Archive for March, 2020

COVID-19 Update From Rayne Water Incorporated

Posted by Rayne Water

 

The health and safety of Rayne Water employees and customers is our highest priority. With COVID-19, commonly known as Novel Coronavirus 2019, becoming a more widespread concern, Rayne has implemented preventive measures in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). At this time, we are taking recommended precautions while continuing regular operations. We have instructed that all employees:

We are carefully monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation globally and will continue to take direction from the CDC and follow its recommendations. Please check our website for future updates. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers during this time.

What is Demineralized Water?

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

Are you curious about demineralized water but aren’t sure if it’s right for you? Demineralized water is simply water that has had most of its mineral content removed. While demineralized water is necessary in certain industrial and commercial applications, most of the tap water entering your home contains dissolved minerals. 

Before choosing to remove the minerals in the water, you should understand what those minerals are, how they are removed, and what the impact of the removal process is. In a residential setting, the most effective method of creating demineralized water is through the use of a reverse osmosis filtration system. Not only does reverse osmosis remove the minerals and salts from water, but it also removes a wide array of other contaminants from your water.

What is Demineralized Water?

Not sure what is demineralized water? You may not realize most of the water you drink has some mineral content in it. Those minerals and salts are picked up by water as it percolates through the ground and soil.

The mineral content of the water is determined by the types of soil it moves through. If the ground is rich in limestone, your water will contain higher levels of calcium carbonate. Your water will also pick up salts and metals in addition to minerals. These minerals, salts, and metals collectively are referred to as the total dissolved solids (TDS) in water.

Demineralized water has had most, if not all, of these essential minerals, salts, and metals removed from it. This alters the water in important ways.

Effects of Demineralizing Water

The mineral content in water can damage equipment in industrial settings, alter the PH of soil in agricultural settings, or alter the final product in pharmaceutical production. Demineralized water offers a more neutral starting point for the production of medicines, gives agricultural growers greater control over their crops, and protects industrial equipment and boilers from damaging salts and minerals.

In a residential setting, the mineral content of water can shorten the lifespan of your water heater, dishwasher, or coffee pot. You’ll also see the mineral content of water left as whitish-gray deposits on surfaces that come into contact with water, such as in your bathroom or kitchen. These mineral deposits are known as scaling.

The mineral content in hard water leads to the formation of soap scum, which occurs when the minerals in hard water react with soap to create a stubborn film. Showering in hard water you’ll notice your soap doesn’t produce a satisfying lather, and it will be more difficult to wash the soap out of your hair or off your skin. Hair and clothes become more brittle when washed in hard water because of this mineral content.

When the mineral content of water is removed the taste is altered as well. This tends to be one of the most controversial aspects of demineralized water or soft water. Though you may not have ever thought about how your water tastes, several key factors affect the taste of water. The mineral content of the water, the presence of any disinfectants used in water treatment, and the presence of volatile organic compounds or gases can all alter the taste of water in important ways.

Get started today! We specialize in providing the purest water possible!

How is Water Demineralized?

If you are wondering “what is demineralized water how is it obtained?”, the answer is demineralized water has had its mineral content removed. The most common methods for creating demineralized water are distillation, reverse osmosis, and deionization. Distillation and deionization are typically only used in industrial or commercial settings, while reverse osmosis is used in commercial and residential environments.

Distillation

The process of distillation is thousands of years old and has served as an important water purification technique to remove impurities over time. Water is distilled by bringing it to a boil. Once the water is boiling the steam produced is captured, condensed, and collected in a separate container. This process is completed using a piece of equipment known as a still.

By changing water from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid, the dissolved minerals, salts, and are removed from the final product. Distillation will also render microbes, such as protozoa and bacteria, inert through the heating process. Distillation can remove heavy metals such as lead, disinfectants like chlorine, chloramines, and large organic compounds.

While distillation does create highly purified and demineralized water, it simply isn’t practical for residential use. Not only does distillation require a specialized piece of equipment which takes up space, distillation also isn’t ideal for providing water on-demand. The operation of home distillation units can be cost-prohibitive as the electricity cost of bringing large amounts of water to a boil tends to make it more expensive than alternatives like reverse osmosis.

Distillation also won’t remove all of the contaminants found in tap water. Most notably among these are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as benzene and toluene. These VOCs boil before or alongside water, passing into the steam and condensing back into the final product. Because of this, the removal of VOCs in distilled water must be done before or after distillation, such as through the use of an activated carbon filter.

Deionization

Deionization is a complicated process of water demineralization used primarily in industrial and commercial applications for the production of large amounts of demineralized water.

Deionization involves running water through two specialized resins with different charges. One of these is known as a cation resin, which is negatively charged, and one of which is known as an anion resin and is positively charged. These resins act as exchangers– the cation exchanger and anion exchanger facilitate the ion exchange that removes minerals from water to produce clean, safe drinking water. The name of the resin refers to the types of mineral and salt ions it will attract, not its own charge.

Deionizers come in two configurations. Dual-bed deionizers have the two resins in different tanks, while mixed-bed deionizers combine the two resins in the same tank.

As the water passes through the deionization tanks, ion exchange takes place and the ions of the dissolved mineral salts in the water are attracted to the specialized resins. Sometimes this process is completed multiple times until the deionized water reaches required purity levels.

