Las Vegas Looks at Desalination

Posted April 19th, 2018

Desalination in Las Vegas? Faraway Ocean Could Aid Future Water Needs

The Southern Nevada Water Authority expects growth to outpace current water supplies by 2037. Investing in seawater desalination is one option the agency is considering to meet demand in the desert metropolis.

by Matt Weiser


Sin City has never been a place that thinks small. So it should come as no surprise that Las Vegas – about 300 miles from the Pacific Ocean – is pondering seawater desalination to meet its long-term water demand.

That doesn’t mean Vegas plans to build a pipeline to the ocean. More likely, it would help pay for a desalination facility in a place like Mexico, then trade that investment for a piece of Mexico’s water rights in the Colorado River.

This prospect is described in the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s 2017 Water Resource Plan, a strategy to satisfy water demand in the Las Vegas Valley over the next 50 years. It was largely overlooked, however, amid clamor over more controversial and imminent water development schemes like its groundwater development project – a plan to tap ancient aquifers from a half dozen rural valleys hundreds of miles away in northern Nevada.

Yet desalination is very much part of the plan to keep up with growth in Vegas.

Bronson Mack, a spokesman for the water authority, said there are advantages for Las Vegas in such a deal because the metro area is only about six miles (as the crow flies) from the Colorado River. The water authority already relies on water intakes at Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the U.S., and recently completed a new lower-elevation intake to access water as the level of the lake declines.

“Certainly desalination might be part of Southern Nevada’s water portfolio at some point in the future,” Mack said. “Timing will depend on what our demands look like and what water supplies look like going forward. But, certainly, it could be something that happens within the next 20 or 30 years.”

A similar approach to desalination is being considered in Arizona. It’s possible the two states could form a partnership to invest in desalination, but Mack said no formal talks are under way now.

Although Las Vegas is known as a city of excess, that is no longer the case when it comes to water consumption. The city has become a leader in water conservation. Since 2002, when the current long-term drought began in the Southwest, Vegas has added more than 600,000 residents while actually reducing its withdrawals from the Colorado River.

This has been done through aggressive conservation programs, like phasing out turfgrass in urban landscapes. The region also recycles 40 percent of its municipal wastewater, returning it to Lake Mead where it can be withdrawn as needed without impacting its allotment of Colorado River water.

But population growth continues, and the time will come when Las Vegas needs new water supplies. Researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas estimate the region’s population, now about 2.2 million, will expand by 500,000 people over the next 20 years. That’s like adding two more Renos – Nevada’s second-largest city – to the sprawling Las Vegas Valley.

Rick Spilsbury, a longtime critic of the water authority, supports desalination to accommodate growth in Vegas.

Spilsbury is a member of the Ely Shoshone Tribe and a board member of the Great Basin Water Network, a group working to kill the water authority’s plan to tap Northern Nevada groundwater. One of those taps would extract groundwater from Spring Valley, a site in White Pine County near Great Basin National Park, which the Shoshone consider sacred.

On his blog, Spilsbury began urging the water authority to consider desalination in 2013.

“I think it makes so much more sense to make more water than to use up the water you have,” he said. “If you desalinate water, you’re making more water and there will be more water available. Whereas if you take water out of the ground, you’re going to have less water in the long run.”

He wants the water authority to make desalination its first option to meet future demand, not exploiting finite groundwater in distant valleys.

“The thing I’m really concerned about is what comes first,” he said. “Ideally, I’d like to see the state save some water for the future. I want them to make water before they take water.”

Las Vegas may not need new water supplies for a while. Southern Nevada is entitled to 300,000 acre-feet per year of Colorado River water, the smallest allotment among the states that depend on the lower river. Yet it currently uses only 240,000 acre-feet. When possible, it banks the unused portion in local groundwater aquifers. It currently has enough banked water to meet its annual need for eight years, Mack said.

But if population growth projections are accurate, the region will need new water resources as soon as 2037.

“With additional conservation, we could see the need for new water resources being pushed out even further into the future,” Mack said.

Spilsbury suspects the district underestimates its water demand. Growth has hovered around 2 percent annually since the end of the recession. But the university’s projections show growth tapering off to less than a half percent annually by 2037 – which it admits may be too low.

