To decide what kind of filter should be installed, it helps to follow a certain procedure.
1. First, have the water tested
find out what is in it. Then decide which of those ingredients would
be most desireable to be removed. Click here for more information
you have your test results and would like to design or order a system from
us, click and fill out the Aqua
2. Second, research the different technologies to find out which systems are most effective in removing the offending elements from the water. As you read on you will find an encapsulated list of water problems and appropriate technological treatments.
3. Third, choose the company; decide who can supply you with the technologies and models you seek, who can provide the best know-how, and who offers such services as installation, maintenance, phone consultation, and long-term availablity.
4. Fourth, have the system properly installed. Hire an experienced plumber or contractor if the water treatment company does not intall. If you plan on doing your own installation, make sure you follow the instructions and call with any questions so as not to invalidate any warrantees.
5. Fifth, become self-sufficient. Know how to troubleshoot, service and maintain the system yourself in case help is not immediately available.
The goal is to find a system that requires the least amount of maintenance
and that filters out the most contaminants
at the the lowest cost.
These are the priorities with which we operate at Aqua Alternatives. We carry several kinds of technologies to provide multiple options and combinations, which enables us to design customized and specific systems for your requirements. Our preference is to avoid the use of chemicals, both for your sake and for the environment. Although nothing is totally maintenance-free, the majority of our systems are remarkably low-maintenance. In addition, it is our goal to educate every customer to be able to operate, maintain, and if necessary, even repair any part of each system; empowerment breeds confidence, trust and independence. On top of this, we are here for the long term to answer any questions and physically to assist in any situation. If something is not in stock, it can be ordered by next-day air if need be. Expertise, options, education and service are the backbone of Aqua Alternatives. Welcome.
SELECT YOUR WATER CONCERN:
What to do first. Which Systems?
Simple Sink Filter (counter-top or sub-counter), Refrigerator Filters
Municipal Water, Well Water, Rain Water, Travel Filters, Shower Filters,
"The globalization of water." Emergency Preparedness Interesting facts about the need to drink water
SELECT A TECHNOLOGY:
ozone, ultra violet, distillation, reverse osmosis, compressed carbon, membrane filters, shower drain hair trap
24 ways to filter water
testing, survey sheet for system design, installation, maintenance, storage,
iron, arsenic removal, quick anwers, detailed answers, policy
determine your gallons per minute
basics of filtration
PRICES AND ORDERING:
price list, actual ozone installation invoices, ordering
your water has been tested, how do you decide which systems are appropriate?
There are twenty-four
different ways of purifying water, and each has a number of options.
Although there are advantages and drawbacks to every system, predictable
categories apply to certain conditions. Following is a simple chart
plus detailed descriptions clarifying the most efficient technologies used
for solving specific problem. Click whether you are interested in
treating municipal (city) water or well
water, and whether you are considering a whole-house system,
a smaller point-of-use system, or if you want
to treat the water in your spa or swimming
Refer to the chart below to define your particular issues.
|Visible floating particles||particulate matter (vegetation or sand dust)||Any membrane, paper or carbon filter|
|Fixture stains: brown, orange, red, yellow||iron||ozone/oxygenation/green sand & salt|
|Gray or black stains, white laundry turns gray||manganese||ozone|
|Rotten egg smell||sulphur||ozone, aeration|
|Water test results, old pipes||bacteria||ozone/oxygen/reverse osmosis/ distillation/ultra violet/carbon block|
|Yellowish or greenish water||tannin||water softener/tannin color resin/GAC filter|
|Cloudy water.||turbidity||filters/polymer flocculants/chlorine injectors|
|Water test results||coliform||ultra-violet|
|Water test results||e coli||ultra-violet/compressed carbon block/ distillation/RO|
|Water test results||nitrates||biodentrification / reverse osmosis / distillation / electrodialysis / ion exchange|
|Salty taste||salt||distillation/reverse osmosis|
|White calcium deposits, soap rinses quickly||hardness||water softeners/electronic pulsers|
|Water test results||high/low pH||chlorine injection|
|Chlorine smell, water test results||chemicals||carbon block, distillation, RO|
|Water test results||arsenic||special arsenic removal media (macroporous polystyrene polymer)|
Carbon blocks remove chemicals, chlorine, asbestos, lead, bacteria (including e coli, giardia and cryptosporidium), mercury, cadmium, chloroform, trihalomethanes, arsenic, particulates, odor, flavor, and color. Most carbon blocks filter down to 0.5 micron.More details
Reverse osmosis in a sense squeezes everything out except pur water molecules, removing both chemicals and minerals. Actually one fifth of the water washed over the RO membrane penetrates through, and the other four fifths are dumped down the drain. RO pre-filters are usually granular charcoal, and the ideal post-filter is a carbon block.
