Water Cooler Facts You May Not Have Known

Water Cooler Facts You May not Have Known

Water coolers or water dispensers are one of the best ways to enjoy guaranteed fresh drinking water at your preferred temperature, any time of the day or night; but there’s a lot more to water coolers than meets the eye.

While most people are aware of the health benefits associated with water coolers – as well as drinking purified water – the amount of money you’ll save by owning one, and the tremendous environmental benefits, there are other things you might be surprised to learn.

Gone are the days of hot-and-cold only water coolers

Although there are still many, many water coolers available that only dispense chilled or heated  water, models are available that can dispense sparkling, ambient and temperature-controlled water, too!

Hot and cold water dispensers are great for people who prefer tea, cocoa, or even just enjoy drinking their water hot. In fact, hot water dispensers are so versatile that you can actually use them to make soup and cup noodles. What’s more is that you have the convenience of having purified boiling AND cold water at hand to fill a baby’s bottle in less than a minute. It’s an incredibly practical feature, and most people wonder how they ever did without it once they have it.

If you have children, you may be worried about safety with a hot water dispenser. Fortunately, hot water dispensers tend to have safety features that prevent against accidental use of the hot water spigot. Most manufacturers make safety features like this a priority, but you want to take care to check the model you’re buying before you make a purchase.

A water cooler that has the capability of dispensing sparkling and temperature-controlled water would typically be more of a modern-looking machine, and will also typically have the functionality to be plumbed-in. Families and business alike – those who enjoy sparkling water at hand – may make the best use of this. However, with the addition of filtration and UV sterilisation as we see in the AQA Sodax, this is a perfect fit to a home that needs temperature control water dispensing for baby bottles, etc., while still having functionality to make your very own sparkling water.

Not all water coolers require a dedicated spot next to your fridge

There are portable water dispensers that are perfect for camping, holiday homes or the countertop.

Some people are surprised to learn that portable countertop water dispensers are a thing, but they are, and they’re absolutely wonderful for so many reasons.

Maybe you don’t have enough space for a full-size water dispenser, or perhaps you want something you can bring with you and use during an outdoor event like a summer party or a camping trip. Regardless of your needs, portable water dispensers make it super easy to enjoy fresh drinking water anywhere you are.

The only “downside” is that if you do not have access to a power source, your water will only be dispensed at ambient temperature as opposed to piping hot or chilled.

Water cooler maintenance is one of the easiest things

Wipe your water bottled-water cooler every day (with a clean cloth, no chemicals, please), keep it plugged in at all times, and keep it filled with clean water if it’s a top- or bottom-loading unit that uses water bottles. That’s it. For plumbed-in coolers, ensure your filter is replaced based on your daily usage of the machine and also wipe it down daily.

In fact, water cooler cleaning and maintenance only takes a few minutes. Don’t forget to check for leaks and wipe the wire grid on the back of the unit with a soft cloth to remove lint and dust (a vacuum works for this, as well).

If it’s ever completely empty, you’ll want to unplug the unit – especially if it’s a hot and cold water dispenser. Leaving it plugged in while empty could actually damage the unit, something you want to avoid.

 

Fill out the form below to get yourself or your business an Aquazania Purified Water cooler.

 

 

Things to Know About Getting a Water Cooler – Before You Get One

Things to Know About Getting a Water Cooler – Before You Get One

As water shortages become more of a stark reality globally, and water quality is compromised in South Africa due to irresponsible management of water systems by municipalities polluting the Vaal Water System , it is not always easy to have access to proper, pure drinking water.

Water coolers, whatever their type or model, are well-known modern-day solutions for businesses and private homes alike. They supply filtered, purified or similar drinking water at a reasonable cost. Before deciding on which system best suits your needs, have a look at a few water cooler related considerations you may need to factor into your decision.

What to Consider for  Water Coolers

Buying your water dispenser means you have to consider the costs of accessories, service and maintenance in addition to the water cooler price itself, while renting is basically the same (you “own” the dispenser for the duration which you are a client – and typically receive the company’s bottled water delivered to your door), with other maintenance and swop-outs often included in the contract.

