Pure Water Occasional, May 18, 2018
In this mid-May Occasional, you'll learn the importance of early morning water guzzling and find out which state leads the nation in water quality violations. You'll find out how cadmium gets into water supplies and how to get rid of it, and how water treatment itself often contaminates water. You'll learn why using two filters instead of one gives you way more than twice the performance. And, as always, there is much, much more.
A new report from Prairie River Network says that since 1980 more than 70 percent of residents who drink from public water in parts of Illinois have been exposed to high levels of nitrate.
Texas ranks worst-in-nation for water violations according to a report from Environment Texas Research and Policy Center that tallied the number of times “major industrial facilities released pollution that exceeded the levels allowed under their Clean Water Act” during a 21-month period. The report provided examples of facilities that had multiple violations and questioned whether overseers at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) are doing enough to respond, according to The Texas Observer.
Fourteen Cambodian villagers whose sudden deaths were thought to have been caused by polluted water actually died from drinking rice wine containing methanol.
Enpress, the tank maker, is introducing a new large cartridge filter that reduces cysts, water disinfectants, and both soluble and particulate lead for whole house applications.
The month's most tragic water event: A dam burst on a flower farm in Kenya's Rift Valley after weeks of torrential rain, unleashing a "sea of water" that smashed into two villages and killed at least 32 people.
Research conducted at the University of Exeter found the work of a single family of beavers had removed high levels of sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus from the water flowing through their enclosure. The beavers built thirteen dams since 2011 and trapped 100 tons of sediment; mainly soil that would have washed downstream. The action of the beaver family kept large amounts of damaging nitrogen and phosphorus from entering streams.
A large number of fish were found dead in White Lake located in North Carolina. It was unclear if they died from algae blooms or from the alum used to lower the pH of the the lake in order to prevent the algae blooms from occuring.
The water of Saratoga, Wyoming was chosen as the best tasting municipal drinking water in the state.
A reminder that National Garden Hose Day is only a month away.
Also a reminder to support your local Water Polo team. With restrictions on sports betting lifted by this month's Supreme Court decision, the populatirty of water polo as a gambling venue is expected to soar.
The EPA, under its current administrator, is revisting its past policies regulating discharge from fracking operations to determine, in the administration's words, "whether any potential federal regulations that may allow for broader discharge of treated produced water to surface waters are supported."
Early Morning Water Drinking
Editor’s Note: There are bushels of articles telling you how much water to drink and what kind of water to drink, but not a lot like the one below that tells you when to drink. In fact, according to the unnamed source of the article, early morning water drinking can cure most human ailments. FYI: We don’t believe a word of it.
It is accustomed in Japan to drink water after waking up early in the morning. Furthermore, scientific tests have proven its value. For many illnesses the water treatment had been found successful by a Japanese medical society as a 100% cure for the following diseases:
Headache, body ache, heart system, arthritis, fast heart beat, epilepsy, excess fatness, bronchitis asthma, TB , meningitis, kidney and urine diseases, vomiting, gastritis, diarrhea, piles, diabetes, constipation, all eye diseases, womb, cancer and menstrual disorders, ear nose and throat diseases.
METHOD OF TREATMENT
1. As you wake up in the morning before brushing teeth, drink 4 x 160 ml glasses of water
2. Brush and clean the mouth but do not eat or drink anything for 45 minute
3. After 45 minutes you may eat and drink as normal.
4. After 15 minutes of breakfast, lunch and dinner do not eat or drink anything for 2 hours
5. Those who are old or sick and are unable to drink 4 glasses of water at the beginning may commence by taking little water and gradually increase it to 4 glasses per day.
6. The above method of treatment will cure diseases of the sick and others can enjoy a healthy life.
The following list gives the number of days of treatment required to cure/control/reduce main diseases:
1. High Blood Pressure (30 days)
2. Gastric (10 days)
3. Diabetes (30 days)
4. Constipation (10 days)
5. Cancer (180 days)
6. TB (90 days)
7. Arthritis patients should follow the above treatment only for 3 days in the 1st week, and from 2nd week onwards – daily.
This treatment method has no side effects, however at the commencement of treatment you may have to urinate a few times. It is better if we continue this and make this procedure as a routine work in our life.
The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals not cold water. Maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating!!!
