Water Treatment & Filtration Options
It is no understatement when we say that drinking tap water in South Africa is becoming a risky business. Recently a popular UK travel website advised its customers not to consume tap water in South Africa. It is true that South Africa’s water infrastructure has been neglected and is under serious pressure, even more so because of severe droughts.
In an article released by eNCA in May 2016, it was noted that in 2015 researchers tested water in the major cities and found traces of 34 drugs and pesticides. With many studies and tests conducted currently, more reports are bound to reach the news this year.
Many cities in South Africa treat its water supplies with fluoride. There is known health risks associated with consuming fluoride and new evidence of its dangers continues to surface. This quote is taken from Rand Water’s website.. “One of the concerns regarding fluoridation of water supplies is the fact that fluoride is both a chronic and an acute poison” they also add that “approximately 1000kg of fluoride per day will find its way into water streams”.
Another hot topic in water treatment is the use of chlorine due to its known links to cancer. There are various studies done on this. We recommend reading ‘Just how toxic is chlorine?’ a short paper written by Freese & Genthe on the use of chlorine in South Africa.
Food Producers, Farmers and Water Management Boards, have all been looking into the quality of water and at ways to treat it more effectively. Contaminate levels downstream from rural settlements and small towns are at dangerous levels and some river systems may collapse in the near future. Environmental agencies, government and corporate companies are all working together to solve the crises.
Some wine farmers in the Western Cape are working together with Government and other organisations to clean the Berg River with a living system, also referred to as eco-machines. We will expand on Living Systems at a later stage.
Because of the water situation in South Africa many people are looking into alternative means to clean either their main waterline, or just the kitchen water for drinking and cooking. As a result many of our customers have been asking about the various water treatment/filtration options that we stock. Following is a breakdown of our options and additional information on other alternatives:
1. KDF/Carbon Filter Combination
What is KDF? Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF) is a high-purity, copper-zinc formulation that uses a basic chemical process known as redox (oxidation/reduction) to remove chlorine, lead, mercury, iron, and hydrogen sulphide from water supplies. Redox cleans your water supply by working on opposites. Negatively charged particles in the water are attracted to the positive charge of the copper as apposed to the positively charged particles which is attracted to the negatively charged particles of the zinc. During this reaction, electrons are transferred between molecules, and new compounds are created. Harmful contaminants are converted into harmless components, safely passing through. Heavy metals bond and are retained inside your filter system.
KDF filters are used in conjunction with an activated carbon filter. Carbon is commonly used to adsorb natural organic compounds, synthetic organic chemicals, and both taste and odour compounds in drinking water treatment. The reason for using a KDF Carbon combination is to prolong the life and increase the effectiveness of carbon filters. In addition, KDF filters supplement the activated carbon filters by removing certain heavy metals, something that carbon-based filters are not very effective at removing.
- Your water is free from heavy metals.
- Chemical compounds are broken down into harmless components.
- Removes bad tastes and odours
- Depending on the position of your installation, you receive pure drinking water directly from your tap/taps.
- Reduced maintenance costs throughout the house.
- Filter replacement every 12 – 18 months only.
- Requires no electricity.
- Filter replacements needed throughout your systems life cycle.
- Demineralised water is not suitable for plants because it contains no trace elements.
- Please read up on demineralised water and the associated health risks.
If this is your preferred installation option for water treatment then we recommend installing the unit into the kitchen as an under the counter option. If you prefer to treat your entire households water, we recommend installing it just before your water enters your household. Please ensure that your garden still receives water from your regular supply.
If you have this or a similar system installed, we recommend adding good quality trace minerals to your drinking water to counter the health risks associated with drinking demineralised water.
2. Ozone Water Treatment
What is ozone? Ozone (03) is simply activated oxygen. It is often referred to as nature’s ingredient for cleaning the atmosphere. It occurs naturally in the upper atmosphere but is also found in small traces here on earth. Ozone is naturally formed during thunderstorms by lightning which charges the atmosphere. This creates that sweet, clean smell experienced after a storm.
