Tag Archives: reverse osmosis



Recently at Rainsoft Ottawa we became aware that more parents are concerned about their children’s allergies to chlorine in our drinking water. We encourage you to read as much as you can on the dangers of chlorine in tap water (dangers in drinking the water and also bathing/showering in chlorinated water) so that you can make an informed decision about systems that will remove the chlorine from your water.


How Dangerous is Chlorine in our Tap Water?
Tap water is one of the four most pressing health threats posed by environmental problems. Each year the correlations between contaminated drinking water and cancer, learning disabilities, and asthma are becoming stronger and clearer. Even if tap water has gone through municipal treatment before reaching your home faucet, it is often far from safe. In many cases, municipal water treatment facilities actually add dangerous chemicals to water in the process of treatment.
Dangerous chemicals and other contaminants are constantly present in our tap water.
Many people may say that attacks on the quality of tap water are simply scare tactics designed to increase profit for bottled water and water treatment companies. Yet, large increases in cancers and other diseases related to poor drinking water quality point unabashedly to a large problem in the current quality of our tap water. What follows is a brief listing of contaminants that could very likely be in your tap water as well as a discussion of how these contaminants may affect your health.

Chlorine: Chlorine is perhaps one of the most dangerous and insidious poisons in our drinking water supply. Surprisingly, it is a municipal additive to drinking water. Water treatment facilities use chlorine as a powerful disinfectant to kill or inactivate biological water contaminants, but that same chlorine that is so toxic to biological contaminants is also poisonous to our bodies. Chlorine in drinking water is currently a leading cause of bladder and rectal cancer and asthma. Health officials are now linking chlorine ingestion to breast cancer, as well.
Clearly, tap water is unsafe and unsuitable for drinking, and bottled water is not the panacea we would like it to be. In many cases, bottled water is nothing more than reconstituted, rebottled tap water
Water filters, with their use of both chemical and physical processes to block contaminant passage, are the only type of water treatment that can effectively and efficiently remove chlorine and reduce other dangerous contaminants from drinking water. The dangerous nature of tap water clearly warrants the use of a drinking water filter…

If it cleanses your water, then what is the problem?

Health officials are concerned with the chlorinating by-products, also known as “chlorinated hydrocarbons” or trihalomethanes (THM‘s). Most THM’s are formed in drinking water when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring substances such as decomposing plant and animal materials. Risk for certain types of cancer are now being correlated to the consumption of chlorinated drinking water. The President’s Council on Environmental Quality states that “there is increased evidence for an association between rectal, colon and bladder cancer and the consumption of chlorinated drinking water.” Suspected carcinogens make the human body more vulnerable through repeated ingestion and research indicates the incidence of cancer is 44% higher among those using chlorinated water.

Even though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted new regulations in 1980 for cities to lower the chlorination by-products in water to level not exceeding 100 parts per billion, experts believe that it still doesn’t provide proper safeguards and should be strengthened. Unfortunately, there is a little likelihood that the use of chlorine will be discontinued since it is currently the most economically acceptable chemical for bacterial control at this time. It is ironic that the process of chlorination, by which we cleanse our water of infectious organisms, can create cancer-causing substances from otherwise innocent chemicals in water. Expert voices from now and earlier:

“Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times. While it prevented epidemics of one disease, it was creating another. Two decades ago, after the start of chlorinating our drinking water in 1904, the epidemic of heart trouble, cancer and senility began.”
J.M. Price, MD

IS YOUR WATER SAFE TO DRINK? – Consumer Reports Books

Chlorinated Drinking Water Linked to Cancer
November 21, 1999 The Toronto Star
Task force to conduct tests in hundreds of communities
Ottawa (CP) – A new federal analysis concludes that chlorinated drinking water may pose a cancer risk to humans, particularly the risk of bladder cancer.

The report by the Laboratory Center for Disease Control, made public yesterday, is based on an exhaustive review of dozens of studies carried out over recent years in Canada and abroad.
The review has already spurred the Federal-Provincial Drinking Water Committee to re-examine existing standards for levels of chlorine by-products (CBPs).

Despite the undisputed benefit of chlorination in controlling infectious diseases, the epidemiological studies indicate an elevated incidence of bladder cancer among those who have been exposed to chlorinated drinking water for long periods.

“If you put those two lines of evidence together I would say it comes out as a probable link (between chlorinated water and cancer),” said health department expert Donald Wigle, who wrote the review.
He said a task force would test drinking water in hundreds of communities across Canada to determine precisely the current concentrations of chlorination by-products. The task force will also survey equipment and practices at water purification plants across the country to determine how costly it would be to lower the current limit on the chemicals. One of the most effective ways to reduce concentrations of the chemicals is to use filtration. But many communities, especially smaller ones, don’t have up-to-date filtration systems.

Wigle said a new standard, if one is deemed necessary, probably won’t be proclaimed until late next year. He said consumers could protect themselves from the risk by using household water filters or drinking bottled water.

