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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for something in the kitchen that will be mounted under-sink. I am considering something like this:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=152246-43353-WHED20&lpage=none

There are also reverse osmosis systems like this:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=129808-43353-WHER25&lpage=none

Does the extra performance of the reverse osmosis system justify the added complexity/real estate needed under the sink? Anyone have experience with these or similar systems?

Noble
 

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Ahhhh finally a question on my specialist subject! I head up an R&D group for a Water/Wastewater Treatment division of a large Corporation. I mainly work with non-chemical disinfection systems (UV and Ozone), which is different to filtration, but anyway....

The answer to your question really needs to start with what water you are starting with and what you are trying to achieve with the additional treatment. For example;
- What is your source water? well, town supply, large city supply, etc.
- What is you concern?
- Do you know there is a pathogen (harmful bug) problem with your water
- Is the color bad?
- Does it taste bad?
- No known problem, but you just want to be sure and have a back-up?

Knowing the answer to these questions will help determine what level of treatment to go for. Let me know your case and I'll give you some idea regarding cartridge type filtration verses R.O.

Take my personal case in my house......
I have a town water supply. The source water comes from a river and the town treatment plant filters the water and adds chlorine.
I personally don't like the taste of chlorine (plus it gives you cancer!), so I fitted a cartridge filter to the supply line to my house that takes out the chlorine and other sediment (we have fairly high iron in the water supply). So now it tastes OK.
But then I also fitted a UV disinfection unit that makes sure that all the bugs are properly killed. For example Chlorine is not very effective against certain bugs like Cyrpto or Gardia.

The water has a good pH and is not too hard so I didn't go for a softener.
R.O. is very effective at removing everything from your water, but that is not always a good thing, since some minerals are helpful. In my case, I didn't want to remove some of those minerals and so didn't go for R.O. But again that is just my case and yours might be different.

OK, I could talk about this stuff all day. I'll stop now!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response.

My main concern is taste/smell, I notice the chlorine. The drinking water to my town (population ~48,000) comes from snow run-off. There was a story in the news a few days ago where pharmaceuticals, in small amounts, were found in the drinking water of several large cities (not here) and this brought up the topic of local water quality. I tried searching but can't find any links to save my life, I need to sign off in a few minutes but will post links that I find later today when I can come back.

What (good) is in tap water that will be removed by R.O.?

Noble
 

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What (good) is in tap water that will be removed by R.O.?
We have naturally occuring Fluoride and Zinc in our well water that I wouldn't want to filter out. The sulfur smell that we get occaisionally, however, I could do without.
 

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For my drinking water I use a 6 stage R.O. system that includes an inline UV light. I am not concerned about the loss of minerals, you get most of them if you eat a balanced diet and take a true natural vitamin, I take IntraMax and Rx it to my patients. Ingesting Flouride is a concern, it's one of the most unstable elements on the periodic table and binds with just about everything. It's in a lot of toothpaste so if it's a concern you get it there anyway, nothing like overkill!

There has also been some recent news about all of the drugs, hormones and toxic chemicals showing up in a lot of major water supplies. Like this is a news flash! The water treatment plants basically are concerned with e-coli and straining out the lumps (crude, but accurate) and they just send the residue downline to the next town and leave them to deal with it. The further you are from the source the worse it gets.


A lot of well water is not what it's cracked up to be. You really need to know what is being absorbed into the aquifer. I know from my clinical experience that there are a lot of people in the greater Chicago area that are developing a lot of strange cancers that are linked to water. Tongue, throat, and esophageal cancers are starting to show up and the only common denominator that I can see in these patients is well water. Coincidence? I doubt it!

A lot of bottled water is just that, "bottled water" right out of a city water source. There are no laws yet regulated for water that is bottled and it's been taken advantage of. Besides that, just because it comes from a spring or babbling brook miles from where you are doesn't make it absolutely safe.

Go with RO and take a vitamin, that's the safest way as I see it.
 

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it's all over the news these days, and it's damn scary.
up until now, everyone had been saying how tap water was perfectly safe and how bottled water was over-rated

here's a few links I just found
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080309/ap_on_re_us/pharmawater_i
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,336286,00.html

I've been using the Everpure filter system under my sink, the H200. seems to work ok
costs $90 or so per a year for replacement. (but that's still quite cheaper than bottled water).
NO idea how well it takes out drugs, which I imagine will become a major selling point soon for water filters!
 