On the other hand, renting might be the most interesting option: the dispenser is usually provided and installed for free; filtration systems, water bottles, maintenance and other services are also generally included. Moreover, when your water cooler needs replacing, you will get a new one, and you will be guaranteed the latest technology and the safest water possible.

Some water coolers are more technologically advanced, but also more expensive. Hot water taps are a versatile system, mains fed and providing hot, cold and even sparkling water. However, prices are considerably higher than a regular free-standing water cooler, and because they’re a permanent system – buying is more likely than renting.

Remember the accessories and maintenance! In addition to the water cooler price, you should also consider other related costs, such as maintenance. Cleaning and sanitization are tasks you can carry out yourself, but replacement parts, water refills and such may be free only with certain types of rental contracts.

If you’re using a plumbed-in water cooler, factor in filter cartridges, which typically require changing annually bi-annually, under normal conditions of use. Filter cartridge prices range in price dependant on the complexity of the system they’ll be used in.

If you’re keen to enjoy the perks of bottled or plumbed-in water coolers, fill out the form below to get in touch with us today!

The Ultimate Guide on Water Coolers South Africa

The Ultimate Guide on Water Coolers South Africa

Water coolers and dispensers are more frequently found in canteens, conference rooms, corridors and private offices of companies of all sizes – for good reason. The benefits to drinking the right amount of water per day is endless, and there are even some smart life hacks to trick your body into drinking more water per day. Yep, you can read about that here.

There are a few types of dispensers to choose from to give your employees and family at home a source of reliable and healthy refreshment. If choosing between a table top or free-standing cooler seems pretty straightforward to you, you might be scratching your head about the all-important choice between a bottled cooler and a plumbed – in cooler – especially since there are economic arguments in that debate. After you have decided on the machine, you’ll be ready to choose between buying the cooler, or renting it.

Types of Water Coolers

Bottled coolers VS plumbed-in coolers: Choosing between a bottled cooler and a plumbed-in cooler is the biggest question as far as these devices are concerned. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, which you can read more about in our blog on Bottled vs Plumbed-In Wtaer Coolers.

– Hot and cold dispensers: Do you want the dispenser to release cold water, hot water, boiling water or all of them? Read more about the various types of water coolers here.

– Freestanding or table top coolers: Here, the question is more about volume: do you need to provide large quantities of water, or just a little? This is the main, but not the only question which governs the choice between freestanding and table top coolers.

Choosing the Right Water Cooler

A water cooler may simply not the kind of device you just buy, install and leave;  you don’t necessarily need to buy it at all – you can also rent it or leave it – all solutions have their advantages.

You’ll also need know if you will have to maintain it regularly, how to maintain it and how much that maintenance may cost. Remember that Aquazania Bottled Water Coolers do not require any maintenance J . With this in mind, and after deciding on the economical merits of bottled coolers VS plumbed-in coolers, you can safely select the model and manufacturer that’s right for your needs.

– Bottled water cooler VS plumbed-in water cooler, the economical battle: Many technical differences result in very different requirements and different cost factors for bottled coolers and plumbed-in coolers, that make the overall bill quite different between the two solutions.

1) Bottled Water Cooler Solutions a great option to consider in the following circumstances:

– The volume of water you need daily makes financial and time-management sense. Bear in mind that the cost per bottle of water can become an uncontrolled expense if you are placing it in an open area, visited by hundreds or thousands of people. The water cooler also has a set amount of water it can chill / heat per hour – so if you have a constant stream of people in and out of the area in which your cooler is places, not everyone may be able to have piping hot or ice cold water when it’s their turn in line.

– You will not settle for anything less than premium, purified and exceptional-tasting water. If you are happy to guzzle tap water, then this is just going to be an unnecessary expense for you.

– Placement of the cooler should be in a clean and safe area, where no dust or dirt from surrounds is able to possibly settle on the machine or the bottled water.

– Understanding maintenance instructions: Maintenance is a key area of differences between various models, but users need to know that there will always be the need for some regular maintenance, and should be prepared for the related costs.

– Buying, leasing or renting a water cooler: Knowing that there’s more to water cooling than the cooler itself, prospective users get a better idea of the pros and cons of buying, leasing and renting their machines.

– Main suppliers: More than a dozen suppliers compete on the water cooler business – some provide everything from machine to water and service, some are known for the original options they offer.