Chlorine’s Health Effects
In addition to diet and exercise, maintaining optimum health involves controlling toxic pollutants commonly found indoors. Many people who suffer from allergies find their complaints aggravated by substances that have become part of everyday life. Whether we like it or not, most of us spend 70 to 90% of our time indoors, bombarding our immune systems with chemicals and irritants from carpeting, cleaning products, tobacco smoke, pesticides, dust, plastics, fiberglass, asbestos, automobile exhaust, and even the chlorine that is routinely added to municipal water supplies…

While chlorine occurs in nature, chiefly as a component of sodium chloride in sea water and salt deposits, it irritates the eyes and throat, and it is poisonous when swallowed or inhaled. In 1992, the American Medical Association published information that stated “nearly 28% of all cancer of the intestines and 18% of all cancer of the bladder were caused by the drinking of chlorinated water.” Chlorine may also be a culprit in cancer, although studies undertaken to determine if this is the case remain incomplete.

Potential Contribution to Heart Disease
The patent for chlorination was granted in 1888 to Dr. Albert R. Leeds, Professor of Chemistry at Steven’s Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. The next year, the first chlorination of a public water supply was attempted in Adrian, Michigan. It wasn’t until 1908, however, that chlorination was used on a large scale, at Boonton Reservoir waterworks in Jersey City, New Jersey. By the 1940s, chlorination was widespread in the United States.

Concerns about chlorine and health began in the 1960s. In one study, an association was shown to exist between chlorination and heart disease, evidence that was, interestingly, discovered in Jersey City, the site of the first large-scale chlorination project. The severity of heart disease among people over the age of 50 correlated with the amount of chlorinated tap water they consumed. A statistically significant correlation demonstrated that those persons over 50 who did not suffer from heart disease drank mostly unchlorinated fluids such as bottled water, or boiled water (chlorine is released as a gas when boiled).

Dr. Joseph Price, author of Coronaries, Cholesterol, Chlorine, has stated that he believes chlorine is the cause of “an unprecedented disease epidemic which includes heart attacks and strokes … Most medical researchers were led to believe it was safe, but now we are learning the hard way that all the time we thought we were preventing epidemics of one disease, we were creating another. Two decades after the start of chlorinating our drinking water in 1940, the present epidemic of heart trouble and cancer began.”

Although numerous studies have been conducted in the attempt to discover how chlorine may be a factor in cancer, no research has determined specifically that chlorine is a responsible agent. (See, for example, T. Pate, R. H. Harris, S. S. Epstein, “Drinking Water and Cancer Mortality in Louisiana,” Science Vol. 193, 1976, 55-57). But the relationship between heart disease and chlorinated water is well established – alas, even chickens and pigeons used in tests to determine the effects of chlorine showed evidence of either atherosclerosis of the aorta or obstruction of the circulatory system.

Rainsoft of Ottawa can certainly dispel your fears about the dangerous effects of chlorine. Our two systems that remove chlorine in your drinking water or in your bath, shower and laundry water are a Reverse Osmosis System and the Whole House Carbon Filtration System.
Contact us for information, a free water analysis test and chlorine removal systems.
Ottawa, 613-742- 0058 for an appointment.





Please join us and sign the petition at this site
with many thanks from your friends at Rainsoft Ottawa


Censorship and internet have a hard time going together. Once something like this is in place where does it end….?


I’m not feeling overly serious today. It must be the lengthening days and the promise of spring (despite snow, freezing rain and ice storms recently) that have me feeling as if I am 10. I want to play! So, instead of a serious article on water and our lack of clean, fresh water, how about a poem? A long time ago, in the B.C. comic strip written by Bobby Hart, I remember – at least I will do my best to remember – a poem about water!

When Hydrogen U met Oxygen Tech
The game had just begun.
Then Hydrogen racked up two quick points
And Oxygen still had none.
Suddenly Oxygen scored a point!
And thus it did remain:
At Hydrogen: 2 and Oxygen: 1
Called – because of rain.

Smart man that Bobby Hart – great comic strip.

Today I will be thankful for water, especially my Rainsoft Reverse Osmosis treated drinking water at work and home.

Contact your friends at Rainsoft Ottawa (613-742-0058)



PCE in drinking water linked to increased risk of mental illness:
January 25, 2012

Early childhood exposure to water contaminated with the solvent tetrachloroethylene (PCE) increases the risks of bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, a new study by BU School of Public Health researchers has found.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Health, found that while there was no association between PCE exposure and the incidence of depression, people with prenatal and early-childhood exposure had almost twice the risk of bipolar disorder compared to an unexposed group. The risk of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) was raised by 50 percent. Those with the highest exposures reported the highest rates of the two mental illnesses.

PCE, a solvent used in dry-cleaning and other industries, is a neurotoxin known to cause mood changes, anxiety, and depressive disorders in people who work with it. To date, the long-term effects on children exposed to PCE have been less clear.

From 1968 until the early 1980s, water companies in Massachusetts installed vinyl-lined water pipes that were subsequently found to be leaching PCE into the drinking water supply. Researchers from BUSPH have been studying the effects of that exposure on both children and adults who were living on Cape Cod. The new study focused on prenatal and early-childhood exposure in eight towns: Barnstable, Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich, Brewster, Chatham, and Provincetown.

Ann Aschengrau, professor of epidemiology at BUSPH and the study’s lead author, said that while it is impossible to calculate the exact amount of PCE people were exposed to, “levels of PCE were recorded as high as 1,550 times the currently recommended safe limit.