For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion.
Once this ‘sludge’ reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.
Over the years, the Gazette has published several dozen articles on the topic of water and health. See them here.
Texas Leads the Nation in Water Quality Violations
by Sarah Jerome
Texas is struggling with regulatory compliance at drinking water plants, and by some standards, it is having more trouble than any other state in the nation.
“More than 310 public drinking water systems in Texas — nearly 4.5 percent of the state’s regulated public water systems — have quality issues that haven’t been adequately addressed, federal officials told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) this year. That is the highest percentage in the nation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency,” the Texas Tribune reported.
A letter from the federal EPA listed plants that may need enforcement attention. But Texas officials are not so sure the federal numbers truly represent the state’s track record on tap water quality.
“TCEQ officials say the federal estimate is outdated and high; by their account, about four percent of systems have issues that need more attention. The agency said it has dramatically stepped up its enforcement in the past year, training more staff and pursuing more than 100 public water systems in recent months for clean water violations,” the Tribune reported.
The EPA’s concerns and additional data suggest that keeping up with the 7,000 public water systems subject to state regulation in Texas has been a huge challenge. The TCEQ’s enforcement division now has 107 full-time employees, compared with 117 in 2007, though its annual expenses have stayed relatively constant at about $5.5 million,” the Tribune reported.
Robert Doggett, general counsel for Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, which serves areas that have violated enforcement rules, said resources could stand to be increased.
“There could be more resources brought to bear,” he said to the Tribune.
Midland, in western Texas, is among the areas that has drawn the attention of regulators, according to the Midland Reporter-Telegram.
“The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality struck the city of Midland with four water contaminant violations in 2013, as revealed in its annual water quality report released [in July]. The city was found in violation of high levels of arsenic, fluoride and selenium, according to the water report. The three inorganic contaminants were discovered within one of its two water entry points,” the report said.
Demand or Delivery Pumps are pumps used to send water from a storage tank to a point of use. Typical applications for demand pumps are to send water from a non-pressurized tank to a water vending machine or to increase water pressure from an undersink reverse osmosis unit to a refrigerator or icemaker that it is supplying.
When there is a "demand" for water, the pump comes on and supplies it. When the demand is removed, the pump shuts itself off.
When you push a button to fill a water bottle from a supermarket's water vending machine, the button-push activates a solenoid that opens a closed valve in the water line. When the valve is open, the pump senses a demand for water and comes on. It pumps water through the open line until you release the button, closing the solenoid-controlled valve and shutting off the demand. Closing the valve causes pressure to build in the delivery line and the pump senses the pressure and stays off until there is another demand for water.
In the pump pictured above, the water line is installed in the ports marked by the yellow fitting protectors. The pressure switch is the appendage at the extreme left in the picture. It simply shuts off the pump's electrical supply when water pressure builds builds in the water line.
Small demand pumps are usually trouble free operators, but in some installations a pump tank should be added to assure smooth operation. Without a tank to provide constant back pressure for the pump's pressure switch, a phenomenon called "pump chatter" sometimes occurs. If the pressure drops slightly, the pump has to turn on briefly to renew the pressure when no demand for water has been made. Installation of a pump tank prevents this constant on/off cycling and also provides more water in storage and protects downstream plumbing and appliances from the shock of sudden pressure surges. A demand pump, while not always essential, improves the performance of virtually any demand pump installation.
Demand pumps are versatile tools that can also be used to send water to a car wash location, a fish pond, or a hot tub. They are sometimes used to move water from a non-pressurized distiller tank to a sink-mounted spigot. They work anywhere a pump is needed to move water to a point of use.
The illustration below shows a demand pump installation on an undersink reverse osmosis unit designed to send pressurized water to a remote refrigerator or icemaker. This is a good design, but there are many other placement options.
The pressure tank at right is the RO unit's regular storage tank. The tank at left is an additional "pump tank" added to smooth out the pump's operation and to provide extra storage. Water in the second tank is available for both the kitchen ledge faucet and the refrigerator. A check valve (one way valve) built into the pump head prevents migration of water back to the RO unit.
