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Reverse Osmosis Water Filters

            Water, anyone?

Who doesn’t love a glass of cool, clear water on a hot day? Unfortunately, many people who go to their sink for a glass of refreshing, clean, clear water find themselves disappointed — or even kind of grossed out. Water taps across the country spurt odd-smelling water. The water often has unidentifiable particles of … well, something… floating in it and even sticking to the sides and bottoms of the glasses. No thanks! If this describes the water from your tap, it’s time to invest in a water filtration system. One of the most popular types of drinking water filtration systems is the reverse osmosis water filter system, or RO, for short.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

You usually hear about  reverse osmosis as a way to make ocean water drinkable by removing the salt.  Dictionary.com  says reverse osmosis is the process of producing pure water by forcing water with salt or other solid particles in it through a semi-permeable membrane. In order to really understand reverse osmosis, we need to talk first about regular osmosis.

Osmosis

Osmosis occurs when water moves through a semi-permeable membrane from an area of higher concentration of water particles to an area of lower concentration of water particles.

   Think of it this way:

You have one cup of fresh water and one cup of water with salt mixed into it. You pour the salt water into the left side of this U-shaped glass beaker. Then you pour the fresh water into the right side. A very thin plastic membrane filled with thousands of very tiny holes sits in the center of the bottom tube of the beaker. When you pour the cups of water into each side of the beaker, the fresh water flows to the side of the salt water.  The water level in that side of the beaker rises. This happens because there are more water molecules in the fresh water compared with the water molecules in the salt water. The fresh water moves toward the salt water to even up the number of water molecules.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis occurs when you apply  pressure to salt water. The pressure forces the salt water up against the membrane. The salt particles are too large to fit through the membrane openings and only the small water particles are pushed through. The membrane effectively filters out the salt and contaminants, allowing the now-clean water to pass through and mix with the fresh water on the right-hand side.

So how does all this work in a home drinking water system?

How reverse osmosis water filters work in your home

If you want to install a reverse osmosis system for your whole house, we can help with that. Most families, however, choose to start with a much smaller reverse osmosis water filter system that fits underneath the counter.

The reverse osmosis water filter system is connected to your water supply and the system processes the water  through a series of 3 to 6 tube filters before it passes into the storage container.  A separate faucet, installed on your sink, draws clean, filtered water from the storage tank. Some folks don’t want to install a complete reverse osmosis water filter system under their sinks. Most stores also carry a counter-top model of the reverse osmosis water filter system. This unit sits on the counter and connects directly to the faucet.

Now what?

Not sure if you want to try a DIY install for your reverse osmosis water filter system? Or maybe you need help figuring out what type of water filter system is best for you. Whatever your water purification needs, Knoxville Water Treatment can help. Give us a call today and start treating yourself to the best water you can get!

 

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5 Things Americans Take For Granted

It’s safe to say Americans take much more than just 5 things for granted, but this article outlines a few we can think about today. Maybe after you’ve read the article, you can think of a few more of your own, as well as some things you personally do appreciate.

Shoes

After seeing the feet of poverty, you’d never again take for granted your 5-20 pairs of shoes, some of which you’ve worn only a handful of times. Some of these feet walk on hot black asphalt in the dirtiest streets, they wear shoes that do not fit, inappropriate shoes like sandals in the winter, and holy out-of-style tennis shoes from 1980.

Clean Water

Clean water is such an issue for some parts of the world that well over 10 blogs and more organizations dedicate their platforms to the cause. In some parts of the world, having water that is safe enough to brush your teeth with it, is a blessing. Even natural sources of water across the globe are unsafe to drink from without requiring medication afterward. In some parts of the world, heat and dehydration are so much a daily threat to their residents, that they must carry around a gallon of clean drinking water to survive.