Ann Aschengrau “While the water companies flushed the pipes to address this problem,” she added, “people are still being exposed to PCE in the dry cleaning and textile industries, and from consumer products, and so the potential for an increased risk of illness remains real.”

While the study examined the association between PCE exposure and schizophrenia, the authors said the number of schizophrenia cases was too small to draw reliable conclusions. In addition, they noted that the study relied on self-reports of mental illness, with subjects asked if a health care provider had ever diagnosed them with a mental disorder.

The new study comes on the heels of another BUSPH study that found children exposed to PCE-contaminated drinking water before birth and in early childhood were more likely to use illegal drugs later in life. That study, also published in Environmental Health, found that people with high exposure levels during gestation and early childhood had a 1.5- to 1.6-fold increase in the risk of using two or more illegal drugs as teenagers or adults. Specific drugs for which increases were observed included cocaine, hallucinogens, club drugs, and Ritalin without a prescription.

Besides Aschengrau, the team of BUSPH researchers on the new study includes: Janice M. Weinberg, Patricia A. Janulewicz, Megan E. Romano, Lisa G. Gallagher, Michael R. Winter, Brett R. Martin, Veronica M. Vieira, Thomas F. Webster, Roberta F. White and David M. Ozonoff.

The research was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program.

For more information, visit


SOURCE: Boston University School of Public Health


See video link below to watch Ottawa Rainsoft Reverse Osmosis System explained by owner, Martin Barett.


What is Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis (R/O) is a water treatment process in which water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane that has very small holes or “pores”. Clean water passes through and impurities that are too big to pass through the membrane are left behind and flushed away.
Do I Need a Reverse Osmosis Unit?
It is presumed in this document that the water you are using meets all health regulations and is known to be safe. Municipally supplied drinking water is microbiologically safe. It is treated to meet health and aesthetic requirements, and is subject to routine testing for microbiological contamination.
If you obtain drinking water from a private supply such as well, it may not be safe from microbiological, chemical, or other types of contamination. Drinking water from private sources should be tested periodically to determine if treatment is required; and, if so, for what specific contaminants or minerals.
Water chemistry is complex and no single water treatment device can be used to remove all types of substances from water. Different drinking water treatment devices have their own advantages and disadvantages. Each household must individually determine if there is a need for additional water treatment. If this is the case, determine the unit or combination of units best suited for your water needs.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
Reverse osmosis systems purify water by forcing pressurized water through a very fine, plastic membrane. If the raw water being treated comes from a well or another private source, disinfection and pre-filters (to remove chlorine and/or particulates/sediment) may be needed in advance of the R/O unit to remove contaminants that can foul or damage the membrane.
Stages of reverse osmosis:
1. During the initial filtration stage, tap water or well water (pressurized by a booster pump) is passed through a particle filter (a pre-filter) that removes silt, sediment, sand, and clay particles that might clog the R/O membrane.
2. The water is then forced through an activated carbon filter that traps minerals and contaminants such as chromium, mercury, copper, chloramine and pesticides. It also removes chlorine, which is important, as chlorine will shorten the life of the membrane.
3. Water is transferred under pressure into the R/O module, allowing only clean water to pass through the small pores in the membrane. Impurities unable to pass through the membrane are left behind and flushed down the drain.
4. Treated water is then sent to a storage tank.
5. Treated water is passed through an activated carbon filter before use to further improve the water’s taste and smell.
Water that contains manganese, hydrogen sulphide or iron should be pre-treated to extend the life of the membrane. A dealer can recommend the pre-treatment needed.
Note: Reverse Osmosis units produce no noise other than the sound of water discharging into the drain (usually a sink or a floor drain).
How Do I Know What Size Unit to Buy?
R/O units are rated according to the amount of treated water produced per day. For example, one type of unit produces 50 litres of treated water per day under its design conditions. Such a unit is generally rated with 60 psi water line pressure, a water temperature of 25° C (77° F), normal dissolved solids and 2 atmospheres of pressure. In reality, conditions frequently vary. Line pressure is often lower, water will frequently be colder than 25° C and back pressure in the storage tank will likely reduce the performance of the unit. Consequently, you should examine water conditions and buy a larger rated unit than needed if any of the above problems are noted.