Cadmium, a soft, bluish-white metal impurity usually associated with zinc, enters the environment and becomes a water contaminant through a variety of industrial and agricultural operations and as a by-product of fossil fuel use. General use has declined, and now about 80% of cadmium in the environment comes from nickel-cadmium batteries. Cadmium often enters water as the result of deterioration of galvanized plumbing, fertilizer contamination, and industrial waste in general.
Cadmium has an EPA Primary Standard contaminant level listing of 0.005 mg/l.
Cadmium can have many serious health effects. For a full discussion, visit the EPA's website.
Cadmium is easily removed from water by reverse osmosis (95 to 98%), by cation exchange (water softener), and by dialysis.
|Sources: Enting Engineering Handbook. Wikipedia, EPA. A good source of Cadmium information, including the many adverse health issues associated with cadmium, is the EPA's website.
Chemical Contamination Caused by Water Treatment Itself
Gazette Introductory Note: It took us several decades after public water suppliers started using chlorine as a disinfectant to figure out that the disinfection process was creating a seemingly countless group of pretty nasty chemicals that we refer to collectively as “disinfection byproducts” and regulate as THMs. It should not surprise us, then, that when we apply hydrogen peroxide and UV light to eradicate water contaminants we create “presumably less harmful chemicals” that the article below refers to as “transformation products.” Nature is about change. We know that when we “remove” something from water we are often just changing it to something “presumably less harmful.” Chlorine doesn’t go away: it becomes chloride. So who knows what phenols from personal care products might morph into when exposed to oxidation?
Public water quality has received a lot of attention in recently years as some disturbing discoveries have been made regarding lead levels in cities across the country. Now, a new study from the Johns Hopkins University pinpoints other chemicals in water that are worth paying attention to — and in fact, some of them may be created, ironically, during the water treatment process itself.
To rid water of compounds that are known to be toxic, water treatment plants now often use methods to oxidize them, turning them into other, presumably less harmful chemicals called “transformation products.” Though earlier studies have looked at the byproducts of water treatment processes like chlorination, not so much is known about the products formed during some of the newer processes, like oxidation with hydrogen peroxide and UV light, which are especially relevant in water reuse.
“Typically, we consider these transformation products to be less toxic, but our study shows that this might not always be the case,” says lead author Carsten Prasse, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Our results highlight that this is only half of the story and that transformation products might play a very important part when we think about the quality of the treated water.”
Prasse, along with colleagues from the University of California, Berkeley, chose to look at phenols, a class of organic chemicals that are among the most common in the water supply, as they’re present in everything from dyes to personal care products to pharmaceuticals to pesticides as well as in chemicals that are naturally occurring in water.
To determine what compounds the phenols transform into during treatment, the team, whose results are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, first oxidized phenols using peroxide radicals, a process often used by water treatment plants. Next, they borrowed a clever method from biomedicine: They added amino acids and proteins to the mix. Depending on what chemical reactions took place, Prasse and his team could do some backwards calculation to determine what compounds the phenols must have turned into in the earlier step.
They discovered that the phenols converted into products including 2-butene-1,4-dial, a compound that is known to have negative effects, including DNA damage, on human cells. Interestingly, furan, a toxic compound in cigarette smoke and car exhaust, is also converted into 2-butene-1,4-dial in the body, and it may be this conversion that’s responsible for its toxicity.
To test the specific effects of 2-butene-1,4-dial on biological processes more fully, the team exposed the compound to mouse liver proteins. They found that it affected 37 different protein targets, which are involved in a range of biological processes, from energy metabolism to protein and steroid synthesis.
One enzyme that 2-butene-1,4-dial was shown to bind is critical in apoptosis, or “cell suicide.” Inhibiting this compound in a living organism might lead to unchecked cell proliferation, or cancer growth. And other compounds that 2-butene-1,4-dial interferes with play key roles in metabolism. “There are a lot of potential health outcomes, like obesity and diabetes,” says Prasse. “There’s a known connection between pesticide exposure and obesity, and studies like ours may help to explain why this is.”
The results are exciting since this is the first time these methods have been applied to water treatment, Prasse says. In time, they may be expanded to screen for other types of compounds beyond phenols.
Water purification is extraordinarily challenging, since contaminants come from so many different sources — bacteria, plants, agriculture, wastewater — and it’s not always clear what’s being generated in the process. “We’re very good at developing methods to remove chemicals” says Prasse. “Once the chemical is gone, the job — it would seem — is done, but in fact we don’t always know what removal of the chemical means: does it turn into something else? Is that transformation product harmful?”