While deionization is highly effective at removing the mineral content from water, it isn’t effective at removing other types of contaminants. Deionization won’t remove microbes such as viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, nor will it remove organic chemicals from pure water.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis filtration systems are the most common way to create demineralized water in your home. These filtration systems reverse the natural process of osmosis to create clean, filtered water.

In osmosis, water flows across a semipermeable membrane from an area with a low concentration of solutes to an area with a high concentration of solutes. Osmosis is how the cells in our body absorb water, or how a plant’s roots draw in water from the surrounding soil. Osmosis occurs until both solutions on either side of a barrier, such as your cell wall, reach a state of equilibrium. The force causing this movement of liquids to occur is known as osmotic pressure.

Reverse osmosis involves forcing a water supply with a high amount of unwanted contaminants through a specialized membrane to produce water with fewer contaminants. Put in terms of osmosis, reverse osmosis moves liquids from a solution with a high concentration of solutes to an area with a low concentration of solutes. To accomplish this, osmotic pressure must be overcome, which is done by applying force to the contaminated water.

Reverse osmosis is a crucial filtration technology in the modern world. It is the leading method of desalination, where seawater is turned into fresh, safe drinking water. It is relied upon in agricultural, industrial, manufacturing, and food production sectors to demineralize and create purified water before it is used.

Within a residential setting, RO systems are highly effective for providing clean, filtered drinking water. Reverse osmosis systems are more cost-effective than other methods of demineralization such as distillation, as well as other services such as buying distilled or bottled drinking water. 

Though powerful, reverse osmosis systems are also small enough to be installed in tight spaces like under your sink. The best under sink reverse osmosis systems are capable of providing up to 75 gallons of drinking water per day. When weighing reverse osmosis vs distilled water systems, reverse osmosis systems are far more effective at providing on-demand filtered drinking water. 

Reverse osmosis systems are highly effective at removing minerals, salts, and other dissolved solids from water. If used in conjunction with a water softening system, reverse osmosis filtration will remove the sodium ions added to water in the water softening process. Combined with carbon post-filter, reverse osmosis systems effectively remove disinfectants like chlorine and their byproducts like chloramine, as well as other volatile organic compounds which can give your tap water an unpleasant taste or smell.

If you are wondering, “is reverse osmosis water safe?”, the water produced from a reverse osmosis system will have significantly fewer contaminants than the water coming out of your tap. As such, reverse osmosis systems effectively augment the treatment processes used by community water suppliers and provide an important safeguard against any unexpected rise in contaminants in the future.

Final Thoughts

The easiest demineralized water definition is simply water that has had the mineral, salt, and metal ions removed. Demineralized water is critical in a variety of manufacturing, industrial, and commercial sectors and is often stored in a demineralized water storage tank.

The most common methods of producing demineralized water are distillation, deionization, and reverse osmosis. While distillation and deionization are highly effective, they tend to be better suited for large-scale applications. Within a residential setting, reverse osmosis systems are equally effective at removing minerals from water. Additionally, reverse osmosis systems are most cost-effective and are capable of removing other contaminants in your tap water, such as volatile organic compounds, while still being small enough to be installed under your kitchen sink and capable of producing up to 75 gallons of drinking water per day.

To learn more about the best under sink reverse osmosis systems by Rayne Water, please contact Rayne Water today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.total-water.com/blog/quality-vs-quantity-use-mixed-bed-deionizer/
  2. http://www.mcilvainecompany.com/Decision_Tree/subscriber/Tree/DescriptionTextLinks/Basics_Deionization.pdf
  3. http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/html/g1493/build/g1493.htm
  4. https://www.labconco.com/articles/whats-the-difference-between-ro-and-di-water-pur

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

Under Sink Reverse Osmosis

Posted by Rayne Water

Are you looking for effective in-home water filtration? Reverse osmosis systems are hard to beat for great drinking water, and some of them are small enough to be installed under your sink. Understanding what reverse osmosis is, how effective it is at removing contaminants, and what you should look for in an under sink reverse osmosis system can help you narrow down your options.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis is a filtration method using a specialized membrane to separate unwanted contaminants from water. In a reverse osmosis water filtration system, contaminated water is forced at high pressure through the membrane to remove contaminants. The membrane in the reverse osmosis system has tiny pores that allow water molecules to pass through but not larger contaminants.

How Effective is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective water filtration methods available for residential drinking water. For people weighing reverse osmosis vs distilled and other purification methods, reverse osmosis tends to be the best choice for home use. With that being said, no filtration method is perfect for removing all contaminants. Like other water filtration methods, reverse osmosis removes some contaminants but not others. 

Reverse osmosis is effective at removing microbes. This includes protozoa such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, bacteria like Salmonella, Shigella, and coliforms like E. coli. RO systems will also remove viruses in the water, such as Hepatitis A and Norovirus.

Reverse osmosis systems are also highly effective at removing mineral ions, metal ions, and salts. These include sodium, copper, chromium, and chloride. They will also reduce levels of the heavy metal arsenic, which is often found in private wells, as well as other heavy metals found in tap water. If you are curious about what is demineralized water, it is water with these minerals, salts, and metal ions removed. 