One big project on the horizon in the Ivanpah Valley, is a new international airport. The existing McCarran International Airport is nearing capacity. To prepare for that day, in 2002 Clark County purchased 6,000 acres along Interstate 15 in the Ivanpah Valley from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to construct a new airport.

Chris Clarke, California desert program manager at the National Parks Conservation Association, worries about the environmental effects of a new airport in that area. “An airport is obviously going to promote opportunistic development on every available piece of land between the state line and Vegas,” Clarke said. “To a certain extent, water will be a limiting factor. But Vegas is also really good at finding ways to get water when they decide they need it.”

In addition, the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s board of directors last year approved guidelines to deliver water outside the Las Vegas Valley. This could include growth in the Ivanpah Valley along Interstate 15 between Las Vegas and the California state line.

This article originally appeared on Water Deeply. You can find the original here. For important news about water issues and the American West, you can sign up to the Water email list.

Do you want ” hard water bypass” for your home water filter?

The answer is yes, in almost every case, you do want your home whole house water filter or softener to operate with a “hard water bypass” feature. This is something you don’t have to specify when you buy a filter or softener because it is assumed that you want it. In fact, you have to go to some trouble to buy a product with “no hard water bypass” equipment installed.

“Untreated water bypass,” by the way, would be a more accurate name for the feature, but industry tradition says “hard water” although the concept applies to both filters (which don’t soften water) and water softeners.

What the “hard water bypass” feature does is send water to the home if there is a demand for water while the softener or filter is in its regeneration cycle. So, if the softener is regenerating at 2:00 AM and someone flushes a toilet, the softener bypasses its treatment tank and sends hard water to fill the need. The assumption is that it’s better to have a few gallons of hard water in the home’s water lines than to have un-flushed toilets. And if the softener starts its regeneration while you’re in the shower, you would probably prefer to be able to get the shampoo out of your hair even if it means a few gallons of raw water get into the home’s water lines.

The most obvious reason you don’t want a “no hard water bypass” product on your home system, though, is for fire protection. You don’t want your home to burn down because your water softener refuses to send hard water to sprinklers during its regeneration cycle.

So,why would anyone want a “no hard water bypass” unit?  If you were supplying a machine that would be damaged by receiving untreated water, the no hard water bypass system is invaluable. Or, if  you were topping off a fish pond, you certainly would prefer delaying the operation a bit to sending chlorinated water to your fish.  Here’s another example:

A well owner fills a large storage tank direct from his well, then pumps water from the storage tank to his home. He filters the water for iron before it reaches the storage tank. The storage tank calls for water when the water level drops below a certain point. If the storage tank calls for water while the iron filter is regenerating, the home owner would probably prefer for the filter to wait until the regeneration is finished rather than top off the tank with untreated water.

Except in special cases like these, you want “hard water bypass.”  That’s why you don’t have to ask for it. On residential filters and softeners,  you get it without asking.




Michigan Approves Nestle Bottle Water Expansion

The Swiss bottled water company is approved to pump 400 gpm for the Ice Mountain brand, amid fierce opposition from residents and environmentalists alike

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has approved a permit for Nestle Waters North America to increase the amount of water it withdraws from the White Pine Springs well near Evart, Mich., from 250 gpm to 400, as reported by The Detroit Free Press. MDEQ’s approval comes despite heavy opposition from residents of Osceola County, Mich., where the pumping station is located. Residents have argued that the pumping station has harmed local groundwater reserves and streams, including the Twin Creek River since Nestle began pumping in the early 2000s for their bottled water brand Ice Mountain. Osceola Township rejected the permit request, but their rejection was overturned by county and state Appeals Courts.



Gazette Comment: While cities are cutting water service to customers too poor to pay water bills, companies like Nestle are pumping 400 gallons per minute of free water from the White Pine Springs well to sell at a premium price.  Nestle is harvesting over half a million gallons per day of free water from a single source, and US golf courses require over 2 billion gallons of irrigation water per day (that’s almost 2,000,000 gallons per minute). Try to keep this in mind if someone tells you you shouldn’t own a reverse osmosis unit because it “wastes” five or six gallons of water a day.


Michigan residents also argue the groundwater extraction laws are in need of an update and are displeased by the fact that Nestle only pays $200 per year for the MDEQ extraction permit, but not for the water itself. Public opposition to the bottled water brand’s expansion was overwhelming according to Michigan Sen. Rebekah Warren who serves on the Senate’s Natural Resources Committee.

