Posted: July 31, 2018|
Nominal rejection performance table below is extracted from Water Quality Association knowledge base for standard thin film composite reverse osmosis membranes operating at operating at a net pressure (feed pressure less back pressure and osmotic pressure) of 60 psi and 77°F water temperature. Performance of ro systems utilizing TFC membranes may be less due to changes in feed pressure, temperature, water chemistry, contaminant level, net pressure on membrane, and individual membrane efficiency. Tank-less RO systems (such as countertop ROs) and ROs with atmospheric tanks produce better overall rejection performance than undersink ROs (or ROs with pressure tanks) due to maximizing of net pressure on membrane.
Sodium 90-95% Aluminum 93-98% Magnesium 93-98% Potassium 90-95% Iron 93-98% Manganese 93-98% Calcium 93-98% Copper 94-99% Silver 93-98% Zinc 93-98% Strontium 93-98% Cadmium 93-98% Nickel 93-98% Mercury 93-98% Radioactivity 93-98% Chromium-6 94-99% Chromium-3 94-99% Lead 94-99% Chloride 90-95% Bicarbonate 90-95% Nitrate 85-90% Fluoride 90-97% Phosphate 93-98% Chromate 90-95% Cyanide 90-95% Sulfate 93-98% Boron 55-60% Arsenic + 3 70-80% Arsenic + 5 94-99% Selenium 93-98% Barium 93-98% Sediment > 99% Protozoa > 99% Ameobic Cysts > 99% Turbidity > 99% Asbestos > 99% Bacteria > 99% Giardia > 99%
* Source: water quality association, www.wqa.org
** 60 psi net pressure and 77° F water temperature
*** Performance depends on condition of feed water
Our experts can help you determine the correct system, so please consult us before ordering. The limiting factors in choosing the proper filtration media include the amount of dissolved oxygen, pH level, oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), water temperature, and carbon dioxide (CO2). Let WECO help you find the proper system to best meet your needs.
How much iron is too much in my water?
Water sample analysis should always report the combination of all forms of iron present in the sample. A high concentration of all forms of iron lead to an unacceptable characteristic in water that makes it unsuitable for drinking, washing dishes, bathing, and laundry.
High levels of iron in your water – a total iron concentration of 0.3 PPM or higher -- can stain kitchen and bathroom fixtures, dishes, cookware, laundry, and masonry surfaces.
Domestic uses of water allow iron concentrations of 0.1 parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/L); however, several industrial applications call for a total absence of iron concentration in water that is used for process work.
So, can a water softener alone treat iron?
Theoretically, if the water has sufficient levels of calcium and magnesium ions, yes; however, iron reduction through softening is an old and largely inefficient technique that involves using and wasting salt that finds its way into groundwater. This is one reason why softeners are increasingly being banned from use.
According to guidelines from the Water Quality Association, a water softener can remove iron from water with a minimum pH of 6.7 (unaerated water) with an efficiency of 0.5 PPM of iron (Fe) for every grain per gallon (GPG) of hardness, up to 10 ppm. However, our WECO experts recommend that you do not use softeners for iron reduction. The salt generated from softening makes its way into groundwater supplies, which becomes difficult for municipalities to treat in the wastewater. By increasing efficiencies to reasonable levels and not using extremely wasteful designs, such as using a softener for iron reduction, we can reduce our reliance on water softeners and help wastewater treatment a more manageable process.
The principle of ion exchange can be used to treat water containing high levels of dissolved iron (water clear when drawn) without softeners. According to the ion exchange principle, calcium and magnesium ions can be exchanged for dissolved iron.
A co-current regenerating cation exchange water softener can be utilized to treat dissolved iron concentrations of 1 ppm or lower. Treatment of dissolved iron concentrations of above 1 ppm should involve oxidizing technologies to maintain softener efficiency.
To successfully remove dissolved iron utilizing ion exchange methods, use the following cardinal rules:
1. Eliminate any contact with air.
2. Regenerate the ion exchange softener vigorously and often before the actual softening capacity of the softener is exhausted.
The following reaction governs the removal of iron and/or manganese during softener regeneration [from E. Nordell, Water Treatment for Industry]:
R2Fe + 2NaCI -----> 2RNa + FeCl2
R2Mn + 2NaCI -----> 2RNa + MnCl2
R = Cation Exchange Resin
What is Iron Bacteria?
Like many elements, iron can exist in a few chemical forms. Fe(II) and Fe(III) are two common states for iron: Fe(II), or water-soluble ferrous iron, and Fe(III), or ferric iron, which is insoluble in sea water. As their name implies, iron bacteria are microorganisms that have developed specialized machinery to thrive off of ferric iron. Iron bacteria are microorganisms that use the oxidation of ferrous iron to ferric iron to “fix” dissolved carbon dioxide into organic molecules that they use to stay alive. Iron bacteria can thrive even at very low concentrations of dissolved iron. Iron bacteria, which belong to genuses such as Crenothrix, Leptothrix, and Gallionella, only need a continuous supply of Fe(III) and oxygen to metabolize ferric iron into their cell structures, and to deposit gelatinous ferric hydroxide iron compounds.
Iron bacteria growth results in the formation of a gelatinous sludge that can cause pipe encrustation and produce foul-tasting drinking water. Telltale signs of iron bacteria include the presence of a jelly-like mass and a surface that reflects an iridescent (rainbow) slick. Iron bacteria is one of the most difficult forms of iron to remove and control.
What is Colloidal Iron?
Colloidal iron can be visually detected in a water sample, as can ferric iron and organic ally-bound iron. However, unlike the others, colloidal iron stays in suspension, lending a red-pink, turbid hue to the water sample. Colloidal iron is very highly dispersed and has a very low specific gravity almost equal to that of water. The suspended particles of iron appear to be floating, and sometimes are bound to silica. The colloidal particles can have a slight negative charge. It may take a water sample containing colloidal iron 48 hours for the iron to begin accumulating at the bottom of the container. In municipal or industrial water treatment plants, colloidal iron is treated with the addition of aluminum sulfate (alum) or another coagulant. The iron binds to the coagulant and partially precipitates out; it can be removed from the water through a granular medium filter system.