Where Do I Buy Reverse Osmosis Units? Companies can be found listed under “Water” or “Water Companies” in the Yellow Pages. You may wish to talk to a variety of vendors to compare features.
How Much Do Reverse Osmosis Units Cost?
Reverse osmosis unit prices vary, from $400 for a portable or under sink unit to $2,500 for a larger, stationary (basement) unit where a booster pump and a pressure system are installed. Replacement pre-filters range in price from approximately $30 – $200 each.
Who Installs the RO Unit?
Many R/O units are designed to operate on the kitchen counter. Some of the larger units are connected under the counter or in the basement. The unit will need to be hooked up to the water line and a discharge-to-the-drain line. Larger units may require professional installation, where a special water supply line is run from the main household water line. If you are unsure about installation, contact a plumber or mechanical contractor.
What Are the Benefits of Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis can remove dissolved solids, salts, minerals that cause hardness, organic chemicals and other impurities. It can improve the taste of water for people who do not like the taste of dissolved mineral solids.
Treated water will not produce scale in kettles and coffee makers. Because sodium and potassium are removed, people on a medically prescribed sodium or potassium-restricted diet may benefit. R/O units may also remove contaminants such as chromium, mercury and nitrates. Before purchasing an R/O unit, check the certification and literature for the particular model to verify exactly what it can and cannot remove.
Is Reverse Osmosis – Treated Water Safe to Drink?
Reverse osmosis treatment systems remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from drinking water. In Canada, water is a minor source of such minerals when compared to foods. If you consume a reasonably balanced diet, you do not need to take a mineral supplement when drinking water treated with a reverse osmosis system. Low levels of minerals in drinking water may be a concern for people living in countries with very hot climates.
Is the Water Source Safe?
An R/O unit should be used only with drinking water that is known to be safe to drink. Although reverse osmosis can remove microbiological contaminants, R/O does not disinfect the water to drinking standards. A flaw or tear to the membrane could allow untreated water to flow through the unit without removing disease-causing organisms. Remember if you are unsure of the quality of your water, get it tested. If you have any doubts about the safety of your water, then it should be disinfected before using an R/O unit.
How Much Water Does the Unit Use? Is It Water-Efficient?
Some R/O units can produce 4 litres per minute and others will produce 30 to 94 litres per day. In operating an R/O unit, a large amount of incoming water is used to produce the final treated water. This unusable water (called brine) contains contaminants that the R/O unit has removed. The amount of brine created will depend on the quality of the incoming water.
Operating a reverse osmosis unit is not water-efficient — and the amount of water used depends on the quality of the incoming water. In some cases, where water is free of dissolved solids, two litres of water may be needed to produce one litre of finished water. In other cases, 4 or 5 litres of water may be used to produce one litre of treated water.
A family of four might need 40 to 80 litres of water to produce 8 to 16 litres of treated water for drinking and cooking per day. This would cost about ten to twenty cents per day for water. If more treated water is desired, then more water would be used. This will also increase water and wastewater bills, or create a higher demand on your well and septic system.
Watch the Water Pressure
R/O units will not operate efficiently at water pressures below 40 – 45 psi. If the pressure is too low, as in the case in many rural private systems; in an apartment on a higher floor of a building; or at the end of a long water line serving several units, a booster pump should be installed to increase pressure.
Do I Need to Maintain the Unit?
Reverse osmosis units must be maintained as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Typically the sediment pre-filter and the activated carbon pre-filters should be changed at least annually. However, these pre-filters may need to be changed as often as once every six months if the water entering the unit contains sand, large amounts of chlorine or other substances that impair filter efficiency. Although membranes in a well-maintained unit can last for several years, the membrane may need to be replaced more frequently than the manufacturers suggested timeline.
Although drinking water materials such as water filters are not currently regulated in Canada, Health Canada recommends that all products that come into contact with drinking water be certified to the appropriate health-based performance standard developed by NSF International. In the case of Reverse Osmosis, it is recommended that they be certified as meeting standard NSF/ANSI 58. In Canada, CSA International, NSF International, and Underwriters Laboratories have been accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to certify drinking water materials as meeting the above-mentioned standards. These standards are widely accepted in North America, as they ensure the removal of specific contaminants, as well as the performance and mechanical integrity of the materials that come into contact with drinking water. Check the Reverse Osmosis unit’s packaging or ask your dealer for a listing of the substances that the unit is certified to remove.
Where Can I Get More Information?
Contact your local RainSoft Dealer. RainSoft carries a lifetime warranty from an international 59-year-old company. In home tests are done to insure the right Reverse Osmosis is installed.


Who May Be at Risk?
•Do you live in a home built before 1960?
•Was the plumbing in your home installed before 1990?
•Do you live near an industry (such as a lead-battery recycling factory) where lead has been used?

Approximately one out of four Canadian dwellings was built prior to 1960. It is best to assume that a dwelling constructed before 1960 contains leaded paint. If you answered “yes”, or “I don’t know”, to any of the above questions, your family may be at risk of lead exposure. While not all older homes pose lead hazards, some do, and there are precautionary measures that you need to be aware of as a homeowner or tenant. Read on to learn more.

Wasn’t Lead Phased Out of Paint and Other Products?
Yes. Beginning in the mid-1970s the federal government began reducing the amount of lead legally allowed in paint. In the mid-1980s canners voluntarily stopped using lead solder for canned goods. In December 1990, leaded gasoline was banned for most applications. These protective measures have aided in reducing average blood lead levels of Canadian children over the past two decades; however, there are still some children in Canada who remain at risk of lead exposure.

Residential Sources of Lead

The three main sources of lead exposure in housing come from
•paint/paint dust

Water: In most of Canada, the concentration of lead in natural water supplies is very low. However, significant levels of lead in drinking water can result from the use of lead solder in plumbing, lead service connections that link the house to the main water supply, or lead pipes in the home. Check with your province’s drinking water regulator to confirm the regulations or guidelines for lead in drinking water which apply to you. All jurisdictions base their requirements on the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, which specify that the lead level in drinking water drawn from a tap allowed to run until the water gets cold must be below 10 parts per billion. Lead was, at one time, the choice material for use in service connectors, the pipe that brings household water from the city or town water main. It was also commonly employed in “well-built” homes prior to 1920 and 50 per cent lead solder was used to join household plumbing until the late 1980s. Learn about testing your water for lead.