“Michiganders know that no private company should be able to generate profits by undermining our state’s precious natural resources, which is why an unprecedented number of people spoke up to oppose this permit,” Warren said. “Out of 81,862 comments filed by the people of our state, only 75 of them were in favor of the permit.”

Moving forward, MDEQ plans to monitor surface water and do periodic biological surveys to ensure local aquatic life and habitat is not damaged, according to The Detroit News. Additionally, they have acknowledged that the majority of the public comments opposed the permit, but stated that most of them related to public policy which was not a part of the administrative permit decision.

Source: Water Quality Products.

Closed Forever: The End of an Era

by Gene Franks


Cupboard Natural Foods, a North Texas institution and for many year Denton’s leading natural food store, closed its doors for the last time in March of 2018 after over half a century in business.

The Cupboard was one of the old independent natural food stores that for decades were the main source of food for the select–that is to say, vegetarians, “health food nuts,” and others who had caught on that real food is a lot better than artificial.

The times, they are a-changin’

When the Cupboard came on the scene in the mid-1960s, its popularity led to the closing of a small natural food co-op that preceded it.  The local appetite for natural foods wasn’t big enough to support two small stores. The Cupboard, virtually without competition, grew over the years and moved three times to larger quarters.

Things got bad, though, when two natural food chains opened locations in the neighborhood, and perhaps more importantly, when conventional supermarkets started putting in natural food sections replete with healthy sounding brands made by such health food stalwarts as Coca Cola and Nestle.

The demise of the Cupboard was bad news for us at Pure Water Products. We have had close ties with the store over the years. We had a popular (and profitable) water vending system in the store, plus filtration systems on ice machines, coffee machines, the cafe’s drinking water cooler, a produce preparation sink, and the misting system for the produce case. The store sent lots of customers our way. A good percentage of the store’s regular customers have our reverse osmosis units under their kitchen sink.  Fully half of our current employees worked at the Cupboard at one time.


The very last purchase at the Cupboard before it closed forever was made by me. It’s a classy Portland Bee Balm display box. I can’t believe I was lucky enough to get it. The store sold out its merchandise at discounts that grew day by day, then sold its furnishings and equipment–even the light fixtures, and old adding machines that had been in a store room since 1991. On the very last day I laid down two quarters for the Portland Bee Balm box, which now holds pens and pencils on my desk. During the closeout I picked up a lifetime supply of 60% off tamari and olive oil, plus lots of things I never thought I would buy, like Umeboshi Plum Vinegar. I wish now I had tried Portland Bee Balm while I had the chance. Not likely I’ll find it at Kroger’s. 


Report: Texas Ranks First In Water Violations

by Sara Jerome

Another First: Texas Leads the Nation in Water Violations.

Ranking Texas worst-in-nation for water violations, a new report is raising questions about whether Texas regulators are doing enough to protect the water supply.

The new report from Environment Texas Research and Policy Center tallied up how many times “major industrial facilities released pollution that exceeded the levels allowed under their Clean Water Act” during a 21-month period.

In Texas, that happened 938 times, more than any other state. Ranked second was Pennsylvania with 633 times and third was Arkansas with 567 times. Rounding out the top five were Louisiana (535 times) and Ohio (491 times).

The report provided examples of facilities that violated multiple times and questioned whether overseers at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) are doing enough to respond, according to The Texas Observer.

“Between January 2016 and September 2017, Ineos USA’s facility in Brazoria County violated their permit to dump wastewater into Chocolate Bayou eight times. In all cases, the company released waste with high levels of E. coli, a bacteria that indicates the presence of feces. The facility has been out of compliance with the Clean Water Act a total of 12 months out of the last three years. TCEQ hasn’t fined the facility once,” the report said.

The facility makes polymers used in pipes and pharmaceuticals, The Observer reported. It is just one among 132 industrial facilities to violate its wastewater permit last year.

For context, the reported noted that Texas has a large number of industrial facilities.

“However, the state also ranks first in facilities that exceeded pollution standards multiple times and for facilities that broke permitted limits seven times or more,” The Observer added.

Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas, spoke to The Texas Observer.

“TCEQ has a lax enforcement regime,” he said. “That contributes to the high exceedance levels. Many facilities don’t have any pressure to comply with the permits.”