Ozone is composed of three oxygen atoms. This combination forms an unstable gas which constantly searches for other substances to bond with. When it attaches to another substance it transfers an oxygen atom, and oxidation occurs. Through oxidation, chemical and metal compounds are broken down to its most basic component. Viruses and bacteria are completely removed from your water source.
Ozone is widely used all over the world in various industries. It is used to prepare pharmaceuticals, disinfect hospitals between surgeries and it is used commercially in public pools and spa’s to disinfect the water. uShaka Marine World in Durban uses ozone to keep their tank’s water crystal clear. Umgeni Water in Kwazulu Natal is running the Wiggins Treatment Plant which uses Ozone as a water treatment tool, the same way many other towns do around the world. As quoted from a paper titled ‘Ozone Experiences’ at Umgeni Water ..“Umgeni Water is proud of the successful operation of the new ozone plant and will certainly consider the use of ozone at other treatment works where the raw water quality dictates that ozone should be required”.
- Ozone is an excellent disinfectant with superior ability to kill viruses and biological contaminants.
- Very powerful oxidant capable of breaking down compounds into harmless components.
- Removes bad tastes and odours.
- Whole household treatment option.
- Perfectly suitable for plants.
- It has no residue, after oxidation it returns to oxygen.
- Ozone protects and extends the life of pipes and equipment.
- It requires electricity to function.
- Periodic maintenance is required.
- Heavy metals remain in your water supply.
Should this be your preferred water treatment option then we recommend adding a ceramic water filter to your kitchen to remove heavy metals before drinking. Alternatively you could place a small KDF filter system under the kitchen sink to make pure filtered water. Please remember to reintroduce trace elements to your KDF filtered water before consumption.
3. Vortex Magnetic Treatment
What is Vortex water treatment? Vortex water treatment systems have recently come onto the international market. There is a variety of systems on the market that all function slightly different. Most of these systems are created due to the research done by Austrian pioneer water researcher, Viktor Schauberger.
In this system, incoming water is reconfigured by passing it through a vortex system. These systems mimic natural flowing streams and rivers. They are known to effectively soften water by loosening and de-cluttering compounds in the water.
What is Magnetic water treatment? Magnetic water treatment uses an array of magnets, through which water passes through. The magnets assist in re-arranging atoms or ions in the water. These systems are known to effectively de-scale pipes in hard water areas.
At Lighthouse Emporium we have sourced a device that combines both techniques. The combination is a very powerful vortex magnetic system which provides you with silky soft, super charged water. Lots of research has been carried out on the effects of magnetics on water structure.
- Whole house treatment.
- Extends the life of pipes and equipment.
- No maintenance.
- No filters or moving parts.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Easy installation.
- Requires no electricity.
- The system does not filter out impurities. It breaks down compounds into components.
We at Lighthouse Emporium love growing food. This is one of our favourite items in our store. It has incredible proven effects on plants. We do however recommend accompanying this installation with a kitchen water filter system. The 3 best options would be a small Ozone Generator, a Ceramic Table Top Filter, or alternatively the KDF under the sink system. It depends on individual preferences with regards to mineralised or demineralised water.
4. Mineral Water Filtration
Ceramic filters are made from Diatomaceous Earth, a tiny fossil made up of silicon shells. They are usually utilised with other filtration methods such as carbon filters and mineral stones. They are often made in the form of table top units and widely used by campers and hikers. They have been used for years as a filter media due its effectiveness in removing bacteria, viruses and other contaminants.
- It’s a natural filter media.
- Easy to clean.
- Requires no electricity.
- Filter needs to be replaced periodically.
- They have low filtration rates dependant on your systems capacity.
Alternative water treatment/filtration options
5. Reverse Osmosis
The process of Reverse Osmosis was initially designed as a method to desalinate sea water on submarines. Today it is widely used by companies that retail bottled water.
The process used is a method which forces water through a membrane. High pressure is required to stop minerals and impurities from passing through, setting it aside.