Why Is Lead so Dangerous?

Lead is what is known as a neurotoxicant or a brain poison. Even in very small amounts, lead can harm the developing brain and nervous system of fetuses and young children, which can lead to behavioural and learning difficulties. Lead can also interfere with the way that hemoglobin (the oxygen carrying part of blood) is produced. Lead can disturb processes essential to vitamin D and calcium metabolism. Chronic, or long-term lead exposure, can lead to high blood pressure and peripheral vascular disease. It is generally agreed that there is no safe level of lead exposure, although risk of suffering adverse health effects from lead exposure will decline as exposure declines.

Testing Your Home for Lead
While not all older homes contain leaded paint, assume your house does until you have had a laboratory analysis of your paint or paint dust. While lead paint usually does not pose a problem if it is intact, it does become a hazard once it is disturbed. Here are the various methods for determining if your house contains lead hazards.

Testing Drinking Water for Lead
If your house was built prior to 1990, there is the possibility for elevated lead levels in your water due to leaded pipes or leaded solder. If it was built prior to 1960, you may have leaded services. In these cases, testing is essential to determine the amount of lead in your drinking water. Any testing of your drinking water should be done by a laboratory which has been accredited by the Canadian Association for Environmental Analytical Laboratories (CAEAL), who are partnered with the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). Although lead test kits are available from stores for drinking water, they are not generally considered accurate or reliable.

Well water: Submersible pumps, especially the leaded-brass variety can release lead into drinking water. People dependent upon well water should have their water tested for lead levels.


What Do I Do If My Drinking Water Contains Lead?
The test results will let you know if you need to take steps to reduce the amount of lead in your water. If both the standing sample and the flushed sample are less than 10 micrograms lead per litre (ìg/L), your drinking water is fine. If the flushed sample is under 10 ìg/L, but the standing sample is over, then run your water until it is cold before using it for drinking or cooking. To avoid wasting water each time you want to drink, consider keeping a container of flushed water handy in the fridge. Other options are to flush your toilet or take a shower first thing in the morning before taking drinking water. If both flushed and standing samples are over 10 ìg/L, contact your City or Town’s public works department to investigate the problem.

Some municipalities provide free water testing for lead.
If the problem turns out to be lead service connectors or lead from your house plumbing, you need to look at replacement of these systems. This can be costly. A good interim measure is to either purchase bottled water or a filter that is effective for reducing lead in water. Make sure any product you buy is certified as meeting the NSF International standard for reducing lead by a certification organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada.

Collecting a Drinking Water Sample
In most cases, water that is sampled for metals is taken directly from the tap (usually the kitchen tap). Generally, the homeowner will be provided with appropriate sampling bottles and specific sampling instructions by the testing laboratory. In cases where these are not provided, you will need:
•two small, clean, clear plastic bottles with lids that fasten securely
•marking pen

When sampling for lead, take two samples:
1. An overnight, or standing sample, is a tap water sample taken usually first thing in the morning. This water has been sitting in the pipes overnight, or for at least six hours, and will give you a clearer picture of how much lead is accumulating in your pipes.
2. A flushed sample is water that has been let to run for approximately three minutes, until all water that has been resting in the household pipes has been flushed out. Flushed water will be cold because it is water coming from the water main (buried under the street). The time needed for flushing the lines depends upon the length of plumbing coming from the water main, the diameter of the plumbing itself, and how open the taps are during flushing.

What to Do:
1. Collect 250 ml or about one cup of water for each sample.
2. Keep samples separate; label them “flushed” and “unflushed.”
3. Refrigerate and store samples in a clean, clear plastic water bottle.
4. Fill out a laboratory form describing your samples and the date they were collected.
5. Send your samples to an accredited laboratory for analysis. To find a lab, search the Yellow Pages for “Laboratories – Analytical and Testing”

Interpreting the results
The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality for lead are 10 micrograms lead per litre water (10 ìg/L) or 0.01 milligrams of lead per litre water (0.01 mg/L). If the laboratory tests indicate levels higher than this, you should take the steps listed above to reduce your exposure to the lead in your drinking water.

RainSoft Reverse Osmosis is the best way to remove lead from your water, city or well.


Exclusive for WaterTechOnline.com    Author: Max Jay, NTP Intern

5. There is less water on the planet now than previously.

This is entirely untrue. However, the planet’s population has been steadily increasing, giving us the impression that there is less water on the planet. Water is recycled through a complicated process that cleans and reuses essentially everything. In reality, there is the same amount of water on Earth now as there has always been, but the increasing population spreads the water far thinner than it has ever had to be. Many areas are looking into inexpensive desalination processes in order to compensate for this demand.

4. Water with vitamins is better for you than regular water.

We often see people running around with vitamin enriched water believing it is a healthier option. However, what the bright colors of the mineral waters don’t tell you is that they’re loaded with other stuff too, like sugars and artificial flavorings.

