Filters for Nonpotable Water
I have returned from a 10 week stay in China. There was no potable water from any facet, and all water had to be boiled before drinking it. I boiled water once to drink and later found orange sediment on the bottom of the pan. It is my understanding that the water is laden with bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals. What filter system could be used to purify the tap water and remove metals? Thank you. China411
Water Filters for China
Know what you mean, they sell R.O. filters for home use in China. That said it is important to remove the contaminants prior to the R.O.. You should get a water analysis done to know what you have in the water, you will need a liter of the water for a proper analysis.
The red stuff you see is most probably rust from the piping and just plain dirt (soil) The general of thumb is if it smells ban and taste bad don't drink it. Obviously boiling is best for drinking.
There are several pre filters you can use to remove most contaminants including Resin, KDF, and carbon before the R.O.. It is important to keep these filters changed according to the Mfrs recommendations.
There are also several low cost instruments that will indicate the general condition of the water as far as bacteria is concerned.
You also need to be careful of water borne cysts that are very dangerous in drinking water, there are filters to remove most all of the contaminants, you will also require a small pressure pump to force the water through the filters.
A very good filter to use finally is a Ceramic filter which will catch most all bacteria and water borne critters.
Hope this helps
Harvey in Thailand
Filtering nonpotable water
Thank you Harvey -
I did not know that there were ro home units in use in China. I certainly did not see them in use where I was. Do you know who distributes them?
The cysts and bacteria really concern me; it sounds like there are several units necessary.
Can you tell me about the home testing kits? That would probably be a good place to start. I am not sure who would test water in China ... perhaps we should send a sample to the States??
Rarely is ONE treatment method adequate to handle most contaminants. Health issues must be faced and then aesthetic ones. When you live in a place where the tap water is unsafe, then a constant, and reliable treatment system must be used, monitored and maintained.
Disinfection (as opposed to sanitizing) can be achieved by a variety of methods. UV lights, iodine, boiling, filtration and other chemical feeds have long been used with both positive and negative aspects. Just as well, each sytem may need to be accompanied by addition sytems to complement, support or back-up the disinfection process.
Clearly, testing is always the best 'first step'. China has made huge steps in the last decade in joining the modern world in both handling social ills as well as creating them. There are superior labs there that can detemine what's in the water. Finding one may be your biggest hurdle, especilly in rural ares. Sending a sample to the US many be awkward. Declaring to customs that you are sending a possibly hazardous material will raise a few eybrows and perhaps a big trash lid.
China also has an incredible supply of residential equipment to handle water issues. Many products are getting certified through third-party labs but many are still off-the-shelf and hyped by marketing.
Andy Chrsitensen, CWS-II
Last edited by Andy CWS; 02-27-2008 at 08:14 AM.