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Water Filter Systems and water testing  RSS feed

 
Jason Nicoll
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Not sure where to post a question on water filter systems and water testing, so for now I'll post it here as this seems the most related forum. I am very interested in what permies think of the following questions:

1. What are the best choices of water filter systems (water purification?) for residents living in locations where they cannot easily harvest rain water from their roofs, like those living in apartment blocks or for those who only have access to tap water?

2. What are the best choices for removing chemicals (Flouride, chlorine etc), metals and removing harmful biologicals?

3. What are the most sustainable and efficient water filter systems?

4. What are the best ways to test water quality and how frequently and how thorough (or costly) should the test be? ie what would be the best weekly/monthly test?

 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Have you thought about using rainwater ?

David
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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I like slow sand filters. could be built in a closet or under a counter.
 
Josef Theisen
Posts: 236
Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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When we first got our place, we got a reverse osmosis system to make our funky well water drinkable. It was very disappointing. The filter clogged quickly, and the system would only give out a glass at a time every few hours. I found out that RO wastes two gallons of water for every gallon that it filters. To be fair, I did buy the cheapest unit I could find at the time at about $150. Replacing the filters would have cost me almost $100 so we just got rid of it.

For that past six months or so, we have been using a Royal Berkey filter. This is cannister type gravity filter that uses ceramic filters. We love it. It does not filter out flouride or arsenic, but it does remove a huge list of pathogens and chemicals, including ammonia and nitrates. It does not filter out dissolved minerals. It is very efficient at a filter cost of around $.06 per gallon.

As far as how often to test, that is a very complicated question. If I was a millionare, I would hire a full time chemist to continuously screen our water supply by testing for thousands of individual potential contaminants. I'm not, so I try to keep up with the basic test that the county offers for $10. It is reccommended to have your well tested for harmful bacteria annually.

What the county test does not tell us, that a basic aquarium test kit does, is that our well has .1 ppm of ammonia. This I believe to be from farm fertilizer runoff.
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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Sawyer is making a good, cheap version of the Berkey, with 5 gallon buckets. Not as fast, but effective. There are also some inline filters for sale for making beer, and aquarium use that won't last long, but are good quality.

Activated charcoal takes out most contaminants, but to get arsenic out, build the sand filter, and layer in some iron filings. There is a new version of this being used in india.

I don't think anything can remove flouride. There is a thread here on using boric acid to clean off the pineal gland.

http://www.health-science-spirit.com/borax.htm
 
Josef Theisen
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Morgan or Tel, do you have a good source for info on sand filters?

Berkey makes a secondary filter that gets arsenic and flouride, but it doesn't last nearly as long as the first stage, so it costs a lot more per gallon.
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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I hope this is on point, as It is about water testing ! Everyone should take the time to determine if their land is over a region of oil shale or gas shale.
While 100% of us should know what is in our water, If you are over the top of these types of shales, and there has ever been an old and now
abandoned Well Drilled near your property, Shale fracking can cause the newly released

Radio-active gases

Volatile Organic Compounds V.O.C.s

Salt water

To freely travel- actually in some cases squirt - up through the previously impermeable layers of Overburden via the old abandoned well casing and ruin
the potable water that you and your neighbors have been depending on !

Approximately 6% of all new "Slale Fracking Wells'' have cracks in there concrete seals, - think the gulf of mexico and 'blow out preventers' potentially?
causing ground water contamination !


While it is poor compensation for having your property ruined / made unlivable, Legal proof, provided by a third party that your water was 'GOOD' before
the Fracking was done will get you a settlement ! Nothing else Will !

Sorry to be so negative, but there it is ! For the Future Good of the Craft ! Be safe, keep warm ! Pyro - logically Big AL !
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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Josef Theisen wrote:Morgan or Tel, do you have a good source for info on sand filters?


this site has some helpful information: http://www.biosandfilter.org/biosandfilter/index.php/
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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Moringa tree purifying

http://www.jalmandir.com/



Sono arsenic filter for arsenic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sono_arsenic_filter




and the page on biologicals from the biosandfilter link above. Keep the sand wet !

http://www.biosandfilter.org/biosandfilter/index.php/item/320

 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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New fern arsenic filter

http://www.wired.com/design/2013/10/can-these-houseplants-prevent-cancer/
 
Brian Bell
Posts: 4
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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1. What are the best choices of water filter systems (water purification?) for residents living in locations where they cannot easily harvest rain water from their roofs, like those living in apartment blocks or for those who only have access to tap water?


On the cheap end, you can put an inline canister filter (or multiple canister filters in series) that works just based off household water pressure. These can filters can accept woven fiber filters (for suspended solids like clay, silt, bugs, etc.), ceramic filters (for much smaller suspended solids like bacteria and viruses), activated carbon tubes (for organics, residual chlorine, etc.), and you can even get demineralization resin for them (to remove specific ions like sulfates or magnesium, etc.). You can get really complicated with blown polyethylene cartridge filters followed by ultrafiltration then two-pass high-efficiency reverse osmosis with a reject recovery system and post-permeate salt dosing for flavor, but that's going to cost you. You have to ask yourself, what's my budget, what am I worried about being in my water? If you're in the US and you have a city water source, I wouldn't worry about anything. If you live on top of fracked ground and you have well water, I'd sue them and put in something really nice like the second option I described.

2. What are the best choices for removing chemicals (Flouride, chlorine etc), metals and removing harmful biologicals?


An activated carbon filter is about the best catch-all out there for most organics and for oxygen-demanding chemicals, and they're cheap. If you're worried about fluoride, radioisotopes, and heavy metals, a bone char filter is one of the most effective filters, but bone char can be expensive. You could make your own (when you make charcoal, throw some cleaned bones in there). RO will also remove these contaminants, but at home you'll lose a lot of the water you're purifying this way.

3. What are the most sustainable and efficient water filter systems?


Any gravity filtration (multimedia, carbon, sand, etc.) is going to be more efficient in terms of energy than an induced pressure (RO, UF, NF, etc.) filtration that requires a pump. Most forms of filtration are "dead-end" processes - for every gallon of water that enters the filter, you get a gallon of clean water out. Some (like RO, as others have noted), have both a clean water (permeate or filtrate) stream as well as a waste water (reject or concentrate) stream. In some filters, a portion of this waste water may be recycled to the beginning of your filtration system and purified again to increase the recovery (percent water recovered from filtration).

4. What are the best ways to test water quality and how frequently and how thorough (or costly) should the test be? ie what would be the best weekly/monthly test?


You can go as basic as a pool test kit (for pH, chlorine, and hardness) with periodic lab screening for biologicals. You could go crazy and get the equipment to test TSS, TDS, BOD, COD, and biological testing at home (it's not *that* expensive, maybe a thousand dollars or so?).
 
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