My Straw Looks Broken In A Glass of Water

My Straw Looks Broken In A Glass of Water

Popular Science brings us an explanation to this very cool phenomenon.

“Place a straw in a glass of water, and behold: It looks broken. What’s tricking your brain?

Similar to this illusion, the light that reflects off the straw allows your visual system to process and identify its shape as it travels through mediums of varying densities. But as light passes from air into water, which is denser, it changes direction, or refracts.

Your brain can’t correct for these visual effects, so it decides on the location of the object (the straw) based solely on where the reflecting light is coming from. Above the water, the light reflects from the straw through the air and glass to your eyes. But below, when the light also travels through water, the refraction causes the image of the straw to be in a slightly different location. The water also acts as a type of magnifying lens, making the size of the straw seem larger than it actually is. To the brain, the straw appears broken (and bloated).

That’s why spearfishing is so hard to master. From far away, the fish you are eyeing always looks nearer to the surface of the water than it actually is. The key is to get as close to the fish as possible, without it seeing you. Otherwise, you go home empty-handed.”

My Straw Looks Broken In A Glass of Water

This article was originally published in the March/April 2017 issue of Popular Science

Hard Water vs Soft Water

Hard Water vs Soft Water

The definition of water hardness is “the level of certain minerals (particularly calcium and magnesium) found in your water supply”.

“Hard Water” contains large amounts of these mineral deposits and can cause both aesthetic as well as usage problems for consumers. Spots on your dishes after washing and rinsing them? Lime scale build-up on your shower? Soap not making and lather? Yup – that’s hard water right there.

Hard water may also cause pipes to clog, much the same way a kettle would build up layers of lime scale if not properly cleaned. It can also – surprisingly – increase your electricity usage! Hard water contains minerals that cause the heating process to take longer than usual; in short – hard water is no good!

The method for measuring water hardness levels is “Grains Per Gallon”. These grains are dissolved particles of any substance.

The table below, provided by the Water Quality Association – is a great guideline for ascertaining if your water falls into the hard or soft water category.

 

Grains Per Gallon Hard or Soft
Less than 1.0 Soft Water
1.0 – 3.5 Slightly Hard Water
3.5 – 7.0 Moderately Hard Water
7.0 – 10.5 Hard Water
10.5 + Very Hard Water

 

Softening your water can be done in numerous ways. (thanks WikiHow for the below facts!)

 

Softening Water for The Home

Boil your water.

Boiling water only removes some types of hardness (“temporary hardness”), so it will not work for all homes. Try this once to see if it works for you.

Bring the water to a boil for a few minutes.

Let it cool for a couple of hours. White minerals should settle to the bottom of the pot.

Siphon or scoop up the top of the water, leaving the minerals behind.

 

 

Buy a small ion exchange filter.

Some models attach to a kitchen tap, while others come in pitchers for you to store drinking water. The softened water often has a better taste, but the effect depends on the exact minerals in your water.

This “filter” does not actually remove most contaminants, unless the device has a secondary filter (such as carbon filter or reverse osmosis).

 

Install a Home-System Ion Exchange Softener

Ion exchange softeners are by far the most effective home softener. Ion exchange softeners come in two types:

1) Sodium chloride: the most common and most effective type. This adds a tiny amount of salt (sodium) to your water.

2) Potassium chloride: less effective, but useful if you can’t have sodium. The potassium can harm people with damaged kidneys or on certain medications that prevent potassium absorption.

 

If you don’t want sodium or potassium, pick either type and install a reverse osmosis (RO) filter as well to remove them after softening.

 

If you need pre-purified, premium quality water in your home or office, be sure to give us a shout, or simply leave your details below :-)

 

Cover Image Credit: APEC Water Systems 

Strawberry and Mint Infused Water

Strawberry and Mint Infused Water

Throw away than can of over-sugared, over flavoured, carbon and acid filled poison! Summer is here, it’s time to shed our Winter coats and start indulging in the mazing fruit variety that only this time of year can provide.

Try this tasty recipe with your next braai!

 

How to Make Strawberry and Mint Infused Water

You’ll need:

  • About six large, fresh strawberries cut up into halves with their stems removed.
  • Half a lemon, sliced (it’s a good idea to remove the pips from the lemon, so they don’t make their way into your glass or down your throat unexpectedly.
  • A handful of fresh mint, shredded or crushed to release the flavour
  • Ice cubes (crushed is great, this will give you the feel of a slushy and keep your drink colder for longer)
  • Purified water; using tap water with such beautiful ingredients should be punishable. Make sure you use high-quality water when making your flavoured drinks.