3. Drinking cold water causes cancer.

As ridiculous as it sounds, this myth has been circulating on Internet message boards and in chain emails for several years. The theory behind this urban legend is that drinking cold water after a meal allows fats to coagulate. Supposedly these coagulated fats adhere to the walls of the intestine and cause cancer. However, according to snopes.com, “the internal heat of the human body quickly nullifies any temperature differences among the various items that have been swallowed.”

2. There are more pollutants in drinking water today than in the past.

Many people believe that the number of harmful substances in our water supply has increased exponentially within the past 25 years or so. While this is a logical assumption due to the increased use of automobiles and machinery that release toxins into the atmosphere, it is actually a false conception. In actuality, 25 years ago it merely seemed as though there were less pollutants in the drinking water due to the level of technology we had to detect them. Today, we have far more sensitive and sophisticated tests that allow us to know and understand more about our water than we have ever been able to in the past.

1. Bottled water is better and safer than tap water.

This is a common misconception. Sometimes bottled water can be healthier, but other times it’s just more marketable. In reality some of these bottled waters are just tap water that gets bottled and shipped out. Often times, if stored for too long, the chemicals used to make the plastic seep into the water, which is incredibly unsafe, especially if used multiple times. Obviously the FDA gives the companies a level of quality to maintain, however the tap requirements set by the EPA are very similar.


The one I like the best is the coloured flavored water fad. Nothing beats RainSoft Reverse Osmosis water cold with ice, nothing.


By Matthew Savage | November 30th, 2009 16
At the 2009 Net Impact Conference, Adam Werbach called Fiji Water a “Dead Man Walking,” stating that the company has green washed its brand and that it was only a matter of time before its actions caught up with the company (read a NY times article on Fiji here). While Werbach was referring to the way that Fiji Water was portraying its brand, he also broadly implied that the business of shipping water around the world is simply unsustainable. This brought up a lot of questions about the “health” of the bottled water industry in general.

The environmental arguments against bottled water are gaining more traction, and people are starting to question whether bottled water is really worth it, financially and environmentally. Recent sales reflect a drop in consumer demand for bottled water — Nestlé SA, the world’s largest food and beverage group, reported a three percent drop in its first-half profit last August, according to MarketWatch. In past years, Nestlé was growing in the double digits, as were most bottled water companies.

Overall, the bottled water industry in the United States has expanded at a phenomenal rate, though the market dipped slightly last year. According to data from Beverage Marketing, a U.S.-based data and consulting firm, retail sales of single-serving plastic bottles increased from 1.4 billion gallons in 2000 to 5.2 billion gallons last year, lifting their share of total bottled water volume from 29 percent to more than 60 percent. And, over the past decade, per-capita consumption of bottled water in the U.S. has more than doubled to about 200 bottles per year, per person, according to MarketWatch.

With these growth figures, it is difficult to say whether the recent slowdown is a true indicator of a longer-term trend. While it may seem that the movement against bottled water is growing, this has often been far more pronounced in the media than in the sales data.

The “Refill Revolution”

Sales of reusable aluminum and stainless steel water bottles are up. Companies like Sigg and Klean Kanteen have grown tremendously over the past few years; Nalgene has experienced slower sales due to the BPA scare. Sigg increased production by more than 90 percent last year and expects it to increase to be about seven million this year (though a recent scandal regarding lack of transparency could change that).

But the bottled water industry is enormous, estimated at about $16 billion, and reusable water bottles are a mere drop in the bucket. It would take a mass exodus of people using refillable water bottles to take away the significant market share of the bottled water industry.

Bottled water companies continue to claim that their competitors are sodas and not tap water, but how can a sugary drink be a substitute for a fundamental life necessity?

The benefits of using reusable water bottles far outweigh the costs. Among these benefits are: energy savings and reduced emissions (processing, packaging, distribution) and reduced waste (less plastic in landfills equals less pollution). Furthermore, tap water saves people lots of money –- bottled water is 1,900 times more expensive than tap water. …

One of the keys to reusable containers is making sure that people refill them. Several innovative organizations are springing up to try to encourage this move to tap water. Many restaurants in progressive cities such as San Francisco, Vancouver and New York simply don’t offer bottled water options any more.

The UNICEF-sponsored TAP Project, encourages restaurant customers to contribute $1 for the tap water they normally receive for free in order to help fund access to sanitary tap water for children around the world. This is very compelling when you find out that $1 can supply a child with clean drinking water for 40 days!

Other innovative initiatives like Refill Revolution — that tracks and records every time someone refills at a water fountain –- and TapIt Water -– a refilling network (complete with an iPhone application) to help people find places to refill in urban areas like New York City -– are helping consumers change their behavior.

Any solutions?

Reusable water bottles are a great step in the right direction, but how can bottled water companies fundamentally rethink their business models? I was recently brainstorming with a CSR professional at one of the big bottled water companies and we discussed the possibility of these companies switching their focus to Point-of-Use (POU) filtration instead of bottled water.

Although I don’t know how these bottled water companies can provide new solutions, I was impressed by the fact that this leading company clearly had a strong desire to adapt; I don’t think it suits any of us to be dismissive of large corporations who are trying to redefine the way they do business …


More and more people are using a RainSoft Reverse Osmosis instead of bottled water. Its cheaper, better quality, better for the environment and much more convenient.


There is no single measure that constitutes good water quality … it depends on its use. Also, keep in mind that some water quality problems (iron, manganese and turbidity) can be treated (see Appendix M).