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RoadDad is absolutely correct. If you have snow run-off as your source, then almost certainly have a whole lot of other "good" minerals in your water. Not hard to have that analyzed.

RO is more helpful if you have high salt content, or gray water, or something of that nature.

The Pharma stuff that has been in the news recently (based on a 3 part AP article that I contributed to) will not be properly sorted by either straight filtration or RO to be honest. They are mostly Endocrine Distrupting Chemicals (EDC's) and their complex nature require much more advanced treatment processes; i.e. RO combined with UV or Ozone etc..

I seriously can talk about this crap all day, but without boring you and to answer your original question, I think your best bet would be to go for filtration, like your first link above. Note there are different "grades" of filter cartridges, so make sure you use a fine one that removes Chlorine - it will say so on the packaging.
Of-course remember that the finer the filter, the more often you will change it.

In my opinion RO would not be neccessary in your case.

Of-course I'm biased, but the next step would be a UV disinfection unit that would protect against the more complex pathogens. Our company make residential ones, so I could probably get you a deal. <- absolutely no benefit to me personally though - I'm not in Sales!!!!
 

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For my drinking water I use a 6 stage R.O. system that includes an inline UV light. I am not concerned about the loss of minerals, you get most of them if you eat a balanced diet and take a true natural vitamin, I take IntraMax and Rx it to my patients. Ingesting Flouride is a concern, it's one of the most unstable elements on the periodic table and binds with just about everything. It's in a lot of toothpaste so if it's a concern you get it there anyway, nothing like overkill!

There has also been some recent news about all of the drugs, hormones and toxic chemicals showing up in a lot of major water supplies. Like this is a news flash! The water treatment plants basically are concerned with e-coli and straining out the lumps (crude, but accurate) and they just send the residue downline to the next town and leave them to deal with it. The further you are from the source the worse it gets.


A lot of well water is not what it's cracked up to be. You really need to know what is being absorbed into the aquifer. I know from my clinical experience that there are a lot of people in the greater Chicago area that are developing a lot of strange cancers that are linked to water. Tongue, throat, and esophageal cancers are starting to show up and the only common denominator that I can see in these patients is well water. Coincidence? I doubt it!

A lot of bottled water is just that, "bottled water" right out of a city water source. There are no laws yet regulated for water that is bottled and it's been taken advantage of. Besides that, just because it comes from a spring or babbling brook miles from where you are doesn't make it absolutely safe.

Go with RO and take a vitamin, that's the safest way as I see it.
That is very comprehensive treatment!! Maybe not neccesary for everyone though.

I agree with the Flouride comment.

I also completely agree that most US treatment plants are not even measuring for the correct pathogens. E.Coli is probably not the biggest problem to be honest. However, the USEPA just updated their Long Term Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule which requires cities to take steps to either measure or treat other nasties like Cryptosporidium. They also have also updated their Stage 2 Disinfection byproducts Rule that places more stringent limits on certain (chemical) disinfection byproducts. Sounds good, but the trouble is that like most political guidelines it is being implemented too slowly and not enough. Most cities and towns have years and years before they are actually required to do anything!

My guess is that the higher cancer rates are not only linked to the EDC's, but also to the Chlorine that the Treatment plants are adding to the water supply!!! :eek:
 

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up until now, everyone had been saying how tap water was perfectly safe and how bottled water was over-rated
The truth is that neither are 100% risk free!!

If funds permit, it's probably never a bad thing to take such important things like this into your own hands. Any thing is probably better than nothing.

....then of-course how do you control the fact that they grow most of our vegatables with "reuse" irrigation water? :eek:

In the industry "reuse" water means, treated wastewater. I.e. they spray poo water all our our food!!!!!
 

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I installed the R.O. system from Costco and now my wife has stopped drinking bottled water. Most bottled water is R.O., not tap. You have to look very hard to find true bottled spring water. Just remember to feed your icemaker with R.O. water.
 

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I installed the R.O. system from Costco and now my wife has stopped drinking bottled water. Most bottled water is R.O., not tap. You have to look very hard to find true bottled spring water. Just remember to feed your icemaker with R.O. water.
+1 That's why I prefer the whole house systems, rather than under the sink units.
 