How can excess iron be removed from my water?
Many years ago, Birm was a go-to media for iron removal. Katalox Light (KL) are other media used for iron removal. Every media has its pros and cons. KL media has a slightly higher backwash rate requirement than Birm, and tends to elevate the pH significantly on occasion. But, KL can handle far higher iron, manganese and H2S levels than Birm. Birm is highly restrictive in its application and oxidant use.
Please note that, like every other manganese dioxide ore based media, both KL and Birm have very definite limitations. Dissolved oxygen, pH, ORP, water temperature, carbon dioxide, and other factors all have to be taken into consideration in the iron removal process. Even then, it can be hit or miss.
KDF-85 filtration media is rated to treat iron and H2S (concentrations up to 5 ppm), but it is not a good choice, especially for treating higher levels of iron. KDF is rated for a higher effective flow rate than KL. However, KDF-85 is also considerably more expensive and the backwash rates simply make it a poor choice for residential iron reduction.
A final method for iron removal is air injection. The air injection method is a simple and reliable method of removing iron. Air is simply drawn in to the water every time the pump cycles. This air enters a tank which keeps a large air pocket that the water cascades through to further oxygenate the water. Excess air is purged out of the top of the tank. If air alone is not sufficient, a simple hydrogen peroxide injection system can be added later, if needed. However, most of the time, air is adequate.
1. “Iron Water.” Water Quality Association, Knowledge Base Administration, www.wqa.org.
2. “Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers.” Terry Love Plumbing & Remodel DIY & Professional Forum, terrylove.com.
Posted: June 21, 2018|
What is the perfect water pressure for my RO?
Most revers osmosis membranes are designed to work with 60 PSI or higher water pressure, where they are tested to yield a stable rejection rate of at least 97.5%. If the water pressure feeding an RO system is less than that, the system will produce less water and at a lower quality. Additionally, production is reduced whenever the water temperature is below 77 °F. Private well systems most commonly have pressurized storage tank and pump systems with 20/40 psi or 30/50 psi on/off pressure settings. In such cases an electric pressure boosting pump must be installed to provide adequate rejection of specific health-related contaminants in the feedwater, such as nitrate or arsenic and others specified by the US EPA or local regulations.
What if I connect my ice maker?
RO water will produce cleaner ice cubes because of the purity of frozen water. So, connecting your RO to the ice maker makes a lot of sense. However, new ice makers require 30-40 PSI incoming water pressure to function properly. You may not have enough pressure at the pressurized water tank since your RO cuts the line pressure by 30-35%.
How can I increase water pressure?
We will discuss several ways to boost the pressure coming out from your cold-water line to run the RO.
Boosting Pressure Using a Permeate Pump
Permeate pumps use the energy of drain water flow from reverse osmosis system as leverage to push the purified water into the holding tank. Aquatec, the manufacturer of ERP-1000 permeate pump states that these pumps dramatically improve the efficiency of reverse osmosis water (RO) production, reducing wastewater by up to 80%. Permeate pumps can easily be retrofitted to upgrade existing RO systems.
Boosting Pressure using an Electric Booster Pump
Adding an electric booster pump increases the RO production rate, boosts the pressure tank storage volume, rejects more contaminants and increases faucet flow rate even if the reverse osmosis membrane pressure rating is met by the water supply. Residnetial RO systems work with diaphragm booster pumps that will typically increase the feed pressure upto 75-100 PSI.
Install the pump directly in the RO feed line (see diagrams below) following these guidelines.
1. A sediment filter should always protect the pump large particulate matter in water. If the design permits, install the pump between the sediment filter and carbon filter since carbon filters before the pump may become too restrictive of the water flow and starve the pump.
2. Pumps must be mounted following suppliers recommendation. Mounting orientations such as pump vertical with head down may encourage air-locking, leading to pressure loss.
3. Mount the high pressure switch (tank switch) as closest to the tank as possible to avoid cycling of pump by reacting to the pressure drop in the tubing when the drinking water faucet is opened.
4. Flow of water through the pump is indicated by an arrow. Be sure you insert the tubing correctly.
5. If the boosted pressure is too high (typically >100 PSI), the RO fittings and housings can develop leaks. There is a top adjustmet screw on the pump head that can be used to lower the pressure.
Design 1 Using ASV Valve
An electric booster pump kit such as FC-1400 can very efficienty boost the line pressure up to 80 PSI. This simple low-cost setup is the most commonly used design in residential reverse osmosis industry. A differential pressure controlled automatic shut off device (ASO valve) and a high-pressure switch controlls the pump and water flow into the membrane. When the tank pressure gets up to 60% of the incoming pressure the valve internally closes off the inlet. This will build up pressure on the high-pressure switch.
FC-1400 kit includes a ¼" quick connect ASO valve, pump, transformer and a high-pressure switch for RO systems upto 50 GPD.
FC-3800 kit includes a ⅜" " quick connect ASO valve, pump, transformer and a high-pressure switch for RO systems upto 100 GPD.
Design 2 Using SolenoidMost commercial reverse osmosis systems and high-end residential ro systems use the following design. Booster pump here is controlled by two pressure switches. A low-pressure switch at the inlet (activated or conducting current around 5 PSI) makes sure the pump will not run dry. A high-pressure switch (deactivated at 40, 60 or 80 PSI) cuts off power to the pump when the pressurized water storage tank has reached the capacity. A solenoid valve stops water supply to the membrane when the pump is off, preventing water running down the drain continuously. Wiring and plumbing diagrams below.
ELCON-24 kit includes the solenoid, pump, transformer and high/low pressure switches.
Read more »
Municipal water supplies are tested at the treatment facility to maintain the mandated water quality standards set by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, if you own or manage a private well, you should already know that there is no federal or state oversight of your water supply. If you buy or sell the property there may be a requirement to have the well tested. You are responsible for the quality of your well water. All testing, conditioning and filtration is your responsibility.
How frequently should I test?
EPA recommends you test your well water supply every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids and pH levels, especially if you have a new well, or have replaced or repaired pipes, pumps or the well casing.
How do I collect a water sample?