Prasse and his team point out that by the year 2050, it’s been estimated two-thirds of the global population will live in areas that rely on drinking water that contains the runoff from farms and wastewater from cities and factories. So safe and effective purification methods will be even more critical in the coming years.
“The next steps are to investigate how this method can be applied to more complex samples and study other contaminants that are likely to result in the formation of similar reactive transformation products,” says Prasse. “Here we looked at phenols. But we use household products that contain some 80,000 different chemicals, and many of these end up in wastewater. We need to be able to screen for multiple chemicals at once. That’s the larger goal.”
Coauthors on the study were Breanna Ford and Daniel K. Nomura of the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley. The senior author was David L. Sedlak of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.
This research was supported by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program (Grant P42 ES004705) at the University of California, Berkeley.
SOURCE: Johns Hopkins University
High Performance Cartridge-Style Chloramine Filter:
A case where two is more the twice as much as one
For a water filter to work well, the water needs an adequate “residence time” within the filter medium. The rate that water flows through the filter affects the filter’s effectiveness (the percentage of the contaminant it removes), the pressure drop (how much the filter reduces water pressure), the longevity of the filter medium, and, consequently, the cost of operation.
We’ve taken the manufacturer’s performance data on a single filter cartridge to illustrate the interesting fact that by doubling the capacity of a whole house filter, installing two identical filters side by side, you more than double the value. The illustration above shows a whole house filtration setup using standard-sized 4.5″ X 20″ filter cartridges. The water passes through an initial sediment cartridge (sediment filters will handle much higher flow rates than equally- sized carbon filters) then the line splits to go through two carbon filters. Each of the carbon filters, therefore, handles only half as much water, at half the flow rate, giving each cartridge double the residence time to do its work.
The cartridge in question is a top quality chloramine cartridge from Pentair. It is a unique radial flow carbon with a very low pressure drop and a high chloramine capacity. (It is also expensive, as cartridge prices go.) Note from the chart that as the flow rate is cut in half, the gallons-treated capacity more than doubles, and the pressure drop falls to less than half. And note, significantly, that the operating cost per gallon for the two filters installed in parallel is about 1/3 the cost of a single filter processing water at the same flow rate. (Costs are based on our current retail price for the cartridge, without considering volume discount, which makes using the double system even more economical.)
||Cartridge Life Removing Chloramine
||Operating Cost per Gallon of Water Treated
|Single Filter @ 5 GPM service flow
||$0.0168; -1 2/3 cents per gallon
|Single Filter @2.5 GPM service flow
||$0.0067; -2/3 cents per gallon
|Parallel installation of 2 Filters @ 5 GPM service flow
$0.0067; -2/3 cents per gallon
The example given would serve a small family–2 or 3 people–living in a home with one or two bathrooms. The same proportions can be applied, however, to other types of treatment and other filter applications. The double filter setup also gives extra capacity should you need it. Although the unit is sized for 5 gpm service use, it would easily accommodate a 10 gpm demand should the need arise. A word of caution, however, concerning tank-style backwashing filters. When you increase the size of backwashing filter, you also increase its backwash water requirement, plus oversizing can actually hurt performance. Tank-style filters actually have a minimum flow rate that should be observed.
Pentek’s CRFC20-BB cartridge is a nominal 25 micron radial flow granular carbon cartridge that has minimal flow restriction. 10,000 gallons of chloramine reduction at 5 gpm; 25,000 gallons of chloramine reduction at 2.5 gpm; 200,000 gallons of chlorine reduction at 4 gpm. Pressure drop is only 2.5 psi at 5 gpm.
Tons of Information
We've been collecting information about water and water treatment since the 1980s. We invite you to make use of it.
The Pure Water Gazette website has well over a thousand articles on water and related issues. Read to your heart's content in a popup-free zone.
Pure Water Products main website has several tons of fairly well organized information about most aspects of water treatment. Please visit and read at leisure without insulting BUY NOW! intrusions.
We've lost track of how many back issues of the Pure Water Occasional we have archived, but you can find links to most of them here.
And, as always, there is much, much more.
Places to visit on our websites
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