Tag Archives: whole house carbon systems


Thank you for returning to view Part 2 of Rainsoft Ottawa Water Treatment Systems – Benefits.

Rainsoft of Ottawa would like to recommend that you check out the BENEFITS associated with Rainsoft Water Treatment systems – the world’s finest Whole House Water Treatment Systems.



– improves skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and dry skin
– removes over 98% of toxins and chemicals in the water
– prevents gall and kidney stones
– increases energy and endurance
– increases muscular nerve activity
– aids in carrying nutrients and disease fighting antibodies throughout the   body
– aids in regulating body temperature
– aids in elimination and reducing weight
– filters out contaminants such as coliform, giardia lamblia, algae and asbestos fibres

Martin Barrett at Eternally Pure Water Systems (Rainsoft) wonders if you have any water problems and offers to come out and do a free water analysis.

For you reference I have included videos and links for information on our water treatment products in .pdf format. I’ve also added a few of the Google and HomeStars Reviews we’ve received:

REVERSE OSMOSIS SYSTEMS VIDEO – Martin Barrett, Eternally Pure Water Systems, Ottawa


Google Review – Gloucester customer: Our drinking water has always been less than desirable. We’re so happy to have done our ‘homework’ online and are now the proud owners of a Rainsoft Reverse Osmosis system. From the testing of our water to having the system installed we’re so pleased to have the best of both worlds – great product with a LIFETIME WARRANTY! (something we couldn’t find elsewhere) and prompt, professional, helpful and friendly service. Our water, whether used for drinking, making tea,coffee, juice and for cooking, is “Rainsoftalicious”!  AND … no more bottled water and so happy to know we’ll be saving a bundle of $$$! Thank you so much, Martin and David.

ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT SYSTEMS VIDEO – Martin Barrett, Eternally Pure Water Systems, Ottawa


Homestars Review – Navan customer: Eternally pure-Rainsoft product keeps our family safe! We purchased water treatment through Eternally Pure Water Systems in Ottawa a number of years ago and have recently added a UV light to kill bacteria which may be in our well water. We are very pleased with the professional service we received, and are confident in the superior products we have purchased. It is extremely important that our family has safe drinking water.


Homestars Review – Orleans customer: Thanks Martin and Rainsoft Ottawa.  Never realized how awful our water tasted until you installed our system! I now drink water regularly from the tap where before i would always buy water bottles. The whole family has noticed a difference and our skin is softer because of it. I tell everyone I know about your system. Thanks! Full House System with Reverse Osmosis and Iron Filter


Rainsoft Ottawa, Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc. is located in Canotek Park, Ottawa.

Telephone: 613-742-0058 ~~~~ Mon – Fri: 9:00 – 5:30

We’ll be more than happy to answer  your water related questions.

FRIDAY AQUA ENTERTAINMENT – RainSoft – Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc

Have I got some really neat water entertainment for you!!!

Synchronised Swimming a la Britain’s Got Talent

Awesome ‘Aqua Divas’

2012 Contestants
Quote from YouTube video info: “Watch synchronised swimmers Aquabatique make waves on Britain’s Got Talent auditions. Will Judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams leave them to synch or swim?

Published on May 10, 2012 by Ontv2012

Aquabatique Synchronised swimmers ballet HD Britain’s got talent 2012 Live Semi Finals. Aquabatique perform their underwater dance act outside the studio. They perform their water ballet routine to a medley of James Bond theme tunes.

Britain’s Got Talent 2012 Final – Aquabatique

Have a great weekend everyone.


BOTTLED WATER IS COMING UNDER ATTACK ON COLLEGE CAMPUSESTo contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Theen in New York at atheen@bloomberg.net

More than 90 schools, among them Brown University and Harvard University are banning the sale or restricting the use of plastic water bottles, unnerving the $22 billion retail packaged-water industry in the U.S. The University of Vermont is the latest to join the movement, announcing in January it would stop sales early next year.

     A forklift moves bails of plastic bottles at the San Francisco Recycling Center. More than 9 billion gallons of bottled water were sold in the U.S. last year.

The industry is growing 5.4 percent annually. Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty


Discarded water bottles lay in a trash can in Washington, D.C. Students at Brown, in Providence, Rhode Island, started a campaign to reduce bottled water consumption in 2010 and more than a dozen U.S. schools have campus-wide bans on the sale of plastic water bottles. Photographer: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Freshmen at colleges across the country are being greeted with  stainless-steel bottles in their welcome packs and encouraged to use hydration stations where free, filtered water is available. Brown, which used to sell about 320,000 bottles of water a year in vending machines and campus stores, ended sales in dining halls in 2010. Harvard and Dartmouth College are installing hydration stations in new buildings to reduce trash.

“The product just doesn’t make common sense,” Sarah Alexander, 20, an environmental-studies major at Hanover, New Hampshire based Dartmouth, said by e-mail. “Companies are taking something that is freely accessible to everyone on the Dartmouth campus, packaging it in a non-reusable container and then selling it under the pretense that it is somehow better than tap water.”

