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Aqualab
09-01-2012, 02:38 PM
Would like some opinions before I spend the cash - considering buying a 100 GPD 5-stage RO DI filtration system with chloramine filters, similar to what the aquarium hobbiests use to filter their water. Makes very pure water. This is not a whole house system - those are too expensive, just a 100gpd system. I am presently on a well but will be switching over to "city" water shortly. That means chlorine and who knows what else? The other option is to buy bottled water which is not regulated so who knows where it is coming from and how pure it is - a spigot in back room of store or warehouse for all we know. Other than the initial outlay for the small system and minimal cartridge change outs due to volume of water going through it, seams a good option.

fatbloke
09-02-2012, 03:01 AM
Would like some opinions before I spend the cash - considering buying a 100 GPD 5-stage RO DI filtration system with chloramine filters, similar to what the aquarium hobbiests use to filter their water. Makes very pure water. This is not a whole house system - those are too expensive, just a 100gpd system. I am presently on a well but will be switching over to "city" water shortly. That means chlorine and who knows what else? The other option is to buy bottled water which is not regulated so who knows where it is coming from and how pure it is - a spigot in back room of store or warehouse for all we know. Other than the initial outlay for the small system and minimal cartridge change outs due to volume of water going through it, seams a good option.
Are you moving house/apartment etc or just the water supply ? Because here, our service has just been put on a water meter, so future bills will be for exact household useage. Which for the small RO system I bought a couple of months ago, would work out expensive to run i.e. of every 100 litres in, I'd get about 20 litres of RO water.

So if it's just changing the supply, then an RO system, but use the well supply pumped, then the return/waste back to the well ? Then it'd be the "ideal".

I'm having to think up ways of rain water harvesting, so that I can keep enough water made as RO, but so that I can also return the waste to a barrel for garden use.

The domestic utility supply here, only really needs sorting out as RO, because we're in a very hard water area. Now I don't know about what it'd be like in your neck of the woods from a point of hardness, calcium hardness, magnesium salts etc, but it's that that causes a "harshness" to taste with my meads, the chlorine/chloramine etc doesn't seem to be an issue.

So it's really all about whats actually happening with your change of supply and how the new supply is costed/priced/charged etc.....

Aqualab
09-02-2012, 08:53 AM
Hey Fatbloke, when you consider the electrical cost to run the well pump which is significant, the metered city supply water is actually less or at worst the same cost. I also have a water softner due to the well water being hard and use iron salt pellets because of elevated iron in the water. I would not need that anymore so costs for salt is also gone. Actually ahead of the game cost-wise when all is considered. The waste water from the RO DI system would be captured for veg garden use. Figured that I would only use the purification system maybe twice a year to make 12-gallons or so each time for two batches, so the filters would last for years. It is portable so it would come with me if/when we moved.

fatbloke
09-02-2012, 11:21 AM
Hey Fatbloke, when you consider the electrical cost to run the well pump which is significant, the metered city supply water is actually less or at worst the same cost. I also have a water softner due to the well water being hard and use iron salt pellets because of elevated iron in the water. I would not need that anymore so costs for salt is also gone. Actually ahead of the game cost-wise when all is considered. The waste water from the RO DI system would be captured for veg garden use. Figured that I would only use the purification system maybe twice a year to make 12-gallons or so each time for two batches, so the filters would last for years. It is portable so it would come with me if/when we moved.
Yeah, I can see what you mean. Iron isn't a problem here and we don't have any softener system either - yet the dish washer is 12 years old and the salt for that seems to do the trick with keeping the limescale down.

In my case, it would just be to make enough RO for the home brewing and for my partner to water her orchids. So I can probably get away with a basic set up using barrels to capture the rain water and run that through the RO filter. I probably only need something like 50 gallons a year as well. I can use the waste for my experiments for making ethanol/methanol fuel additive, as well as meddling with bio-diesel (and then see how well my van runs on it ;D ). The waste from the RO would be fine for the cooling the condenser part, it's just the practicalities of setting it up i.e. where to site the barrels (probably 2 x 225 litre) for catching the rain water, a small submersible pump to supply my RO filter and a further barrel for the waste water.

I figure that as long as I keep the barrels reasonably clean, then the RO filters should need few changes (there's info in the packaging about their presumed longevity for normal connections to utility water).

Dunno if anyone else has these sort of issues, but I'll be watching the thread to see if anyone has any other "good ideas" that I might be able to adapt......

Chevette Girl
09-03-2012, 06:42 PM
From the reading I've done, chloramines leave far more of a residual taste in beer than in wine or mead. My city water supply is faintly acidic so they add lime to it to bring the pH back up which effectively hardens it just a little... Chlorine will dissipate if you just let it sit a few hours.

I haven't gone and done my own experiments yet (out of honey again) but having drunk a lot of water from many sources, calcium hardness itself doesn't necessarily change the taste (I actually prefer it when I'm drinking, my mom's well water is SO tasty if you get it from the tap before the softener gets to it), it's just when it's combined with sulphur or iron that the taste gets interesting (our cottage's well water leaves you with a faint aftertaste of "blood? Did I just bite myself?" and the barn's well water has a very faint sulphur component that you can get used to but I probably wouldn't want to brew with. Softened water I find to be gross in every way, I much prefer my city water to my mother's softened well water. My friends have a RO filter for their gross well water (sulphur again, and so hard that their softener leaves stuff that precipitates out) and it's pretty good water.

Just remember a few things to look into before getting the system: you may need different RO filters depending on whether you're dealing with a well source or a municipal source, I seem to recall from my days at selling water softeners that one type of filter is good for wells because it's bacteria resistant and the other's better for municipal water because it can deal with the chlorine/chloramines. Also, do some research into what happens if you leave them unused for months at a time, I don't know if RO filters get buggered up when they dry out but it'd be damn inconvenient to find that out six months down the road after you left it sitting after its first successful use.

And if I didn't live in a frigging condo townhouse and if I had gross wellwater, I'd be very tempted to do something similar, using it only for drinking water and putting its waste water into the garden... if I had a garden...

I find it interesting that your electricity cost for running a well pump is significant compared to your water bill, my condo corporation reports that their single biggest cost next to snow clearing is municipal water.