Water quality is defined by analyzing it in terms of its:
Chemical Content: Hardness (calcium + magnesium), Metals (iron etc), nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), chloride, sodium, organic compounds, etc.
Physical Content: Turbidity, colour, odour, etc.
Biological Content: Fecal coliform, total coliform, viruses, etc(1).
Good quality (potable) drinking water is free from disease-causing organisms, harmful chemical substances and radioactive matter, tastes good, is aesthetically appealing and is free from objectionable colour or odour. It should be emphasized that there is a difference between “pure water” and “safe drinking water”. Pure water, often defined as water containing no minerals or chemicals, does not exist naturally in the environment. Safe drinking water, on the other hand, may retain naturally occurring minerals and chemicals such as calcium, potassium, sodium or fluoride which are actually beneficial to human health. These will impart a taste to the water that may take some getting used to.
In some cases, however, groundwater can be contaminated with chemicals or bacteria. For example, a recent study has found that the health of many people has been put at risk due to the presence of naturally occurring arsenic in drinking water wells!

Recommended Sampling Program
After a new water well is completed or when the quality of a water supply is suspect (because of turbid water, unusual colour, taste or smell), water samples should be collected and analyzed chemically and bacterially. If possible, local health officials should check the water for purity and contamination. When the proper authority has pronounced it safe to drink, it may be used by the community.
Often, however, many communities with Lifewater wells do not have reasonable access to commercial laboratories. In these cases, it is still desirable to sample but it must be done at the well site for minimum cost.
Tests for nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), pH, turbidity, total dissolved solids (TDS), odours, total coliform (the most important test), aerobic and sulphate reducing bacteria can be performed with minimal equipment and cost and provide accurate information on the state of the well water. Ideally, these tests should be done every 6-12 months to ensure that the water is still safe to drink. The tests will indicate if the well water quality is staying the same or will give an early indication that some activity is impacting it. Any indication of quality deterioration can then be corrected at an early stage.

Recommended Test Methods
Water samples should be taken in the following manner:
Pump water from the well for about three minutes. While the water is still flowing, immerse a nitrate test strip in the stream for one second and withdraw the strip and allow the colour to develop for 60 seconds. Compare the colour against the enclosed colour strip and record the result. Do the same with a pH strip.
Collect a sample in a clean clear glass vial or bottle; and
– make visual observations concerning the turbidity.
– make statements about any odours observed in the water.
With the sample in the clear glass, measure the TDS with a TDS pocket meter (if available). Record the number in ppm using the appropriate multiplier.
Bacteria tests must be carefully performed to obtain meaningful results. The pipe from the pump should be briefly scorched with a match to insure that any detected bacteria are from the water itself and not the pump surfaces. Then the water should flow for 2-3 minutes before a sample is obtained. Fill the sterile plastic sample bag; take care that the inner surface of the bag is not touched by anything (including hands).
For total coliform, carefully pour water into the sample vials until the liquid level reaches the fill-line (the LaMonte test requires 5 vials; the COLI-MOR test uses 1 jar with a red liquid media). Ensuring that the lip of the vials and the inner surface of the cap do not touch anything, place the cap back on. Place the vials upright in the provided box and set aside for 24-36 hours. Record colour changes, gas formation and position of the thimble in the vials. After the test, carefully remove the lids, rinse the vials with bleach and then crush and bury them 2 feet in the ground where children cannot find them and play with (they contain potentially dangerous bacteria).
Aerobic and sulphate-reducing bacteria tests(2) indicate if bacteria are present which can cause problems ranging from slime formation, turbidity, taste, odour and corrosion through to greater hygiene risks (hydrogen sulphide-producing bacteria have been shown to be associated with the presence of fecal contamination). Although these tests serve as simple indicators, it is recommended that, where a problem is found, further tests be conducted to more precisely determine the nature of the microbial problem.

Test Result Interpretation/Response
If the water is turbid or cloudy, contaminated surface run-off may be entering the aquifer through cracks in the casing or the cement pump pad or through surrounding soil which is very permeable. While turbidity is not dangerous, it reduces the effectiveness of disinfection and indicates the presence of other conditions that need to be further investigated.
Odours should not be present in the drinking water. If present, potentially harmful substances may be entering the water from households (washing activities), agricultural sources (animal fecal matter), or natural sources (sulphates from springs or aquifers).
If total dissolved solids (TDS) exceed 500 mg/l, objectionable taste may drive people to use unsanitary water supplies. Increasing TDS concentrations over time indicates that the well is drawing groundwater from deeper in the earth or that contaminants (such as salt water if the well is near the ocean) are leaching into the aquifer. Serious TDS changes over time will require reducing pumping volumes and/or drilling a new well (likely at a higher elevation).
Readings of pH should be in the range of 5.5 to 8.5 for well waters. If readings are outside this range, the source and corrections may be difficult. The worse effect may be premature corrosion of metal surfaces contacting the water.
Nitrate concentrations above 10 mg/L can cause blood disorders in infants (blue baby disease). Elevated levels indicate that manure, sewage, or nitrogen fertilizers are reaching the water source. One elevated test reading (greater than 50 mg/l nitrate) must be followed up with more frequent testing (weekly). If nitrate levels above 45 mg/l (10 mg/l nitrate as nitrogen) persist, the source of the nitrate (animal confinement areas, privies etc) should be determined and relocated.
Nitrite readings (can be measured with the same test strip) should always be less than 1 mg/l. If nitrite concentrations are above 1 mg/l, the water must not be given to infants and a different source (boiled for disinfection) must be used.
Specific disease-producing organisms are difficult to identify in water. Therefore, while total coliform and aerobic/anaerobic bacteria are themselves not harmful, their presence signals that bacterial contamination from either human or animal fecal sources may be present. If total coliform and/or active aerobic or anaerobic bacteria are found, the water supply should be re-tested with extra careful attention given to all the sampling details.
If bacteria problems are still found, try to get local health professionals to conduct more thorough testing of the water supply. In addition, the well and surrounding area should be carefully examined to determine possible entry points for contaminated water. Note that the same sources that cause nitrate problems are probably responsible for bacterial contamination (see Section 2.6). However, bacterial contamination can also indicate a cracked well casing. Each circumstance will require its unique solution to improve the water quality. If problems persist and cannot be corrected, each individual user should disinfect the water they need for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth (see Appendix T: Learn how to make water safe to drink!).