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

The Importance of Pre- and Post-Filters

While a reverse osmosis filter is effective on its own against a wide range of contaminants, it won’t remove all of the contaminants you may want out of your drinking water. To eliminate such contaminants, a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis unit will incorporate additional filtration methods.

Pre- and post-filters have an important role in RO systems. Pre-filters capture sediment and large particles before the water is forced through the semipermeable membrane. This pre-filtration step extends the lifespan of your RO membrane by reducing membrane fouling from large particles.

Post-filtration using activated carbon water filters will capture a wider range of contaminants than a reverse osmosis membrane alone. Granulated activated carbon (GAC) filtration is excellent at removing disinfectants used in water treatment, like chlorine, and disinfectant byproducts like chloroform. 

Post-filtration with activated carbon will also remove harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from your tap water. Many VOCs increase the risk of developing certain cancers and may contribute to organ damage.

Not sure is reverse osmosis water safe? When combined with pre- and post-filtration, reverse osmosis membrane filtration is highly effective at capturing the wide range of contaminants commonly found in tap water. Post-filtration through activated carbon will give your drinking water a clean, crisp taste by eliminating many of the odors and gases that contribute to poor tasting tap water.

Considerations for Under Sink Systems

RO systems come in two broad categories of configurations. Point-of-entry (POE) systems provide filtered water to your entire house and are installed where your water supply line comes into your home. Point-of-use (POU) systems are installed at a single faucet, usually at your kitchen sink. 

When looking for a POU under the sink reverse osmosis system, you’ll want to ensure the system can provide a sufficient amount of filtered water each day. Between 35 – 50 gallons per day (GPD) is a good figure to shoot for. Higher producing systems are also available for households with higher demand.

Ensure the under sink reverse osmosis system you choose reduces the highest amount of total dissolved solids (TDS). These include minerals, metals, and salt ions, and are a good representation of the overall filtration capacity of the system. Look for systems offering a reduction of TDS by between 93-97%. Be sure your system also includes a sediment pre-filter and an activated carbon post-filter, which will provide the greatest reduction in potential contaminants.

You should also consider having your system professionally installed. Though reverse osmosis systems are small enough to fit into tight spaces, installation can be challenging in certain circumstances. Reverse osmosis systems also produce a small amount of wastewater, so you’ll have to install a drain line as well. You’ll also need to periodically change the under sink reverse osmosis water filter, so you’ll want to be sure to allow for relatively easy access.

Closing Thoughts

Under-sink reverse osmosis filtration is a highly effective method of getting clean, filtered drinking water in your home. As a point-of-use system, under-sink reverse osmosis is used to provide drinking water at a single faucet. Though small in size, when configured with pre- and post-filtration an RO system is capable of reducing or eliminating a broad range of potentially harmful contaminants. 

If you aren’t sure which reverse osmosis under sink system is right for you, call our helpful staff at Rayne Water today. We can walk you through your options and schedule a water test, which can help guide you towards the RO system that is right for you.

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/household_water_treatment.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/water-filters/step2.html
  3. https://www.labconco.com/articles/whats-the-difference-between-ro-and-di-water-pur
  4. https://www.livescience.com/41510-what-is-distilled-water.html

 

Reverse Osmosis Vs Distilled

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

If you are looking at options for purified water you have probably come across the suggestion to use a reverse osmosis water purification system. You might have also seen people recommend drinking distilled water if you are worried about organic contaminants. If you’ve ever wondered the difference between distilled and purified water, distillation is just a type of water purification. So, instead of thinking of this as purified vs distilled water, it is a better representation to think of distilled water under the umbrella of purified water.

Reverse osmosis and water distillation are common methods for water purification, but what are these differences between these two purification methods, and which is better? While water distillation is an older purification process, there are several key factors making it less desirable for home water purification. Understanding the differences between reverse osmosis vs distilled water can help you determine which water purification method is right for you.

What is Distilled Water?

Distilled water is water that has gone through the process of distillation. In order to distill water, you boil it, capture the steam that rises from the water, then allow the steam to condense and fill another container.

Put another way, the distillation process involves turning liquid water into a gas and then reforming it as a liquid again. This type of treated water requires a piece of equipment known as a still. Modern distillation units are fairly straightforward in operation by automating the process.

Distillation is used as a means of water purification. Purification is the process of removing certain contaminants from water, so distillation is a method of reducing contaminants and producing clean water. Like other methods of water filtration or purification, distillation is unable to remove all organic contaminants on its own.

Distillation is effective at removing dissolved solids in water, such as minerals and salts. These substances make water hard and lead to scaling. Distillation is also excellent at neutralizing microbes such as giardia or Legionella from water. Distillation is less effective at removing chemicals with a boiling point near water. To remove these chemicals, distilled water will need to be run through an additional filtration process.

Distilled water is necessary for the operation of certain types of equipment. You’ll see it required for use in equipment that may be damaged by mineral deposits. Distilled water is used in a residential setting for use in an electric iron or steam mop, as well as in automotive cooling systems and certain types of batteries.

What are the Disadvantages of Distillation?

Although distillation can provide some purification benefits for tap water, there are some downsides to consider as well. When comparing reverse osmosis water filter vs distilled water, the biggest disadvantages of distillation are speed and energy costs. Home distillation systems require high amounts of energy to run, resulting in higher ongoing costs when compared to alternatives like reverse osmosis.

