Stainless vs. Plastic

A  really good product that we’re happy to almost nevcr sell.


We get price and information requests for a product we hardly ever sell, the 4-cartridge Stainless Steel Filter with 2″ service ports from our website.  There are currently several problems with this unit which include intermittent availablity, long waits for repair parts, and high initial price. We’ve taken the price off of the website  because it goes up so frequently. We now ask potential customers to call for availability and pricing

Our experience is that people interested in this unit are most frequently those who are intent on avoiding plastic. We always point out that although the housing is stainless steel, it requires radial flow cartridges which normally contain plastics, both on the end caps and the binding materials that hold the carbon in place.  We just want to be sure people don’t buy a very expensive case just to avoid plastic when the case will only work with plastic cartridges.

We have plastic options that cost less. For high flow sediment applications with for a 2″ water line, our Big Bubba unit is a much better value. Big Bubba handles high flow rates for sediment filtration with several (proprietary) cartridges available.  It also has one carbon cartridge, which we recommend only for light duty service. Big Bubba, of course, consists of a hard plastic filter vessel and the cartridges all contain plastics.

For almost every case, we feel that the lower cost 20″ Big Blue housings for 4.5″ cartridges are a better value.  The more compact large housing units can be furnished for 3/4″, 1″, or 1.5″ pipe. They will easily handle 30 gpm or more as a sediment filter or up to the 7 gpm range as a carbon block filter. And what is even better, they can be installed in parallel to achieve any flow rate needed. We encourage parallel installations as the most practical solution for most residential and light commercial high flow applications. The case is hard plastic, not likely to leach plastic into the treated water.

In the age we live in, looking for a water filter without plastic is like looking for a window without glass. If no plastic is  the objective, we aren’t sure what the answer is, but it isn’t our stainless steel whole house unit.








EPA’s Regan: Government ‘Waited Too Long’ To Fix National Water Infrastructure

By Peter Chawaga


As a growing number of communities around the U.S. face drinking water and wastewater infrastructure problems, it has become clear that public trust in official institutions to deliver these services is eroding. But recent acknowledgement from the country’s foremost environmental protection official signaled recognition of these problems and a dedication to improve things for traditionally underserved populations.

“The federal government has ‘waited too long’ to invest in water infrastructure, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan told NBC News in an interview,” the outlet reported. “‘Unfortunately, there are certain populations in this country, Black and brown communities, tribal communities, low-income communities, that are seeing the worst aspects of this disinvestment,’” he continued.

High-profile drinking water infrastructure issues, like those faced in Flint, Michigan and Jackson, Mississippi, have been attributed to a lack of public investment in water systems serving communities of color. As these issues mount, consumer trust in the government’s ability to provide clean water is failing.

But this iteration of the EPA, led by Regan, has repeatedly acknowledged these issues and signaled a desire to change things.

“No community should ever experience what Flint (Michigan) experienced,” Regan said, according to NBC News. “No community should ever experience what Jackson, Mississippi, is experiencing right now. We do have to have a proactive strategy to prevent cities from getting to that point.”

The EPA recently allocated millions of dollars as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve water infrastructure in cities like these, including $144 million that could go to helping the beleaguered system in Baltimore, Maryland, for instance.

But it will be no easy task to make up for decades of infrastructure neglect and failing public confidence. In Jackson, for example, the federal government faces accusations from the NAACP that its infrastructure problems were the result of years of mistreatment.

“Over 25 years, Jackson received funds from an important federal program only three times, the NAACP said,” per NPR. “When Jackson tried to fund improvements itself, those efforts were repeatedly blocked by state political leaders, according to the complaint.”

It seems that the only way for the EPA to build back confidence in drinking water and wastewater services is to make genuine investment, especially in the traditionally-forgotten parts of the country.

Source:  Water Online

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How to Recycle and Dispose of Used UV Bulbs

UV light bulbs (professionally called UV lamps) are commonly used within the home for water treatment and disinfection, home tanning beds, reptile care, and more. In fact, it’s likely you have a UV light bulb in your home right now.