Previous reporting has found that state agencies in Texas have not done enough to respond to air pollution, as well. A report from The Texas Observer said the agency is toothless against companies that are “too big to fine,” and therefore focuses on businesses that are “too small to fight back.”

Source: WaterOnline

Pure Water Gazette Fair Use Statement

Water Filter Parts

Posted March 24th, 2018

Replacement Parts for Water Treatment Equipment


The picture shows an important water filter part. If you don’t recognize it, it’s a spring from the pressure release button on a Big Bubba high volume filter. It might seem like a pretty insignificant part, but if you have a Big Bubba supplying your home and it springs a leak at the pressure release button, being able to get this spring can be what decides whether you have water for your home or not.

Now, I would like you to try an experiment. Go to a Google search bar and type in “big bubba pressure release button” or something similar. You’re likely to find us, Pure Water Products, among the first results. Look at our page and you’ll see that we offer the button. If you look at other finds from the first page, you’ll almost certainly discover that they don’t sell it. And if you order it from us, you’ll also find that we have it in stock and will ship it in most cases the day we get your order.

The point is, we don’t just sell products. We support them as well. Here are some examples:

We have a full RO Parts Page that not only sells every part for our RO units (and many others as well), but explains how to choose the right part. (Type “ro parts” into a Google bar and we’ll be on the first page.)

We have a full parts page for aeration equipment, emphasizing AerMax, the brand that we sell.

We have a full parts page for countertop water filters. We don’t know of any other on the WWW.

We have a full selection of parts for the WellPro Dry Pellet Chlorinators that we sell. If your chlorinator fails because you need a $3.50 pellet dam, type “wellpro pellet dam” into a Google bar and you’ll find it at the bottom of our regular WellPro page with an illustration to show you how to identify the part.

We have an entire website that sells nothing but classic blue housing Pura ultraviolet equipment. We stock every screw and every O-Ring. If your unit freezes and the sump cracks (this happened a lot last winter), we can send you a replacement. Break the quartz sleeve, we have it in stock and can get it to you overnight so that you won’t be without water. When the manufacturer changed its housing style a few years ago, we went to considerable trouble to put up a one-of-its-kind model identification page so that Pura owners can identify their unit and get the right part.

We have a page that sells quick connect fittings and a page that sells parts for quick connect fittings. We sell parts for softeners and backwashing filters, parts for Stenner injection pumps, complete parts for Watts R12 large RO units, replacement heads for Aquatec pumps, O rings for everything, including the membrane housing O rings for a Watts R12 RO unit that Watts doesn’t even have.

In short, we have parts for most of the things we sell, and parts for some things we don’t. So if you find that the Big Bubba you got from the train wreck dealer on eBay has a cracked pressure gauge and a spring missing from the pressure release button, don’t despair. We love selling parts to people who bought their Big Bubba elsewhere.


Posted March 22nd, 2018

PFOA And PFOS  Perfluoroalkyl Compounds: Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)


What are PFCs?

PFCs are a family of man-made compounds that are not naturally occurring in the environment. Perfluoroalkyls repel oil, grease, and water, and as a result were used as protective coatings in cookware, carpet, clothing, paper, and cardboard packaging, as well as in fire-fighting foams. They are very stable compounds that are resilient to breakdown in the environment. The most common perfluoroalkyl compounds are perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

Where are PFCs Found?

PFOS and PFOA compounds were produced in large quantities in the United States and have contaminated air, water, and soil at locations where they were produced or used. As a result, PFOA and PFOS are found in air and dust; surface and groundwater; and soil and sediment. The highest levels of PFOS and PFOA are typically at or near a facility that produced or used the compounds. Since they are found in air and dust, they appear in remote locations where flooding and groundwater migrate them through the soil.

Health Effects of PFCs

The most common exposure to PFOS and PFOA is through ingestion with drinking water supplies being the primary route for exposure. Typically, populations near facilities where PFOS and PFOA was manufactured or used have the highest levels of these compounds in their drinking water. Health advisories by the EPA indicate that exposure to PFOS and PFOA over certain levels may result in adverse health effects, including developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or to breastfed infants (e.g., low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal variations), cancer (e.g., testicular, kidney), liver effects (e.g., tissue damage), immune effects (e.g., antibody production and immunity), thyroid effects and other effects (e.g., cholesterol changes) (Agency, 2016). As a result the EPA has established a combined lifetime exposure of 70 parts per trillion for PFOS and PFOA.