 

How to make it:

  • If you’re using crushed ice or normal ice-blocks, place them into your pitcher as a base.
  • Add your sliced strawberries, sliced lemon and mint.
  • Pour over your purified water, and using the back of a wooden spoon, stir gently together. Make sure all the fruit and mint has been mixed in.
  • Place this pitcher into your fridge overnight to allow the flavours to infuse.

Sip and enjoy this guilt-free, refreshing drink!

 

 

Guidelines for a Water Wise Garden this Summer

Guidelines for a Water Wise Garden this Summer

It’s time for the trees and plants to start budding, the smell of freshly cut, lush grass fills the air on a Saturday morning and we can’t wait for that upcoming braai by the poolside.

Are we paying close enough attention to how much water we’re using in our gardens every day, though?

Here are some valuable tips for keeping your garden sparkling, with as little water as possible.

Tips for Reducing Water Usage in your Garden

  • Water your plants in the late afternoon, when the sun is low. This allows your plants to absorb water before it evaporates in the hot midday sun.
  • Harvest rain water and use it to re-water plants at a later stage. If the weather man gives you a heads up that you can expect some downpour, place some buckets or large containers out in your garden while it rains. Keep that water to irrigate your garden a week or so down the line, instead of using “fresh” water from your hosepipe.
  • Plant water-retaining plants, like succulents; they require far less maintenance in terms of daily watering, and as opposed to larger plants or even trees, they consume far less water in general.
  • Take an empty, cleaned 2 litre soft drink bottle. Cut off the bottom and poke plenty of holes into the body of the bottle. “Plant” this bottle amongst your actual plants, and fill with water. This mechanism allows for a slow-release of water throughout the day, and is especially helpful if you’re going on holiday and want to preserve your plants.
  • Make sure you don’t over-water. If you’ve given into the temptation to water your garden with a hose, make sure you don’t go overboard. Doing so will leach valuable nutrients from the soil (costing you money to replace them), as well as cause loss of oxygen in the soil pore spaces – increasing the chance of root rot and other diseases from suffocation. It does more harm than good!
  • Lastly, keep a close eye on hoe often you’re refilling or back washing your swimming pool. Try to add a cover over the pool that prevents loss of water through evaporation.

What other tips do you have? We’d love to hear your feedback!

 

 

 

Are Plant-Based Plastic Water Bottles Helping Our Environment or Ruining It?

Are Plant-Based Plastic Water Bottles Helping Our Environment or Ruining It?

As a collective, we are moving more and more towards a preference for natural-based products – those which we can recycle, some which consist of 90% plant-based material. Keywords like “organic”, “biodegradable” and “natural” pique our interests and make us believe we are contributing to a greener planet.

The real question is – are we? While it is impossible to sell water in anything other than plastic or glass, some plant-based plastic water bottles may not be as effective in adding to eco-friendliness as we’d like to believe.

It’s important to know that the technical term for plant-based plastic water bottles is referred to as PLA – “Poly or Polylactic acid or Polylactide is a biodegradable and bioactive thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch, cassava roots, chips or starch, or sugarcane.”

Thanks to this article from TreeHugger.com, we can start to understand what really is beneficial for us and our planet – and weed out that which is not.

Problems Associated with Plant-Based Plastic Water Bottles

  • Compostable bottles are rarely ever composted. The facilities exist in only a few places, and the inclination of people to make a dedicated trip to the recycling plant every week or month is not something people are too keen to do.
  • Where there is recycling of PET, the compostable bottles can ruin it. PET is regarded as the best food-grade plastic to use for water bottles, as it is BPA free and does not leach same into the water it contains. “It only takes a small percent of PLA to make PET non-viable – and that is just another concern for plastic re-processors to deal with.”
  • PLA bottles actually use a LOT of energy in their manufacturing process; using fossil fuels to produce plant-based bottles kinda cancels the benefits out, doesn’t it? “Corn plastics are controversial for a few reasons, not the least of which is that they use a resource that is energy intensive to produce, and because they can really gum up the works of recycling centres when not sorted properly. PLA can be sorted and recycled, but it takes some energy intensive processes to do it. That means they’re energy intensive, and carbon intensive, from the start all the way to the end.” In short: It really isn’t as eco-friendly as it is portrayed to be.

 

 

While you may be on the fence about this, we always suggest you research before you commit to one side of this battle. What have your own experiences been, and which type of plastic do you prefer?

 

AQA Sodax Water Machines South Africa: Are You Ready for Superior Technology for a Simple Life?