Distillation systems are at a disadvantage for providing drinking water on demand. While the best under sink reverse osmosis system can produce up to 75 gallons of drinking water each day as needed, distillation takes time. Water must be brought to a boil, and steam must condense and collect in a storage container. 

The second disadvantage of distilled water is most people do not enjoy drinking it. Distilled water has been demineralized, and is often described as flat or bland in taste. For people wondering, “what is demineralized water?”, it is simply water with the dissolved minerals and salts removed. Minerals and salts like magnesium and calcium, which harden water, also give it some of the taste many of us have come to expect. Since distillation nearly completely removes any mineral content in water, many people find the taste strange. 

Get started today! We specialize in providing the purest water possible!

What is Reverse Osmosis Filtration?

Reverse osmosis is one of the most common water filtration systems in both residential and industrial settings. Reverse osmosis is used by millions of people to provide clean, filtered drinking water. It is also used in desalination plants to turn seawater into freshwater, in industrial agriculture to give greater control over the PH of the soil, in the production of pharmaceutical products, and in food and beverage production.

The best way to understand the reverse osmosis process is by getting a sense of how osmosis works first. Osmosis is a natural process involving the movement of solvent from a solution with a low concentration of solutes to a solution with a high concentration of solutes across a semipermeable membrane. This movement is due to a force known as osmotic pressure.

The point of reverse osmosis water is to achieve equilibrium on both sides of a membrane. When one side has a higher concentration of solutes and a lower concentration of liquid, the liquid flows from the other side until the solution on both sides of the membrane is the same.

Osmosis is how plants get nutrients from the ground. The soil is a solution with a low concentration of solutes, and the plant has a high concentration of solutes. Water flows through the semipermeable membrane of the roots into the plant.

In reverse osmosis, this entire process is reversed. Reverse osmosis starts with a solution with a high concentration of solutes. For water purification, this is water with a large number of contaminants. This contaminated water is forced at high pressure across a semipermeable membrane. The semipermeable membrane has tiny pores that allow water molecules to pass through but keep other contaminants out. 

One of the easiest ways to visualize the reverse osmosis process in action is through the desalination process. Desalination plants force seawater, which has a high concentration of salt, across a semipermeable membrane that allows water molecules to pass but keeps salt out. What’s left on the other side is, potable, fresh water.

If you are wondering, “is reverse osmosis water safe?”, the answer is reverse osmosis water has far fewer contaminants than unfiltered tap water.

Reverse osmosis as a filtration process on its own is effective at reducing or removing a number of contaminants. These include:

Reverse osmosis systems within a residential setting sometimes have pre- and post-filters as well. The pre-filter reduces any sediment in the water before it passes through the membrane. This helps extend the lifespan of the membrane. The post-filter uses granulated activated carbon (GAC), which captures some contaminants reverse osmosis systems aren’t as effective against. These include disinfectants like chlorine, disinfection byproducts, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), synthetic organic chemicals (SOCs), and other substances which alter the taste or smell of water.

There are a couple of important things to briefly note about residential reverse osmosis water filtration systems. The first is they aren’t 100% efficient. A small amount of water is flushed down the drain along with any contaminants collected during the reverse osmosis filter process. The second thing to note is you will occasionally have to replace the filters and RO membrane in the system. This is usually a simple process with minimal system downtime but is essential to ensure your system continues operating at peak performance.

When weighing the choice between reverse osmosis water filter vs distilled, keep in mind both types of systems produce some type of wastewater. In both types of systems, the contaminants and impurities collect on one side of the process and must be flushed from the system.

 

How are Reverse Osmosis Systems Used?

If you want clean, purified drinking water in your home then a Rayne Water reverse osmosis filtration system is the way to go. Reverse osmosis systems come in two configurations. The more common configuration is known as a point-of-use (POU) system. POU systems are designed to provide filtered water at a single tap, such as at your kitchen sink. 

Reverse osmosis purification systems tend to be ideal for this because they are small enough to be installed in tight spaces, such as under a kitchen sink. Yet these systems are still powerful enough to provide sufficient drinking water for everyone in your household. If you are weighing the advantages of reverse osmosis vs distilled, the size and on-demand power of reverse osmosis systems clearly pull ahead.

The second, less common configuration for reverse osmosis filtration is known as point-of-entry (POE) system. Otherwise known as a whole-house water treatment system, a POE reverse osmosis system is designed to provide reverse osmosis filtered water to your entire home. One of the benefits of a whole-house reverse osmosis system is having soft, clean water throughout your home. The water you shower and bathe in will also have had a wide range of contaminants and impurities removed.

However, if you want to eliminate the effects of hard water throughout your home and also have clean, purified drinking water it may be more economical to use a whole-house water softening system and a POE reverse osmosis filtration system. This setup is common because the use of water softeners eliminates the impact of hard water around your house, while the reverse osmosis system provides clean, filtered drinking water.

Closing Thoughts

Both distillation and reverse osmosis are methods of water purification, however, they function in different ways. The distillation process involves boiling water, capturing the steam produced, and condensing the steam in a different container. This process is accomplished with a specialized type of equipment known as a still. 

