Tag Archives: water softener


Rainsoft Ottawa hopes you enjoy the remarkable award-winning animated presentation by Yi Zhao as much as we do.

On The Water is an artistic animated presentation reflecting on the cycle of life.

Yi’s animated video has already received multiple awards for the best animated film and awards are still coming in.

Winner of:
Best Animation, I’ve Seen Films Festival, 2011, Italy
First Prize, Computer Space Int’l forum, 2011, Bulgaria
Best Animated Short & Audience Jury Award, Reggio film festival, 2010, Italy.
Best Student Animation, Animateka Int’l Animation Festival, 2011, Slovenia
Best Student Animation, Istanbul Int’l Animation Festival, 2011, Turkey
Best Student Animation, Stoke Your Fires festival 2011, UK
Best Student Animation, animation festival Zwolle, 2011, the Netherlands.
Best Int’l Student Animation, Animarte festival, 2011, Brazil
Best National Student Short, Playground festival, 2010, the Netherlands

 Yi’s web site has not been activated, and unfortunately I have been unable to find out much background information, but assume that he is an Arts student  at Breda, noord brabant, Netherlands.

 Kudos to a remarkable talent in the film industry!


Here’s a link to lots of very interesting information and graphic endeavours of Yi’s:


 …My little graphic novel is about to be finished! For now it is called A Nameless Visitor, but I am not yet so happy about it

…Have been working on it for way too long. Still need to fine tune, but first a page here…

ON THE WATER goes to America!


ON THE WATER was shown in 26th Santa Barbara Int’l Film Festival, California, USA, this January, 2011. http://sbiff.org/

From the YouTube trailer of On The Water:

“Life journey is the eternal struggle of propelling oneself forward. Our’s, joy, frustration, hope, loss, beauty and terror.”



From your friends at Rainsoft Ottawa – These are really great – enjoy and share!

Lexiphiles (i.e., “lovers of words or wordplay”, you know…like… you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish….or, I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger… then it hit me… etc.).

Well, here we go!

To write with a broken pencil is . . . pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes. . . take debate; because they don’t keep their mouths shut.

A thief who stole a calendar . . . got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles . . . U.C.L.A.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes . . . was on shaky ground.

The batteries were given out . . . free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married . . . then they fought tooth and nail.

A will is a . . . dead giveaway.

If you don’t pay your exorcist . . . you can get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name . . . and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I’ll show you . . . A_flat miner.

You are stuck with your debt if . . . you can’t budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia : . . . the LAN down under.

A boiled egg is . . . hard to beat.

When you’ve seen one shopping center . . . you’ve seen the_mall.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was . . . resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? . . . He’s all right now.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could . . . jog your memory.

A bicycle can’t stand alone. . . it is two tired.

In a democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism,. . . it’s your Count that votes.

When a clock is hungry. . . it goes back four seconds

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine . . . was now fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory . . . which was never developed.

Those who get too big for their britches will be . . .  exposed in the end.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair . . . she thought she’d dye.

Acupuncture . . . a jab well done.

The mind is like a parachute. . . it doesn’t work unless it’s open.

Wayne Goose ate the mining boom’s golden egg. . . this is not a yolk.

Ha!Ha!Ha! Dont’ you just love our Friday input?!!!




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….?


Rising seas in Arctic Ocean (CPOM/UCL/ESA/Planetary Visions)
23 January 2012

ESA satellites show that a large dome of fresh water has been building up in the Arctic Ocean over the last 15 years. A change in wind direction could cause the water to spill into the north Atlantic, cooling Europe.

The results are remarkable: since 2002, the sea surface in the studied area has risen by about 15 cm, and the volume of fresh water has increased by some 8000 cubic km – around 10% of all the fresh water in the Arctic Ocean.
Researchers from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at University College London and the UK’s National Oceanography Centre used data from ESA’s ERS-2 and Envisat satellites to measure sea-surface height over the western Arctic from 1995 to 2010.

The results were published yesterday in the online version of the scientific journal, Nature Geoscience.

The scientists conclude that the dome could be a result of strong Arctic winds accelerating a large ocean circulation known as the Beaufort Gyre, causing the sea surface to bulge.