AQA Sodax Water Machines South Africa: Are You Ready for Superior Technology for a Simple Life?

I bet my bottom dollar (or rand, or Euro – whatever) that every single person reading this has at least once in their life encountered the “office water cooler”. When they first came out, they were bulky, not really designed to be attractive, and didn’t lend us much convenience – other than chilled water and a place to hang out during unofficial tea breaks at work.

We’ve seen water coolers becoming more and more advanced technologically – especially with the introduction of POU (Point of Use) water coolers. These type of water coolers did away entirely with the bulky pre-filled bottle – and instead – are plumbed directly into your water mains.

This allowed a whole new world to open in terms of fresh water on tap – you could now have your water filtered and purified on-site; no more heavy bottles, no more worrying about storage space for those bottles, no running out of water because you forgot to order.

Then along came the Sodax, and blew us all away…

 

AQA Sodax Water Machine South Africa

Sodax Screen 1

Choose how bubbly you want your water to be!

 

Choose the best temperature for your needs

Choose the best temperature for your needs

 

Control your machine from the interactive home page

Control your machine from the interactive home page

Hot water. Sparkling water. Cold water. All from one very, very sleek looking machine that sits comfortably on your counter-top.

The Sodax Water Machine comes in red, white, gray, silver and black – and has some beautiful features.

  • Modern & friendly touch-screen system;
  • Connection to water supply OR water reservoir;
  • Uniquely designed flat filtration system;
  • 11 watts ultra-violet lamp (UV) for bacteria-free purified water;
  • Due date time messages for replacing the filter & UV lamp;
  • Quick and easy change of CO2 bottle, filter & UV lamp;
  • Multi languages options;
  • Pre-set options of cups sizes & temperatures for different users;
  • Easy programmable child safety option;
  • Energy Saving and night Sleep Mode options with automatic Wake-up;
  • Selectable and adjustable Soda strength for your preference;
  • Automatic internal cleaning, flushing and descaling system

 

The nitty-gritty technical stuff:

  • Electrical and Power ratings:
  • Mains Voltage – 230 Vac
  • Frequency – 50 Hz
  • Cooling System power consumption – 100 Watt max
  • Heating System power consumption – 1800 Watt max
  • Current consumption – 8.0 Amps max

 

Cooling System Performances:

  • Cold water reservoir volume – 700 ml
  • Soda Water reservoir volume – 1000 ml
  • Cold water output per hour – 40 glasses – 8 liters
  • Cooling Temperature Range – 5 – 16°C

Heating System Performances:

  • Hot water reservoir volume – 1125 ml
  • Hot water output per hour – 80 glasses – 16 liters
  • Heating Temperature Range – 90 – 97°C

Filtration and Purification:

  • Chlorine reduction Over 75% (Class I)
  • Filtration levely – 85% 5°m
  • Filter service life 2000 liters / 6 months
  • UV lamp power – 11W
  • UV germicidal performance – Class B

 

Water Supply:

  • Water reservoir volume – x1 2400 ml – x10 3400 ml
  • Reservoir pump pressure – 3.0 bar max
  • Reservoir pump power supply – 24 Vdc
  • Water System (inlet pressure range) – 2.5 – 3.5 bar (0.25MPa – 0.35MPa)
  • Water Inlet Temperature range – 5°C – 25°C

 

Dimensions/Wt.:

  • Width – 29.5 cm
  • Depth – 36.0 cm
  • Height – 39.5 cm
  • Weight – 18 Kg
Choose your favourite colour

Choose your favourite colour

 

If you’re ready to try this machine out, fill out the form below or contact us on 0861 278 292.

How Much Water Does A Pool Lose In A Day?

How Much Water Does A Pool Lose In A Day?

Larger bodies of water lose a lot of their contained water to leaks – but the biggest culprit of water loss (especially from a swimming pool) is evaporation!

“On average, swimming pools lose about a quarter of an inch of water each day, yet variations in wind intensity, humidity and sunlight can drastically change water loss rates.”

A really useful tool to calculate your total water loss can be found right here!

What Causes Pool Water Evaporation?

In South Africa, where we have experienced Summertime temperatures at the beginning of Spring, reaching into the 30 degree mark already – our largest factor for cause of evaporation is intense sunlight. Wind and humidity factors do come into play, but extremely high temperatures are most to blame.

There are three main factors for evaporation: Exposure, temperature and humidity levels.

Exposure. The more your pool is exposed to the sun and wind, the more evaporation you’ll see. A screened pool will evaporate less than an unscreened pool. A pool surrounded by a fence, trees or a structure will evaporate less than a pool that’s facing an open sky. A pool that isn’t on a lake, golf course or other large piece of land will evaporate less than a pool that is.