Distillation slowly evaporates and recondenses water vapors, producing sterile flat water devoid of minerals and most chemicals, and is used profusely by the medical profession. Periodic cleaning of the plates and containers is necessary, and a power source is usually required. Certain volatile chemicals can also evaporate and recondense, in which case a carbon block can be used to remove any carry-over chemicals.
Ultra-violet kills viruses and bacteria, but not necessarily parasites (1-6 microns) such as cryptosporidium and giardia, which are best removed by a carbon block. Ultra-violet alone does not filter; consequently pre- and post-filters are required. Ultra violet following aan ozone system serves as a superb polisher. Ultra violet bulbs need to be replaced periodically.
Ozone sub-counter filtration systems safely reduce chlorine odor and taste, chloroform and trihalomethanes, lead, mercury, cadmium, cryptosporidium and giardia cysts. Small sub-counter systems will not remove iron. The ozone also extends the life of the filter.
For areas on wells there is often an excess of iron, sulphur, manganese, calcium, magnesium, tannins, turbidity, nitrates, coliform, salt intrusion, and sometimes chemicals. Iron, often accompanied by sulphur gas, puts off an iron bacteria which is not healthy to ingest and which coats the pipes. Iron, like other dissolved minerals, is difficult to remove from water because it is dissolved and can pass through filter membranes.
Information on well management: http://www.wellmanager.com/
For more information on the ozone
system, see "Ozone
For further reading on ozone in general, go to Ozone Therapeutic Remedial Uses
For information on iron in the laundry, read this report Iron Stains in the Laundry
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
there are more problems in the water than iron
or sulphur. If there are tannins present in the water,the oxidized
iron will remain in a soluble state and will pass
through the filters. Tannin is tannic acid, which iswhat tea is.
Actually, it is made from the juices of decaying
leaves, such as alders. A simple test to see if there
is tannin in the water is to fill a clean white five-gallon
plastic bucket with water and, in good light, observe
whether or not there is a yellowish or greenish hue
to the water. If so, tannins are probably present. To remove the yellow tannic acid and the oxydized iron, it will be necessary to add a second system following the ozone system.
There are three options for removing tannin.
issue can be turbidity, which looks like cloudy water.
Turbidity is miniscule dissolved organic particles which
will eventually settle to the bottom of a jar. If thecloudiness settles
away within 30 minutes, a 0.35 micron cartridge
in a housing is sufficient to filter it out. However,
if it takes longer to settle, the most common treatment
is the injection of alum stored in about a 30 gal. tank
with a mixer, using a chemical feed pump, a resin tank, special
media and valve. The disadvantages to alum are thatit lowers the
pH of the water, it adds to the sludge, and it is
caustic to handle. Instead, the best option is to injectthe water
with a non-chemical polymer flocculant.
chlorine injection or the injection of a pH stabilizer
is required. Hopefully the pH is between 7.0 and 7.4.
Rain water is highly acidic; pond water is usually quite
alkaline. Both extremes can be caustic.
is commonly used to soften the water and to
remove iron. This is a process of filtration in whichsodium from
salt is exchanged for calcium or magnesium in the
water, using either precipitated synthetic, organic and synthetic
resins; or gel zeolite. Calcium and magnesium are
drawn out of the water and exchanged for sodium, thereby softening the water as it moves around the media. After a certain amount of time the process is reversed by stopping the water flow and running a heavy salt water or brine solution through the system. Such a reversal draws out the calcium and magnesium and replaces them with sodium. The contaminated salt water, or brine, is then dumped into the environment somewhere and the water is turned on again. The system is easily clogged with sediment and requires incoming water to be filtered. It works only on the primary causesof water hardness and does little or nothing to the other minerals or metals. Ion exchange does nothing to kill
bacteria, nor to decrease chemicals or odors in the water. People on low salt or sodium diets should not drink this water. Use a water softener only if hardness or calcium deposits cause great concern.
In areas near the ocean, some wells have salt water invading the aquafer. The only ways to remove salt areemploy a distiller or a reverse osmosis filter.
Occasionally wells will be tested for high coliform counts and will be closed as undrinkable by the health authorities. Ozone will treat coliform up to a certain high level. However, if coliform is a persistently chronic occurance or is found in unusually high quantities, an ultra-violet treatment will guarantee the killing of all bacteria and virus. Ultra-violet acts as the ideal polisherafter ozone treatment.
E coli is a living organism
that dwells in colonies. These colonies multiply and diminish daily.
Sometimes test results will read an absence of e coli, and other
times there will be an abundance, giving a reading of so many colonies
that there is an outbreak and the water is undrinkable. A whole-house
ozone unit will kill about ten to twenty colonies. However, if the
count grows higher, either a larger ozone unit is needed or some sort of
polisher should follow the ozone system specifically to remove the remaining
In situations where e coli outbreaks are common and of concern, the best way to remove all e coli from the entire water supply is to add an ultraviolet treatment system (pre- and post- submicron filters and a UV light) following the ozone system. Ultraviolet is an excellent polisher and will provide safe water throughout the house.