2) Bottleless Water Solutions are best suited in circumstances where:

– You are opting for quantity over quality. While each plumbed-in unit does have superior quality water filters, nothing will measure up to the taste offered by Aquazania bottled water.

– You are looking to serve a multitude of people in close time spans to one another. The great thing about not having a limitation by bottle size is that you have access to chilled or heated water in a much larger capacity. For instance, a factory with 300 workers would find better use out of this than they would in having to wait for hot or cold water from a bottled water cooler.

– These machines offer one thing that bottled-water coolers do not; some of our plumbed-in units are capable of producing hot, cold and ambient temperature water – as well as carbonated water – something to consider if this is one of the things you want form your water cooler.

Either way, water solutions are becoming more of a necessity in our current water situation in South Africa. It boils down to a matter of taste, preference and what you want from your water solution.

Water Cooler Costs

When deciding between bottled water coolers or plumbed-in water coolers, cost is a factor to consider. A plumbed-in water cooler may cost a lot for the machine itself, and is an upfront payment or paid on monthly instalments in the case of renting, but the cost thereafter dramatically reduces. The only real costs to consider on a plumbed in water cooler are filter replacements (which may be more regular if your municipal supply water is of considerable low quality), as well as the electricity required to keep the machine running. The cost of municipal water to dispense is of minimal cost, but should also be considered, 0nad perhaps calculated per municipal area.

However, the water quality from a plumbed-in water cooler will never match the quality of a bottled water cooler. The price of a bottled water cooler could also be quite a large amount upfront, or payable in installments when renting. Some companies allow for refilling of the water bottles at home, which is then a very low cost for the end user; other companies supply bottled water which has undergone purification processes, and sell those bottles as an addition (or sometimes they form part of your rental agreement) for your water cooler dispenser.

Water Cooler Installation and Maintenance

Office water coolers and dispensers should always be unplugged before refilling or carrying out maintenance. Using harsh or abrasive cleaning products may damage your office water dispenser and taint the pure taste of bottled water if contaminated with harsh cleaning chemicals, so for daily spot cleaning wipe down with a clean cloth, hot water and a mild soap and rinse and flush thoroughly.

Bottled water coolers from Aquazania do not need sanitising. But why?

Firstly, our modern Aquacoolers are fitted with an internal air filtration system. This system prevents bacteria from entering your machine – negating the possibility of contaminated water, or the infiltration of unwanted contaminants into the machine itself. This system also allows for the preservation of our famous purified water – giving you the best possible taste without any unwanted odours either.

All our water bottles use a unique, single-use bottle cap; this means that from when your water comes off our production line, until it is inserted into your water cooler, there is no possibility of anything making its way into the bottle, or into the machine once the bottled is replaced.

The water reservoirs housed within the cooler – for both the hot and cold water – is made from food-grade stainless steel. This material is one of the most resistant to the growth of bacteria.

Lastly, the taps located at the front of your water cooler are nano-silver impregnated; nano-silver is gaining notoriety for preventing any type of microbial growth, and this technology is being employed in all types of household equipment – such as water coolers, refrigerators and even washing machines.

Combining all of these measures, your water cooler is not only pro-active in resisting bacterial growth, but also in preserving the taste and quality of your water.

When it comes to bottle-less water coolers, you will need to ensure the correct procedure is followed when replacing the water filter; ideally, the filter change should be carried out by a professional, so while they’re at it, they will typically give the machine a good check up to see if any routine maintenance is required. Other than that, the same rule of daily wiping down applies to all kinds of water coolers.

Water Cooler Suppliers South Africa

Walking down the km-spanning aisles at any wholesale store (or even the larger, family retail stores) exposes you to the options available for water coolers you can buy. We take the top 3 major suppliers and compare their pricing: something important to remember when you buy a water cooler from a retailer is the after-sales service.

Let’s be fully honest here – Makro, Game – whoever – focus their business intention on retail – not product support. If you encounter any machine-related problems, who will you be able to call to fix it? Or will you have to send it back to the store, wait for it to be evaluated, fixed or replaced and only then sent back to you. Consider this an investment piece and think of any problems you may encounter beforehand.

