DrinkUp ® Reverse Osmosis (RO) drinking water
DrinkUp ® the second purest drinking water after our Refresh Pure Water ®, is produced using a reverse osmosis (RO) system.
RO water is produced by pushing water under pressure through sheets of membranes tightly rolled inside a cylinder. The membranes we use are fine enough to allow passage of water (H2O) molecules only. Much larger atoms/molecules of various dissolved minerals, metals, and chemicals that have attached themselves to that water molecule – making it ‘hard’ – must be physically stripped away as the water molecule on its own is forced through the membrane.
Water osmosis is the natural occurrence when ‘soft’ water molecules on their own fall from the clouds as rain, snow, hail or sleet, and on contact with the earth’s surface begin to dissolve the various minerals, metals, and man’s chemicals in the soil. The water becomes ‘hard’ due to an ionic attachment to the water molecule. The stripping of those extra items, which had attached themselves to the water molecule, as it is forced through the membrane, is called ‘reverse osmosis’.
In order for the RO method to continue, the multitude of minerals, metals and chemicals physically stripped from the H20 molecules build up on the back of the membrane material and must be flushed off.
Large quantities of water (up to 70% of the input) are required to backwash the membrane surface.
When using our primary input rainwater initially containing less than 20 ppm of dissolved solids, which is a very low concentration of those substances to be stripped from the water molecule, we are able to save the roughly 70% backwashing water back into the rainwater tanks for re-use, until the TDS level in that re-cycled water coming from the rainwater tanks exceeds 400 ppm.
In Toowoomba, the average town water currently exceeds 300 ppm TDS by the time it reaches the tap at its destination, or ready to be injected into the RO machine.
This is considerably higher than normal rainwater off a roof, so it can be seen why we are able to re-cycle the reject rainwater back into the rainwater tanks, during our difficult times with local government water restrictions.
There are hundreds of interesting well-written websites telling the reverse osmosis story and various production systems available to provide this pure water. Only a few of the systems available in the marketplace will produce an ultra pure drinking water at less than 5 ppm TDS, as we do with our DrinkUp ®, because we are using a much finer ‘brackish water’ membrane.
But, any of the typical RO membrane systems will produce pure water with a low TDS much like the levels found in rainwater off a roof into a tank. Use of a typical 2 cartridge under-sink filter system, that does not incorporate the RO membrane in a separate canister will not effectively remove the dissolved minerals, metals or chemicals in the water, but only removes sediment travelling in the pipeline plus chlorine injected at the water purification plant. Chlorine, that was injected into the water to protect the drinking person from typical bacteria found in un-treated water – read bore, rainwater, and bottled spring and mineral waters.
To help better understand the fineness of an RO membrane, think of a 30 cm X 30cm (1 square foot) piece of membrane stretched out to be as wide and deep as the Pacific Ocean.
The openings in that vastly stretched membrane will only allow the passage of a water (H20) molecule that would have now increased to about the size of the Australian $2 coin.
A standard home use carbon filter stretched out in a similar manner would then have openings within the filter medium closer to the size of a large automobile or medium sized truck. Those openings whether stretched or normal are still large enough to allow all of the dissolved minerals, metals, chemicals and pathogens to simply ‘swim’ through.
Big difference, and with a carbon filter tending to shed its contents into the water being filtered it is easy to see why the Refresh Pure Water ® people testing carbon water filters show filter owners that their filter is putting more back into the filtered water than the water entering the filter.
In other words the INPUT water being filtered will usually have a lower quantity of dissolved solids than the water ALREADY filtered.
Granted, the filter removes the offensive taste of the poisonous chlorine gas that was injected at the treatment plant to kill bacteria in the water and protect the water consumer, but that chlorine gas will disappear from tap water if left standing on a bench for a short time. Better for the filter user to save their money.
Back to the RO membrane, water passing through it is further passed through an active carbon filter and then collected into a bulk water tank. Our pure DrinkUp ® reverse osmosis produced drinking water then receives the same ozonation process prior to bottling as described above for our steam distilled Refresh Pure Water ®.
We use several more water saving methods in addition to our ability to re-cycle rainwater as discussed above, due to the critical need to conserve water here in the world’s driest continent.
Our bottle washing and disinfection process water is dumped into the sewer, but the final litres of water used for rinsing, plus overflow from bottling are saved into a small tank. When the tank is filled, a sump pump inside transfers the saved water into a larger tank. When filled that water is processed through the distilling or reverse osmosis process to make ultra pure water ready for ozonation and bottling for the discriminating drinking public, and in many cases their pets too.
Why Ozonate the water?
Ozone is a naturally occurring gas and is also nature’s finest natural disinfectant commonly produced by lightening strikes – to clean the air – and can also be produced by the electrical arc across the armature of the normal electric motor, as well as by the sun’s UV rays to form the protective ozone layer around our earth.
No known pathogen can live in the concentrated presence of ozone, which in chemistry is ‘three’ atom oxygen (O3). Ozone in water has a 20 minute ‘half-life’ so that it begins breaking down within minutes into the ‘two’ atom oxygen (O2) molecules we breathe. But, within that life span the ozone completely disinfects and kills all known pathogens.
As an oxidant, 3 atom oxygen (ozone) is thousands of times stronger than 2 atom oxygen.
Ozone is also many times stronger and faster to act on bacteria than the chlorine gas commonly used in most town waters. Ozone in contact with pathogens explodes them while chlorine gas provides only a slow poisoning process. So remember, ozone kills all bacteria, cysts, and viruses, while chlorine gas only kills bacteria, and then the chlorine gas in the water leaves an undesirable taste until allowed to escape into the atmosphere, or removal through a carbon filter.
We can produce and bubble ozone through our ‘ultra pure’ waters with no worries about its highly corrosive nature, because our ‘ultra pure’ under 5 ppm TDS drinking waters contain no potentially problematic dissolved minerals, metals or chemicals that might oxidize into potential carcinogenic compounds.
Bubbling of ozone through waters is not something many town water plants or spring water bottlers can do with confidence and then put the water into the local piping system and still guarantee the water delivered to the homeowner’s tap will be totally bacteria free.
The end result with pure waters when breaking down from 3 atom oxygen (ozone) into 2 atom oxygen (breathing air) is a nicely oxygenated water, that the human body appreciates and can use to thwart off and destroy unwanted anaerobic pathogens (bacteria, etc.) in the body.
Due to all of the above, both Refresh Pure Water ® or DrinkUp ® will not turn green in the bottle or become slimy when exposed to sunlight.
If allowed by the authorities, we could proudly print on our bottling labels
• BEST BEFORE/USE BY: NIL.
drinking water less than 5 ppm (parts per million) of TDS (total dissolved solids) is what we produce.
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