Water Glossary

Acid Rain

Acid rain is defined by its pH value. Rain water turns acidic when the gaseous water molecules mixed with sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide pollution. These are the pollutants that are released from power stations fueled by coals, crude oil or natural gas. Such pollutants are also the by-products of motor vehicle omissions.

Recently, our rain water has become more acidic because of the increase of industrialisation. Acid rain has become so bad in some regions that it has caused the death of plant life and some organism.

Governments consider the problem of acid rain so seriously that they have legislated restrictions on the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere.

Carbon Block Filters

Carbon Block Filters have a better contamination removal ratio than Carbon Granular Filters and Powdered Activated Carbon. Carbon Block Filters use the same activated carbon material as the two other types of carbon filters so they are all effective in removing organic contaminants. The difference however is that the activated carbon used in the Carbon Block filter has been compressed to form a block. This form or shape of activated carbon has a larger surface area that allows the water to have longer contact with the activated carbon. This increases the rate of adsorption. Although the Carbon Block Filter has the higher removal ratio, all the Carbon filters sold by Great Water contain activated carbon and will remove organic chemicals.

The active carbon material is best suited for the removal or reduction of organic chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, chlorine, Trihalomethane, benzene, radon, solvents and many other contaminants. It is also effective in removing microorganisms such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. All the carbon filters sold by Great Water will make the water taste fresh and the water becomes healthier.

However, it should be noted that carbon filters are less effective at eliminating dissolved inorganic compounds such as fluoride, mercury, nitrates, sulfate, chromium, copper, mineral salts and asbestos to name a few. Carbon Block Filters, Powdered Activated Carbon and Granular Activated Carbon Filters are just one component to an entire filtration process.

The process of adsorption works in the following way.  Different compounds are attracted to the activated carbon. The activated carbon material has a chemical structure that contains a positive electrical charge. This causes compounds with a negative charge to be attracted to the carbon. Some of the contaminants attach to the carbon and they get removed from the water as it passes through the porous parts of the carbon in the filter. Active carbon filters remove contaminants that cause bad taste and odour.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is any water that has been treated by the process of boiling.  Contaminants are removed when the water is converted into stream, and then cooled and captured.  All surface water, groundwater and rainwater all have contain substances that have an negative effect on the quantity.  When requiring a better quantity of water for drinking or industrial purposes, distillation is one of the simpliest and oldest used methods. Sea water has been distilled into drinking water at least since the ancient Greeks.

When water is changed from its normal state into condensation only the pure water rises and the other compounds or impurities separated.  Distillation is a technology that takes advantage of this principle.

In the water filtration industry water distillation is considered too time consuming and energy expensive when compared with other products.  Some people believe that distillation also removes the minerals and nutrients that are important for our health and wellbeing.  It is however an effective method of creating industry standard pure water.

Fluoride is Bad for Your Health

Fluoride is often claimed to be good for our teeth.  We are told that this is the reason for why Water Authorities put fluoride into our drinking water.  However, many people and organisations are taking a stand against fluoridation.   Dr Paul Connett is a Professor of Chemistry, and he thought that people who took a stand against fluoride were over exaggerating the issue until he looked into it.  What he found shocked him. Fluoride is bad for our health and we consume this toxic compound when we drink tap water.

Surprisingly, one of the health problems caused by fluoride is Dental Fluorosis.   Dental Fluorosis is a disease where the teeth don’t develop correctly.  You might recognise white spots on yours or your family’s teeth.  This is a mild form of Dental Fluorosis.

When fluoride was first put into the town water supplies, one hundred years ago, scientists predicted that 10% of people will develop these stains on their teeth.  Recently, a study in the United States found that 41% of children between 12-15 have Dental Fluorosis.   In the same study, the researchers identified 3.6% of the children had severe case of this condition.  This means that the teeth had brown and black strains.  Although dental fluorosis is only a cosmetic problem, the fact that so many people have this problem demonstrates how easily fluoride effects our bodies.  The main concern about adding fluoride to the water is Skeletal Fluorosis.

When we consume fluoride half of it is filtered by the kidneys and excreted in urine. Unfortunately, the remaining fluoride finds it way to the skeletal system.  Your bones are constantly being regenerated.  This is called remodelling.  Bone remodelling is a life-long process where mature bone tissue is removed from the skeleton and new bone tissue is formed.  When we drink fluoridated water this excess fluoride then forms in the bone structure.  This causes the bone to harden and become less elastic, and this makes a person more prone to bone fractures.  The increase in bone tissue can also cause impaired joint mobility.