Here is a curated list of water cooler prices in South Africa!

 

If you’d like to get in touch with us for more info, pricing and general advice on choosing your perfect water cooler, click here to get in touch today!

Bottled Water Companies in South Africa 2018

Bottled Water Companies in South Africa 2018

Most South Africans would agree that the quality of our tap water is at its best, questionable. Apart from the heavy chlorine smell, we concern ourselves over the possible contamination of said water in the time it takes to reach our homes from aquifers or reservoirs. This is probably the main reason most South Africans have turned to bottled water to quench their thirst, not forgetting the ease of access which we enjoy in making these types of purchases.

Bottled Water Suppliers South Africa

We have curated this list from the members on the South African National Bottled Water Association, FineWaters.com and of course some of our own research.

  1. Aquabella – http://www.aquabella.co.za/
  2. aQuellé – https://www.aquelle.co.za/
  3. Bené  – http://www.bene.co.za/
  4. Bonaqua – http://www.coca-colacompany.com/brands/bonaqua-bonaqa
  5. Ceres Spring Water – http://ceres.co.za/our-juice/water/
  6. Clover Waters: Nestlé Pure Life – https://www.nestlepurelife.com/en
  7. Di Bella Spring Water – http://www.dibellaspringwater.co.za/
  8. La Vie De Luc – http://laviedeluc.com/
  9. MultiSource Beverages – http://www.hydr8springwater.co.za/
  10. Oryx Aqua – http://oryxaqua.co.za/
  11. Thirsti – http://thirsti.co.za/
  12. Valpré  – http://www.coca-colacompany.com/brands/valpre
  13. Aquazania – https://www.aquazania.co.za/
  14. Aqua Africa – http://www.aqua-africa.co.za/Home.aspx
  15. SuperBev – http://superbev.co.za/
  16. Cape Aqua – https://capeaqua.co.za/
  17. H2O – http://h2o.co.za/
  18. Helderspruit – https://www.facebook.com/pg/Helderspuit-spring-water-997181673760671/about/
  19. Magalies Water – http://www.magalieswater.co.za/
  20. Oasis Water – http://oasiswater.co.za/

 

If you didn’t make the list, let us know, we’d love to add you!

 

 Why not click here to get in touch with us today and experience our premium, purified water in your home or office

*All information is true at the time of publication. Any errors or omissions are not the onus of the publisher nor the supplier.

 

 

 

Bulk Reverse Osmosis – What Is It and How Does It Work?

Bulk Reverse Osmosis – What Is It and How Does It Work?

One of the best water treatments available to suburban residents is reverse osmosis. In a large-scale application, its main purpose is desalination, which is the removal of salt in seawater to make it drinkable. Other companies utilise it for recycling, water waste treatment and even as a source of energy.

It’s undeniable that when it comes to producing clean water, reverse osmosis is the way to go. The question is – how does it actually work?

How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

The “reverse” part is clear enough; the osmosis is the complicated part. It is defined as the passage of water through a semipermeable membrane that traps dissolved solutes. These solutes are usually pesticides, nitrogen, oestrogens, aluminium and other chemicals. In addition, the membrane’s pores are so small that it’s able to trap the minutest particles that could contaminate your drinking water.

The accepted model for reverse osmosis in homes is commonly broken down into six steps. The first three parts of the filtration process do the bulk of the work, removing contaminants such as rust, calcium carbonate, organic chemicals and chlorine.

The next step is the actual reverse osmosis, where all the previously mentioned foreign matters are blocked. Once the water has passed RO, it proceeds to the carbon post-filter, where it thwarts all remaining chemicals. It then proceeds to the tank for storage. The process repeats itself until you fill the entire tank for a supply of clean drinking water.

But what about bulk reverse osmosis?

Bulk Reverse Osmosis

Bulk reverse osmosis is about the technologies, and associated equipment, involved in the filtration of bulk flows of water — so it will not cover treatment by sedimentation, nor will it cover separations involving organic liquids, nor the filtration of aqueous solutions such as occur throughout industry (like sugar syrups or brines).

iltration processes involved

The objective of the filtration processes used in water treatment is mainly to achieve the separation of solid particles that are suspended in the water to the extent, perhaps, of 0.5% by weight or as little as 10 mg/l (10 ppm), particles that are as large as grit or sand (say 1 mm in diameter or more) or as small as colloidal organic materials, or pathogens such as bacteria or viruses (say 0.1 μm or less).