- Pure drinking water on demand.
- Periodic maintenance required.
- Slow water delivery rate due to the intensity of the cleaning method.
- Reverse Osmosis water is usually acidic.
- Not suitable for plants.
- Demineralised Water.
If this is your preferred method for water treatment we recommend using a good quality product to reintroduce the needed minerals.
Water Ionizers were developed by Russian scientists in the 1930’s. Ionizers use electromagnetism to change ordinary tap water into ionized alkaline water. Through the use of magnetically charged plates, water is separated into one stream containing all alkaline components and another stream containing all the acid materials. They usually include a filter before the water is ionized that differs, depending on the manufacturer.
- You can select either alkaline or acidic water.
- They are very expensive.
- They require electricity to function.
Water distillers utilizes a heating element to heat water up to create steam. Steam is then cooled, condenses and the result is purified water. All the impurities at left behind to linger in the left over water which is easily discarded. The process of distillation is similar to that of nature and the natural weather cycle. The sun heats and evaporates sea water, leaving minerals and impurities behind. They later reform and come down as rain, purified water.
Please be aware of the risks associated with drinking demineralised water on a regular basis. It is recommended to add quality minerals to your water before drinking.
- Pure demineralised water.
- Easy to clean.
- The product has no filters to replace.
- Your water treatment volumes is depended on the capabilities of your distillation device.
- They require electricity to function.
- Demineralised water.
8. Simple survival method
There are several survival methods circulated on the internet. Many of these methods promote charcoal as a replacement for activated carbon, a substance used in many filtration systems around the world.
Other methods include that the use of pine bark in a simple plastic pipe. This was demonstrated by MIT.
9. Simple Copper Coil
One particular method that we would like to discuss is that of a simple copper coil. In the article below it is maintained that.. “The device, now undergoing year-long tests in Kenya and India, is a coil of electric copper cables that is suspended in water. In laboratory tests it has been proven to kill the pathogens.”
Copper is a very special metal. To activate the carbon inside the copper the surface is burned either by gas burner or a simple fire. Simply let it cool down naturally. After burning, the copper will be black instead of the usual reddish-orange colour.
The Steps: Strip electrical wire to expose copper (best to use solid wire). Turn your coil. Burn copper either by fire or gas. Let it cool down naturally. Place in your water.
9. Copper Oxide Nano Particles
Copper Oxide has long been regarded as an effective tool to disinfect water sources. There is an on going study in Ghana on the effects of water treatment with CuO (Copper Oxide). The preliminary results are very good.
In a paper done it was suggested that Copper Oxide is easy to make, safe, simple and environmentally friendly.
It has been suggested by the Keshe Foundation that 1 litre of water exposed directly to CuO could be used to clean 100 litres of contaminated water. The impurities in the water will settle down to the bottom so it is advised only to drink the top half of the water. We find using homeopathic principles in water treatment very interesting.
We encourage students studying water treatment systems and environmental science to make use of the availability of copper to create and test CuO in Nano State.
How to make Copper Oxide – Gas at Nano State (Gans):
- Collect two pieces of copper.
- Burn one piece of copper so it is totally black. A carbon rod could replace burned copper.
- Place the two pieces at opposite ends of a container (not more than 10cm apart).
- Connect the two pieces of copper with a copper wire.
- Add sea water or dissolved salt water mixture of 15 – 20% Salt.
- Leave it to stand for 48 hours.
- Collect the material at the bottom of the container.
- Wash with pure water 5 to 10 times to enhance the purity of the nano material. Simply add water, shake, let the material settle, remove the excess water, fill up, and repeat.
- The material could be dried and applied to wastewater in powder form.
For more information on Gans and Nano, please read through our teachings sections.
We recommend doing some extended research and reading on the following topics
- Heavy Metals in Water Good or Bad?
- Alkaline vs Acidic Water for Drinking.
- Hard Water vs Soft Water
- Water Structure and the Memory of Water