In response to the growing movement, the water industry released a video on YouTube last month poking fun at “Ban the Bottle,” an organization that advocates banning one-time-use plastic water bottles. The spot, which features “Star Wars”- like music and flashbacks of antiwar demonstrations, says bottled water is a safe, convenient product that is “one of the healthiest drinks on the shelf” and that its packaging is recyclable.

‘Serious Issues’

There “are really serious issues over here, and now you’re dealing with bottled water?” Joe Doss, president of the International Bottled Water Association, based in Alexandria, Virginia, said in a phone interview.

 While “there are anti bottled-water groups   going from campus to campus,” Doss said he doesn’t consider it “a big threat” at this point.

More than 9 billion gallons of bottled water were sold in the U.S. last year, and the industry is growing 5.4 percent a year, according to Gary Hemphill, senior vice president of the Beverage Marketing Corp., a New York consulting firm. Sales to colleges and universities aren’t tracked separately.

The bottling industry may be worried about losing brand loyalty from college kids, said Eric Meliton, an industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan.

“If they lose that access, yeah, you would see a big drop-off on that demographic,” Meliton said in a phone interview. College students are “on the go, they’ve got backpacks and they may not choose to use bottled water.”

Saving Money

Reducing or eliminating plastic bottled water saves students money and has the environmental benefit of reducing the need to truck bottles across the country, Niles Barnes, project coordinator with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, said in a phone interview.

“It’s a really tangible, sustainable activity that students can get behind,” Barnes said.

Students at Brown, in Providence, Rhode Island, started a campaign in 2010 to reduce bottled water consumption and the school stopped selling it in dining halls that September. Brown holds about 50,000 bottles in reserve in case of a natural disaster or to distribute at graduation or other events, Chris Powell, director of sustainable energy and environmental initiatives, said in an interview.

“There’s an environmental impact to the waste” of disposable water bottles, Powell said. “We realized there were alternatives that we could put in place that everybody was agreeable to.”

Culture Shift

Dartmouth is trying to “shift the student culture” about purchasing bottled water, said Rosi Kerr, the school’s director of sustainability. Princeton University, in Princeton, New Jersey, promotes a “Drink Local” initiative to reduce plastic bottle waste.

Some departments at Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard have banned the purchase of bottled water for meetings. Cornell University has a reduction campaign, as does Yale University.

 The University of Pennsylvania encourages administrative offices to use   hydration stations rather than bottled water.

Sitting back and “doing nothing” as environmental groups campaigned to ban bottled water wasn’t an option for the water industry, the water association’s Doss said. His niece, a student at The College of Charleston, alerted him to an effort on her campus, and he said there is an “active movement” across the nation.

More than a dozen U.S. schools have campus wide bans on the sale of plastic water bottles, according to Barnes.

Sweetened Beverages

Some colleges with a history of activism have rejected bans on packaged water. The University of California, Berkeley opted against the idea on concern it would drive students toward sweetened beverages, said Trish Ratto, a university health services official. So did Columbia University, after students said they’d buy it elsewhere, according to Nilda Mesa, assistant vice president of environmental stewardship at the New York based college.


Brown philosophy major Terrence George, 21, calls the university’s policy an “unwarranted assault” on bottled water.

“The bottled water ban is downright absurd,” he said. “I’m buying apple juice and tea every night instead of water. Last time I went to the dentist, I have a few more cavities than usual.”

Here are a few links both for and againstBottled Water Bans: (Some views also express the other side of the coin)







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.



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.


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.


Along the same lines as the recent infographic that we mentioned on green home improvement trends, eLocal recently published a new visual on water waste. Elocal created the graphic, “How Much Water is Your Home Wasting,” using feedback from its community of experts. Here’s what the professionals said:
Wasting the Best 1%:
It’s crazy but only 1% of the water on the planet is fresh and available for human consumption. It makes no sense to frivolously waste what’s already scarce — especially when new water sources may be difficult and expensive to come by.
Don’t Be Average:
The average American family uses 127,000 gallons of water per year with fixtures and appliances, but there’s no good reason to be average. Cut that number down with Energy Star or better appliances and low-flow, water-saving fixtures
How to Save Water:
Specifically, a good place to start is with water-efficient faucets, washers, showers, and toilets. These measures will save money in the form of lower water and energy bills (i.e., using less energy to heat less water).
Benefits of Water Savings:
If everyone uses less water, the savings obviously add up to some large figures — something like 5.4 million gallons of water and $11.3 million dollars per day.