Temperature. Throughout our cooler months in Central Florida, we see a significant contrast between the high and low temperatures, sometimes in excess of 25 degrees. This allows your pool to heat up during the day and evaporate all night. In fact, if the sun is down and you turn on your pool light, you’ll likely see a mist above the pool. This is the water evaporating and it does this all night, every night.

Humidity. High humidity equals very low evaporation, whereas low humidity equals high evaporation. The air is like a towel or a sponge: The more dry it is, the more water it can hold. In other words, ladies, if you know your perfectly styled locks will fall as soon as you walk outside, you can expect very low evaporation from your pool.

That all being said – how many litres of water does your pool lose per day?

“The average supply is around 17 litres per minute. Topping up the pool everyday or second day in summer can work out to a lot of water: 17 litres x 30 minutes x 30 days = 15, 300 litres a month! Combine this top-up with water lost through evaporation (approximately 9000ℓ per month) and your pool’s water use could be up to 24 000 litres per month.”

How To Stop Pool Water From Evaporating

Unless you have a load of cash stacked away for an exorbitant water bill, or find no harm ins wasting this precious natural resource, it’s best you consider getting a “pool blanket” to place over your swimming pool when it is not in use.

Covering the surface area with a non-porous material will prevent any water loss.

Pool covering can be found at all major retailers – but an inexpensive fix is to take an industrial-sized roll of “bubble wrap” and lay it out over your pool. Keeping the “bubble side” down allows for continued and better buoyancy – but if you own a pet who enjoys time outside, or is inclined to jump into the pool – please, please keep a close eye on them. Using any pool covering can trap an animal inside if they do not know how to navigate their escape.

Some other tips on how to be “pool wise” can be added to this, to save even more water.

  • Don’t “bomb” or splash in the pool too much
  • Drip dry on the top step so the water goes back into the pool (never thought of this one did we?)
  • Avoid overfilling the pool: the water level should be about half way up the skimmer box opening for the filter to function properly
  • Think about lowering the water level to reduce losses from splashing

h/t to AngiesList and CapeWaterMatters for the info!

Aquazania Purified Water : The Process Behind Creating Great-Tasting, Healthy Water!

Aquazania Purified Water: The Process Behind Creating Great-Tasting, Healthy Water!

Whether you have an Aquazania water machine for office or home use, you can commend yourself for being a beneficiary of the country’s purest and healthiest water!  This is because of the level of purification that we put into our water here at Aquazania – removing 100% of impurities.

If you’re interested in learning how we purify our water, you’ve come to the right place!

Water Purification Processes

There is no new water in the world.  Each drop that we consume undergoes some processing, whether it occurs naturally (through precipitation or rock filtration) or via man-made purification methods.

Water is precious, and we therefore have to protect each and every drop available to us.  We also have to ensure that the water we consume is good for us, as some filtration processes may leave harmful contaminants, such as excess chlorine or fluoride in the water.

At Aquazania, this is not the case.  We put our water through a rigorous nine stage purification process in order to remove contaminants such as fluoride, aluminium, and chlorine – contaminants which may be present in municipal water, and even certain forms of bottled water.

In addition to removing these contaminants, we inject our water with a healthy amount of minerals – being magnesium, calcium, and potassium.  We keep these mineral levels low, however, as large amounts of these can negatively affect the taste and quality of water.

Aquazania Water’s Winning Recipe

The process whereby we came about the ‘recipe’ for Aquazania water was very involved, and required hundreds of taste-tests of different sources of water.  These efforts were undoubtedly worth it! As we ended up with the fantastic-tasting, healthy pure water today satisfies thousands of customers in both homes and offices around the country.

Having an Aquazania water machine for office use (or a water machine for home use) shows those around you that you care about their health and general wellbeing.  And, importantly, finding a water machine for rent is extremely easy – just contact us or visit our website for a large selection of products in a very affordable water machine price range.

Your health is unequivocally priceless, making our water machine price range extremely attractive.  And, when you consider the lengths to which we go to ensure that we provide you with the absolute best water possible, Aquazania water becomes even more attractive!

 

For the video on how our water is bottled – head on over here!

 

Single Use Water Bottle Caps VS Reusable Water Bottle Caps

Single Use Water Bottle Caps VS Reusable Water Bottle Caps

Large water bottles which are designed for water cooler applications are generally sized anywhere between 18 litres, all the way up to our very own 21.8 litre bottle.