Transportation

Some folks in other countries cannot leave their homes when they want to, sometimes due to law, obligation, or a lack of transportation completely. Yes, there are parts of the world where no one has a car! In some places, your opportunity to leave may come expensively and in the form of the most crowded bus you can imagine, with people sitting practically on top of one another. One person of that many is bound to stink up the bathroom during your voyage and you will absolutely endure the smell of sweat and body odor for the duration of your trip, too!

Public School and College

 

Almost 70% of high school graduates in the United States now enroll in post-secondary education systems (colleges). You’d think that this 5 million enrollment increases in the past 15 years would mean that the American people have increased the sense of value they associate with their education, but that’s not the case. While young men and women in other parts of the world have no access to education from even Kindergarten through high school, Americans are paying for alarmingly high tuition and not even attending their courses!

Waste Management Services

More than half of the world’s nations don’t have access to regular trash pick-up while Americans produce 236 tons of waste annually. This data puts us as the #1 most wasteful country in the world, second is the Russian Federation (207.4 tons), and then Japan (52.36 tons). Concerned advocates of people and the environment call it a crisis because the consequences being overlooked are the pollution of nature, adding to the public health’s vulnerability, and sometimes drowning poor country’s in our relocated waste.

It’s easy to forget how easy and care-free our lives can be in America when daily, we coast without interruption, but consider the effects of your ungratefulness on a larger scale. Our attitude has and will continue to effect other countries. Your effort, whether for change or for staying the same, will effect others and finally, make its way back to the states and your backyard, or your future generation’s backyards. What are you grateful for today? Take a moment to reflect on all that you’re blessed with!

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Important Minerals In Drinking Water

Minerals are important for the body to intake to function optimally. They assist in controlling bone growth, regulate all the body’s fluids, balance nerve and muscle functioning, maintain metabolism levels, grow connective tissues, and so much more. It’s debatable that all of our minerals are obtained from drinking water, a common misconception. Most of our minerals are actually absorbed through our food and a proper diet, so you don’t have to fret between drinking tap or bottled water in this regard (because many believe bottled/purified water is void of essential vitamins and minerals). You would need to drink a full bathtub of water each day to receive adequate minerals. You can get all you need from eating a balanced diet. You will, however, want to be sure your water is as safe and pure as possible for drinking and using on and inside your body.

The minerals found in our drinking water are typically inorganic minerals that can actually be harmful to our health. Over time, consuming minerals the body has no use for can be slow to process and be unwantedly stored in tissues and our organs, eventually becoming a toxic buildup. The most harmful among them are calcium salts that later can cause gallstones, kidney stones, joint and bone calcification, arthiritis, and hardening and obstruction of the arteries. Organ failure and cancer development, too, have been known to develop in long term exposure cases. This mineral can be found n both tap and natural spring water, so it’s an element that would need to be specifically tested for. Food minerals are much easier for our bodies to use and digest and are never toxic.

If now you stand corrected on the point of water not containing our necessary vitamins and minerals, where do you get them? Well first, you must know which minerals are essential: Calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Calcium is conducive to strong bones and teeth, and also plays a significant role in the digestive system. You can find adequate supply of calcium in foods such as nuts (almonds), greens such as broccoli, kale, and spinach, dried apricots and figs, seafood, and dairy products.

Iron produces white blood cells and supports the immune system. Foods rich in iron are apricots again, raisins, figs, beans and lentils, eggs, greens, lean red meat, seafood, and whole grains.

Magnesium’s job is to regulate potassium and sodium levels in the body that help you to control your blood pressure. It also assists in the absorption and digestion of vitamins and minerals. Magnesium is found in apricots, figs, bananas, brown rice, whole wheats, green leagy vegetables, peas and sweet corn, lean meats, milk, and yogurt.

Zinc is a antioxidant that helps with replenishment and a healthy immune system. You can find zinc in foods like brown rice, whole grain bread, cheese, seafood, and duck, goose, lean red meat, and turkey.