However, many people don’t realize that UV bulbs contain mercury. When electric current passes through the gas, the mercury generates ultraviolet (UV) light. While mercury is necessary for UV bulbs to function properly, this makes their waste potentially dangerous. As a result, it’s important to dispose of UV bulbs properly.

Many states in the U.S. now require citizens to recycle UV light bulbs. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the following U.S. states require UV bulbs to be recycled upon use: California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington. Even if you don’t currently live in one of these states, the most eco-friendly choice is to recycle these bulbs.

Depending on where you live, several hardware stores may offer programs that allow you to drop off used UV bulbs at their store locations. Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware all have programs implemented to assist customers. Be sure to call ahead, though, as many locations do not offer these services and a drive there to find out wastes precious resources.

Another option is to purchase a mail-back kit. Though this involves an added expenditure, mailing the bulbs directly to the manufacturer once they’re used is the most direct way to deliver the bulbs to where they’ll ultimately be reused. The postage is covered in the cost of the kit, so the total cost to you isn’t as high as it may seem.

The best option for recycling UV bulbs is to locate the nearest recycling facility in your area. As more and more families in America become educated on the proper disposal of UV and fluorescent bulbs, more and more options and facilities exist for them to choose from. Earth911 offers a complimentary search engine where you can find the nearest recycling solution to your home.

If you can’t find a location near you to recycle your UV bulbs and have no recourse, you may seal the bulb in a plastic bag and dispose of it in your regular trash if doing so isn’t illegal where you live. However, if it is, your last option is to find a hazardous household waste facility in your area. Mercury is dangerous – recycle UV light bulbs to protect our environment and to be eco-friendly.

Article Source: Pentair.

Viqua, probably the leading maker of residential UV equipment, states: “Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). This symbol indicates that you should not discard wasted electrical or electronic equipment (WEEE) in the trash. For proper disposal, contact your local recycling/reuse or hazardous waste center.” Viqua does not offer disposal if you send the lamp back to them, as the Pentair article suggests.  And one has to question the environmental advantage that would be gained by mailing a UV lamp to a Canadian manufacturer for disposal.  More from Viqua.

Viqua’s advice is pretty standard for products in this category: Check with your local authorities for disposal advice. Our experience with attempts at disposal of UV lamps through our local solid waste authorities is that there are provisions for large users, but if you have a single UV lamp to dispose of, that’s a problem no one every thought of before.

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Wells in Wisconsin Town Found to Have PFAS 160 Times Over Standards


After testing approximately 30 wells in Stella, Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) found that several wells tested positive for PFAS at levels 160 times higher thant the state’s standards.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the standards are set for 70 parts per trillion for drinking water. Currently, the state has no regulations for groundwater, though officials are working to set standards.

The PFAS were found during randomized testing by the DNR that was done statewide. While the full scope of the contamination remains unknown, “many wells contained the chemicals,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The testing was part of a larger sampling program targeting private wells drawing from shallow groundwater, according to DNR documents. The samples were collected in the summer and fall and found three shallow wells across the state that had high levels of PFAS, one of which was in Stella, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

James Yach, a DNR employee, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the department has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for assistance in investigating the source of the contamination. Stella is a town of only about 600 people.

“”There aren’t any of the typical things you’d look for like an industrial source or an airport where they’d use PFAS materials,” Yach told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Currently, the water is not safe for residents to consume. David Brunette, a Town of Stella Chairperson, said the water at the town hall is being tested. If that comes back clear, residents will have access to that water.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the DNR is looking for funding source for bottled water, and the department is recommending “alternative sources of water, because treatment systems aren’t rated to handle levels of contamination this high.”

Source: Water Quality Products.


Four of Four Thousand Seven Hundred: The EPA’s Progress in Regulating PFAS

by Maggie Koerth and Michael Tabb

First, there’s four … That’s the number of harmful per- and polyfluorinated chemicals, or PFAS, that the Environmental Protection Agency released new concentration guidelines for this year. This is the good news.