In addition to this primary purpose, the filtration system may address the removal of oil droplets from suspension in water, or the removal of the colloidal or large dissolved organic molecules that are usually responsible for unpleasant tastes or odours or colour in the water, or the removal of the large dissolved ions from inorganic salts responsible for causing hardness in the water, or, finally, the removal of the smaller ions causing salinity (or, more correctly, in this case the removal of pure water from residual brine).

It is, of course, true that other processes besides filtration may also occur during the basic separation process, or as part of the overall purification system, such as disinfection (as with the legionella bacillus in cooling water treatment, or the long term prevention of the growth of bacteria in drinking water). It may also be important to remove dissolved gases from the product water, as with oxygen removal from boiler feed water.

While the process remains largely the same, bulk reverse osmosis requires far more equipment and processing when compared to household RO systems which treat “already-treated” water, i.e. – the municipal supply to our homes. Aquazania is proud to engage this technology within our 9-step purification process.

For more info on our water, or to get some for your home or office, fill out the form below or click here to get in touch with us today!

 

Source credit: http://www.filtsep.com/water-and-wastewater/features/water-filtration-bulk-water-filtration-techniques/

 

History of the Water Cooler – Where Did it All Begin?

History of the Water Cooler – Where Did it All Begin?

The humble water cooler – a device to chill (and more recently, heat) your drinking water bean as humbly as it stands as a piece of equipment today. The water cooler – from a simple block of ice dating back to the Victorian days to now being noted as one of the most important pieces of equipment that has contributed to the health and well-being of children and adults alike.

The water cooler has come a very long way indeed. About a century ago huge blocks of ice were used to chill the contents of the water cooler but this meant that the unit itself was large and extremely heavy which required the use of several men to move it.

The water cooler as we know it was first invented in the early 1906 and is credited to two men – Halsey Willard Taylor and Luther Haws. Haws patented the first drinking faucet in 1911. It is believed that the main reason behind the invention was to not only chill but to provide purified water.  Contaminated drinking water caused typhoid fever in Haws’ father who died as a result. Therefore Haws decided to invent something which would provide safer drinking water.

Water coolers have evolved along with the times and today are compact, light, energy efficient and come in a variety of models, colour and styles to suit most places. Today, many water coolers or dispensers include a heating element to provide hot water along with chilled water. These dispensers must also adhere to strict regulations, meeting health, sanitation and environmental standards.

The First Water Cooler

Early iterations of drinking fountains supplied water at room temperature, which made it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The solution was a water cooler, a dispenser that would chill water, thereby eliminating micro-organisms that could not result in disease.

Halsey Willard Taylor’s and Luther Haws’ water coolers made use of ice sourced from rivers to chill water, which also presented a problem as this open source could also have surface water. Haws would go on to patent the water faucet in 1911, and by 1938 water coolers began to make use of electricity and new laws made it possible for water to be treated more effectively, thereby reducing typhoid infections drastically.

In modern times, the water cooler is now a more preferred source of water over a variety of alternatives thanks to its cost effectiveness, portability and, of course, provision of safe drinking water for all to enjoy.

One of the first water coolers

One of the first water coolers

How Do Modern Water Coolers Prevent Bacterial Growth?

You can read our full article on this topic here – but to summarise:

Modern coolers are fitted with an internal air filtration system. This system prevents bacteria from entering your machine – negating the possibility of contaminated water, or the infiltration of unwanted contaminants into the machine itself. This system also allows for the preservation of the water – giving you the best possible taste without any unwanted odours either.

The water reservoirs housed within the cooler – for both the hot and cold water – are made from food-grade stainless steel. This material is one of the most resistant to the growth of bacteria.

Lastly, the taps located at the front of your water cooler are nano-silver impregnated; nano-silver is gaining notoriety for preventing any type of microbial growth, and this technology is being employed in all types of household equipment – such as water coolers, refrigerators and even washing machines.

Combining all of these measures, your water cooler is not only pro-active in resisting bacterial growth, but also in preserving the taste and quality of your water.