Though distillation is effective at removing microbes, minerals, and salts from your water supply, it leaves water tasting flat and bland. Distillation as a process is simply too slow, cumbersome, and inaccessible as a method of home water purification except in emergencies.

In contrast, a reverse osmosis water filtration system forces water containing contaminants across a specialized semi-permeable membrane at high pressure. In a reverse osmosis system, the membrane is designed to allow water molecules to pass through but not other contaminants. Combined with an activated carbon post-filter, reverse osmosis systems are capable of removing minerals, salts, and microbes from water, along with many organic and synthetic chemicals, and disinfectants, and their byproducts.

Unlike distillation, reverse osmosis is accessible for all homes. RO systems can be installed at a single tap and provide a sufficient amount of clean, fresh water for an entire family. Reverse osmosis systems are much more cost-effective than bottled water delivery services and offer a high level of protection against any unexpected rise in contaminants.

To learn more about residential filtration systems with reverse osmosis or if you’re interested in commercial reverse osmosis systems, please contact Rayne Water today. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/household_water_treatment.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/water-filters/step2.html
  3. https://www.labconco.com/articles/whats-the-difference-between-ro-and-di-water-pur
  4. https://www.livescience.com/41510-what-is-distilled-water.html

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

 

Is Tap Water Hard or Soft?

Posted by Rayne Water

Compared to the developing world, the United States has far safer and far cleaner water. The water flowing out of your tap has gone through a series of treatments and has legally mandated thresholds for a wide range of contaminants. Alongside these facts, you have regular reports of water quality violations. Some of these violations are high profile, like the event in Flint, Michigan in 2015.

Given this set of circumstances, it is perfectly reasonable to ask “is tap water safe to drink?”. If your water is treated, why do water quality violations seem to occur with such frequency? If a violation does occur, what are the potential risks if you are in an affected area? Gaining a better understanding of how our tap water supply is regulated, how effective those regulations are, and what types of violations commonly occur can help highlight the potential problems with using tap water as drinking water.

How is Tap Water Regulated?

It’s helpful to first start by outlining how tap water is regulated in the United States. Drinking water standards are overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA was established by executive order under Richard Nixon, and began operations in late 1970 amid a cultural landscape where concern about the environmental impact of industrialization was higher than at any time in the past.

The EPA quickly turned toward protecting the nation’s natural water sources. This culminated in the enactment of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1974. The SDWA has subsequently been amended several times, most notably in 1996 under the Clinton administration.

The core purpose of the SDWA was to allow the EPA to set legal limits on contaminants in drinking water. The SDWA currently sets limits on over 90 contaminants. These limits are contained in the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) and are intended to reflect the levels below which those contaminants pose no known or anticipated health risk. 

The SDWA reflects the minimum drinking water standard all community water suppliers in the United States must meet. States play an active role in the enforcement of SDWA standards and are also free to enact additional regulations to set more stringent limits on regulated contaminants or to mandate thresholds for unregulated contaminants.

What are the Weaknesses of the SDWA?

While the SDWA provides an important framework for ensuring the tap water entering our homes is safe, some weaknesses have come to light over the years. 

Many people have argued over the years that the SDWA doesn’t go far enough to protect citizens from contaminants in their water. The 90 contaminants regulated by the EPA are eclipsed by the far greater number of unregulated contaminants that have found their way into the nation’s drinking supply. To address this, the EPA has a program, known as the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program, which tracks measurements of unregulated contaminants in community water supplies. Once every five years the EPA may add additional contaminants from the list it has created through the monitoring program.

The SDWA also does little to stop violations from occurring in the first place. Drinking water quality violations are often not caught in real-time, meaning water consumers may be exposed for days, weeks, or months before a violation is noticed. This is further compounded by the fact many water quality violations won’t result in an immediate health impact. Exposure to certain chemicals at heightened levels may realize health impacts months or years down the road.

How Common are Water Quality Violations?

A recent study of community water violations conducted in 2015 found between 3-10% of community water suppliers have health-based violations annually. To arrive at that figure, the study looked at reported data from the previous 34 years and ignored other sources of potential violations such as violations for reporting or monitoring.

The results of the study illuminate the fragile state of our tap water supply throughout the United States. The study found in each of the previous 34 years between 9 and 45 million Americans drinking tap water were exposed to contaminants during a water quality violation. In 2015, 21 million people were being served by public water systems in violation of the SDWA. 

To show how common the problem is from another perspective, between 1993 and 2009 only 79-94% of water suppliers across the country demonstrated compliance with SDWA health regulations. While hot spots of water quality violations exist and were most common in parts of Oklahoma and Texas, the study also highlights the reality that water quality violations can occur at any water supplier and at any time. Many water suppliers who had violations in one year also had violations in the subsequent year.

What Contaminants are in Tap Water?

Tap water quality varies widely and can contain a wide range of contaminants. Though the EPA sets thresholds for over 90 contaminants, there are many other unregulated contaminants found in public water systems around the country. 

The EPA breaks down contaminants into six different categories: microorganisms, disinfectants, disinfection byproducts, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals, and radionuclides. Each of these broad categories contains a number of individual contaminants. 