Source: Evoqua.

Reverse Osmosis Remineralizing Filters

by Emily McBroom and Gene Franks


A product that has gained surprising popularity in the last few years is the “remineralizing” postfilter cartridge for undersink reverse osmosis (RO) units.

The process of reverse osmosis removes some 95% of water’s mineral content and, as a consequence, produces water that is temporarily low in pH.  For many years, vendors of non-RO drinking water systems have raised the argument (driven more by marketing than by science) that RO water lacks “healthful minerals” the body needs. This ignores the fact that our bodies obtain minerals readily and easily from the organic minerals in foods and really don’t need the difficult to assimilate inorganic minerals found in water. More recently, sellers of “alkalizers,” or “ionizer” machines which produce alkaline drinking water, have added fuel to the argument by claiming the pH of RO water is too low to be healthful.

To counter these arguments, RO vendors have created postfilter cartridges that add minerals while also raising the pH of low-mineral, slightly acidic reverse osmosis water. These cartridges are comprised mainly of two common water treatment minerals, Calcite and Corosex. Both have been used for decades in tank-style filters to raise the pH of acidic well water. Calcite is a pure form of crushed marble or limestone, refined into a granular medium suitable for use in a water filter. It works by dissolving slowly into the water, adding calcium and raising pH. Corosex is a brand name for manganese oxide, another natural mineral that dissolves to add magnesium and neutralize free carbon dioxide; thus, driving the pH down.  Calcite is a milder pH treatment than Corosex, so the standard mix in most filters is at least 4/5 Calcite.

For RO remineralizing filters, Calcite is the main ingredient, and a dash of Corosex can be added to give the pH an extra upward bump.  (Too much Corosex overcorrects and can produce alkaline, strong-tasting water.)


This simple inline cartridge manufactured by a leading filter company costs $16. It can be easily added to any standard RO unit. It contains Calcite to boost pH by adding calcium carbonate and improves the taste of the water with coconut shell carbon. It is inexpensive because it lacks any exotic ingredients.

While Calcite and Corosex are clearly the workhorse media of all RO remineralizing filters, an in-house survey of a dozen websites turned up a lot of other ingredients. Some ingredients were commonplace and some pretty exotic. It also revealed a wide range of prices and some interesting product claims.

Prices on the random sites we looked at go from $19.95 to $149 with the average around $65.

Here are some common product descriptions:

“Raises pH from 6.4 to 7.6.”

“Increases pH by 1.0-1.5 and provides alkaline water.”

“Increases pH, lowers ORP.”

“Remineralizes and raises the pH of water by at least 1 to 2 points.”

“Alkaline water. Boosts minerals and antioxidants.”

“To balance out and stabalize pH.”

“Makes water safer to drink.”

Provides “balanced mineral elution.”

“Balances the pH and puts essential minerals back into your water that your body can use.”

“Neutralizes acidic water, reduces leaching of metal plumbing components, and for use post RO to raise TDS.” (Obviously intended for multiple uses.)

Now for the ingredients.

There are the expected (Calcite and Corosex), the unexpected (KDF), plus a lot of exotic and unknown. Tourmaline figures prominently. According to Wikipedia, tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone found in granite, pematites, and metamorphic rocks. It can also be found in sandstone. There is no indication what this might have to do with adding minerals to water, but one health and healing website explains:

Although it might be a stretch to say tourmaline has supernatural powers, it does have the uncommon and very special ability to generate an electric charge and emit negative ions and far infrared rays. Far infrared rays are invisible waves of energy. They’re able to penetrate all layers of the human body and reach the inner-most regions of tissues, muscles and bone. Through this, far infrared rays and negative ions gently soothe, stimulate and detoxify the body and mind. Negative ions are also incredibly important in determining mood.. . . Research has shown that mood disorders may be improved just as well through negative ion generators as antidepressants — but without the negative side effects. Why? Because these ions promote oxygenation to the brain and regeneration of the blood.