The emerging issue of pharmaceuticals in water. By Ian Richler, Canadian Water Treatment
As Canadians become increasingly medicated, pharmaceutical drug residues are turning up in our drinking water supplies, with unpredictable repercussions for both the environment and human health.
So says a provocative new report, There Is No ‘Away’: Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products, and Endocrine-Disrupting Substances: Emerging Contaminants Detected in Water, published by the well-respect4e environmental think tank Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy.
More than 326 million medical prescriptions were filled in Canada between July 2—1 and August 2002, and the evidence from the A. S, suggests that licit drug use is rising among all age groups, according to the report. When unused pills are flushed down the sink or toilet, they end up in municipal water treatment systems that are not designed to filter them out. When they are thrown into the garbage, they may seep from landfills into groundwater.
Another way pharmaceutical residues can enter the water is by way of excretion: between 50 and 90 % of the active ingredients in drugs are not absorbed by the body. And it is not just drug use by humans that is to blame. Farm animals are routinely given antibiotics, growth hormones and other veterinary pharmaceuticals. These eventually end up in water supplies by way of agriculture runoff.
Although there has been very little testing to determine how much of these residues are lurking in our drinking water supplies, the report suggests the problem is widespread: “It is reasonable to assume … that pharmaceuticals and other emerging contaminants are widely present in the streams, lakes, rivers, and groundwater n the densely populated regions of the country.” The report makes it clear, however, that the concentrations of these residues found in water have been tiny: “For most drugs, usually prescribed in doses ranging from several to several hundred milligrams, a person would have to drink thousands or even millions of litres of surface water to ingest an amount comparable to that in one pill.”
The report notes that there is much scientific uncertainty about what these residues mean for ecosystems and human health. Endocrine-disrupting substances such as hormones and birth control pills are particularly worrisome: “In humans and other large mammals their health effects are not well understood. In fish, birds, and other wildlife, effects have included reproductive impairment or failure, deformities, and feminization.” The report cites a recent study conducted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in northern Ontario. When estrogen was added to a pristine lake in levels comparable to those found downstream of wastewater treatment plants, fish developed reproductive problems and their population collapsed. While acknowledging that the evidence is sketchy, the report suggests that increased exposure to hormones may help account for the rising incidence of certain types of cancer in humans. “
The report concludes with a number of recommendations for addressing the issue of emerging contaminants. Some of these, such as increasing scientific research, developing new water treatment technologies, and implementing product stewardship programs for the return of unused drugs (such as the program already in place in British Columbia), may well be on the horizon.
Others are likely to be more controversial. In particular, the recommendation to cut down on the use of growth hormones and antibiotics in farm animals, as well as the recommendation to support organic agricultural production, are sure to face resistance from the agriculture industry. It must e asked whether any regulated changes to farming would lead to higher production costs being passed on to consumers in the form of more expensive food. In this sense it will be important for policymakers not to lose sight of the potential benefits of animal (and human) drugs. As Cass Sunstein, a renowned law professor and a leading critic of the “precautionary principle: on which the report implicitly relies, has observed, “Advocates of precaution often emphasize the costs associated with a product or process, without seeing that it may have benefit as well.”
Although CIELAP is not the only one thinking about this topic – the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario identified pharmaceuticals in water as a “developing issue” in his latest annual report and Health Canada is currently reforming the process for assessing the environmental effects of pharmaceuticals and other products regulated under the federal Food and Drugs Act – it seems clear that the discussion has barely begun. This could become one of the trickiest water policy debates of the next few years.


Drink your water get your drugs and antibiotics. That dos’ent sound right, does it?  Welcome to 2011 where a big science experiment is taking place. Do most people ever question what is in their water? Do they hope its clean and get on with their day? Do you know that in some cities water and waste water are tested for illegal drugs to find criminals..! Its there only some people want to find it…..


BOTTLED WATER RIDICULOUS by Devon Patterson, SAIT Polytek, Calgary The Weal, September 29, 2011

In this day and age we have to pay for absolutely everything, including our number one life source: water.
Some argue bottled water is better for you than tap, or it simply tastes better. The last point is debatable. But the part about it being healthier for you, frankly, is a lie.
Bottlers aren’t required to list their sources on the label, so most of the time you are drinking glorified tap water, according to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council. ABC’s 20/20 program stated that Aquafina, for instance, has a source coming from the Detroit River.
A Story of Stuff website project showed that bottled water costs about 2,000 times more than tap water and it’s coming from the same sources.
In Canada, local water supplies are tested every day, whereas bottled water plants are only inspected every three years, according to an article by CBC.
Not only is it wasting our money, it’s completely destroying our planet. A Story of Stuff project water video also mentions that 80 per cent of bottles are buried in landfills or sent to incinerators to be burnt. You think recycling is a safe bet? Some recycling companies just ship off the bottles to other countries instead of actually recycling them. It’s not just the bottles either. According to Discover magazine, bottle caps are showing up all over the Pacific Ocean and inside birds’ stomachs.
SAITSA has come up with the great idea of water kiosks from Waterfillz. It’s cold, filtered water available to students’ without the bottle. The best part is it will be completely free for students. This is a great solution to eliminating bottle consumption.
We need water to survive. Our bodies are made up of 70 per cent water and will die within three days without it.
And this is something big corporations expect us to pay for? The whole concept of bottled water is ridiculous.


The sad truth is that to get clean water we do have to pay for it, but to buy water in a bottle to throw it away is not the way. 80% goes to the landfill!! That is a huge number and can be corrected by what a lot of our city customers use and that is a whole house system. Not a shower filter or a cheap faucet filter but a system for under 1000$ that will eliminate bottled water for 6-10years depending on use. This clean water will be in your whole home for cooking, drinking, bathing etc…People never go back to the sterilized chemical water or the plastic bottle again.