Then, there’s four thousand seven hundred … That’s roughly the number of different PFAS chemicals out there, globally. They’re present in thousands of products you buy and use. They’re even in your drinking water. And this entire category of chemicals, including the ones developed to be “safer” replacements, have increasingly been shown to be dangerous to human health.

PFAS are a problem that date back to your grandma’s day. They were invented during the Great Depression and have been used in non-stick coatings on products like pots and pans since the 1940s. Since then, they’ve become part of how we make waterproof and stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, fire-fighting foam, cleaning products, paint, food packaging and more.

But these “forever chemicals” don’t break down. They just build up in the environment. And in the early 2000s, scientists started finding these chemicals in soil and water … and, eventually, in human blood.

To put it mildly … this is not good. Just a few parts per trillion in drinking water have been linked to a wide variety of health issues, from thyroid and immune response problems, to high cholesterol, to testicular cancer. This summer, the National Academies of Sciences reported that almost 100 percent of Americans have been exposed.

Despite all of this … or maybe, behind all of this … is the fact that PFAS aren’t well regulated. The EPA didn’t even have guidelines for what an acceptable concentration of PFAS in drinking water might be until 2016. At that time, they said that 70 parts per trillion was an acceptable amount of PFAS to find in water supplies. Now they’ve dropped that by more than a thousandfold. Scientists aren’t sure they even have the tools to measure PFAS at that level.

The EPA is in the process of creating the first federally enforceable regulations around two PFAS chemicals. That’s likely to happen in 2023. And individual states are taking action too. By 2030, new products containing any PFAS at all will be illegal in the state of Maine.

And things are changing at the industry level too. 3M, the company that first developed and still is the exclusive manufacturer of some of these chemicals, has said they will stop making PFAS by 2025.

So the publication of unenforceable guidelines covering 4 out of 4000 plus chemicals is just the beginning. We’re at the start of a serious shift in how the public – and the government – think about PFAS.

Article adapted from video.

Pure Water Gazette Fair Use Statement

The Pure Water Gazette’s take on the article Above:  From the viewpoint of residential water users, it doesn’t seem like a good plan to wait for federal regulators to test and establish acceptable levels for the 4,000 remaining polyfluorinated chemicals. Unfortunately, PFAS regulation is no further behind than that of many other water contaminants. There are so many spinoff chemicals created by chlorination, for example, that they can’t even be counted. New chemicals come into use every year–so many that no one can count them, much less test them for safety. The obvious best plan for the individual water user is self protection in the form of point of entry and/or point of use water treatment equipment.



Louisiana Wastewater Contains ‘Shocking’ Amount Of Meth


by Peter Chawaga

The wastewater in a large Louisiana city has been found to be harboring a concerningly high concentration of a dangerous drug.

“A shocking discovery in Shreveport’s wastewater reveals high levels of methamphetamine,” the Shreveport Times reported. “Following a recent wastewater toxicology test, Dr. Nicholas Goeders (of) LSU Health Shreveport discovered that Shreveport’s wastewater had twice the amount of methamphetamine levels compared to other areas of the United States.”

Wastewater monitoring is an increasingly-prevalent method for assessing the health of communities around the country, particularly in efforts to prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19monkeypox, and polio. Studies like Dr. Goeders’ can further expand the use of wastewater analysis to aid community health.

“‘I’ve been able to talk to people who, at one point in their lives had been selling methamphetamine. And they’ve told me, Doc, you would be surprised at how many people are using meth and it’s people like doctors, lawyers and nurses,’” Goeders told the Times. “These conversations prompted him to learn more about the community through testing and research.”

Dr. Goedert struck an agreement with the City of Shreveport to test wastewater samples over one year, using a method leveraged by researchers in Australia. The results have prompted him to raise alarms about how such prevalent methamphetamine levels might be impacting the environment.