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Fluoride in Tap Water is not good for the I.Q. You can shave weight off a Lotus
and go faster but shave your IQ and you will only go slower.

I would look for a solution that takes it all out, but I do not know of an under the sink solution.

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This one is pretty expensive but worth it...

http://ssosa.qhealthbeauty.com/products/product.aspx?itemno=100189


product description

# Reduces over 140 potential health-related contaminants. No system reduces more.
#
The first in-home system to be certified to meet these three separate international standards of water quality by NSF International, 42, 53, and 55B:
#
Standard 42: Improves taste, odor, and clarity.
#
Standard 53: Reduces health-effect contaminants.
#
Standard 55B: Reduces microorganisms with UV light.
#
Has earned the Water Quality Association's Gold Seal for superior consumer water treatment products.
#
Works well at all household water pressures, from very low to very high.
#
The cartridge is designed to serve the average cooking and drinking water needs for a family of six for one year or 1,320 gallons, whichever comes first.
#
Cost-effective: The cost per gallon in the second year is less than 13 cents.
#
Visit www.espring.com for details on how eSpring® technology compares to other systems in contaminant reduction and price.
#
Patented monitoring system lets you know the carbon filter and UV bulb are working, and when it's time for the annual cartridge change.
#
Changing the cartridge requires no special tools and is as simple as changing a light bulb.
#
The UV bulb inside the cartridge switches on only when you turn on the tap, so water flows cold, not warmed by the UV light.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
...........Go with RO and take a vitamin, that's the safest way as I see it.
Thats what I am thinking. I am fairly active and workout regularly and stick to a healthy diet. I have been taking a daily multi-vitamin for years now, I wouldn't imagine that I am deficient in anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
.........Note there are different "grades" of filter cartridges, so make sure you use a fine one that removes Chlorine - it will say so on the packaging.
Of-course remember that the finer the filter, the more often you will change it.......
I will have to take a closer look the next time I am out looking at different models, most that I have seen say they remove chlorine taste and odor but I don't see anything stating that the chlorine is actually removed.

I remember reading somewhere stating that humans absorb as many water impurities through our skin when we shower as we do through the water that we drink. Is this true? I guess that would be more justification for the whole house system like you mentioned earlier.

Edit, if anyone is interested, here are the stats for my area:
http://www.gjcity.org/CityDeptWebPages/PublicWorksAndUtilities/Laboratories/WateraveragesReportTable.htm

http://www.gjcity.org/CityDeptWebPages/PublicWorksAndUtilities/Laboratories/WaterQualityReport.htm

Noble
 

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It's stuff such as this that makes me addicted to L-talk.

IIRC, Consumer Reports gave top marks to PUR, which does make an under-counter unit with "change filter" signal.

I have the PUR on my faucet. Gave a glass of Poland Spring (our all-time fav water) and a glass of PURed water to my wife. She is a "super taster" with a remarkably discerning pallete (not for men). She guessed the reverse, so I stopped buying PS. Life is much easier w/o the carrying and recycling.

Wells, I understand, should be test about every two yrs.
 

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It all looks fairly good to me, except the THM's. They state the EPA limit is 80mg/l, but I think that they lowered it to 30mg/l recently (I'm not at work, so I can't check). It might just be California that lowered the limit.
......anyway at 38mg/l, that is not brilliant.

Personally I would be looking for something more than just RO to reduce that limit. Two systems have been named above that include UV light, I think that when combined with flitration, that is a good idea to reduce THM's.

Remember though that what's right for one water supply is not always right for another. It's hard to make general rules.

Also, I beleive it's a matter of risk reduction and personal preference. I have a Harness and Fire Ex. in my Elise - does that mean I need one? Not necessarily. Do I enjoy the comfort of having one? Certainly.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
........Also, I beleive it's a matter of risk reduction and personal preference. I have a Harness and Fire Ex. in my Elise - does that mean I need one? Not necessarily. Do I enjoy the comfort of having one? Certainly.
Thanks man.

I'm gonna' cover the broad strokes and not sweat the details.

My head is too big and I am a bit too tall for my Miata, but I still drive it whenever I get a chance:

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43280&highlight=miata&page=2

I figure that when it is my time it will be my time. I'll still pursue this topic though.

Noble
 
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