A second option would be to treat drinking water only by adding a compressed carbon block at the sink. Compressed carbon filters remove anything larger than .5 micron; e coli and other parasites range in size from 1 to 6 microns. This option is less expensive and is easy to install.
A third option for drinking water would be to use a distiller.
Nitrates are decayed feces and sewage. The most effective way to remove them is with a separate system similar to a water softener, using a nitrate select removal resin. This system has its own backwash cycle, and needs to have salt added periodically. For more, see detailed information on nitrates.
A drier is so strongly encouraged that excluding one invalidates the ozone pump warrantee. If a drier is not used on an ozone pump, eventually the bottom plate and the piston will have to be replaced. All venturi systems require driers or the moisture build-up will soon render the ozone to be ineffective. There are two kinds of driers:dessicant and electric.
Super-oxygenated water is created by passing a low-voltage DC current through water, using catalytic electrolysis cells. The catalytic action of the cell forces a majority of the oxygen created to bypass the gaseous stateand dissolve directly into solution. The dissolved oxygen levels created by this process can range from around 3 ppm to 20 ppm depending on starting water conditions. Contaminants can be removed using absolutely no chemicals. There are three basic types of water contamination.
Physical contamination is the appearance of the water, the color or turbidity (visible particles), the temperature,taste and/or odor of the water -- anything that can be sensed by the body. Dissolved oxygen generation affects physical contamination with the electrical field generated within the cell to cause a coagulation (lumping together) of solids, colloids and thin oils. High levels of dissolved
oxygen will oxidize (destroy) many contaminants and easily allow them to settle out for removal.
Chemical contamination relates to chemicals and minerals present in the water. These are the things that generally cannot be seen or sensed by the body. Using high levels of dissolved oxygen, the chemicals and hydrocarbons are oxidized and broken down. Minerals, dissolved metals,soaps and phosphates in the water coagulate into sediment or filterable solids.
Biological contamination is anything living in the water, whether visible (algae) or invisible (bacteria). Oxygen breaks down the outer cell membrane and enters the nucleus, destroying the bacteria cell. High levels of dissolved oxygen will neutralize most types of bacteria such as colliform bacteria (all types), and will satisfy biological oxygen demands (BOD). Due to the nature of dissolved oxygen, not even the smallest of bacteria cells are immune. Conventional filters generally will not control
biological contamination and can become breeding grounds for bacteria over time.
In addition to treating contaminants, oxygenation has additional health benefits, acting as a medium for various chemical and enzymatic changes in the body. Super-oxygenation creates a wonderful, safe scrubbing effect on the body's skin, similar to expensive exfoliants used inluxury skin care products. These millions of tiny oxygen molecules work hard to oxidize dead or sick skin cells and oils to allow new, healthy cells to grow. The surface tension of the water is broken down to give it almost a
glistening effect of softness. Oxygenated water is excellent for drinking, laundry, bathing, and is wonderful in spas.
other water products, examine the price
lists on water filters,
replacement cartridges, composting
systems, and ultra-low water-flush toilets. Ask about
information on rainwater collection, on pumping water by
wind or pedal power, and on solar
For more information or to place an order, please
write, or come visit:
2131 Middle Drive
Freeland , WA 98249-9516
(360) 730-7992 (Whidbey)
(206) 324-5055 (Seattle)
(240) 250-5895 (fax)
1. Provide a thorough form letter describing
all the options for treating any given water problem, including prices.
2. Provide a survey form that must be filled out by the prospective party; this form not only asks about pipe sizes, number of houses, gpm of the pump, etc., but also requires a full testing of a raw water sample.
3. Provide a form for all payment and warrantee agreements.
4. Employ a professional, licensed, bonded and insured plumber to plumb installations, and, if the wiring is not pre-assembled so that it can be plugged into one outlet, employ a licensed, bonded and insured electrician to tend to any electrical concerns.
5. Train each owner how to operate, maintain and troubleshoot each part of the system, either in person, by phone or by mail.
6. Offer unlimited phone advice and consultation to everyone.
7. Honor all promises, and continue to provide customers with faithful service whenever they call (within our region).
8. Offer pre-established routine inspections on at least a yearly basis, or as frequently as the user requests, for the standard fee (within our region).
9. Incessant and thorough research enables constant improvement and expansion of products and services.
10. Carry the highest quality product line for each technology.
11. Contact customers weekly immediately after installation, until all questions are answered and any minor quirks are resolved. Then routinely call all customers at least once every three months from then on, and more often if there may be any underlying concerns or potential problems. If they do not answer, persist daily until we connect.
12. For customers outside our region, provide email and phone support.