These bottles are often re-used by their respective suppliers, undergoing a cleaning process, refilling and subsequent capping of the bottles.

Focusing on the capping of the bottles, we see one major difference – the use of single-use bottle caps (such as Aquazania’s blue plastic caps), or a cap which is fitted permanently to the bottle, and re-sealed with a sticker of sorts after each refill.

Each of these types of lids have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Single Use Water Bottle Caps

single use water bottle cap

An example of a single-use water bottle cap.

 

Off the cuff, we can all agree that hygiene is the advantage at the forefront of these types of water bottle caps. Your bottle cap is as pure as the water contained inside – and you can be sure that no residue from previous uses of the bottle remain behind.

You might be thinking, “But what about the extra plastic?” Well, the amount of PET required to generate a cap so small is almost insignificant; further to that marginal extra use of plastic, each and every bottle lid we receive back is grouped together and recycled. They contain no harmful BPA, so the consumer can rest assured, knowing that every single part of the water bottle you get from us is safe and non-toxic.

You also have the additional peace of mind knowing that nobody could have tampered with the water inside when using this type of bottle cap.

Another benefit you get from receiving our single use bottle caps is the date stamp feature. You can see the exact production date of each and every bottle of water, so you know you’re getting the freshest and cleanest possible water – every time.

Reusable Water Bottle Caps

reusable water bottle caps

An example of reusable water bottle caps.

 

In terms of ease of use, as well as less pressure to manufacture new lids for each bottle of water you bottle, the advantages of these types of bottle caps are not as expansive.

It may not be the case for every bottled water supplier out there, as we do not know every single process of sterilisation and cleaning their water bottles undergo, but the risk associated with permanently adhered bottle caps that are re-sealed with a sticker can be far reaching.

If there is any kind of bacteria picked up by the water bottle from another user and the supplier’s sterilisation method is not able to fully remove the bacteria lodged inside, it is possible the water may become contaminated. Furthermore, in comparison to the sturdiness offered by a single-use water bottle cap, the resealable bottle cap method is not as reliable. Stickers do carry merit in terms of durability, but a puncture could spell disaster.

Lastly, when you own a water cooler, chances are you store a few water cooler bottles next to it, making it easier to replace your water when your current bottle is depleted. The sticky residue used to adhere the label to the lid may possibly be transferred into the spike (which pierces the lid) inside your water cooler  – and the build-up of this adhesive over time may eventually find its way to your water and cause a strange taste.

What are your thoughts?

Do you prefer single use bottle caps or reusable sticker-type bottle caps? Do you have an ingenious solution that helps the planet and the people? We always love to hear from you!

Purified Water vs Distilled Water: What Is The Difference?

Purified Water vs Distilled Water: What Is The Difference?

If you’re concerned about the quality of your drinking water, and are wondering what type of water is best for consumption, you’ve certainly come to the right place.  As leaders in the purified water business, we at Aquazania truly appreciate people looking out for their health by caring about what they consume.

As purified water suppliers, we see many people focused on finding high-quality drinking water. This sometimes leads them to a crossroads when they have to decide on the right purified water for sale.

This tough decision is usually a choice between purified water vs distilled water.

By doing some research on the topic, many people bypass spring and mineral water.  The reason for this is the fact that these types of water aren’t as pure as they seem.  True, spring water is, sometimes, completely natural, but this means that it does lack a certain level of purity.

Mineral water contains dissolved minerals, but that gives it a relatively high count of parts per million (PPM), which can make it almost as impure as tap water in some cases.

So, What’s In Purified Water for Sale?

As the name suggests, purified water is the purest form of water out there, owing to the success of the purified water business in general.  There are various forms of purification which water can undergo, but the end result should ensure that the water is as pure as physically possible, usually boasting a low mineral count of between zero and one particle per million.

Distilled water is also technically purified water.  It also boasts a low particle count per million and is healthy for consumption.  However, unlike the processes utilised by purified water suppliers, distilled water is purified through distillation.

Purified Water vs Distilled Water

Distilled water undergoes purification through a distillation process.  This involves boiling the water for the purpose of collecting the steam, and then condensing that steam back into water.  This process rids the water of impurities, making it clear and healthy.

So, while there is little difference in the purity of distilled and purified water, there is a difference in the process of creation.  But, more importantly, there is a difference in price.

Because of the distillation process and the amount of energy used in it, the cost of distilled water is higher.  The costs involved with water purification are lower, and thus the retail cost of purified water is lower as well.

Purified water is thus the rockstar of the drinking water world; popular with health-conscious people because of its purity and popular with everyone because of its reasonable price.