Testing laboratories supply their own sample containers and will ship you their sample collection kit once you purchase their service. Use the containers provided and carefully follow the instructions given for collecting, preserving and handling water samples. Samples for coliform bacteria testing must be collected using sterile containers and under sterile conditions. Some procedures require that water runs from an outside tap for several minutes before filling the sample containers. Laboratories may sometimes send a trained technician to collect the sample or to analyze the sample directly in your home. Ask if this service is available, since you may obtain better samples and more reliable test results.
Sample Kits from National Testing Laboratories, Ltd.
Water Analysis Results
Analysis from the lab will compare tested contaminant levels present in water against EPA Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Standards. Check if total concentrations of cations and anions balance. If they do not balance, there are substances dissolved in water that havent been analysed.
If total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration is higher than anion or cation concentration, water sample contains dissolved substances not included in the report.
- Epa.gov. (2005). Home Water Testing. [online] Available at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-11/documents/2005_09_14_faq_fs_homewatertesting.pdf [Accessed 30 Apr. 2018].
"WaterCheck™ Lite." Watercheck. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2018.
Water Quality Association ANAN Kowledgebase Administration. Web. 15 Apr. 2018.
Read more »
If you’re health-conscious you’ve heard about the benefits of drinking alkaline water. Independent research is beginning to verify a link between drinking alkaline water and health benefits. At Montana State University, Dr. Dan Heil discovered that drinking alkaline water is beneficial to our health. Dr. Heil conducted an experiment comparing blood characteristics of people who drank alkaline water versus a group that consumed non-alkaline water. The test group that consumed alkaline drinking water had measurable increases in urine and blood pH during the second and third week of the experiment. Dr. Heil also found that the alkaline test group had higher levels of hydration. These positive changes reversed after the group started drinking non-alkaline water during the fourth week. The health benefits were observed only when alkaline water was consumed regularly. Our bodies try to maintain a neutral pH because it makes biochemical reactions run smoothly. However, our diet and certain diseases can tilt the pH balance to the acidic range. It was reported in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis (2012), that alkaline water helped reverse ultraviolet radiation damage to the skin. It also improved the immune response and even made controlling of diabetes easier. The benefits of drinking alkaline water continue to be confirmed by scientific experiments. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2016) reported that drinking alkaline water after hard work or exercise rehydrated the blood better than regular water. The test measured blood viscosity as a way of measuring rehydration. Drinking alkaline water improved recovery and rehydration significantly better than non-alkaline water.
How does alkaline water improve health?
The human body functions properly with a neutral blood pH. Finely-tuned biochemical reactions are pH-dependent. pH regulation is a critical, self-regulating mechanism our bodies work at every second of every day. For example, we expel carbon dioxide to reduce the acidification of our blood. Alkaline water benefits out body by neutralizing acids that are linked to premature aging, acne troubles and skin damage due to exposure to the sun. Alkaline water appears to reduce harmful free radicals and inhibit the aging process. Many people claim they have better skin tone and a more-healthy look to their face. Drinking alkaline water appears to aid in the break-down certain fat cells, assisting with weight loss. Although more research is needed, tests seem to show the anti-oxidant properties of alkaline water may even decrease the chances of certain cancers. Japanese researchers, in the journal Trends in Food Science & Technology (2012), believe that alkaline water reverses the negative “reactive oxygen species” associated with cancerous cells. Other tests indicate alkaline water helps in maintaining natural lubricants needed to keep muscles and joints working smoothly.
How to make alkaline water
Making alkaline drinking water is easy with WECO reverse osmosis water filtration systems. WECO alkaline reverse osmosis systems include a special acid-neutralizing cartridge will provide a consistent, reliable source of purified, healthy alkaline drinking water for you home, business or anywhere refreshing alkaline water is desired.
The WECO HYDRA-75ALK Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System with pH Neutralizer Cartridge removes a variety of water contaminants including rust, sediment and sand along with taste and odor problems caused by chlorine disinfectants. Organic chemicals like solvents, gasoline derivatives and carcinogenic disinfection byproducts are adsorbed by the activated carbon solid block cartridge. The reverse osmosis filter strips out heavy metals including cadmium, lead and copper along with nitrate and fluoride. The reverse osmosis process lowers TDS and slightly lowers the pH. The pH neutralizer cartridge automatically raises the pH and adds calcium to the purified water. A final activated carbon polishing filter ensures the water is clean, clear and refreshing. The filtration system comes complete with pure water dispensing faucet and an under-counter water storage tank.
If you have a well, are concerned about parasites and bacteria contamination or want the most complete under-counter RO water purification system, the WECO VGRO-75ALK High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System with pH Neutralizer Filter is right for you! This RO system removes up to 99% of water contamination. The VGRO-75ALK removes particulates like grit, mineral oxides, and insect fragments along with chlorine disinfectants. A second 0.5-micron Pentek® CBC-10 carbon block filter further removes chloramine, bad tastes and odors, pesticides and carcinogenic impurities. The reverse osmosis system removes salts, heavy metals, nitrate, fluoride and lead. The pH neutralizer cartridge automatically raises the pH and adds calcium to the purified water. A granular activated polishing post-filter ensures great-tasting water. The last stage is ultraviolet (UV) disinfection with a Polaris Scientific UVA-1C disinfector. The UV light kills and inactivates bacteria, parasites, algae and other microbial contamination. The filtration system comes complete with pure water dispensing faucet and an under-counter water storage tank.
The WECO TINY-150ALK Compact Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System with pH Neutralizer Filter is designed to fit into tight spaces such as under the sink, in RVs, campers and other spaces that won’t accommodate a full-size water purification system. This four-stage water filtration systems uses the same high-efficiency water purification technology as the WECO HYDRA-75ALK, but in a compact configuration. The 30-micron polypropylene pre-filter removes sediment, rust particles, sand and other microscopic debris that can contaminate the water supply. The 5-micron solid-block activated carbon block cartridge eliminates chlorine, chloramine, bad tastes and odors, chemicals and carcinogenic disinfection byproducts. The encapsulated reverse osmosis filter uses an ultra-efficient membrane with a 1:1 ratio of waste to pure water production. The membrane removes metals like cadmium, lead, zinc and copper. Nitrate, sodium and fluoride are stripped out, reducing the TDS and improving the water quality. The GAC post filter scavenges out gasses and tastes for great-tasting water.