We speak only for our very own premium, purified water in this case, though :-)

Want to get your hands on an Aquacooler and our water? Click here to get in touch with us today!

AQA Sodax Plumbed-In Water Dispenser – Cost Per Day

AQA Sodax Plumbed-In Water Dispenser – Cost Per Day

Water coolers saw their introduction – albeit the first and smallest step towards the coolers we know today – as far back as over 100 years ago. The water cooler as we know it was first invented in the early 1906 and is credited to two men – Halsey Willard Taylor and Luther Haws. Haws patented the first drinking faucet in 1911. It is believed that the main reason behind the invention was to not only chill but to provide purified water.

Since then we have seen more and more advancements in the design and output of the water cooler, bringing us to today – with devices such as plumbed-in coolers like the AQA Sodax bringing hot, cold, ambient, sparkling and baby-bottle temperature water into our homes, offices and holiday homes. We know the machine is the initial capital expenditure, and the water it uses (municipal supply or the internal reservoir) is but a small cost linked to it.  But for those of us who enjoy their sparkling water daily, we sometimes overlook the most important ingredient for it – a gas canister.

Many clients only notice this cost when their canisters run out after making carbonated water day in and day out, so we decided to calculate how much of a cost it would be to the end consumer to make their favourite fizzy freshener daily, along with all the other “fancy” water types this machine makes.

Cost Per Day – Plumbed in Water Cooler

There are a few factors to consider when determining how much an appliance will cost you per day:

Electrical Usage – A cold-water-only water cooler uses 0.3 kWh per day. A hot and cold water cooler uses (on average) 2.4 kWh per day. Adding a timer to these water coolers drops the usage per day and cost per year slightly. That being said, a kettle alone uses an average of 2.4kWh daily – and has been earmarked as THE most expensive appliance to run – coming in two places ahead of the energy-sucking air conditioner! Boiling a kettle daily for each of your tea breaks – especially an office – can rack up your utility bill exorbitantly – coming in at an estimated cost of R3.41 per hour. Working on the kwh figures, a cooler (without a timer, even) will cost you the same amount to produce ice cold, boiling hot and sparkling water (in terms of energy consumption) as it would to boil a kettle throughout the day. Bear in mind the capacity a plumbed-in water cooler holds, and in comparison – a kettle looks less and less attractive.

Sodax

Image Credit: mybroadband

Gas Canister – typical usage of sparkling water gas canisters is categorised by making around 5 or so cups of sparkling water per day; bear in mind that the AQA Sodax allows for customised amounts of carbon to be deposited into your water – for a choice between low, medium and high carbonation. Working on the average of 5 cups of medium carbonation, you could expect to see a gas canister last an average of one month. The price of a typical gas canister is in the region of R 650.00, so for a working month of 22 days, you pay around R 29.50 per day for your monthly sparkling water.

Filter Changes – a regular purifying filter for the AQA Sodax costs around R650.00 and last up to a year, also depending on the water supply out of which your machine feeds. Highly soiled and dirty water will likely result in a higher turnover of water filters, but with regular water and regular use – you should be able to get a “Goodyear” out of your filter. This results in a cost of around R 2.60 for your filter per day.

As we can see in this breakdown, your daily cost of water is actually minimal, if you were to compare it to the traditional methods of preparation or against the cost it would incur if it were bought from an outside supplier as bottled carbonated water.

For a quote on the AQA Sodax, click here to get in touch with us today.

  • All prices indicated are subject to change without prior notice; prices and information are true at the time of publication.

Rainwater Harvesting – Pros and Cons Explained

Rainwater Harvesting – Pros and Cons Explained

Rainwater harvesting can be a great way of avoiding rising water costs and utilising the scarce resource. However, there is always at least a little bit of cloud to every silver lining and the balance of the positives and negatives should be considered carefully before settling on investing in any such system.

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

Rain water harvesting (RWH) is a technique of collection and storage of rainwater into natural reservoirs or tanks, or the infiltration of surface water into subsurface aquifers (before it is lost as surface runoff). One method of rainwater harvesting is rooftop harvesting.

Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting

  1. Low-cost Maintenance

Once the system is all up and running, you really don’t need to invest much money in keeping it running. If you intend only to use the collected water for non-drinking purposes, you don’t even need to purify the water.

  1. Lower Water Bills

Collecting your own water means spending less on the water companies’ water. Water can be used to flush toilets, wash clothes and dishes, and to water gardens. On a bigger scale, rainwater harvesting can lead to major savings for households or small businesses.

  1. Great for Irrigation

Rainwater is not subjected to any chemicals found in ground water and therefore is ideal for irrigation as well as for watering plants in the garden.

  1. Reduces Ground Water Demand

As our population increases, so does the demand for water. While South Africa faces droughts more frequently, ground water is extracted to keep up with demand and this has led to low levels of ground water being left over.

5. Multi-Purpose

Rainwater can be used for all sorts of things from flushing toilets, to washing clothes, cars, and dishes, to keeping the garden freshly watered.

Disadvantages of Rainwater Harvesting

  1. Unreliable rainfall

Isn’t it just always the case that right when you need something it suddenly isn’t there? Rain is no different, and it can’t be relied upon to fall exactly when it’s needed.

  1. Start-Up costs

Installing a rainwater harvesting system can be costly, with systems ranging from the low hundreds to the low thousands in cost. Similarly to solar panels, costs can be recovered in 10-15 years depending upon the rainfall and the system’s sophistication.

  1. High-energy Maintenance

Rainwater harvesting tanks will take a lot of looking after, and even if this doesn’t cost much in terms of money it can become a chore. Systems can be infiltrated by rodents, algae, and insects, and can become breeding grounds for all sorts of creatures if not properly maintained.

  1. Chemical roof seepage

Some kinds of roof coverings will seep chemicals which will prove harmful to plant life if the water is used to sustain it.

  1. Storage limits

You may find that you cannot store all of the water you would like to, and this could mean having to tailor your water usage to the capacity of the tank.

 

If you are looking for an alternative source for clean, purified drinking water, fill out the form below to get in touch with us today!

 

Source credit: http://thegreenhome.co.uk/heating-renewables/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-rainwater-harvesting/

Funny Tasting Tap Water – Geosmin in South African Bulk Water Supply

Funny Tasting Tap Water – Geosmin in South African Bulk Water Supply

Despite the slight taste and odour, municipal water is absolutely safe to drink.  Over the past weeks, water consumers in several parts of the country have experienced an earthy taste and odour in their drinking water.  This taste and odour is caused by ‘Geosmin’ – originating from several of the major dams supplying the cities.  The presence of Geosmin was noted earlier in the year, and has recently reoccurred.

Municipalities continue to add powdered activated carbon dosing during the water treatment process in an attempt to absorb this compound and to reduce the unpleasant smell and taste. This situation is likely to persist until the onset of the winter rains.

The water is perfectly fit for human consumption. Continuous water quality monitoring by the City’s South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accredited laboratory has revealed elevated Geosmin concentrations, greater than 10 nanograms per litre (ng/l). In general, the human perception threshold is about 15 and 20 ng/l for Geosmin odour and taste respectively and people with a heightened sense of smell and taste would be the first to notice the presence of Geosmin in their water supply. These are extremely low concentrations and it should be noted that a nanogram is a billionth of a gram.

What is Geosmin?

Geosmin and MIB (2-Methyl-iso-Borneol) are naturally occurring compounds found in surface waters (rivers and dams) as organic molecules produced by blue-green algae. Bright sun, warm temperatures and nutrients result in ideal growing conditions for the algae. The compounds are produced inside the algae cells and are only released when the algae die.

Why is Geosmin Released?

Apart from the sunlight and raised temperatures, algae require nutrients to grow and some of the dams have suffered from upstream negative environmental impacts that have raised the nutrient levels, which support these algal blooms. This phenomenon usually only occurs once a year for a few weeks during the summer months, but has again reoccurred this year.

What Does Geosmin Smell Of?

Both Geosmin and MIB are typically earthy or musty in character and are sometimes described as smelling of Carbaspray or fresh green mielies (corn). These odours can be very persistent and although the algae are removed, the organic compounds, Geosmin and MIB are not removed by conventional water treatment processes. It requires treatment with activated carbon to reduce the smell to below threshold levels.

