H2O International Inc.
|An Information and Instructional Guide|
|H20 International Inc. 1996, An Information and Instructional Guide, version 2.1|
H2O International (West)
Production and Technical Editor
D.G. (Dave) Alex
|H2O International Inc.
PO Box 1324, Highway 86W
Wingham, Ontario, Canada
In this guide we will touch briefly on many subjects. By reading and digesting this information we will provide you with a basic outline of water conditions and the theory of operation of several common water treatment products. But this is simply an outline. You must still research information that is directly relevant to the water supply in your area. The media has excited the marketplace into the realization that they require some form of water treatment device but they have also reported [though falsely in many cases] on the many pitfalls that can be encountered when purchasing water treatment products. To be safe, you should learn about the problems you face and then shop for the best product to fit your needs. Many people purchase far more than they require thanks to the skills of good salesmen, but for the most part, people buy cheap, and cheap just doesn't fit in the water treatment industry. Effective and cost efficient should be your goals.
You must learn the "brand" name's strengths and weaknesses not just those presented here. The "theory of operations" presented in this book are based on the common principals applied by a majority of manufacturers, but that doesn't mean that every treatment device follows the basic theories. Doulton filters and purifiers are a classic example of a manufacture who has a unique twist applied to common theories. So beware, do not judge products on generalities or assumptions, but on close evaluation of their applied technologies, quality of manufacturing and their published test results. Do not be fooled by X charts. There is a big difference between 60% and 99.9% chlorine removal, but on an X chart, both manufacturers would put an X under the chlorine column!
Water covers three fourths of the earth's surface. Each year about 80 billion acre feet, in the form of rain and snow fall on the continents. Of this, 27 billion acre feet are returned to the sea by rivers, glaciers and ground water seepage. The remaining 53 billion acre feet return to the atmosphere to replenish the existing ground and surface water supplies. Of this abundance of water, however, all but 3% is sea water, largely unfit for human use. Three percent is not much, but it is all we have and all we have ever had since the beginning of time. It simply recycles and recycles, over and over again.
Water supply is one of mankind's greatest problems and it is becoming worse each and every year. There is an urgent and ever growing need for water that is pure enough for human consumption. In 85% of the USA, the quality of water has become a significant problem and the most widespread problem is the supply of clean, safe, healthy drinkable water. In some areas of the North American continent, water supplies are being used up at faster rates than they can be replenished. For example, the Colorado River, by the time it finds its way to the Gulf of Mexico, the river bed is nothing more than a trickle. In other areas water is already being rationed as the demands for water steadily increase. Large urban communities have their water supplies metered and commercial, industrial and residential customers pay high fees for excessive usage.
Earth's population has surpased 7 billion. It is estimated that the total will 9 billion by 2040. This population growth will be placing extra demands on existing drinking water supplies.
In the USA total community water use is 175 gallons per capita per day, with less than one gallon of this being used for human consumption, that is cooking or drinking water purposes. Less than 1 percent of all freshwater usage is for drinking water purposes. The other 99 percent is consumed by domestic sanitary functions, irrigation, etc., but the majority goes to commercial and industrial applications.
Next to air, water is the most important element to the subsistence of human life. What do we know about it? Most of us are so accustomed to drawing water from our taps that we quickly forget that our faucets are connected by long miles of pipe to a supply somewhere!
A continuous flow of water is assumed to be an inalienable right, like the "right" to toss an empty can into a lake or the woods. When we do think about water we usually visualize a crystal clear mountain stream flowing from a beautiful waterfall. Sounds refreshing, doesn't it? Technically, it is not pure. Pure water exists only in a laboratory. It is difficult to produce and even harder to maintain. Water is a "universal solvent", no matter what it touches, it starts to dissolve that substance, thereby contaminating itself.
Two basic sources of water must be understood before you can proceed further. The first is described as "surface water". This includes oceans, lakes, rivers, snow and ice.
The second is "ground water". This is water held under the surface of the earth in different geological formations. The water enters the formation via percolation of water from precipitation and direct seepage from surface water sources. Large ground water holdings are called "aquifers". A more detailed description will be covered later.
We will now move on to chapter one and a look at Mother Nature. An understanding of her "cleaning" cycle is the foundation for the existence of life on this planet and it serves to identify how man is jeopardizing this critical balance.
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