Here are some of the most common examples:

It is important to keep in mind what isn’t covered by the EPA’s regulations. For example, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made substances used in many consumer products, including non-stick coatings and firefighting foams. These chemicals last for long periods of time in the environment and accumulate in the human body over time. Nearly all individuals tested in the United States have detectable levels of two types of PFAS in their blood.

Currently, the EPA has not established Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFAS, though they are being monitored under the EPA’s unregulated contaminant monitoring program. 

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Solutions to Tap Water Safety Concerns

Is it safe to drink tap water? While it probably is, tens of millions of people in the United States are exposed to levels of contaminants which may put their health at risk. Some of those contaminants are regulated, while many others are not.

Violations, when they do occur, may not go immediately noticed. This means you must take steps to protect yourself against an unexpected or unanticipated rise in contamination. Put another way, just because your water doesn’t contain certain contaminants today doesn’t mean it couldn’t tomorrow, next week, or next year. And if your water provider has experienced a violation, they are more likely to have subsequent violations.

The simplest solution is to run your tap water through a water purification system before you drink it. You might be wondering at this point, “can you drink purified water?” Drinking purified water will expose you to far fewer contaminants than simply drinking tap water. When looking for a residential water purification system, you’ll probably run into two main options: systems using reverse osmosis and systems relying on granulated activated carbon (GAC).

Reverse osmosis systems take tap water and force it through a specialized membrane at high pressure. The membrane has tiny pores that allow water molecules through and keep most contaminants out. Residential RO systems can be small enough to be installed under your sink, yet powerful enough to provide sufficient drinking water for everyone in your home. Reverse osmosis systems are effective at reducing the number of total dissolved solids (TDS) in water, as well as protecting against microbes.

Many people rely on activated carbon filtration systems. Activated carbon is a specialized type of carbon that has been treated with heat or oxygen to have a greater surface area. As tap water passes through an activated carbon filter contaminants are trapped within the activated carbon through a process known as adhesion. Filters using GAC are excellent at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), disinfectants, disinfection byproducts, and PFAS.

Since these filtration methods remove different types of contaminants, it is best to rely on a drinking water system that combines both methods. Is reverse osmosis water safe? Yes, it is, but more contaminants are removed if reverse osmosis is combined with activated carbon filtration. At Rayne Water, our reverse osmosis systems also include pre- and post-filtration using granulated activated carbon. This allows our reverse osmosis systems to remove the widest range of contaminants and provides the best coverage against any unexpected rise in contaminants in the future.

Closing Thoughts

Is tap water safe to drink? Tap water in the United States usually is. But water quality violations also occur all the time throughout the United States. Additionally, these violations only portray the prevalence of high levels of regulated contaminants, and not potentially dangerous levels of unregulated contaminants.

The risk of exposure to both regulated and unregulated contaminants at unsafe levels can be minimized by filtering the water coming into your home. If you are concerned about contaminants in your drinking water, consider using a home water filtration system. Ideally, you’ll want to use a reverse-osmosis system with post-carbon filtration. This will help ensure you and your family are protected against any unexpected rise in contaminants now and in the future.

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations#Organic
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969714008742?via%3Dihub
  3. https://denr.sd.gov/des/dw/SOC.aspx
  4. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tap-drinking-water-contaminants-pollutants/
  5. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tap-water-contaminant-epa-pharmaceuticals/

 

Is Reverse Osmosis Water Safe?

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

Before investing in a reverse osmosis water system many people wonder, “is drinking reverse osmosis water bad for you?”. The debate over the safety of reverse osmosis water stems primarily from the belief that demineralized water poses a health risk. To help shed light on the answer to this belief we’ll outline how reverse osmosis water treatment works, what it removes, and what the impact of reverse osmosis water on your health might be.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

Reverse osmosis water purification is one of the most popular methods of water purification today. Reverse osmosis is not only critical to a number of industries, including electronics manufacturing, agriculture, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and the food and beverage industry, but it is also an important residential water purification technique.

In reverse osmosis systems, a water supply containing unwanted contaminants is forced at high pressure through a specialized membrane. The membrane in a reverse osmosis system has tiny pores. The pores in the membrane allow water molecules to pass but not larger contaminants. 

The drinking water produced by reverse osmosis contains very few contaminants, while the water on the contaminated side of the barrier containing concentrated levels of contaminants is flushed down the drain. In short, reverse osmosis water treatment produces clean, safe drinking water without the use of chlorine or other cleansing agents commonly found in municipally purified water. 

What Contaminants Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?

There are many water purification methods you can use in your home, including filtration using activated carbon, distillation, and reverse osmosis. Ion-exchange units are also used to remove hard minerals from water. Each of these purification methods has advantages and disadvantages, and none of them will remove all contaminants contained in water.

Compared to other filtration methods, a residential reverse osmosis water filter can remove a wider range of commonly found contaminants. Additionally, the best under sink reverse osmosis systems incorporate a carbon post-filter that removes certain contaminants that reverse osmosis systems aren’t as effective against. These include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), disinfectants, and their byproducts. 

By layering purification methods, the best reverse osmosis filtration systems remove the widest spectrum of contaminants possible. If you are not sure is reverse osmosis safe to drink, with reverse osmosis water you will be exposed to fewer contaminants than drinking unfiltered tap water.