A change in the direction of the wind would cause the fresh water to spill into the rest of the Arctic Ocean and even reach the north Atlantic.

This could slow a key ocean current, stemming from the Gulf Stream, and subsequently cool Europe.

This current keeps the continent relatively mild compared to other areas at similar latitudes.

“When we looked at our data on a year-to-year basis, we noticed that the changes in the sea surface height did not always follow what the wind was doing, so we thought about reasons why this might happen,” said Katharine Giles, CPOM research fellow and lead author of the study.

“One idea is that sea ice forms a barrier between the atmosphere and the ocean. So as the sea ice cover changes, the effect of the wind on the ocean might also change.

“Our next step is to look into how changes in the sea ice cover might affect the coupling between the atmosphere and the ocean in more detail to see if we can confirm this idea.”

Sea ice can be measured by different types of satellite data. Radar altimeters on satellites such as the two used in the study, Envisat and ERS-2, can be particularly useful when observing inaccessible areas like the Arctic.

Envisat, the largest Earth observation satellite ever built, will mark 10 years in orbit in March.

ERS-2 was retired in July 2011, but 20 years of data from it and predecessor ERS-1 on oceans, land, ice and atmosphere will continue to be used by scientists for years to come.

“We were able to produce the Beaufort Gyre results thanks to the overlap of the ERS-2 and Envisat missions and long-term satellite data availability,” said Seymour Laxon, director of CPOM and co-author of the paper.

ESA will continue to monitor the Arctic with the upcoming Sentinel series of Earth-observing satellites for Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme.

Later this year, the first results of seasonal changes in sea-ice thickness from data acquired by ESA’s CryoSat-2 satellite will be presented.


Note:  – First column – Popularity in %

– Numbers following Actions reflect the number of gallons saved.


43%   Upgrade toilets that take more than 1.6 gal / flush to standard toilets   100
81%    Rely on nature for watering your lawn    100
3%      Replace lawn with plantings that need minimal irrigation    100
22%    Install or upgrade to a dual-flush toilet     50
4%      Bathe young children together    50
6%      Give young children a bath every other day unless it’s really needed    50
1%       Reset your automatic sprinkler to water once a week    50
26%    Install a high-efficiency toilet (less than 1.28 gallons per flush)   50
4%      Use drip-irrigation system    50
99%    Wash only full loads of laundry    20
26%    Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway    20
25%    Reduce showers to 5 minutes or less    20
40%    Upgrade older faucets & shower heads (older than 1994)    20
6%      Add a rain sensor to your automatic sprinkler system    20
63%    Install low-flow shower heads in all showers    20
1%       Take navy showers    20
26%    Fix a leaky faucet    20
6%       Install one low-flow faucet    10
60%     Turn off the faucets while brushing teeth    10
52%     Turn off the faucets while shaving    10
7%       Install one low-flow shower head    10
51%     Run dishwasher only when it’s full    10
36%    Load dishwasher without rinsing dishes thoroughly    10
12%     Install low-flow valves in all faucets      10
1%       Use a car wash that participates in the WaterSavers Program    10
1%       Install a shower timer     5
24%    Track water usage monthly    5



 Lenntech. “Water Softener Frequently Asked Questions.” (June 13, 2011)



6.1 When does a softener resin need replacement?

When the water does not become soft enough, one should first consider problems with the salt that is used, or mechanical malfunctions of softener components. When these elements are not the cause of the unsatisfactory water softening, it may be time to replace the softener resin, or perhaps even the entire softener.

Through experience we know that most softener resins and ion exchanger resins last about twenty to twenty-five years.

6.2 Does a softener brine tank need cleaning?

Usually it is not necessary to clean out a brine tank, unless the salt product being used is high in water-insoluble matter, or there is a serious malfunction of some sort.

If there is a build-up of insoluble matter in the resin, the reservoir should be cleaned out to prevent softener malfunction.

6.3 What is ‘mushing’ and why should we avoid it?

When loosely compacted salt pellets or cube-style salt is used in a resin, it may form tiny crystals of evaporated salt, which are similar to table salt. These crystals may bond, creating a thick mass in the brine tank. This phenomenon, commonly known as ‘mushing’, may interrupt brine production. Brine production is the most important element for refreshing of the resin beads in a water softener. Without brine production, a water softener is not able produce soft water.