For more information about WECO filtration systems or if you would like to discuss your water quality issues, please contact one of our Certified Water Specialists.Read more »
Posted: February 18, 2018|
Just about everyone is talking about the quality of their drinking water. But what is “good” drinking water? We hear about contaminated water supplies, chemical spills, bad tastes and odors but don’t understand what it all means. Unless you’re a water expert, it can be hard to understand what defines water quality. Not to worry! We’ll break it down into an easy to understand guide that will make you a well-informed consumer of drinking water.
Let’s start by defining your water source. If you have a well your water is being pumped from an individual well located on your property. There is no federal or state oversight of your water supply. If you buy or sell the property there may be a requirement to have the well tested. You are responsible for the quality of your well water. All testing, conditioning and filtration is your responsibility.
Municipal water sources are under the oversight of federal and state regulations. The water supply is tested at the treatment facility to maintain the mandated water quality standards. As we’ve discussed in another article, the United States Environmental Protection Agency sets the acceptable levels of certain “primary contaminants” because they are a potential health concern and there is a strong chance that the contaminants will be found in the water supply at levels that will affect public health. The EPA delegates the responsibilities for maintaining these levels to the individual states. Your state can choose to adopt the EPA levels or enforce more stringent levels if they wish. The general categories of primary contaminants include:
There’s a secondary group of contaminants that cause aesthetic problems like mineral scale (hardness), tastes, odors, laundry staining and other annoyances. These are not regulated by the federal or local agencies but can cause many unpleasant water conditions for homeowners. If your water is regulated, you will receive a yearly Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) from your local water supplier. The report must be mailed by July 1st each year. The report will provide a general overview of the water quality delivered by your water system. The report will list the regulated contaminants that were detected in the water and the level at which they were found during the preceding calendar year. The Consumer Confidence Report is for treated water only. If you receive a CCR but are using a well, the report has no validity regarding your well water quality.
Do I need to filter my water?
We’ve learned that municipal water is regularly tested for specific health concerns and wells must be tested by the well owner. Even if your water meets the federal and state regulations, it often contains substances and characteristics that cause unpleasant tastes, odors and undesirable side effects related to drinking, cooking, bathing and in the laundry. Nearly every water source can be improved with the right water filtration system. WECO water filtration engineers have designed an array of high-quality water filters ranging from small faucet filter to large industrial reverse osmosis systems. For residential applications we have a series of water filtration systems that are effective and efficient, meeting the needs of any water filtration need. Here are a few of the most popular WECO filters and how they can improve your water quality.
Hard water, high calcium & magnesium, is common with well and municipal water sources. Although hard water is not associated with health concerns, it causes numerous problems around the home. Hard water requires you to use more soap and detergents for cleaning, laundry and dish washing. Calcium reacts with soap, causing a waxy build-up in the bath tub and shower. When hard water is heated, it produces white mineral deposits on glasses and dishes. Mineral scale also forms inside water heaters, reducing efficiency, increasing energy costs and causing early failure of the water tank. The WECO UXC-0948 water softener eliminates hardness problems throughout the entire home. Your skin and hair will be silky smooth. Dishes and glassware will be spot-free. Cleaning chores will be easier and you’ll use less soap and cleaners too.
The VGRO-75UV reverse osmosis filtration system is a state-of-the-art drinking water purification system. This compact filtration system uses the same water purification technologies used to purify water in nuclear submarines. The VGRO-75UV removes particles of grit, sand, fragments of insects and other solids that contaminate drinking water. Activated carbon filtration eliminates bad tastes and odors from chlorine, chloramine and natural organics that cause off-flavors. Even pesticides and solvents are removed! The reverse osmosis process removes nitrate, heavy metals and even mercury. The purified water passes through an ultraviolet disinfection unit that kills and inactivates bacteria, parasites, and other microbes that infiltrate well and municipal water systems. If you want the absolute best-tasting pure water in your home, the VGRO-75UV is for you!
Many wells suffer from acidic water. As groundwater passes through certain types of rock formations, it can become acidic. This causes the water to become very corrosive to metals. Acidic water will dissolve away the metals in faucets, releasing copper, lead, cadmium, and zinc into the water. It will also dissolve copper pipes, leading to blue stains in the sink, tub and toilet. This corrosive water will also reduce the lifespan of water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines. The CALC-0948 backwashing filter neutralizes acidic water as it enters the home, protecting every sink, toilet, bathtub and appliance in the home. The natural calcite filter media eliminates water cloudiness, red iron stains, blue copper stains and stops acid water damage throughout the entire home.
Nitrate contamination is a nationwide concern. Nitrate in drinking water poses a special risk to infants under six months of age. Nitrate prevents the infant's blood from carrying oxygen. Death can result if not treated promptly. Many adults also want to limit nitrate in their diet due to possible health effects associated with nitrate consumption. Removing nitrate from well and municipal water supplies is easy with a WECO A300E-0948 Backwashing Filter with A300E Ion-Exchange Resin. The automatic backwashing filter contains a special ion-exchange resin that selectively removes nitrate from your drinking water. This is a whole house filter that will provide every faucet throughout your home with nitrate-free water.
WECO designs and manufactures a wide array of water filtration systems. We can specify a solution to your individual water purification needs. Please contact our technical service department to discuss your water purification needs.
Posted: February 08, 2018|
Homeowners express a variety water quality concerns ranging from aesthetics to contamination fears. It’s unfortunate that many people, out of frustration or ignorance, never find a suitable solution to their water worries. There is no reason to let “bad water” ruin your healthy lifestyle or damage your largest single investment-your home! Take a look at these common water-quality issues homeowners face every day:
- Tap water that tastes and smells like a swimming pool, due to chlorine disinfectants
- Discolored well water from tannins
- Rotten egg odors from hydrogen sulfide
- Premature water heater failure
- Red stains in the sink, tub and toilet due to iron
- Blue-green copper stains in the toilet and shower
- Crusty hard-water mineral build-up on faucets and shower heads
- Grit-clogged faucet aerators, dish washers and washing machines
- Nitrate contamination in well water
- Bad-tasting drinking water
- Chemicals in the water supply
- Soap scum build-up in showers and tubs
- Laundry that won’t come clean
- Dry, brittle hair
- Itchy skin
- Spots on dishes, silverware and glassware
These are a just a few of the water quality issues that can reduce your quality of life and cause real damage in your home. Water quality affects every aspect of your life including cooking, cleaning, drinking and bathing. Even pets can be impacted by the water you give them to drink!