Reverse osmosis itself is effective at removing or reducing the following contaminants commonly found in tap water:

Reverse osmosis systems are capable of removing many more contaminants as well. Many reverse osmosis systems rate their filtration capability by expressing the reduction in total dissolved solids (TDS) the system is capable of providing. The best under sink reverse osmosis systems will reduce TDS by 93 – 97%.

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

Safety Concerns for Reverse Osmosis Water

At a minimum, reverse osmosis water has been filtered through a membrane that captures most of the dissolved solids and microbes in the water. If your reverse osmosis system has a carbon post-filter, any volatile organic compounds, disinfectants, disinfectant byproducts, and other substances which give water a bad taste and odor have been removed in the filtration process as well.

What is left is water with fewer contaminants than the tap water piped into your home. For those wondering, “is reverse osmosis water bad?”, the answer is, reverse osmosis water is actually far better than tap water. By removing a wide range of contaminants, a reverse osmosis water filter can limit your exposure to contaminants currently in your water and safeguard against any future rise in contaminants.

The core criticism leveled at reverse osmosis water is that it has been demineralized. Alongside the removal of minerals, reverse osmosis also removes the water additive fluoride which is added to water to strengthen teeth. If you are asking yourself, “what is demineralized water?”, the answer is simply water with dissolved minerals and salts removed. This softens the water, while also slightly altering the taste.

The removal of minerals from water is far less of a health concern in a developed country like the United States than it is in other parts of the world. In the United States, most people get the required minerals from their diet alone. In other parts of the world, individuals battling food insecurity and an inadequate diet may see a benefit from the mineral content in hard water. In the United States, a healthy adult with a balanced diet should not notice any negative side effects from the removal of trace hard minerals from water.

Final Thoughts

The short answer to the question, “is reverse osmosis water safe?” is that reverse osmosis water is safe to drink. Though reverse osmosis removes hard minerals from water, it also removes a wide range of other contaminants which can have a negative health impact. Exposure to common contaminants found in tap water around the United States, such as heavy metals, industrial chemicals, solvents, and pesticides poses a far greater risk to most people living in the United States.

Reverse osmosis systems are ideal for providing clean, filtered drinking water in a residential setting. Reverse osmosis systems are small enough to be installed under a sink, yet powerful enough to remove up to 97% of TDS in tap water. When comparing reverse osmosis vs distilled water or other water purification methods, reverse osmosis filtration emerges as more cost-effective and convenient.

If you aren’t sure whether a reverse osmosis system is right for you, consider starting with a water test. A water test will let you know what contaminants are currently in your tap water, which can guide you towards the most effective home filtration system for you. Our expert staff at Rayne Water can help you schedule a water test with a Rayne Water technician, and help outline reverse osmosis system options available to you. To learn more, please contact Rayne Water today.

Find location near you!

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/household_water_treatment.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/water-filters/step2.html
  3. https://www.labconco.com/articles/whats-the-difference-between-ro-and-di-water-pur
  4. https://www.livescience.com/41510-what-is-distilled-water.html

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

Can You Drink Purified Water?

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

There are an abundance of options for the type of water one can consume on a daily basis. Most people in the United States have access to tap water, which undergoes a series of treatments before it reaches your faucet. Some people get their drinking water from private wells, which isn’t treated before it enters your home. 

While tap water has undergone a number of treatments, it isn’t necessarily the same as the purified water many people prefer to drink on a daily basis. Tap water generally has a taste and smell distinct from purified water. Though many people have a preference for bottled purified water, they wonder “What is purified water and is it bad for you?”

To answer this question, let’s take a look at how water purification works, what the goal of purification is, and how purified water compares to the water coming out of your tap. It may surprise you to find out despite numerous treatments the water flowing from your tap might not necessarily be as safe to drink as purified water.

Get started today! We specialize in providing the purest water possible!

 

What is Water Purification?

Water purification is a broad term referring to the processes through which unwanted contaminants are removed from drinking water. Purifying water can occur on a large scale, such as the purification efforts made by municipal water suppliers used to treat drinking water before it is delivered to your home, or on a small scale, such as purifying drinking water in your home. 

The removal of unwanted contaminants from water can be done through a number of different processes. Many of these processes are effective against certain types of contaminants and less effective against other types of contaminants. Because of this, most of the water delivered to your home by your community water supplier has undergone a series of processes until it has been deemed safe enough for consumption.

The most common reason water is purified is to provide safe drinking water. For those wondering, “is drinking purified water bad for you?”, the short answer is no. In fact, drinking purified water will expose you to fewer contaminants. However, there are a number of other reasons water is purified. Purified filtered water is the only water supply used in the production of medicines, in industrial applications, chemical production and applications, food processing, agriculture, and many other industries and fields.

What Contaminants Are Removed During Purification?

You would probably be surprised to find out exactly what is being removed from your drinking water. Though we tend to think of water as relatively clean, the quest for clean drinking water has preoccupied humans for thousands of years. As water purification techniques have become more advanced over the years, the types of contaminants’ purification removes in filtered water has also grown. At the same time, advanced water testing techniques highlight the continued persistence of contaminants in our drinking water, including in clean water which has already been treated.

Biological Contaminants

Biological contaminants represent a real threat to public safety, and water purification processes both large and small seek to limit the presence of these contaminants within our clean water for drinking. Parasites, viruses, bacteria, protozoa, algae, and fungi are all biological contaminants that may be found in untreated water.