7.1 Can brine from softeners damage a septic tank?

The Water Quality Association has performed studies on this subject. These studies have indicated that a properly placed septic tank that works adequately cannot be damaged by brine that is discharged from a water softener. And softened water can sometimes even help reduce the amount of detergents discharged into a septic tank.

7.2 Can a water softener be used with lead pipes?

Lead pipe systems have to be replaced, before softened water can flow through them. Although lead pipe systems in hard water areas may not cause a problem, it is advisable to replace them anyway. When naturally or artificially softened water ends up in these lead pipe systems, it may cause the pickup of lead.

7.3 Can one measure water hardness inline?

Yes, although the measurement system is mainly applied in industrial water softeners.

The Testomat inline water hardness instrument…


WATER SCARCITY – TIME TO ACT11, published April 2011, Public Service Europe


In 60 per cent of European cities, water is being used at a faster rate that it can be replenished – claims Philip Monaghan

Water is kind of important. It makes up between half and three quarters of the human body weight, needs to be topped up on a regular basis and we cannot go without it for more than about week.

As well as drinking it, we also use water for cooking and sanitation – not to mention industrial processes. Yet, despite water being essential to our survival – more often than not in the West, we treat it with distain. A fact reflected in its low price compared to petrol or electricity – things we may be addicted to but can live without. And how the developed world fritters it away! You may leave the kitchen tap running into an unplugged sink at home but you would not pour petrol from the station pump down the drain, right?

What makes matters worse in terms of our taking water for granted, is that despite 70 per cent of the earth’s surface being covered by water, only 2.5 per cent of the total volume is freshwater and fit for human consumption, coupled with the fact that in 60 per cent of European cities with more than 100,000 people, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished. By 2025, 1.8m people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity and two thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.

No need to reach for valium just yet though, because this is all about change – maybe. It would appear that the United Nations leadership is mulling over whether to name 2012 as the year of water given the importance of sustainable water management in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. This should be welcomed, of course. But local governance needs to be a key area of any water campaign here. This goes beyond calls for a new shadow price for water or for the world’s largest industrial users, to develop water-security strategies. It requires new forms of water stewardship between citizens, municipal authorities and the private sector. Perhaps, a chance to do things differently then, by looking at the learning from water co-operatives in Bolivia and Finland?

In rural Finland, there are more than a thousand water cooperatives serving farm businesses and villages. According to the UN, while licensed by the government and allotted a limit to the amount of water they can extract, the cooperatives have complete control over price. This means they can offer favourable rates to their members, because their decision is not influenced by fluctuations of the market. The Finnish water cooperatives also have the network benefits of partnering with other regional associations. If, for instance, the water quality in one area is not sufficient due to extenuating natural circumstances – the cooperative may buy from a neighbouring cooperative-owned network. Therefore, ensuring continued low prices and supply dependency.

Taking this learning a step further should involve residents recognising and accepting that they have rights and responsibilities, when it comes to water. This, after all is, is a fair way to realise genuine change. Each of us would have a right to access quality water to sustain life, but we also have a responsibility to not abuse it – say, by watering our gardens during times of drought. This is something, which needs to be backed up by serious sanctions for those who cheat. Ever heard of a neighbour or local golf club being taken to court by the authorities for fragrantly disobeying a hosepipe ban? No, neither have I.

Real behaviour change will require new controls like water efficient planning rules for buildings and incentives including tax breaks for green roofs or water butts. For some laggards, it may also require a push rather than a nudge in the right direction. Clearly, this raises big dilemmas over our costly and ageing national water infrastructure. Especially, in an age of austerity. Take the UK’s forthcoming new water strategy, for example. Given parts of Britain suffer from worse water scarcity than areas of the Sudan and Syria according to Waterwise, it is a tremendous window of opportunity for Cameron’s administration to show the world how to do things better. The Prime Minister could also back up commitments to both devolve power and to be the “greenest government ever” by setting out a bold vision for water resiliency.


As Canadians we are some of the worst at conserving water. For most of us it is an after-thought because we are surrounded by it. But for us to change our habits even a little bit, could help us greatly in our future.