Now that you know which minerals are essential to your body’s optimal functioning, that your water is not the most important source for them, and which foods to get them from, all you need to do now is properly filter the water you do have. You can perform a simple at-home test or call a professional to have your water quality evaluated. It will be tested for harmful contaminants such as flouride, arsenic, chromium, perchlorate, heavy metals, bacteria, and viruses. With this information, you’ll be able to pick out a water filtration system that works for you and your family!

So remember to eat a balanced diet with some of the suggested foods from this article and drink the cleanest water possible!

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The Importance of Consuming Water

You’ve heard about the importance of consuming water because you are mostly made up of water, but it’s always great to have a reminder to get us back on track to hydration and its benefits. Here is a thorough recap on why you should drink adequate amounts of water daily and its importance to the wellness of both human beings and the world.

So, it is 60%, that your body is made up of water. You brain alone is made up of 70% water, and your lungs 90%. Water is crucial to your body’s optimal functioning. First, you’ll notice that it cushions and lubricates joints for ease of use and minimal chance for injury. It protects and nourishes the brain, keeps the body temperature balanced, and aids you in waste removal through sweating, eliminating, and urination. Per day, 2.5 quartz is lost and needs replenishing through foods and liquids.

Human beings are said to have originated as single-cell organisms in the oceans millions of years ago, which would explain why we are made so much of water. If you lacked water consumption, you would probably last no longer than a week, they say. It’s more important to your health than food is, which you can go without for an entire month before it’s lethal. When your body is void of water it produces less blood, forcing your heart to pump harder to maintain its systems. As the state of dehydration becomes worse, you will become clumsy and tired without adequate oxygen to the brain and muscles. Your eyesight may become unpredictable, and in the final stages, you will feel nauseous and vomit. Complete dehydration will put you in a coma and you will die.

There is an instance you can also consume too much water. This condition is called Hyponatremia and it describes the occasion when too much water floods your cells and causes them to expand too much. Swollen brain cells can cause a wide range of symptoms, including headache, nausea, stomach pain, confusion, seizures, fatigue, come and death (just like dehydration). Who would do that though, you ask? Hyponatremia has killed a number of marathon runners.

Let’s address some myths about water now. Both the 8 glasses of 8 ounce water a day requirement and the only water, no caffeine or alcohol rule, are myths according to Dr. Heinz Valtin of Dartmouth College Medical School. His documented studies in the American Journal of Physiology showed no evidence of needing this requirement, and he did find evidence that beverages such as beer could contribute to your level of hydration.

Just Enough

Knowing your body is the best way to know how much water or fluid to intake per day and even then, the amount will differ based on your activity level and other factors. Try intaking fluids and food much slower and see if your body tells you when its had enough. Otherwise, British Broadcasting Corp. recommends you drink between 6-8 medium sized glasses of fluid daily, and this can include fruit juices. Looking at the color of your urine can also be an indication of a healthy or unhealthy level of hydration. Dark yellow urine is not good, but straw colored yellow urine or lighter is great.

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HOW A MUNICIPAL WATER DISASTER CAN HAPPEN

A municipal water disaster can present itself without warning. The potential for adverse health effects can be great. Contact your city’s municipal water department for the latest report on the safety and quality of your water. The following are examples of water disasters that took the residents of these cities by surprise.

Most recently the Flint Michigan water disaster comes to mind. Flint had switched using the Detroit water system to using the Flint River. Soon after, high levels of lead were detected in tested homes. The water from the river was corrosive to the city water pipes which leached lead into the water supply. Lead poisoning can cause organ damage. In children it can cause brain damage.

Our nations capitol Washington, D.C. faced a water crisis when it was discovered that their lead levels were unacceptable. It was found that the change from using chlorine to chloramine caused premature pipe corrosion resulting in lead leaching into the water supply.

