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jason41987 11-21-2012 10:13 AM

water purification system?
i was thinking of making a water purification system to filter out some of the nasty stuff in modern tap water... microbes have been an issue here in the past as well as fluoride and id like to turn tap water into spring water quality

i could possible build a water still, or reverse osmosis setup which will essentially strip the water of all chemicals and microbes, but isnt good to drink long term unless i add minerals back into the water... so one of these systems with possibly some kind of mineral tablets would be good, so long as its inexpensive enough to add it to three to five gallon jugs regularly

my other option is a filtration system using multiple filters... an activated charcoal filter to filter out most the bad stuff, and possibly an activated alumina filter to get the fluoride

any suggestions on which direction i should go, and the best way to build such a filtration system?

ddawg16 11-21-2012 10:27 AM

Before you worry about what is in your water, you might want to have it tested to see what is in it.

Contrary to popular mis-conveyed myths....our public water supply is quite least in the microb area. About the only thing that varies is the amount of solids.....(hardness)

A still is going to take a lot of energy to distill the water. Reverse osmosis will only remove solids. If your concerned about removing microbes then you would need to look into ultraviolet filters....which take a lot of energy.

In case your wondering.....a majority of the 'fresh from the spring' bottled water is nothing more than tap water with minerals added.

Have you tasted distilled water? I think you would not like the taste...

jason41987 11-21-2012 10:39 AM

i have tasted distilled water and found it to be quite awful, an in fact quite offensive to the senses.. another reason it would need minerals added

what would be the best way of filtering the extra crud out of the water?.. would an activated charcoal filter be sufficient?.. and what of the fluoride?

md2lgyk 11-21-2012 11:21 AM

As ddawg16 said, you should have your water tested first to see what's in it. Some water treatment equipment is quite expensive, so you need to know exactly what needs to be removed. I have a lot of experience with the design and operation of military RO systems, one that can make 1200 gallons an hour of potable water from seawater. Ddawg is incorrect in saying they only remove solids. And residential UV systems do not use a great deal of power. I know, there's one in my house.

Why would you want to remove fluoride?

tylernt 11-21-2012 11:33 AM

Activated charcoal is good at removing microbes and other microscopic particles and some organic compounds. But it will not do much for dissolved minerals etc. I.e., you still end up with hard water.

RO (which is typically preceded by filter and charcoal stages) will remove microbes and most chemicals and most minerals. You end up with very soft water (which is why they use plastic tubing; metal pipe would be eaten away) that's not quite 100% pure but is pure enough for 99.9% of purposes, including drinking.

UV does nothing except kill microbes. The microbes are still there, you're still drinking them, but they're (hopefully) dead so they are not dangerous. Does nothing for chemicals. I question the usefulness of a UV filter on city water -- the city adds chlorine or chloramines to take care of microbes already. Then there's the electricity you pay to run the UV, and the period bulb replacements to purchase, seems like a waste of money. UV might be useful on a well since there is no chlorine there.

We drink RO in our house. We tried adding the mineral drops, and they do change the taste a bit, but after a while just stopped bothering. RO tastes a little bland and boring compared to tap but I guess we got used to it.

I also put an activated charcoal filter on the ice maker. We're on a well so I didn't want particulates damaging the ice maker, and I didn't want frozen little microbes coming out of hibernation out in our drinks. The hard water doesn't seem to matter for ice cubes.

user1007 11-21-2012 11:40 AM

My first reaction is it seems you are trying to reinvent a rounder wheel or something? There are tons of water purfication system companies out there with all forms you can imagine.

Tap water in Northern California was horrible because of the hardness and stuff would form a layer on the bottom of the glass. It reeked of chlorine at times. It was relatively harmless as far as bacteria though and if you let it sit, you could drink it.

I live in a state that is consuming fresh water faster than nature can replenish it so may be more sensitive to concerns you may have in the not too distant future.

Distilling water, seems hardly energy efficient on the scale you have in mind?

noquacks 11-21-2012 04:08 PM

Good points above from members. Also, mis info too. DDawg is right that we , in the US, have some of the cleanest safest water anywhere, and basically, there is way too much propaganda disseminated by the water market. As far as RO water tasting awful, not to me. hard water tastes prety much like chalk. Adding back minerals? Why? Yes, if all you do is ddrink water for nutrition, eventually you will die, but the scant calcium and magnesium is available from normal American diet (milk products, etc). You do not need to addd anything BACK to the purified water.

Fluoride will be removed by RO. But, if you have children under age 15, dont do it. Much hype about F (fluoride). Like Tylernt said, RO removes 99++ of the junk you want removed (junk is a relative term). Otherwise, save your $$. RO is a maintenence anything else one "owns"

noquacks 11-21-2012 04:09 PM


Originally Posted by sdsester (Post 1057668)
There are tons of water purfication system companies out there with all forms you can imagine.

Right- toooo may sellers out there. All beating the drum of "dont drink that water!"

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