“We’re only measuring what is used in Shreveport that goes down into the sewer system,” he told said. “But think about the rural communities, they use septic tanks and the purified water they have is sprayed onto their lawns… I don’t know how much meth is out there. It could be that it’s getting into the soil, it could be getting into our lakes.”

Now that wastewater analysis has uncovered this startling level of contamination, additional studies may soon follow.

To read more about how treatment professionals leverage wastewater analysis to protect community health, visit Water Online’s Wastewater Measurement Solutions Center.


Source: Water Online.

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Recyled Water Cleaner than Traditional Sources, Finds New Study

New research by Stanford University suggests that recycled wastewater can be less polluted and more dependable for potable use than traditional sources of drinking water.

Published in Nature Sustainability, the paper titled ‘Toxicological assessment of potable reuse and conventional drinking waters’ compares water samples from potable reuse systems with conventional drinking waters.

The team concluded that potable reuse waters treated by reverse osmosis (RO) are not more cytotoxic than groundwaters. Even in the absence of RO, the paper adds, reuse waters are less cytotoxic than surface drinking waters.

Potable reuse vs conventional water sources

New research from Stanford University has found that that recycled wastewater can be cleaner and more dependable for potable use than traditional sources of drinking water, such as rivers and groundwater.

Published in Nature Sustainability, the paper titled ‘Toxicological assessment of potable reuse and conventional drinking waters’ compares water samples from potable reuse systems with conventional drinking waters.

The team concluded that potable reuse waters treated by reverse osmosis (RO) are not more cytotoxic than groundwaters. Even in the absence of RO, the paper adds, reuse waters are less cytotoxic than surface drinking


Myth busting

To identify the toxicity of different sources of tap water, researchers applied water from various sources to hamster ovary cells, as they act similarly to human cells.  We were surprised that in some cases the quality of the reuse water was comparable to groundwater.The engineers discovered the compounds regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency accounted for less than one per cent of the harm to the ovary cells.
Report author William Mitch, professor of civil and environment engineering, said his team plans to further investigate whether other side effects from disinfecting water could be causing toxicity.

“We expected that potable reuse waters would be cleaner, in some cases, than conventional drinking water due to the fact that much more extensive treatment is conducted for them,” he said.

Mitch said that the team was surprised that the quality of the reused water, particularly from RO, was comparable to groundwater – traditionally considered the highest quality water.

According to the university, when it comes to contamination the “culprits may be associated with disinfection”.

“No matter where your tap water comes from, it will carry residual disinfectant to prevent pathogens growing in the pipes. Disinfectants like chlorine react with chemicals in the water and convert them to something else, and that may be what’s killing the hamster cells,” Stanford said.

Changing perceptions

The latest research from Stanford University could help to overcome one of the biggest challenges remaining on direct potable reuse: public perception.

The perception around using recycled potable water is indeed changing. In the US, The Orange County Water District operates one of the world’s largest water recycling plants since the 1970s.

Small breweries have caught on to the idea of using recycled water, deciding instead to brew beer with it. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has set down plans to recycle all of its water by 2035.

Read more information about the Stanford University study.

Article Source: Aquatech

Excellent article about wastewater from the Gazette’s website: Wastewater Treatment Changed Our World.

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 Parallel Installations Increase Effectiveness and Extend Cartridge Life While Greatly Reducing Pressure Loss



Whole house filter installation in a San Carlos, CA  home.  


The attractive compact whole house filter installation seen above is made with standard housings using 4.5″ X  20″ cartridges. It consists of a sediment filter (left) then two carbon filters installed in parallel so that each of the carbon filters gets half of the service flow to the home.

Parallel installations are extremely advantageous.  With carbon filters like the one above targeting chloramine, doubling the capacity not only increases the effectiveness of the filter but also cuts pressure drop significantly, while more than doubling the life expectancy of the cartridges. With chloramine removal, cartridge life and flow rate are especially important.