How is Geosmin Removed From Tap Water?

Yes, Cape Town follows universal best practice, which is to treat the water with powdered activated carbon. The very tiny organic molecules are absorbed by the carbon particles and the carbon is then removed from the water. It is not possible to remove all molecules, but the aim is to maintain the concentration below the normal human taste and smell threshold level.

While Cape Town and some parts of Gauteng have encountered this occurrence, municipal bodies have aimed to reassure us that the presence of Geosmin is not harmful to our health in any way.

If you are looking for a healthy, clean and safe alternative to municipal water for drinking purposes, fill out the form below to get in touch with us today!

Bulk Water Treatment South Africa – How is Our Tap Water Processed?

Bulk Water Treatment South Africa – How is Our Tap Water Processed?

Water is made up of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom (H2O).  When a lot of these H2Os join together – they form water.  When water falls on the earth’s surface from the clouds, a lot of substances dissolve in the water, such as silt, minerals, bacteria, etc.  Water is the train that moves along the tracks and the passengers are these substances that get on and off the train.  By the time water enters the dams it has many passengers, both good and bad to humans.

There is silt and minerals from the land.  There are germs (bacteria) that may cause people to get sick if they enter the human body.  It is for this reason that the dirty water needs to be cleaned before it is supplied to taps. This cleaning process is called water purification.   Rand Water is the company that cleans (purifies) the dirty water for Gauteng.

The Vaal, Klip and Wilge Rivers naturally flow into the Vaal Dam, which has a catchment area of 38 000 km2.   Rand Water draws raw water for purification (cleaning) from the Vaal Dam via an intake tower.  This raw water is then transported via canals and pipelines to Rand Water’s two purification stations in Vereeniging.

How is Tap Water Treated Before it Gets to Us?

Bulk water treatment occurs in 4 steps:

  • Screening

When raw water first arrives at a purification station it passes through metal bars or screens.  These screens trap large water plants, water animals, sticks, leaves & litter, but allows the rest of the water to pass through.

  • Coagulation and Flocculation

Now the raw water enters a spiral flocculator where slaked lime is added.  The raw water contains sand, silt and clay particles that have small negative electric charges that repel each other.  The water moves around very quickly so that there is good contact between the slaked lime and the particles.  The slaked lime neutralises these electric charges and causes the particles to attract to each other. This process is called coagulation.  A further chemical, sodium silicate, is added to assist the process.

As the water moves around the spiral flocculator the sand, silt and clay particles, as well as some small water plants and animals, germs, and all the bad minerals, “stick together” to form floc.  This is called flocculation. Water moves very quickly in the middle of the spiral flocculator whilst on the outside it moves slower making it much easier for the objects to stick together.

  • Sedimentation

The water, together with the floc, now flows slowly into a large sedimentation tank where the floc settles to the bottom of the tank.  This is called sedimentation.

The floc at the bottom of the tank is now called sludge and is sucked out by desludging bridges and sent to a sludge deposit site.   The top of the water in the tank is now much cleaner.  This clean water flows over the side of the sedimentation tank into the carbonation tank.

  • Carbonation

When water leaves the sedimentation tank it has a pH of about 10.5 because of the lime that was added in the spiral flocculator.  This high pH (alkaline) makes the water feel and taste soapy.  In order to make the water less alkaline (a lower pH), carbon dioxide is bubbled through the water.  This is called carbonation.  The pH of the water is now between 8.0 and 8.4.  This makes the water taste and feel much better.  The water is kept at this pH level because it causes Calcium Carbonate to deposit inside the pipes which forms a protective layer for the pipes.

While tap water is deemed safe to drink, it might be considered unsavoury and less-than-perfect by many users. For this reason, we strongly recommend at least one type of filtration method be employed before drinking any tap water. Boiling assists in removing bacteria, but to improve taste 0- further measures such a filtration or reverse osmosis may be beneficial.

To get your hands on premium, purified water with none of the harsh chemicals present in tap water, get in touch with us by filling out the form below and find out more today!

 

Source credit: http://www.randwater.co.za/CorporateResponsibility/WWE/Pages/tapwater.aspx
Cover Image Credit: Financial Tribune