Footnotes & References
1 Coliform bacteria detect both non-pathogenic and disease-producing bacteria. Since the identification of specific disease-producing micro-organisms is difficult, total coliform is often used as an indicator of the water possibly containing disease-producing organisms that normally live in the intestinal tracts of man and warm-blooded animals (Driscoll, 1986). The four major types of pathogenic organisms that can affect the safety of drinking water are bacteria, viruses, protozoa and occasionally worm infections. Typhoid, cholera and dysentery are caused by bacteria and protozoa. Diseases caused by viruses include infectious hepatitis and polio.

2 The Biological Activity Reaction Tests (BART) by Dryocon Bioconcepts inc. include the nutrient media as a sterile dried matrix on the floor of the tubes (test vials). For the HACH pathoscreen test, the media is contained in small plastic tubes (“pillows”) which must be cut and poured into the vial in the field. Only the BART tests do NOT require incubation.
Driscoll, F. (1986) Groundwater and Wells, St. Paul: Johnson Division


By Gina-Marie Cheeseman | November 29th,




Several studies show that minority parents are more likely to give their children bottled water. A study by the department of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin found that African American and Latino families are three times more likely to give their children only bottled water as compared to white families. The Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine study surveyed 632 people, and found that African American and Latino parents were more likely to give their children bottled water. In fact, the study found that minority children were exclusively given bottled water.

Earlier this month, watchdog group Corporate Accountability International (CAI) accused Nestle of targeting marketing to Latino immigrants in the U.S. A November 19 IPS article quotes a CAI fact sheet that states, “Pure Life marketing specifically targets Latino immigrants in the United States, many of whom have suffered the consequences of poor public water infrastructure in other parts of the world.”

The IPS article also quotes a CAI press release: “For the past 30 years, bottled water corporations like Nestle, Pepsi and Coke have helped build a 15 billion dollar U.S. bottled water market by casting doubts on public drinking water systems.”

Jane Lazgin, director of corporate communications for Nestle Waters North American, told IPS, when asked if Nestle markets specifically to minority communities, “That’s correct.” She added, “Nestle Pure Life is a meaningful brand in the Hispanic population.” Lazgin added that Nestle Pure Life “comes from wells or municipal systems,” that undergo an “intensive purification process.”

Coca-Cola and Nestle use celebrities to sell bottled water to minorities.

One of the strategies that bottled water brands use to market to minorities is through campaigns aimed at minority groups, according to a Forbes article published in August. The article mentions campaigns by Coca Cola and Nestle “aimed at minority moms.”

Coca-Cola’s Dasani brand used R&B star Chilli from TLC in April 2009 to deliver “its message of health and hydration to African American mothers in a special Mother’s Day program,” according to the Forbes article. “Chilli embodies the struggles and the balance we see in our target audience,” Yolanda White assistant vice president, African American Marketing, Coca-Cola North America, told AdWeek. “She gives reassurance to moms that you can still be a great mom, take care of yourself and look beautiful.”

“Among African American consumers, African American moms are the gatekeeper to the household,” said White.. “We over-index in single-family households, and so reaching Mom is critical.”

Nestle’s Pure Life used Latina TV host Cristina Saralegui as the brand’s spokesperson. When the commercials with Salalegui were aired on television between 2008 and 2010, “the awareness of Pure Life water, and purchase intent levels quadrupled among Hispanics,” according to Forbes.

Nestle’s Pure Life water campaign in summer and fall 2010, “Better Habits for a Better Life” contained a challenged titled “La Promesa (the promise) Nestle Pure Life. According to Forbes, the campaign “basically called upon mothers to pledge to replace one sugary drink in their family’s day with water, or rather, a bottle of Pure Life.” Once a mother’s pledge was registered, she was eligible to win over $20,000 worth of prizes, and a trip for four to Miami.


Some bottled water is clean, some is not. The best way to ensure clean, filtered water is to have your own filtration system. RainSoft Carbon Filter and Reverse Osmosis can ensure safe clean drinking water.