softeners
    The main function of water softeners is to remove water scale, and alkali. This helps to prolong the lifespan of water-related equipment. Water softeners operate by using ionic changes, combining sodium ions (Na+) with magnesian ions (Mg2+) and calcium ions (Ca2+). The core hardware of water softeners is an ionic changing resin; this primarily determines their effectiveness. When the ionic changing resin is saturated, users need to add high density salt water to reactive the resin. The higher the resin quality, the stronger its "regeneration" capacity will be.


    Image courtesy of Hustace Photography.

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