Other devices include neodyminium magnets (aka NdFeB, NIB, or Neo Magnet), whose contribution to RO water is not detailed.  Then there is Pi Ceramic,

[which is] . . . induced from the highly energized state of infinitesimal amount of ferric ferrous salts that have excellent antioxidant effect of protecting human bodies from active oxygen (free radicals) that causes various diseases and stresses (removing harmful active oxygen cause cancer, diabetic, hypertension, etc.), neutralization actions from harmful toxins (controls oxidation reduction reaction; detoxification action) and prevent rotting (inhibition of microbial growth, such as virus and bacteria) in the intestines. In addition, they have calcium antagonism (Calcium antagonist properties), high vital activation energy (Life energy), small water molecule structure, contains abundance oxygen, equal pH to body (pH balance), boost immune system, and bio memory and ability to transfer biological information. . . . 

Also there are Infrared Ceramics, which “. . .remove impurities from the water by cleaving the water molecule cluster. The impurity sticks to the ceramic, not allowing it to leach back into the water before it’s used.” Infrared ceramics, when used with tourmaline, according to one vendor, “help soften the surface tension, improve taste and increase drinkability.”

 There are ceramic negative ion balls that that are made mainly of tourmaline plus “kaolin and high-grade clay by nanometer comminution technology, special formula and agglomeration techniques. . . .”

Then there is “Super Ceramic” which “contains over 10 Minerals and imparts a pleasant taste to the water emitting even more Far Infrared Rays.”

Finally there is “Edox,” which we could not identify. It is most likely a brand name for one or more of the other ingredients mentioned.

Taste and Common Sense

Regardless of the exotics, the main ingredient of all remineralizing products is plain and simple Calcite. Calcite is mainly pure calcium carbonate, CaCO3. It is the principal constituent of limestone and marble. It may also have traces of other minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, boron, and bromine. (See

If you believe reverse osmosis water needs mineral supplementation to be “healthful” (we don’t!), RO water filtered through a small bed of Calcite will meet the requirement. And, if you want a pH above the low 7’s, you can buy a Calcite cartridge that has a just pinch of Corosex added to it.

Although water straight  from the RO unit is wonderful, we like Calcite filters because they can make exceptionally good tasting water. With or without remineralizing, pure reverse osmosis water tastes great and is the best value drinking water that can be produced in the home.



Plastics in bottled water

Time magazine reports:


Drinking from a plastic water bottle likely means ingesting microplastic particles, a new study claims, prompting fresh concerns — and calls for scientific research — on the possible health implications of widespread plastics pollution.


A study carried out on more than 250 water bottles sourced from 11 brands in nine different countries revealed that Microplastic contamination was nearly universal, found in more than 90% of the samples.


The study found an average of 10.4 microplastic particles about the width of a human hair per liter. That’s about twice the level of contamination discovered in the group’s earlier study on the ubiquitous plastic contamination in tap water across the globe, with the highest rate found in the U.S.


Previous studies have found that a large portion of the microplastic particles found in our oceans, lakes and rivers, as well as in fish stomachs, can be traced back to the washing of synthetic clothes.

In the case of bottled water, Orb’s new study indicated contamination was partly the result of plastic packaging, and partly the fault of the bottling process. The survey included brands like Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestlé and San Pellegrino.


It’s unclear what effect, if any, this consumption of tiny bits of plastics has on human health. As much as 90% of ingested plastic could pass through a human body, but some of it may end up lodged in the gut, or traveling through the lymphatic system, according to research by the European Food Safety Authority.


Also unknown is what chemicals are contained in the plastic particles.

Ultrapure Water

Posted March 7th, 2018

Ultrapure Water Is Not for Drinking

What is commonly referred to as “ultrapure” water goes beyond what is considered pure drinking water. In fact, it is not considered “fit” for human consumption. It is water so clean that it is used as an industrial solvent for cleaning semiconductors, producing pharmaceutical products. and for cooling in power plants.

Typical production of ultrapure water includes use of microfiltration membranes to remove particles from the water, ion exchange and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes to remove ions,  UV light to kill bacteria and degassing membranes to remove dissolved oxygen.

We think of reverse osmosis, which can turn sea water into excellent drinking water, as taking “everything” out of water, but when it comes to water needed for many technical processes RO water isn’t even near clean enough. Ultrapure water requires 12 filtration steps beyond RO with the final filter having pores 20 nanometers in width.  (Twenty nanometers is 0.02 microns.)