Fluoride also has an effect on the thyroid gland.  This effect the levels of calcium that is converted into the bone structure.  Once again the bone structure is weakened.  Bone stiffness and rheumatism have all been linked to fluoride toxicity.  Fluoridation of the water supply is a concern for every one.

You notice that the word fluorosis is used as a scientific term to describe the strains on the teeth and the brittle bones; as in the words Dental Fluorosis and Skeletal Fluorosis.  Fluorosis is derive from the word fluoride.  The fact that fluoride is toxic has been known to scientists for a long time.

There are so many people and organisations that are spending their time to take action against water fluoridation.  If you want to read more about health problems related to fluoride then I suggest that you read the Australian Action to End Water Fluoridation website at www.australianfluorideaction.com.  Here you can find information about how fluoride can cause cancer.

Many European countries have already stopped treating public water with fluoride in the 1970s.  At present, there is no plan to do the same in Australia.  People who are concerned about Fluoride use water filtration systems to remove it from their tap water. Unfortunately, Fluoride is a difficult contaminant to remove.  The only type of water filter that filters it from your tap water is a reverse osmosis filtration system.  A Reverse Osmosis system uses a semi-permeable membrane.  This membrane has hole sizes of 0.002 microns.  This is the only hole size that will remove fluoride from your drinking water.

Great Water Filters recommend the Elite Series 3 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System.  It is a water filtration system that has a 99% Fluoride removal rate.

Hydrogen (H)

The word Hydrogen (H) comes from the Greek ‘hydrogenium’ meaning the maker of water.   Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant element in the universe constituting 75% of its chemical mass.  The human body consists of no less than 60% Hydrogen.  It is however rarely found in its pure form because it always combines with other elements.  Two Hydrogen combines with Oxygen to create water.

Other facts about Hydrogen is that it is colourless, odourless and tasteless.  Hydrogen can make many metals brittle which is a concern for manufacturers of pipes and tanks that are used in water transportation and containment.

H20

H2O is the science text book definition of water. It consists of two part hydrogen and one part oxygen.   Water covers about 70% of the Earth’s surface and it can take both a liquid or gaseous state. An interesting unknown fact about water is that scientists believe that the water we find on Earth now come from meteorites.

In nature, water is never at its pure state of H2O because it is solvent, and therefore dissolves large quantities of other substances.

On the other hand, there are other substances that water cannot dissolve in. How water reacts to different substance and within different conditions influences our climatical, geological and biological system on Earth.

Whether it is too much water or too little water, our lives are created or controlled by H2O.

H2O has many unique characteristics:

  • It has no smell or taste
  • It boils at 100oC
  • It freezes at 0oC
  • It is good conductor of heat and electricity
  • It forms other compounds eg. H2O plus calcium oxide = limestone
  • It is a co-reactant that provides the conditions for many important types of chemical reactions eg removal of CO2from our bodies
Ion Exchangers

An Ion is an atom or molecule that doesn’t have an equal number of electrons and protons. Electrons have a negative electrical charges and Protons have a positive charges. If there is not an equal number of these particles then this means that atom or molecule will be left with specific electrical charge, either positive or negative.

In relation to water, it is the hydrogen ions that can cause water to have different electrical charges. Water that has a low number of hydrogen ions will create soft water and water that has a high number of hydrogen ions will create hard water.

Ion exchangers work by using a material that consists of permanent insoluble anions. Anions are atoms that have a gained electrons, and they have a negative charge. If a sodium material like sodium is used then, it brings to the structure of water a positive charged ion. The ion exchange process takes the hardness out of the water.  The system is designed so that elements like magnesium and calcium, which makes the water hard, is neutralise to make soft water. This is a process that changes the pH value of the water.

Lead

Lead is found in the earth’s crust.  It is naturally occurring metal. However, it is the use of lead in the production of fossil fuels and other manufactured items such as paint that increases its presence in our lives. Lead is a heavy metal contaminant that can cause ill health to the cardiovascular system, hematological system, central nervous system, reproductive system and the kidneys.

Lead poisoning is not easy to detect because of the generalised nature of the symptoms. Stomach pain, headaches, irritability, poor appetite and anxiety are often mistakes for other illnesses.

Lead Pipes

Lead pipes were commonly used for household plumbing in England until the early 1900s. Lead plumbing has been not widely used in Australia. However if you own a house that was built before 1930 then you should check to see that your plumbing isn’t supported by lead pipes.

Swallowing small amounts of lead can cause health problems for babies and small children. Lead can bring bad effect on their developing nervous systems. Pregnant women should also be aware of the potential health risk.

Pesticides

Pesticides are a class of substances that are used for plant and pest control. The definition covers both non-chemical and biological processes. People want their gardens to look beautiful and produce vegetables and fruits, and farmers want their crops to be profitable. Included in the pesticide group are herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, nematicides and rodenticides. Some of the chemicals used to controls pest include nitrophenols, petroleum oils, DDT, HCCH, Chlorinated organics and Synthetic pyrethroids.

Using pesticide might benefit the farm or garden but they can be dangerous to our health. Acute pesticide contamination will cause symptoms such as headaches, stomach and intestinal upset, numbness of the extremities, convulsions, spasms and heart attacks. Long-term exposure can cause people to be susceptible to certain diseases and cancer. Direct contact with pesticides is not the only problem for human health.  Pesticides are captured and contained by the food chain. Traces of pesticides are found in the food that we eat. It is also carried into the surface and ground water supply.

pH Value

pH is a measurement that describes the concentration of hydrogen ions in water. When water is at its purest, it has an exact H20 composition. However, water is never that pure in nature or in your town water supply. Water is a fluid that easily dissolves with other substances such a chemicals and minerals. This changes the pure structure of the water.It is the concentration of hydrogen ions that can be measured to determine the water’s pH level.

Depending on the concentration of hydrogen ions, water is said to be either acidic or alkaline. If water is acidic then it has a high number of hydrogen ions, and it therefore has a low pH value.  If water is alkaline then it has a low number of hydrogen ions, and it therefore has a high pH value. pH is measured using a negative logarithm that counts the number of places behind the  decimal point. For example a value of pH 7 has this concentration of hydrogen ions: 0.0000001. This is why a high pH value is a measurement that describes a low number of hydrogen ions, vice-a-versa.

pH values are important in human physiology. pH level is regulated by the body because each part or system has particular functions and therefore needs certain chemical conditions for these activities to occur effectively. A pH value of 4, or under, is require for the stomach, this is the perfect condition for enzymes to breakdown the foods you consume. In the blood stream the pH level is required to be at a value just over 7 because the blood is a transport mechanism delivering necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and taking away waste products from those same cells. Blood has a different function to the stomach so therefore it requires a different pH level to be effective.

pH values also describe whether the water is soft or hard. Water authorities test the water for these levels because hard water can cause damage to pipes and household appliances. Alkaline water filters or Ion Exchanger can be used as household water filtration system that change the pH value into a more appropriate state for your body’s physiology and so that the water is softer on your pipes and household appliances.

Great Water Filters recommend that you check out the Elite Series 2 Alkaline Water Filter.  This product changes the pH value of the water so that it benefits your health and well-being.

Pre-Filter Cartridges - Polypropylene Fibre

Pre-Filter Cartridges have a membrane made from a compound called Polypropylene. It is an unsaturated organic compound derived from fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas, and in some cases coal. It is a type of plastic that is also called Propylene, Propene or Methyl ethylene.

Pre-Filter Cartridges use Polypropylene because it is a tough and flexible material, which is resistant to many chemical solvents, bases and acids. The contaminants in the water supply don’t degrade the composition of the polypropylene fibres.

To make the Pre-Filter membrane, the polypropylene fiber are spun around a porous plastic cylinder tube. This creates a mesh like structure of various sizes that becomes small enough to filter out sediment, large microorganisms and suspended solids. When the Pre-Filter Cartridge is used in a water filtration system, it works together with other types of filter cartridges, such as active carbon filter or a reverse osmosis membrane filter, to create a system that can remove most contaminants from your water supply.

The Pre-Filter Cartridge optimises the performance of the other filter cartridges.

Reverse Osmosis Membrane

The Reverse Osmosis Membrane is a technological design that uses a Thin-Film Composite (TFC).  TFC is made of a polyamide material.  Polyamide can occur in nature such as the proteins in wool and silk, or it can be produced artificially such as nylon material.  Polyamide is used because it makes a repeated chemical structure, which is strong and porous allowing the water to push through.  The advantage of this chemical structure is that it creates a porous space so small that it acts as a molecule sieve.  The Reverse Osmosis Membrane is only larger enough to allow the H2O molecules to pass through but acts as a barrier to larger molecules.  To make the thin-film composite material, the polyamide structure must be layered on top of each other.  The TFC material is then rolled around a cylinder and then casking is added to create a reverse osmosis membrane water filter cartridge.

Great Water Filter uses a Reverse Osmosis Membrane in its Elite Series 3 Reverse Osmosis product.

Surfactants

Surfactants describe molecules that contain a component that is both insoluble and soluble in water. They are found in products such as conditioners, shampoos, cleansing lotions, dish washing liquid and household cleaners. These items along with many others have the ability to make the water softer. This means that surfactants modify the surface tension of water so that they lower the tension between two mediums. We can see this tension when oil is added to water. However, when surfactants are added to water then that water can penetrate compounds that usual doesn’t mix with it. You can also see surfactants in action when you use dishwashing liquid when washing your dishes the old fashion way.

The War Against Fluoride

Fluoride is often claimed to be good for our teeth. We are told that this is the reason for why Water Authorities put fluoride into our drinking water. However, many people and organisations are taking a stand against fluoridation. Dr Paul Connett is a Professor of Chemistry, and he thought that people who took a stand against fluoride were over exaggerating the issue until he looked into it.  What he found shocked him. Fluoride is bad for our health and we consume this toxic compound when we drink tap water.

Surprisingly, one of the health problems caused by fluoride is Dental Fluorosis. Dental Fluorosis is a disease where the teeth don’t develop correctly. You might recognise white spots on yours or your family’s teeth. This is a mild form of Dental Fluorosis.

When fluoride was first put into the town water supplies, one hundred years ago, scientists predicted that 10% of people will develop these stains on their teeth. Recently, a study in the United States found that 41% of children between 12-15 have Dental Fluorosis. In the same study, the researchers identified 3.6% of the children had severe case of this condition. This means that the teeth had brown and black strains. Although dental fluorosis is only a cosmetic problem, the fact that so many people have this problem demonstrates how easily fluoride effects our bodies. The main concern about adding fluoride to the water is Skeletal Fluorosis.

When we consume fluoride half of it is filtered by the kidneys and excreted in urine. Unfortunately, the remaining fluoride finds it way to the skeletal system. Your bones are constantly being regenerated. This is called remodelling. Bone remodelling is a life-long process where mature bone tissue is removed from the skeleton and new bone tissue is formed. When we drink fluoridated water this excess fluoride then forms in the bone structure. This causes the bone to harden and become less elastic, and this makes a person more prone to bone fractures. The increase in bone tissue can also cause impaired joint mobility.

Fluoride also has an effect on the thyroid gland. This effect the levels of calcium that is converted into the bone structure. Once again the bone structure is weakened. Bone stiffness and rheumatism have all been linked to fluoride toxicity. Fluoridation of the water supply is a concern for every one.

You notice that the word fluorosis is used as a scientific term to describe the strains on the teeth and the brittle bones; as in the words Dental Fluorosis and Skeletal Fluorosis.  Fluorosis is derive from the word fluoride.  The fact that fluoride is toxic has been known to scientists for a long time.

There are so many people and organisations that are spending their time to take action against water fluoridation. If you want to read more about health problems related to fluoride then I suggest that you read the Australian Action to End Water Fluoridation website at www.australianfluorideaction.com. Here you can find information about how fluoride can cause cancer.

Many European countries have already stopped treating public water with fluoride in the 1970s. At present, there is no plan to do the same in Australia. People who are concerned about Fluoride use water filtration systems to remove it from their tap water. Unfortunately, Fluoride is a difficult contaminant to remove. The only type of water filter that filters it from your tap water is a reverse osmosis filtration system. A Reverse Osmosis system uses a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane has hole sizes of 0.002 microns. This is the only hole size that will remove fluoride from your drinking water.

Great Water Filters recommend the Elite Series 3 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System. It is a water filtration system that has a 99% Fluoride removal rate.