GRANULAR ACTIVATED CARBON (GAC) FILTER/PURIFIER SYSTEMS
REVERSE OSMOSIS (RO)
Activated carbon is commonly used to adsorb natural organic compounds, taste and odor compounds, and synthetic organic chemicals in drinking water treatment. Adsorption is both the physical and chemical process of accumulating a substance at the interface between liquid and solids phases. Activated carbon is an effective adsorbent because it is a highly porous material and provides a large surface area to which contaminants may adsorb.
What is GAC?
Carbon filtering is a method of filtering that uses a bed of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities, using chemical absorption.
Each particle/granule of carbon provides a large surface area/pore structure, allowing contaminants the maximum possible exposure to the active sites within the filter media. One pound (450 g) of activated carbon contains a surface area of approximately 100 acres (40 Hectares).
How does it work?
Activated carbon works via a process called adsorption, whereby pollutant molecules in the fluid to be treated are trapped inside the pore structure of the carbon substrate.
Does GAC have uses beyond water purification?
Carbon filtering is commonly used in air purifiers and industrial gas processing, for example the removal of siloxanes and hydrogen sulfide from biogas. It is also used in a number of other applications, including respirator masks, the purification of sugarcane and in the recovery of precious metals, especially gold. It is also used in cigarette filters.
What will GAC remove from my water?
Active charcoal carbon filters are most effective at removing chlorine, sediment, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), taste and odor from water. They are not effective at removing minerals, salts, and dissolved inorganic compounds.
BOTTLE-LESS WATER COOLERS
Traditionally, commercial customers have used bottled water coolers in waiting rooms for patrons and in lounges for employees. But those proverbial in-office “water cooler conversations” usually come with a price.
For small businesses, the variable cost of purchasing 5-gal containers of bottled water can add up to almost hundreds of dollars per month when you consider that these employers typically consume roughly four bottles a week. Larger businesses, on the other hand, can spend thousands of dollars per month on delivered bottles.
Bottle-less water coolers offer many advantages for your customers, such as:
Unlimited drinking water. Having a bottle-less cooler is like having a mini water plant inside your customer’s office with endless quality drinking water literally on tap. There is no worry that your clients will run out of their drinking water supply, whereas a 10-employee business could easily drink 30 gal of bottled water every month. Rationing and running out of bottled water are common occurrences in small businesses today, requiring additional resources to take on the extra duty of bottled water inventory management.
More economical. No deliveries or bottle clutter. Because the water comes directly from a building’s existing water source and is automatically filtered for drinking, there is no more heavy lifting, delivery or storage of 5-gal bottles, which weigh 42 lb each. Most bottles do not have handles, and, if they do, are difficult to lift from the floor to the cooler, which can contribute to the risk of injury.
Low maintenance. Because deliveries of bottled water are eliminated, companies have no inventory or delivery receipts to manage. Bottle-less coolers only require an annual maintenance check and filter replacement, so they are easier to maintain with minimal service calls.
Better for the environment. Reducing plastic bottle waste by not using large multigallon containers shrinks your customer’s environmental footprint. Without emissions from large diesel-burning trucks required to deliver bottled water, the benefits of “green” multiply.
FIND OUT WHAT WATER CONTAMINATION ISSUES AFFECT YOUR AREA IN OAHU
What is reverse osmosis water?
Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane. This membrane technology is not properly a filtration method. In reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic pressure, a colligative property, that is driven by chemical potential, a thermodynamic parameter.
How does it work?
Water, driven by normal city water pressure, flows first through a carbon pre-filter, which removes organic contaminants including chlorine and its by-products.
Next, it enters the reverse osmosis membrane, a very tight, sheet-like filter, that allows water to pass but rejects dissolved solids like sodium and impurities like lead and arsenic. Some of the water entering the unit is used to cleanse the membrane surface and flows to the the kitchen drain pipes.
The purified water is stored in a small storage tank until it is needed. When the ledge faucet mounted on the sink is opened, the purified water is forced by air pressure through another carbon filter, which gives it a final polish and from there to the ledge faucet.
(This is a simplified description of a three-stage RO unit. Additional stages like sediment filters and additional carbon filters can be included. The simplified description omits a few very essential parts like flow control devices, check valves, and an automatic shutoff devices that stops the inflow of water when the storage tank is full.)
Is a reverse osmosis unit like a distiller?
Both effectively reduce “dissolved solids” content of water, but the processes are quite different.
RO filters water through a very tight semi-permeable membrane. A distiller is like a big tea kettle: it boils water, catches the steam, condenses it, and captures the resulting water. Most impurities are left behind in the boiling chamber.
Both distillers and reverse osmosis systems rely heavily on carbon filtration for chemical removal. (Cheap distillers often have little or no carbon filtration and are, therefore, of limited effectiveness.)
But isn't distilled water purer than reverse osmosis water?
Distillers typically remove a few parts per million more of common mineral constituents like sodium.
However, distillers don't do a good job with volatile chemicals with a low boiling point. Chloramines, for example, which many cities now use instead of chlorine as a disinfectant, aren't removed well by distillers.
Reverse osmosis, with the carbon filters that accompany it, does a very good job with chloramines. Unless volatile chemicals like chlorine are removed by carbon filtration before they enter the distiller, they will be released into the room air or they will end up in the distilled water.
But in general, distilled water is very pure, as is reverse osmosis water.
Does reverse osmosis waste water?
It depends on what you mean by waste.
A home RO unit uses water to clean itself and wash away impurities. It's like a lot of other water-using appliances. We use water to wash clothes, to wash dishes, to wash cars, to flush toilets.
A reverse osmosis unit uses more water in its operation than you actually consume, but it doesn't use enough that you'll notice it on your water bill. It uses water only while it's filling its storage tank. When the tank is full, the whole unit shuts down and no water runs to drain.
In terms of expense, it's like a couple or three extra toilet flushes a day.
Can I hook the reverse osmosis unit to my refrigerator/icemaker?
Yes, if you can reach it with a ¼" tube from the undersink RO unit. We'll provide everything you need without cost if you'll let us know you need it.
Pressure is a consideration with some refrigerators, so it's a good idea to check with the manufacturer. The pressure you'll get from the RO unit is about ⅔ of the incoming line pressure.
How long will a reverse osmosis unit last?
Virtually forever if you service it regularly and replace parts that wear out, like the storage tank and the ledge faucet.
Typical membrane life is about 3 to 5 years, depending on the nature of the water that it's processing.
Is it true that reverse osmosis doesn't remove chlorine?
It is true that the reverse osmosis membrane doesn't remove chlorine. It doesn't have to, because it has a couple of high quality carbon filters with it that do the job. In fact, if the first carbon filter didn't remove all the chlorine, the membrane would get eaten alive in no time.
Do reverse osmosis units need electricity?
No, they run on water pressure. You need electricity only if you add an electric pressure-boost pump or an ultraviolet lamp. Standard units have neither and normally don't need them.
What is water softening?
When water contains a significant amount of calcium and magnesium, it is called hard water. Hard water is known to clog pipes and to complicate soap and detergent dissolving in water. Water softening is a technique that serves the removal of the ions that cause the water to be hard, in most cases calcium and magnesium ions. Iron ions may also be removed during softening.The best way to soften water is to use a water softener unit and connect it directly to the water supply.
What is hard water?
When water is referred to as 'hard' this simply means, that it contains more minerals than ordinary water. These are especially the minerals calcium and magnesium. The degree of hardness of the water increases, when more calcium and magnesium dissolves.
Magnesium and calcium are positively charged ions. Because of their presence, other positively charged ions will dissolve less easily in hard water than in water that does not contain calcium and magnesium. This is the cause of the fact that soap doesn't really dissolve in hard water.
Which industries attach value to hardness of water?
In many industrial applications, such as the drinking water preparation, in breweries and in sodas, but also for cooling- and boiler feed water the hardness of the water is very important.
What is a water softener?
A water softener is a unit that is used to soften water, by removing the minerals that cause the water to be hard.
Why is water softening applied?
Water softening is an important process, because the hardness of water in households and companies is reduced during this process.
When water is hard, it can clog pipes and soap will dissolve in it less easily. Water softening can prevent these negative effects.
Hard water causes a higher risk of lime scale deposits in household water systems. Due to this lime scale build-up, pipes are blocked and the efficiency of hot boilers and tanks is reduced. This increases the cost of domestic water heating by about fifteen to twenty percent.
Another negative effect of lime scale is that it has damaging effects on household machinery, such as laundry machines.Water softening means expanding the life span of household machine, such as laundry machines, and the life span of pipelines. It also contributes to the improved working, and longer lifespan of solar heating systems, air conditioning units and many other water-based applications.
What does a water softener do?
