Are you convinced yet? Drinking Water Reverse Osmosis Systems
We challenge you to go for a week without reading or hearing about a health-related issue involving the water you drink. Everything from viruses to neurotoxins to endocrine disruptors to poisons to metals such as lead or mercury in the water is constantly being reported. The drinking water sources that report these problems can include municipalities, private wells in a particular area and even bottled water. When you consider that less than 1% of all water coming into a home is used for drinking and cooking, it’s prohibitively expensive and unfair to assume that a municipality is able to guarantee testing for and removal of all potentially harmful things in your water especially when most exist in trace amounts. If you’re on a private or small community well system, testing for the harmful items has probably never been done. Bottled water safety is questionable in addition to the cost, inconvenience, and ecological issues that persist.
What can be done? Install a Vibrant Water, Inc. home reverse osmosis (RO) drinking water system.
How do Reverse Osmosis Systems work and what do they do? Read on.
The typical system consists of:
- An inlet 5-micron filter. Made of pleated paper or extruded polyethylene. Allow the technical staff at VIBRANT WATER, to suggest which is best for you. This particle size produces a water significantly clearer than an indoor, well-maintained swimming pool where you can identify heads vs tails on a coin in 10 ft. of water. Technically it reduces turbidity which in-turn is expressed in Nephelometer Turbidity Units (NTU) and tested by light intensity penetration depth. Its primary function is to take the filtration load off of the RO membrane thus preventing membrane plugging. This filter needs replacement when accumulated dirt lowers the water pressure to the unit and the volume of treated water declines.
- Activated carbon filter. This can be a compressed block of powdered carbon or a custom blend of special high-efficiency carbon and an incredible material called KDF. Allow the technical staff at VIBRANT WATER, to suggest which is best for you. Its function is to remove chlorine, chloramines, and organics such as chemical spills and agricultural chemicals from your water. These all have harmful health implications as well as being damaging to the membrane. They need to be replaced when chlorine appears at the drain water if a city unit (normal life is 1 year) or after a year on well water sources.
- The membrane. This is the multi-functional “heart” of the unit. The actual functioning surface is a microscopically thin layer of material that is typically formulated from polyamide supported on a thicker layer of foam-like plastic. This rejection material is wound like a window shade with a mesh-like water passage material between the various layers. Water under pressure passes lengthwise through the assembly with the pressure forcing about 50% of the water through the membrane with most of everything dissolved or suspended in the water removed and left in the remaining 50% of the water which is diverted to drain. Functionally the membrane:
- Removes (rejects) an aggregate 96% of everything dissolved in the water if the water pressure is 50 PSI or higher. This includes salt, sodium, potassium, hardness, calcium, magnesium, alkalinity, sulfates, arsenic, lead, chromium, fluoride, pharmaceuticals, radioactive materials, organics the activated carbon missed, and traces of everything else. Notable exceptions to the 96% removal average are nitrates which are reduced by 70% and boron which is about 2%. The items dissolved are measured as Total Dissolved Solids or TDS expressed in units of milligrams per liter (mg/l) or parts per million (PPM) which are essentially the same thing. As a frame of reference 0-10 PPM is referred to as pure drinking water, 150 PPM would be Great Lakes Water, 500 PPM would be a typical SoCal municipal water, 1500 PPM a typical Baja, Mexico water, and seawater is 32,000 PPM.
- Removes suspended items in the water down to 0.001 micron. This is because of the porosity in the membrane which will filter out viruses, bacteria, cysts, asbestos, microfibers, and uranium particles. To avoid plugging of the membrane by excess amounts of any of these materials, Vibrant Water engineers will often recommend special prefilters to avoid premature, costly replacement of membranes.
- Automatic shutoff valve (ASO). When first introduced to the market place, drinking water RO units ran water to drain 24/7 and even worse, many units even to this day waste as much as 5 gallons of water to drain for each gallon treated (as opposed to 1 to 1 or better for all Vibrant Water systems). The invention and use of a valve that stops all flow of water when the water pressure in the storage tank reaches 80% of the incoming water pressure reduces the discharged drain water by 90% or more. As an example, with 50 PSI inlet pressure, the tank pressure of 40 PSI will stop all flow. For a family of 4, this reduces daily drain water to as little as 3 gallons for some Vibrant Water, Inc. systems while some competitive units continue to waste 40 gallons for the same application. With 78 million US people living West of the Mississippi river expected to be in drought areas in 2021 and beyond, these savings can have a huge impact on supplies.
- Storage Tank. Drinking water home Reverse Osmosis systems produce water at 1/100 to 1/10 GPM which would try people’s patience when trying to fill a cup or glass with treated water. To overcome this issue, a tank with a bladder is included. Water is stored in a sterile polyurethane bladder and air between the bladder and the tank compresses which provides the force to discharge the water at the faucet at a reasonable rate for use. The only issue with this involves the back pressure from the tank as it fills. This pressure subtracts from the inlet water pressure causing a net lower pressure across the membrane. The lower net pressure lowers the output rate of the RO while simultaneously increasing the TDS of the product water. The last water in a vertical tank will be the first discharged and have a higher TDS than the balance of the water in the tank. This is referred to as “TDS CREEP”. Discarding a few ounces of water when first opening the faucet will ensure the best quality. Vibrant Water engineers can offer equipment suggestions to eliminate the creep. Do not consider water over water or tankless Reverse Osmosis systems for a variety of technical reasons.
- Optional Designs. Here’s where Vibrant Water, Inc. with its technical staff can be extremely helpful in providing exactly what is best for your needs. Some examples are:
- Pressure booster pump for well systems that have relatively low pressure, high TDS, high nitrates, etc. Fully automatic on/off.
- Delivery booster pumps to service multiple outlets such as stand-alone ice makers, pot fillers, etc. Fully automatic on/off.
- Oversize or smaller storage tanks.
- Electrolyte/mineral addition to treated water.
- Alkalinity addition to treated water. Adjustable to achieve the proper form and level of bioavailable alkalinity.
- Magnetic fields for lower surface tension. With or without Fibonacci (Golden) ratio.
- Crystals to impart healthful frequencies (vibrations) to treated water.
- Structured water as laboratory-verified at the University of Washington and published in The Fourth Stage of Water. Increased density.
- Non-electric permeate pump for an increase in treated water quality and quantity. TDS creep eliminated.
- Let your imagination roam and work with Vibrant Water’s technical staff to develop a custom system.