Well and Municipal Water
Some folks think well water, unlike municipal water, is always fresh and contaminant free. Others know private wells can suffer from contamination and believe treated water supplies to be “as good as it gets.” Neither of these views are completely true. Even wells far away from industrial areas can be contaminated with microbes, nitrate and suffer from taste and odor problems. Likewise, water from a treatment facility that is disinfected and safe can leave hair dry and brittle, cause itchy flaky skin and cause your water heater to fail and leak water throughout the home. Water quality experts know that no two well or municipal water sources are the same. Every situation needs to be evaluated based on the symptoms and water needs of the home. In many cases a water analysis is required to correctly diagnose the problem and correctly design the water filtration system. A water analysis saves time and money by revealing the chemical make-up of your water so the proper treatment process can used. Guessing about water chemistry is a sure path to disappointment and wasted money. One of the most common water tests is an analysis of water hardness. Water hardness is the measure of calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water (high in minerals) is responsible for white spotting on glassware, mineral crusts and early water heater failure. It is important to know the water hardness level to proper size a water softener. If the water softener is too small it won’t properly soften the water. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains an online-list if certified water testing laboratories. WECO technical support can also assist you with finding a certified water testing laboratory.
Benefits of Whole House Water Filtration Systems
All homes use water for a multitude of tasks at numerous water outlets. These include the kitchen sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, bathroom sinks, toilets, showers and bath tubs. Water is used for an almost limitless list of reasons:
- Drinking water
- Ice and chilled water
- Preparing foods
- Pet water
- Brushing teeth
- Hair care
- Pet washing
- Dish washing
- Cleaning the home
- Clothes washing
- Washing the car
It only makes sense to use a whole house filtration system so every source of water in the home is properly filtered and conditioned. Wouldn’t it be great to have fresh-tasting water at every faucet? Whole house filters are the only way to protect your entire home from contaminants like iron, sediment, hard water and other water-borne substances that create health and aesthetic problems along with damage to water heaters, clothes washers, ice makers, faucets, showers and other water-using appliances. WECO specializes in whole house filtration systems that are effective, simple to operate and properly filter all the water used for cooking, drinking, cleaning and bathing. WECO Big Blue systems use commercial-grade components and replaceable filter cartridges. For higher capacity or specialized water treatment needs, WECO backwashing filters are available with a variety of problem-solving filter media. Here are just a few of the WECO whole house filtration systems that will protect your household and provide great-tasting purified water throughout your home.
WECO Big Blue Water Filter System for Sediment Filtration
Well and municipal water systems often contain suspended particles of sand, rust, mineral flakes and even insect fragments. These sediments clog faucet aerators, shower heads, ice makers, dish washers, washing machines and even counter-top coffee makers. The WECO Big Blue Sediment Filter installs on your incoming water line. The canister contains a replaceable spiral-wound polypropylene filter cartridge that removes particles down to 5 microns. The Big Blue Sediment Filter can be used alone but is often used in conjunction with an activated carbon filter for improved taste and odor.
WECO Big Blue Water Filter System for Taste and Odor Treatment
The WECO Big Blue Taste and Odor Filtration System uses the same high-quality Big Blue filter housing but contains a compressed block of porous activated carbon for taste and odor control. The 5-micron porous network captures and removes chlorine disinfectants, musty odors caused by organic matter, pesticides, solvents and more.
WECO BB-203SKDFC Whole House Big Blue Water Filter
The WECO BB-203SKDFC is a three-stage point-of-entry water purification system. The filter uses three Big Blue filter housings, each with a high-capacity 20-inch filter cartridge. This system has three stages of water purification. Water passes through a 5-micron sediment filter, a mixed-media blend of catalytic KDF and granular activated carbon for removal of chlorine and chloramine and a final solid-block activated carbon polishing filter cartridge that removes pharmaceuticals, pesticides, tastes, orders and other contaminants.
WECO Backwashing Filter with Katalox Light® for Iron, Manganese & Hydrogen Sulfide Reduction
If you’ve got iron, manganese or rotten egg odors, a WECO backwashing filter loaded with Katalox Light® is the ideal problem-solver. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is responsible for noxious “rotten egg” odors in bath water, showers and drinking water. Hydrogen sulfide is corrosive to metals such as iron, steel, copper and brass. Katalox Light® oxidizes and precipitates soluble iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide, which are flushed away in the automatic backwash operation. This filter also removes lead, copper, radium, uranium as well as other heavy metals and radionuclides.
WECO AAL-1252 Backwashing Filter with Activated Alumina for Fluoride and Arsenic Removal
If you’re concerned with arsenic or fluoride in your drinking water, a WECO Backwashing Filter with Activated Alumina is right for you. With increasing health concerns for these substances, WECO has designed the AAL-1252 to address these contaminants. This automatic backwashing system will strip out fluoride and arsenic, protecting you, your family and pets.
For more information about WECO filtration systems or if you would like to discuss your water quality issues, please contact one of our Certified Water Specialists.Read more »
Source of Nitrite: Nitrite (N2O-) is a nitrogen-containing chemical similar to nitrate. Nitrogen in fertilizers, animal waste from farms and decaying plant materials can introduce nitrite into groundwater. Malfunctioning septic systems can also be a source of nitrite in well water. Nitrite can be found in municipal water but it mostly occurs in well water.
Health Effects of Nitrite: Nitrite reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. This causes a condition called methemoglobinemia. Babies and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to nitrite poisoning. Ingesting nitrite can have a negative impact on the development of the child. Blue Baby Syndrome causes the infant to turn blue and suffer from lack of oxygen.