Viruses found in drinking water can include Hepatitis A, Norwalk, adenovirus, retrovirus, poliovirus, and many others. Bacteria such as E. coli, Legionella, Typhoid, and Cholera can enter drinking a water source through human and animal waste, sewage leaks, or septic systems. Parasites found in drinking water can include Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

Chemical Contaminants

Traces of chemicals can be found in the ground beneath our feet, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. The chemicals in drinking water can be broken down into three broad categories; inorganic contaminants (IOCs), volatile organic contaminants (VOCs), and synthetic organic contaminants (SOCs).

Examples of IOCs include:

VOCs are commonly found in our water supplies. This class of chemicals comes from many products we are familiar with. Solvents, gasoline, diesel, paints, varnishes, glues, cleaners, and many other products contain VOCs. VOCs like chloroform can also form when chlorine is added to water as a disinfectant and reacts with organic material in the water. The fuel additive MtBE, used as a replacement for lead in gasoline, is frequently detected in water supplies as well.

Examples of VOCs include:

SOCs are a category of man-made chemicals commonly used in industrial applications and the agricultural industry. These compounds are often found in herbicides and pesticides and may leech out of leaking underground storage tanks. PFAS is a grouping of chemicals that have proven to be widespread throughout community water systems, particularly in California. These chemicals are found in non-stick coatings, firefighting foams, waxes, and paints.

Examples of SOCs include:

Salts and Minerals

The mineral content of water is an important factor for water purification. When discussing the difference between hard water vs. soft water, water containing a large number of dissolved minerals is referred to as hard, while water with a low mineral content is called soft. Water becomes hard as it percolates through stone and soil. As it moves through the ground it picks up mineral ions, which become attached to the water molecule. The water hardness scale measures the level of minerals that are present in your tap water supply.

The most common minerals found in hard water are calcium carbonate and magnesium. Water can also pick up metals as it moves through soil and stone with high metal content. While the minerals contained in hard water typically aren’t harmful to one’s health, the heavy metals found in hard water can be. The mineral content of hard water also causes a number of negative effects around your home and on your body. These impacts of hard water are also particularly damaging in industrial applications and settings.

Here are a few of the most common effects of hard water in a residential setting:

Should You Purify Tap Water?

For those wondering, “is purified water good for you?”, the health benefits of purified water come from the lack of harmful contaminants. However, not all purified water is created equally, which is why you need a purification system that truly works. For example, tap water can technically be considered purified since it has undergone a number of purification processes and techniques. But, if you are wondering “is tap water safe to drink?”, the answer is not as simple as you might think.

Tap water in the United States is treated so it is safe for consumption, but those treatments don’t mean you won’t be consuming harmful contaminants. Water safety violations occur all the time in the filtration process. Despite the best intentions of community water purification systems, water quality violations are exceptionally difficult to detect in real-time. Additionally, not every contaminant considered potentially harmful to human health is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is the government body who is responsible for quality oversight of the water supply.

It is also notable, the treatment process for tap water can also introduce potentially harmful substances into the water. Specifically, community water suppliers add chlorine to the water to disinfect it for microbes found in the water. While this often eliminates the threat from bacteria, protozoa, and viruses, chlorine can combine with organic material in the water to form  trihalomethanes which are potentially carcinogenic. Additionally, chlorine can add an unpleasant taste and smell to the water.

If you are seeking to avoid the widest range of contaminants, it’s important to filter your tap water before you drink it. Can you drink distilled or spring water that’s been bottled? While it is possible to only drink bottled water,  the cost of bottled purified drinking water is cost-prohibitive compared to home filtration. 

Home filtration will allow you to remove a large majority of contaminants which may have been missed when your water was treated by your water supplier. Home filtration will also protect you and your family against any unexpected or undetected rise in contaminants. One of the best options for home filtration is reverse osmosis filtration systems. Reverse osmosis vs distilled or other forms of home water purification tends to be more cost-effective and better at producing on-demand filtered drinking water.

Closing Thoughts

Many people wonder, “can you drink purified water?”, and are curious about how it compares to tap water. Purification is the process of removing unwanted contaminants within a sample of water. There are a number of purification techniques, some of which may be used for large-scale water purification and some you can use within your own home.

When given a choice, it is always better to err on the side of caution and choose water with fewer contaminants. The number of contaminants found in your drinking water source may surprise you. Common contaminants include microbes, organic and synthetic chemicals, and minerals. Though water suppliers seek to reduce the number of contaminants in their water, it is not uncommon for some contaminants to be found in the water flowing out of your tap. 

In order to reduce the level of contaminants in your water further, consider installing a residential water filtration system by Rayne Water. Our reverse-osmosis systems are small enough to be installed under a sink, yet powerful enough to disinfect water and remove impurities as well as disinfection byproducts found in tap water. To learn more about reverse-osmosis water filtration systems, please contact Rayne Water today.

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations#Organic
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969714008742?via%3Dihub
  3. https://denr.sd.gov/des/dw/SOC.aspx
  4. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tap-drinking-water-contaminants-pollutants/
  5. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tap-water-contaminant-epa-pharmaceuticals/

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher