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Reverse Osmosis at your home – Comment to post

Posted by Vivek on October 15, 2007

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This post is a compilation of two valuable comments posted on our earlier article – Drinking Water for home . Drinking Water

Image Courtesy: Flickr

Comment Number 7 from the article – 5 September 2007

Voltas which sells the Aquaguard brand, sells R.O system for Rs.12,000. If you check out the Yellow pages for portable R.O.systems you can find something in Rs.10,000 range. Its not just the price, checkout the maintenance details from the supplier. If you are looking for the local brand I have described, I have to check with my family friend on the details, he has been using this system for about 2 years now.

Comment Number 5 from the article – 3 October 2007

Got a demo of the high end RO system from Eureka Forbes (7 stages, with UV treatment, costing Rs.25,000)…..the water from the system still had odour and was not tasteless…read-on.

Eureka Forbes sells 2 models with RO through dealers. One at Rs.7000, a pure RO plant and another at Rs.14,000 with 7 stages. Besides this Eureka Forbes do direct marketing of another system which has UV treatment, and some minor features at Rs.25000. Anyway wanted to try the highend system. The Sales person gave a good level of dump on TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) and mentioned that TDS should not be ridiculously low as in Saravana water etc. TDS measurements from our ground water was around 800, and post RO was around 50 to 100, whereas Saravana Water was between 10 to 20. The Sales person advised that TDS too low means the water is devoid of any minerals and advised to go with the high-end system. The Sales talk would not stop extolling EF prompt door-step service etc, when I interrupted with “Well TDS or no TDS, I don’t care, I want my water to be tasteless and odourless from the system, else I would directly take my well water which is clean, gets UV light from direct sun-light, and the water is potable with minerals”. After this I asked the Sales person to sample the Metro water out of his RO system, and he confided that the water was not odourless nor tasteless, and quickly added a new unit would perform better…..With a smile I mentioned, you are most welcome to do the demo again with a new system, and until then its good bye to Eureka Forbes RO. The point I am trying to make is, get yourself a demo, know the investment and running costs before you buy an RO system…

Comment Number 5 from the article – 15 October 2007

Yesterday Eureka Forbes Sales person came in for the second round. While the unit was running, I asked the Sales person for the justification of the Integra 7 at Rs.24,000 compared to their own brand selling an RO system at Vasanth for Rs.8,000 to Rs.14,000. Since it was their own brand, the Sales person came up with “I think” etc, and at that point I requested the sales person to come back to me with the facts straight with feature comparison of this product with their own models as well as with their competitors like Kent. Finally I also got to measure the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) of the well water, RO rejected water and the RO water Vs Saravana Stores bottled water. The results are as follows,
TDS of my well water ~800
TDS of RO unit rejected water ~600*
RO water ~50
Saravana Stores ~20
*don’t ask me why TDS of RO unit rejected water is purer than the TDS of my well water. Perhaps the TDS gets stuck in the filters or in the RO membrane.

Also I got to talk to one Dr.Axxxx Kumar of Eureka Forbes labs to know their lab-results Vs competition. The summary was that their RO membrane is more or less identical vs competition. The Integra7 has optional modules not available in competitors such as for,
a. removal of heavy metals (Cadmium) & iron which may not be completely eliminated. Note this optional module may/may not be relevant, as it was launched for WB & Orissa.
b. Magnetizing chamber

In summary for high-end RO systems, Kent and Integra 7 stand-out in the category of filtration+RO+UV. Kent system costs around Rs.14,000 only, but does not have auto-clean of filters like Integra7 (I need to check this out). But personally I don’t mind manual cleaning than having to pay Rs.10,000 more on the Integra7. This ends my dilemma. Once again vanilla RO systems (with pre-filters) start at Rs.8K from Eureka Forbes.

Thanks to Sudarsan for sharing his experiences.


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Posted in Reverse Osmosis, Water | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bubble Top water refill packs – How safe are they?

Posted by Vivek on September 5, 2007

To continue the topic which was sparked off by Sudarsan, I thought it would make sense to touch upon this issue.

Bubble Top

Image Courtesy : The Hindu (via google search)

Although the water inside the pack is supposed to be pure, triple distilled, ozononized etc., we seldom realize that the exterior of the pack is simply gathering and collecting dust for free.

If you ever see how these cans are handled, stored and transported, you would think twice before inverting them on your water dispenser.

All I am saying here is that, these mechanisms probably will induce more health related problems if one is not careful.

The key thing to remember here, is that most of the water dispensers have a mouth opening which can accommodate nearly whole of the top portion of the bubble-top. So if one is not careful, the debris from this region goes directly into your water dispenser (ouch).

For starters I strongly recommend:

  • watch the water can carefully to see if it has visible dust, mud or some deposits
  • Make sure that there is no indication of contamination inside
  • Purchase water refill packs only in day time
  • Make sure you see and confirm things before breaking open the seal
  • avoid local brands which are unheard of completely

 There is another alternative to bubble top. That is completely sealed cans. I used to get it from Bisleri sometime back. I do not know if they are still available.

Please make sure that you confirm water quality standards to protect you and your family from easily avoidable problems.

cheers

Posted in Tips, Water | 4 Comments »

Drinking Water for home

Posted by sudarsan on September 4, 2007

Drinking Water 

Image Courtesy: Flickr

Lets look at the contemporary options for drinking water at our homes,

1. Metro Water – Apparently the treated metro water still has organic and inorganic contaminants.    Boiling, eBoiling etc do a limited job in killing microbes (Bacteria, virus), but does a poorly against chemical contaminants in the water.  Of course using an Aquaguard can get rid of some chemical contaminants too (but I am not sure if it can remove all inorganic contaminants in our water). 

2. Ground water – Same as above

3. Buying Purified drinking water – Expensive water from Coke, Pepsi, Bisleri, Team deliver quality consistently.   Cheaper local supplies may be laced with contaminants.

It is okay to keep status-quo, but test the water you drink at a lab for “ALL” organic and inorganic contaminants, before you consume.   Many people whom I have talked to hold a notion, that body exposed to contaminated water makes you immune.   It may not be always true, as chemical contaminants like mercury, lead, cadmium can do irreparable damage to our brain and body.  

So if the lab results are unsatisfactory best is to establish Reverse Osmosis plant at home.    It starts at about RS10,000 (8 litres per hour, Annual maintenance of about Rs600), and since this technology extracts pure water, its free of all contaminants (same as what the Pepsi, Coke, Team or Bisleri delivers as Purified drinking water)…..However if your well water is safe (take samples when the water table is low as well as when the water table is high), that would be better as it can have good minerals in it.

Posted in Home, Kitchen, Reverse Osmosis, Tips, Water | 8 Comments »

Water conservation at home

Posted by Vivek on September 2, 2007

Water conservation is more critical than we all could imagine. It is not only a favor you are doing to the society but also contributing to less fossil fuel burning. I know this is surprising, but hey, when we run out of water, it is electricity which is used to pump it up to our overhead tanks. And where does this electricity come from? In today’s post, I will discuss a few ways of conserving water at home.

Conserve

Image courtesy : http://www.schertz.com

The above image maybe a graphical representation of water usage patterns outside India, but I think, this is also applicable to India with a minor change in the percentage values involved.

 Before I even come to suggesting change of habits, here are a few things which are mandatory for water conservation in every home:

  • Make sure that you do not have dripping taps or faulty taps.
  • Ensure that your flush tanks are not faulty. I have known cases where people don’t even realize that this could be a potential problem and silently the flush tank looses litres of water, hour after hour.
  • If you change the parts in the tap, make a note of the date when it was changed and ask your plumber what is the expected life span on this new part. This way you would know how long before you can replace it pro-actively.
  • Use quality parts while replacing. If possible, invest in good quality fittings to start with.
  • Inculcate habits of effective water usage to children (and adults). Children are going to run the show tomorrow. They ought to learn the importance of good potable water.
  • Investigate methods by which you could reuse water at home.
  • If you building/home does not have a rain water harvesting system, please deploy this. You would be surprised at the amount of good which it does to ground water levels.

 Besides these points mentioned we could also adopt the following measures:

  • Do not let the water running while brushing teeth or shaving.
  • Use shower if possible instead of the bucket/mug based bath. You may not believe it but shower helps reduce water consumption. And it is refreshing too.
  • In the kitchen, plug the basin and reuse water. Traditionally we let the water run through for each and every vessel washed/rinsed.
  • Try to consolidate clothes for one “large” lot of wash instead of two or three cycles in medium setting.

Each drop counts. So lets do our best to conserve water for our coming generations.

chill out

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Posted in Bathroom, Environment, Kitchen, Tips, Water | 3 Comments »