With a theoretical maximum effective service flow rate of five gallons per minute per filter, a double filter gives you ten gallons per minute.  But,  when the total service flow is five gallons per minute, each filter is handling only 2.5 gallons per minute and the life expectancy per filter jumps more than doubles.  Similarly, service pressure drop decreases from 2.5 psi to 1 psi with the addition of the second filter.

With carbon filters, the slower the service flow rate, the more effective the filter,  the less it resists flow (and decreases pressure to the home), and the longer the carbon lasts.


Above is a high-flow triple filter setup installed on a large home in Trophy Club, TX.  The water enters from the left and goes through a single sediment filter, then the stream splits to pass through three catalytic carbon block filters for chloramine removal.  The final stage, at right in the picture,  is a Watts ScaleNet TAC anti-scale unit. The system is designed for very high quality chloramine reduction as well as scale prevention at flow rates to 15 gallons per minute.

Parallel installations like those pictured above can be used for city water chlorine or chloramine applications, very high flow sediment filtration, reduction of odors or iron from well water.


Here are articles with additional information about filters of this type:

High Performance Cartridge-Style Chloramine Filters.

Chloramine Removal (our testing of our own products).

Compact Whole House Filters.

More Multi-Filter Installation Pictures.

General Installation Instructions for Compact Whole House Filters.


Dealing with the Future by Looking at the Past

by Gene Franks

A few  years ago a researcher at a local university showed that  university enrollment figures can be determined with a fair degree of accuracy by monitoring wastewater for the presence of an easily detected ingredient of birth control pills. The higher the enrollment, the more college women peeing estrogen into the sewage system.

With Covid, wastewater monitoring for the virus has been found to be not just an effective method, but the most effective method for tracking the number of cases.

In addition to  the presence of coronavirus and birth control use, wastewater testing can effectively measure the presence of  any number of environmental toxins,  diseases like ebola, tuberculosis, flu and polio,  anthrax, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, guns (by measuring gun residue), alcohol, mental illness (by testing for stress hormones), and even food and lifestyle choices.

In today’s highly charged political atmosphere it’s easy to see how wastewater monitoring might become a “rights” issue.    Sewage typically travels through publicly owned infrastructure to a treatment plant operated by a utility. Researchers and officials currently sample wastewater for public health related issues such as flu and polio without public objection. Samples are usually collected with permission of the utility, but no one asks the households being sampled if they are willing to participate.  The “founding fathers” did not mention freedom from wastewater monitoring as one of our inalienable rights, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see that looking for evidence of polio in waste water could be bitterly condemned as a plot to turn children into robots via a sinister vaccination program.


Reference Source:  The Conversation.

The EPA  says (finally) that Chromium 6 probably causes cancer

Those who saw the 2000 film Erin Brockovich will remember hexavalent chromium, also known as Chromium 6, as the chemical spreading in a plume beneath the town of Hinkley, Calif., from a disposal site run by Pacific Gas & Electric.

Those who saw the 2000 film Erin Brockovich will remember hexavalent chromium, also known as Chromium 6, as the chemical spreading in a plume beneath the town of Hinkley, Calif., from a disposal site run by Pacific Gas & Electric.


Thirty years after Erin Brockovitch. with considerable help from a Julia Roberts movie about her, brought attention to the dangers of hexavalent chromium, the EPA has said that it probably causes cancer.

“Chromium-6 is ‘likely to be carcinogenic’ if consumed in drinking water, according to an EPA draft review of the metal’s toxicity. The draft review, once finalized, will be the scientific underpinnings of EPA’s assessment of risks associated with exposure to chromium-6 and could lead to stricter EPA regulation.

Our advice:  Hexavalent chromium is a drinking water issue. There is little if any dermal uptake during bathing or otherwise using the water. See Systemic uptake of chromium in human volunteers following dermal contact with hexavalent chromium, published by the National Library of Medicine. Sensible home treatment is to treat drinking water with an undersink reverse osmosis unit, which removes hexavalent chromium handily, and to not worry about whole house treatment.