How to Remove Nitrite: A WECO reverse osmosis filtration system will remove nitrite along with nitrate, taste and odor-causing chemicals like chlorine and hydrogen sulfide and heavy metals including lead and arsenic. For whole house and commercial (Point Of Entry) applications a WECO backwashing filter with anion-exchange resin is recommended. Contact WECO for help in the selecting the water filter best suited for your application.
Source of Hydrogen sulfide: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a colorless gas with a “rotten egg” smell. It is sometimes called sewer gas or sulfur water. Certain bacteria decompose organic matter and release hydrogen sulfide gas into groundwater. Wells contaminated with manure or human waste can also have H2S problems. Turning the water heater thermostat too low allows bacteria to grow inside the tank and produce the smelly gas.
Effects of Hydrogen sulfide: Hydrogen sulfide can give water a bitter taste and offensive odor. High hydrogen sulfide levels may also corrode plumbing, washing machines and ruin laundry.
How to Remove Hydrogen sulfide: A WECO reverse osmosis filtration system will remove hydrogen sulfide along with taste and odor-causing chemicals like chlorine and hydrogen sulfide and heavy metals including lead and arsenic. For whole house and commercial (Point Of Entry) applications a WECO backwashing filter with Katalox Light media is recommended.
E. coli in Water
Source of E. coli: E.coli (Escherichia coli) is a group of naturally-occurring bacteria. Some strains are harmless while others affect human health. These come from animal waste that contaminates the water supply. The presence of E. coli in water is used as an indicator of possible contamination with the harmful bacteria strains.
Health Effects of E. coli: Harmful E. coli strains produce toxins that causes symptoms including pneumonia, stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
How to Remove E. coli: A Polaris Scientific Ultraviolet Disinfection System is recommended to counteract E. coli contamination. The Polaris system will kill the bacteria as water passes through the UV radiation, rendering the water safe to consume. The Polaris UF system can be used on residential and commercial applications.
Cryptosporidium in Water
Source of Cryptosporidium: Cryptosporidium is a single-celled protozoan parasite. Outbreaks occur when water sources are contaminated with human feces. The parasite is highly resistant to chlorine disinfection. Water run-off from land and faulty septic systems are main routes of contamination of drinking water. Water sources include lakes, streams and wells.
Health Effects of Cryptosporidium: Cryptosporidium infestations usually causes diarrhea. Other symptoms of infestation include loss of appetite, bloating, stomach cramps, nausea, muscle aches and low-grade fever.
How to Remove Cryptosporidium: A Polaris Scientific Ultraviolet Disinfection System is recommended to counteract Cryptosporidium contamination. The Polaris system will kill the parasites as water passes through the UV radiation, rendering the water safe to consume. The Polaris UF system can be used on residential and commercial applications.
Source of Legionella: Legionella (Legionnaires disease) is a respiratory disease caused by bacterial infection. The bacteria are found in nature but can be found inside hot water heaters and large plumbing systems. The bacteria enter the body through mist droplets that are inhaled. Showers can be a source of contact.
Health Effects of Legionella: The bacteria cause symptoms including fever, chills, cough, or muscle aches. It is particularly harmful people over 50, smokers and immune-compromised individuals. The infection may lead to lethal pneumonia.
How to Remove E. coli: A Class A Ultraviolet Disinfection System, Chlorine Injection System or Ozone System is recommended to counteract Legionella contamination. The disinfection system will kill the bacteria as water passes through, rendering the water safe to consume. The UV, Ozone or Chlorine system can be used on residential and commercial applications.
MTBE in Water
Source of MTBE: MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether) is a volatile, clear, liquid used as a gasoline octane booster. MTBE can get into drinking water when gasoline is repeatedly spilled on the ground or from leaking underground fuel tanks. MTBE’s offensive taste and odor makes the water undrinkable. The most common situation is well water contamination with gasoline from leaking underground storage tanks.
Health Effects of MTBE: MTBE is a suspected carcinogen. Drinking, bathing and showering with MTBE is not recommended. MTBE easily evaporates from the water, entering the nearby air. Bathing and showering with MTBE-contaminated water may increase exposure through breathing the vapors.
How to Remove MTBE: The Best Available Technology (BAT) for removal of MTBE in water is activated carbon filtration. A WECO whole house filter with granular activated carbon will supply every sink and shower with MTBE-free water. A WECO reverse osmosis water filter will remove MTBE along with heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants. Contact WECO for help in the selecting the water filter best suited for your application.
What is TDS?
TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids. TDS is a general measure of the amount of substances dissolved in lakes, streams and tap water. Theses “dissolved solids” include mostly inorganic salts like sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium cations and chloride, bicarbonate, carbonate, phosphate, sulfate and nitrate anions.
How do these substances get into the water supply?
When water percolates through underground rock formations and soil, some of the natural minerals dissolve into the water. Depending on the amount and type of minerals in the rock and soil, the ground water could very high, very low, or somewhere in between in mineral content. Water treatment facilities sometimes add chemicals to prevent the water from being acidic or corrosive. The more substances dissolved in the water, the higher the TDS.
How is TDS measured?
The most accurate method is a laboratory procedure where a water sample is weighed then heated to evaporate the water. The remaining weight of the leftover solids are used to calculate the total dissolved solids in the water sample. The unit of measure is parts per million (ppm), which is the same as milligrams per liter (mg/l). For many people, this level of accuracy is not required. It is expensive and time-consuming. A much faster method is to use a TDS meter. Hand-held TDS meters measure the electrical conductivity of the water. Dissolved salts and minerals conduct electricity, which the meter detects. The meter converts the reading into TDS as parts per million (ppm). TDS meters are easy to use and provide an accurate TDS reading for many water quality applications.
Why is TDS important to water quality?
TDS is not a direct measurement of harmful substances or pollutants. TDS is simply a measure of the substances dissolved in water. Distilled water has a TDS of 0.5 ppm or less. The ocean has a TDS of 30,000 ppm. Good or bad TDS is relative to the water being tested. TDS is a helpful parameter for monitoring the general water quality of a known source of water. Here is a perfect example! If you tested the TDS of distilled water and found it was 100 ppm, you’d know something was wrong with the water. Take a look at these “ideal” TDS levels.