Cryptosporidium, a parasite, lives in the intestines of infected humans and animals. Feces from hosts can enter municipal water supplies by farm runoff and storm water. Milwaukee Wisconsin had a cryptosporidiosis outbreak in 1993 which caused illness to 400,000 people. Of which at least 69 people died. This incident became the largest documented waterborne disease outbreak in U.S. History. Cryptosporidium oocysts are tiny and were able to pass through the water facility’s filtration system. Milwaukee has put in place practices that has improved water quality security including water monitoring equipment and updated filters.

In 2014, the Toledo , Ohio metropolitan area residents were under an order not to drink or cook with the water. Samples taken from a water treatment plant indicated a toxin call microcystin. This toxin was a result of a large bloom of algae on Lake Erie. Microcystins form with the conditions of warm stagnant water and oversupply of nutrients. Fertilizer runoff from cropland contributing to the process. Ingestion of this toxin can cause liver damage.

It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to have an emergency supply of water in an event of a water crisis. Your water supply should include one gallon of water per person for three days. Ideally This water should be commercially bottled and sealed to ensure its safety. Rotate out bottles with close expiration dates. Include extra water if you have pets.

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Good Water Makes Good Coffee

For many people, the first thing they consume in the morning is a cup of coffee. A good cup of coffee would taste like coffee and look like coffee. A good recipe for good coffee starts with good water.

Good water can come right out of your kitchen faucet. If you’re lucky. Water hardness can vary depending on your geographical location. Water quality can vary from town to town. Call your water supplier for the most recent water report to learn how good your water is. The water report should also tell you how hard your water is. The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires the monitoring of 91 contaminants.

You know you have hard water if you see mineral deposits on your pots, sinks, and toilets. Hard water can leave whitish deposits on your coffee maker parts that do not wipe off. These deposits are from calcium and magnesium and do not pose a health risk. Over time mineral deposits can clog the tube and drip arm resulting in an uneven or failed brew. These minerals can also leave a slime floating on top of your coffee. Clean your coffee maker by running vinegar through a brew cycle. Be sure to run a cycle of water through after that to rinse the vinegar out.

Water that makes bad coffee? Pretty much the same culprits that make bad tasting drinking water can make bad coffee. How about hydrogen sulfide, that rotten egg smell. The presence of iron can give your water a metallic taste. How about too much chlorine?

Coffee shop chains use a filter system that treats their water so essentially a cup of their coffee tastes the same no matter where the coffee shop is located.

A better cup of coffee for you might just involve using a pitcher type water filter product. These can reduce chlorine taste, odor, and contaminants. Be sure to read the instructions on how often to change the filter. Keep the pitcher and parts clean and store your water in the refrigerator to inhibit bacteria growth.

Using bottled water can make a good cup of coffee but the expense makes this not such a good idea. Lugging several gallons of water from store to car to house can be a lot of work.

If you need a more advanced filter system call your local professional water treatment company for their advice and solutions. If you already have a water system in place a regular inspection is a good idea to make sure it is working properly and maintained correctly.

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3 Tips to Save Money With Water Purification Devices

Some of the water purification devices on the market are not really purifiers, at all. If you aren’t careful about which water purification device you choose, you could waste a lot of money and end up with little or no protection. Here’s how to tell the difference.

1. High Priced does not always mean high quality.

Most of us are used to paying more to get more, but when it comes to a water purification device; price has nothing to do with quality. The most expensive systems on the market include a reverse osmosis (RO) step.

Now, I’m talking only about systems that are designed for use by homeowners with a public provider. If you have a private well or other private source, you need laboratory testing to determine contaminants and then you can design an effective system.

If reverse osmosis is your only choice to remove specific contaminants, then you will also need to include other steps. Some companies’ advertisements make it seem that RO is all that you need, when nothing could be further from the truth.

People who are serviced by a public provider do not need an RO step in their water purification devices. There are less expensive, more effective options.

2. Low Priced might not do the job

On the other end of the spectrum are cheap products like the Brita water purification device. While the system does remove chlorine and some other common contaminants, it does not remove chlorine byproducts, commonly referred to as THMs.