Water softeners are specific ion exchangers that are designed to remove ions, which are positively charged.Softeners mainly remove calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) ions. Calcium and magnesium are often referred to as 'hardness minerals'. Softeners are sometimes even applied to remove iron. The softening devices are able to remove up to five milligrams per litre (5 mg/L) of dissolved iron.
Softeners can operate automatic, semi-automatic, or manual. Each type is rated on the amount of hardness it can remove before regeneration is necessary.
A water softener collects hardness minerals within its conditioning tank and from time to time flushes them away to drain.
Ion exchangers are often used for water softening. When an ion exchanger is applied for water softening, it will replace the calcium and magnesium ions in the water with other ions, for instance sodium or potassium. The exchanger ions are added to the ion exchanger reservoir as sodium and potassium salts (NaCl and KCl).
How long does a water softener last?
A good water softener will last many years. Softeners that were supplied in the 1980's may still work, and many need little maintenance, besides filling them with salt occasionally.
Which types of salt are sold for application in a water softener?
For water softening, three types of salt are generally sold:
• Rock salt
• Solar salt
• Evaporated salt
Rock salt as a mineral occurs naturally in the ground. It is obtained from underground salt deposits by traditional mining methods. It contains between ninety-eight and ninety-nine percent sodium chloride. It has a water insolubility level of about 0.5-1.5%, being mainly calcium sulphate. Its most important component is calcium sulphate. Solar salt as a natural product is obtained mainly through evaporation of seawater. It contains 85% sodium chloride. It has a water insolubility level of less than 0.03%. It is usually sold in crystal form. Sometimes it is also sold in pellets.Evaporated salt is obtained through mining underground salt deposits of dissolving salt. The moisture is then evaporated, using energy from natural gas or coal. Evaporated salt contains between 99.6 and 99.99% sodium chloride.
Should we use rock salt, evaporated salt or solar salt in a water softener?
Rock salt contains a lot of matter that is not water-soluble. As a result, the softening reservoirs have to be cleaned much more regularly, when rock salt is used. Rock salt is cheaper than evaporated salt and solar salt, but reservoir cleaning may take up a lot of your time and energy.
Solar salt contains a bit more water-insoluble matter than evaporated salt. When one makes a decision about which salt to use, consideration should be given to how much salt is used, how often the softener needs cleanout, and the softener design. If salt usage is low, the products could be used alternately.
If salt usage is high, insoluble salts will build up faster when using solar salt. Additionally, the reservoir will need more frequent cleaning. In that case evaporated salt is recommended.
Is it harmful to mix different kinds of salt in a water softener?
It is generally not harmful to mix salts in a water softener, but there are types of softeners that are designed for specific water softening products. When using alternative products, these softeners will not function well.
Mixing evaporated salt with rock salt is not recommended, as this could clog the softening reservoir. It is recommended that you allow your unit to go empty of one type of salt before adding another to avoid the occurrence of any problems.
How often should one add salt to a softener?
Salt is usually added to the reservoir during regeneration of the softener. The more often a softener is regenerated, the more often salt needs to be added.
Usually water softeners are checked once a month. To guarantee a satisfactory production of soft water, the salt level should be kept at least half-full at all times.
How come water sometimes does not become softer when salt is added?
Before salt starts working in a water softener it needs a little residence time within the reservoir, since the salt is dissolving slowly. When one immediately starts regeneration after adding salt to the reservoir, the water softener may not work according to standards.When the water softening does not take place it could also indicate softener malfunction, or a problem with the salt that is applied.
Is softened water safe to drink?
Softened water still contains all the natural minerals that we need. It is only deprived off its calcium and magnesium contents, and some sodium is added during the softening process. That is why in most cases, softened water is perfectly safe to drink. It is advisable that softened water contains only up to 300mg/L of sodium.
In areas with very high hardness the softened water must not be used for the preparation of baby-milk, due to the high sodium contant after the softening process has been carried out.
Will softening drinking water deprive it of essential minerals?
Softening will not deprive water of its essential minerals. Softening only deprives drinking water of minerals that cause the water to be hard, such as calcium, magnesium and iron.
Can a water softener be used with lead pipes?
Lead pipe systems have to be replaced, before softened water can flow through them. Although lead pipe systems in hard water areas may not cause a problem, it is advisable to replace them anyway. When naturally or artificially softened water ends up in these lead pipe systems, it may cause the pickup of lead.
Is softened water any help for dry skin conditions?
There are cases to be noted, in which people with dry skin conditions have benefited from water softening, because soft water is kinder to the hair and skin.
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