What is the right TDS for my water?
The ideal TDS level depends on what the water will be used for. Take a look at these suggested TDS ranges.
- Coffee brewing – 75 to 250 ppm
- Tea brewing – 50 to 150 ppm
- Steam ironing – 0 to 30 ppm
- Car wash – 5 to 30 ppm
- Injectable drug – 0.00 ppm
- Pickle brine – 30,000 ppm
- Bottled water – 16 to 300 ppm
- Mineral water – 120 to 200 ppm
- Distilled water – 0 ppm
Monitoring your Reverse osmosis filtration system with a TDS meter
One the most useful functions of a TDS meter is the ability to check on the status of your reverse osmosis (RO) filter. An RO system lowers the TDS by removing the minerals, salts and contaminants from the water. Over time the RO membrane begins to get less efficient at removing dissolved substances. The TDS level gradually climbs as the membrane deteriorates. It is unfortunate that so many homeowners neglect their RO water purification systems. An old, non-functioning RO membrane may continue to produce water but it will be full of salts, minerals and pollutants like lead, copper and nitrate. The best way to check your RO is with a TDS meter.
How to I test my reverse osmosis system with a TDS meter?
A properly functioning reverse osmosis filtration systems will reduce the TDS by 85% or higher. Here is an example:
- Your unfiltered tap water has a TDS level of 100 ppm
- Water from the RO filter has a TDS of 10 ppm
- This means the RO is removing 90% of the TDS and is working properly
Here is another example:
- Your unfiltered tap water has a TDS level of 100 ppm
- Water from the RO filter has a TDS of 60 ppm
- This means the RO filter is removing 40% of the TDS and is malfunctioning
Most water treatment professionals recommend replacing the RO membrane when the TDS removal rate gets to about 70%. Test the TDS of your incoming water supply and compare it to the water purified by the RO system. Your filtration system may remove up to 99% of the TDS. Most water treatment professionals recommend replacing the RO membrane when the TDS removal rate gets down to about 70%.
The WECO TDS meter is easy to use and will provide an accurate snapshot of your reverse osmosis system’s efficiency. It will take the guesswork out of maintaining your RO system and provide peace of mind knowing that you and your family are drinking purified water.
Source of Algae: Algae are tiny plants that grow in water and in moist places. Lakes, rivers and reservoirs contain algae as part of the natural ecosystem. Sometimes algae will grow at a very fast rate when provided with nutrients like phosphate. This can cause taste, odor and health problems when drinking water is pumped from these open sources of water.
Effects of Algae: When algae die they release taste and odor-causing chemicals like geosmin, creating a musty taste and odor to water. While most algae cause aesthetic problems, certain types of algae release harmful chemicals called microcystins. Microcystin-contaminated water has killed pets, birds and livestock. There is growing concern that algae blooms can cause health problems in humans too.
How to Protect Against Algae: Water treatment plants actively try to destroy algae-related contamination but it is difficult to predict when algae will bloom, die and pollute the drinking water supply. A WECO whole-house activated carbon filter will remove tastes, odors and synthetic and natural chemicals like microcystin.
Sediment in your water supply will reduce water flow by clogging faucet aerators and water filters. Rust, sand and grit damages dishwashers, washing machines, coffee makers and toilet fill mechanisms. A sediment filter captures abrasive sediment before it damages appliances and clogs plumbing. A whole-house sediment filter protects every faucet and water outlet in the home.
- Read the installation instructions that came with the filter. It will give you an idea of what you’ll need to connect the sediment filter to the main water supply. Installation is a DIY project but a plumber is recommended if you are unfamiliar with plumbing practices.
- Select a near the incoming water source. Ideally the filter can be located where it is easy to access during cartridge changes. Be sure to leave about four inches of clearance below the filter so the housing can be removed.
- Turn off the main water supply.
- Turn off power to the water heater at the breaker box.
- Relieve the water pressure by draining water from the plumbing system. Open sink valves and outdoor hose connections to empty the pipes of water.
- Since filters are installed to many different water line sizes, adapters and threaded fittings may be needed to adapt to your pipe size. These are available from a hardware or plumbing supply store.
- Use a tubing cutter to remove a section of copper pipe, allowing room for the filter to be installed between a gap between the pipes.
- Using the proper fittings, connect the filter to the pipes. It is helpful to remove the filter housing while attaching the fittings.
- Replace the filter and housing then turn on the main water supply.
Installing a Backwashing Arsenic Filter
Arsenic (As) is a part of the earth’s crust, occurring naturally in soil and rock. Arsenic can dissolve into groundwater, the primary source of drinking water for many Americans. Some industries in the United States release thousands of pounds of arsenic into the environment each year. Airborne arsenic is washed from the air by rain, snow, and gradual settling. Once it is on the ground or in surface water, arsenic can slowly leach into ground water. High arsenic levels in private wells may also come from certain arsenic containing pesticides used in the past or from old industrial waste dumps. Arsenic remains in the environment for a long time. Until January 2004, arsenic-based wood preservatives were used to treat some wooden foundations, decks, and children’s play structures.
How can I tell if my well contains arsenic?
Even in high concentrations, arsenic has no smell, taste, or color when dissolved in water. The only way to know is with a laboratory analysis of your water supply. Each state’s Department of Health has a list of certified water analysis laboratories that are approved for testing arsenic. Inexpensive test at home kits are also available and have been proven to be accurate and dependable.
Are there any regulations for arsenic in water?
Municipal water supplies must test for arsenic. The current drinking water standard or Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 0.010 mg/L or parts per million (ppm). This is equivalent to 10 ug/L (micrograms per liter) or 10 ppb. In 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reduced the regulatory MCL from 50 ppb to 10 ppb on the basis of bladder and lung cancer risks. The MCL is based on the average individual consuming 2 liters of water per day. Long term exposure to drinking water containing higher levels of arsenic increases the chances of getting cancer.
What are the health concerns from drinking contaminated water?