THMs or trihalomethanes are known carcinogens. For many years, we were told that the amount released during the chlorination process was safe for consumption. The first studies that showed an increased cancer risk from this level of consumption were withheld from the public.

Now, we know that one of the reasons we need water purification devices in our homes is because of THMs and the increased cancer risk that accompanies them. If a water purification device does not include a multi-media adsorptive block, don’t buy it. No matter how cheap it is, it is still a waste of money.

3. The Best Water Purification Devices.

The best systems include several steps to remove the widest range of contaminants. First, granular carbon to reduce chlorine and other chemical contaminants, then a multi-media block to further reduce chemicals and get rid of the ones that are not trapped by carbon, alone.

The block should have a sub-micron sized porous structure to prevent water from circling around the granules, which would result in less effective contaminants removal. The structure also removes illness causing parasitic cysts that can be deadly.

The best water purification device also includes an ion exchange step to remove lead and other metallic ions. Heavy metals are exchanged for potassium and sodium, to both improve the taste and the healthfulness of your water.

These are not the most of the least expensive systems. The price is around a hundred dollars for a kitchen counter top purifier. People who install water purification devices like these save thousands of dollars per year by not buying bottled. It’s the safest and most economical choice for your family.

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Top 5 Reasons To Drink Adequate Water Daily

Because our bodies are made up of between 55-75% water, it’s essential we care about the quality and amount of water we drink daily. You can test the quality of your water by inviting a local water treatment company to your home. After you receive the results, you’ll better know if you need to treat your water to be ingesting more pure water with the necessary mineral profile for optimal health. More importantly, the most common recommendation is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Here’s why.

  1. It Reduces Fatigue

If you’re feeling tired, there is a good chance you might be dehydrated. Feeling less energized is often the first sign of dehydration because the lack of water causes the heart to work harder and all the other systems of the body work less efficiently.

  1. It Improves Mood

Studies show that even a small amount of dehydration can affect your mood and your ability to think clearly. A good indicator that you are well hydrated is a light yellow or clear colored urine. If you are slightly or severely dehydrated you’ll have yellow to dark yellow colored urine.

  1. It Minimizes Headaches and Constipation

A huge contributor to headaches and migraines is lack of water consumption. Drinking water when you first feel a headache coming on should take effect immediately. When the body is dehydrated your body will pull moisture from your stools to make up for the lack of hydration and cause you to become constipated. Drinking your daily water intake will aid your digestion and prevent constipation and its associated discomfort.

  1. It Aids Healthy Weight Loss

For many reasons changing your water drinking habits is the very first step toward healthy weight loss. Often when we think our body is hungry, the fact is we’re often only thirsty. You’ll find that drinking 1-2 glasses of water before a meal can suppress that false hunger. Drinking water also promotes fat burning and elimination within the body.

  1. It Flushes Toxins

Having adequate supply of water within the body let’s the body sweat and release toxins through urine. Water supports proper liver and kidney function, essential filtering organs. If you are predisposed to kidney stones, water dilutes the salts and minerals that form kidney stones. If it’s safe to say water promotes your health, it’s probably safe to say it prevents illness as well. On top of preventing kidney stones and constipation, other illnesses that can be prevented by getting adequate water are bladder infection, asthma, colds, yeast infections, sleep disturbance, skin issues, high blood pressure, heart disease and more.

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Considering Installing A Water Filter?

Okay, you’ve tested your water or know it can be better and you’re considering purchasing a water filter. You’ve seen water filters attached to faucets in other’s homes, but did not realize how many different kinds of filters there are and how differently they can be installed! This quick read article can hopefully assist you in sorting your thoughts and narrow your choices. They are listed from simplest technology to most complicated and basically in order of value as well. If any hesitation regarding the right choice for your home and family, consider calling your local water treatment professionals.

What If I Just Purchase Bottled Water?