Arsenic ingestion has both long-term and acute (short-term) health effects. The acute effects are nausea, vomiting, cardiovascular troubles and neurological issues like numbness or burning sensations in the hands and feet. A decrease in the production of red and white blood cells leads to fatigue. Long-term ingestion can cause changes in skin coloration and small corn-like growths that can develop especially on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet. Chronic exposure to arsenic contaminated water has also been associated with an increase in lung, skin, and bladder cancer. Newer evidence suggests that long-term exposure to arsenic increases the risk of prostate cancer. The health risks are determined by these factors:
- The concentration of arsenic in the water
- The amount of water consumed each day
- Sensitivity to arsenic
Source: Human Rights Watch
What type of water filter do I need to remove arsenic?One of the best ways to remove arsenic from your drinking water supply is with a whole-house backwashing filter. A whole-house arsenic filter contains a special filter media designed to remove arsenic from well and municipal water supplies. The backwashing filter is connected to the main incoming water supply, so that every sink, shower and water-using appliance receives purified water. The filter will periodically backwash to remove captured particulate matter and keep the filter working efficiently.
Arsenic concentrations below 10 ppb can use Nano Titanium Oxide based backwashing filter systems
Arsenic concentrations above 10 ppb must use Nano Titanium Oxide combined with Katalox Light or other treatment technology for redundant system design
1. Read the installation instructions that came with the filter. It will give you an idea of what you’ll need to connect the backwashing filter to the main water supply. Installation is a DIY project but a plumber is recommended if you are unfamiliar with plumbing practices.
2. Select the right location. Ideally, you’ll be able to locate the filter near the incoming water source. Note that the backwashing action of the filter requires a drain line. The drain should not be more than 30 feet away from the filter. The drain line will not work properly if elevated more than 8 feet above the floor. The filter’s monitoring and backwashing controller requires a 110- volt outlet to power the 12-volt transformer.
3. Turn off the main water supply.
4. Turn off power to the water heater at the breaker box.
5. Relieve the water pressure by draining water from the plumbing system. Open sink valves and outdoor hose connections to empty the pipes of water.
6. Measure, cut and install copper pipe to join the incoming cold-water line to the by-pass valve (optional). You’ll need to solder the correct fittings to the copper lines to route the incoming water line to the bypass valve. If no by-pass valve is used, connect directly to the filter controller.
7. Attach the bypass valve to the controller on top of the backwashing filter.
8. Install the drain line according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
9. Turn on the main water supply then turn on the water heater.
10. Put the bypass valve in the service position so water will flow into the filter.
11. Plug in the digital controller’s power supply. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up the digital controller.
12. Run the filter through a backwash cycle to flush the system of any filter media fines.
13. Check for leaks and tighten fittings if necessary.
The WECO difference
While other water filter sellers take a generic one size fits all approach to filtration, this often leads to poor water filtration and costly corrective measures. WECO manufactures a variety of water purification systems designed to fit perfectly with each customer’s unique needs. WECO technical support and sales staff are here to help you select the right solution to your filtration needs. Our friendly staff are here to help. Just give us a call and we’ll explain all your options to protect against Arsenic and other water purification concerns.
- “Arsenic Facts.” Water Quality Association, Knowledge Base Administration, www.wqa.org
- “Iron Water.” Water Quality Association, Knowledge Base Administration, www.wqa.org.
- “Considerations for Treating Arsenic Contamination.” Water Quality Association, Knowledge Base Administration, www.wqa.org.
- “Anions (Inorganic) - Removal with Anion Exchange.” Water Quality Association, Knowledge Base Administration, www.wqa.org.
Posted: September 27, 2017
VOCs in Water
Source of VOCs: Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) are found in a wide range of commercial, industrial, and consumer products, including degreasers, solvents, paints, inks and dyes, gasoline, and some pesticides. VOC contamination of ground water often occurs where the chemical has been improperly poured onto the ground, leaking drums, landfills, industrial sites and chemical spills. Water supplies can be contaminated when VOCs leach into groundwater. VOC contamination usually occurs in private wells.
Health Effects of VOCs: Health risks are dependent on a variety of factors including the type of chemical contaminant, the concentration of the chemical in the water, sensitivity of the individual consuming the water and period of exposure (days, months, years) to the contaminated water supply. Many VOCs are suspected carcinogens.
How to Remove VOCs: In most cases a whole-house activated carbon filter is the best Available Technology (BAT) for removal of VOCs. Another option is a WECO reverse osmosis filtration system. This complete 5-stage water purification system removes tastes and odors along with suspended particles like sand and grit, chlorine, chloramine, carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper and arsenic. WECO whole-house and commercial filtration systems are also available.
Posted: September 27, 2017|
Synthetic Organic Chemicals in Water
Source of Organic Chemicals: Organic chemicals contaminants include pesticides and herbicides (synthetic organic chemicals), disinfection by-products (DBPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Water supplies can contain organic pollutants through contamination from farm run-off, landfills, factories, spills and improper disposal.
Health Effects of Organic Chemicals: Health risks are dependent on a variety of factors including the type of chemical contaminant, the concentration of the chemical in the water, sensitivity of the individual consuming the water and period of exposure (days, months, years) to the contaminated water supply. Many organic compounds are suspected carcinogens.
How to Remove Organic Chemicals: In most cases a whole-house activated carbon filter is the best Available Technology (BAT) for removal of organic chemicals. Another option is a WECO reverse osmosis filtration system. This complete 5-stage water purification system removes tastes and odors along with suspended particles like sand and grit, chlorine, chloramine, carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper and arsenic. WECO whole-house and commercial filtration systems are also available.
Viruses in Water
Source of Viruses: Viruses are microscopic pathogens. There are over 100 different viruses that can affect human health. Outbreaks occur when water sources are contaminated with human or animal feces. Water run-off from land and faulty septic systems are main routes of contamination of drinking water. Water sources include lakes, streams and wells.
Health Effects of Viruses: Virus-associated health issues include polio, meningitis, gastroenteritis, upper respiratory troubles and hepatitis.
How to Remove Viruses: A Polaris Scientific Ultraviolet Disinfection System is recommended to counteract virus contamination. The Polaris system will kill the organisms as water passes through the UV radiation, rendering the water safe to consume. The Polaris UV system can be used on residential and commercial applications.