What if you’d rather not deal with the fuss getting a water filter that does or doesn’t do the job and just purchase bottled water? After some research you’ll find that bottled water is one of the least cost effective, environmental and healthy options available for clean water. The cheap plastic, often containing BPA and other unhealthy elements, can easily leach into the water itself and the water is not much cleaner than tap water when you consider all its pitfalls.

Pitcher Filters

Water pitchers that contain a water filtration system within the lid can be easy traveling or quick options, but over time the charcoal filters can get very expensive quickly. It does not remove all toxins or the worst kinds from the water and requires constant filling to keep up with your family. Faucet attachments that contain the same filtration (charcoal) are just as ineffective and costly. There are better options on the market.

Reverse Osmosis Filtration

This technology is also a charcoal filter that needs replacement parts over time, but runs the water through more than the previous options. It removes major contaminants, including arsenic, chlorine, heavy metals, and other bacteria. It usually attaches below the sink and has a holding tank. It can be more time efficient than the previous options, but still takes an hour to make one gallon of drinking water. It’s got the same cost con associated with the replacement filters and is worst socially because it wastes a ton of water that it rejects during its process.

Water Distilling At Home

Water distillers are very effective at removing chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria and other toxins from your drinking water. Unfortunately they are large and expensive. They use a lot of electricity which only adds to its cost. Due to a loss of mineral deficiency from using certain filters, you can experience negative side effects. This is something to consider when going with this or any of the previous filtration options.

Solid Block Carbon Filters

This technology is the answer to previous issues with other filters. The pitcher filters and faucet filters use the same kind of technology except the charcoal in theirs is not solid and that’s where they remove less toxins. Solid block carbon filtration systems are units that take up some counter space, but remove the most toxins with the least amount of replacement. The unit itself can be costly, but the filters cost less than previous options do over time. The best thing about this option is that it does not require electricity or running water and will make any water safe, including rain water, pond water, and even salt water. It even removes food coloring from water and comes out clear!

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Reasons To Call A Water Treatment Professional And What To Expect

The loudest indicator you may want to get your water checked out is if it contains a funny taste, color, or odor. There may not be anything wrong with the water, just like seemingly clean water may have unwanted contaminants. Water that smells might have high levels of hydrogen sulfide or sulfur bacteria. Taste and color can vary along with many properties found in water. All these things can easily be explained with quick and simple testing.

If you’ve moved into a new home, especially if you’ve purchased a home, it’s a great time to test your water and make any adjustments necessary to optimize your water supply. If over time you realize that your water use appliances are working less efficiently or have residue build up, this is another indicator that your water levels should be checked and optimized for the life of your appliances, as well as other fixtures around the home. Another instance you may want to call a professional is if there is a resident in the home with a compromised immune system and you want to take the most precautions possible.

If you’ve found yourself in any of these situations, you can find yourself a local water treatment professional and make an appointment for them to come to the home and test.. Another option is to take a sample of the water yourself and mail it to a qualified laboratory for testing. If done in the home, the test only takes but ten minutes. Some of the things being tested for are the following: bacteria, micro-organisms, hardness, PH, acidity, alkalinity, sulfur, nitrite, nitrate, metals, chlorine and pesticides.

Once the results are obtained, you or your water treatment professional will be able to compare what you’ve got against the recommendations for safe levels of each element. From there you will be given the appropriate suggestions to modify your home to eliminate or balance any issues. This may include installing water filters (of many sizes, placements, types and purposes) or a water softener, and further water testing appointments in the future!

Somewhat common and potentially poisonous elements that could be found in your water include fluoride, chlorine, many types of pesticides and gasoline additives. These things can cause serious damage to vital organs with long term exposure. Testing is an excellent first step and beyond that, you may decide to just use the water for certain purposes and purchase drinking water you know is pure. A simple test is worth the time and expense if you aren’t already aware of what kind of water you are working with!