In this post-Mother’s Day Occasional you’ll hear how water (if  there is any) perhaps got on the Moon, how sediment filters are rated, how spilled Benzene is mopped up, how quartz sleeves are cleaned, how Israel will survive the predicted 20-year drought, how alum is used to treat drinking water, and how the poor are unprotected by water regulations. Read about the LT-300, aluminum sulfate, the Moon Goddess Diana the Huntress, hydrogen-deuterium ratios, the Cameca NanoSIMS 50L multi-collector ion micro-probe, the Beta ratio, the 4-log rating, and a water filter installation in Trophy Club, Texas.    And, as always, there is much, much more. 

The Pure Water Occasional is a weekly email newsletter produced and issued by Pure Water Products of Denton, Texas. We also publish the Pure Water Gazette, which posts new articles about water and water treatment daily and provides “vast piles of information in the Gazette’s tangy, irreverent style” (Pilot Point Sun). We also maintain what we believe is the most information-rich commercial water treatment site on the worldwide web, PureWaterProducts.com.

If you would like to read this issue on the Pure Water Gazette’s website,  go here.

While you were giving or receiving Mother’s Day gifts, a lot of important things happened in the interesting world of water.  Read on for details.

Water on Earth and Moon originated from primitive meteorites

Gazette’s Introductory Note:  Theories (guesses) about the origin of water on the moon are no longer a dime a dozen; they are more like 4 cents a dozen. Here is another, this one from The Hindu Business Line.  The Gazette’s theory, by the way, is that the Moon Goddess Diana one warm Monday afternoon before the opening of hunting season created  Moon water simply because she was bored.--Hardly Waite.

Water on the Earth and the Moon may have originated from the same source – primitive meteorites– scientists say.

Researchers used a multi-collector ion micro-probe to study hydrogen-deuterium ratios in lunar rock and on Earth.

Their conclusion: The Moon’s water did not come from comets but was already present on Earth 4.5 billion years ago, when a giant collision sent material from Earth to form the Moon.

Water inside the Moon’s mantle came from primitive meteorites, new research finds, the same source thought to have supplied most of the water on Earth. The findings raise new questions about the process that formed the Moon.

The Moon is thought to have formed from a disc of debris left when a giant object hit Earth 4.5 billion years ago, very early in Earth’s history.

But recently, NASA spacecraft and new research on samples from the Apollo missions have shown that the Moon actually has water, both on its surface and beneath.

By showing that water on the Moon and on Earth came from the same source, this new study offers yet more evidence that the Moon’s water has been there all along.

“The simplest explanation for what we found is that there was water on the proto-Earth at the time of the giant impact,” said Alberto Saal, associate professor of Geological Sciences at Brown University and the study’s lead author.

“Some of that water survived the impact, and that’s what we see in the Moon,” said Saal.

Saal and his colleagues looked at melt inclusions found in samples brought back from the Apollo missions.

Using a Cameca NanoSIMS 50L multi-collector ion micro-probe, researchers measured the amount of deuterium in the samples compared to the amount of regular hydrogen.

Water molecules originating from different places in the solar system have different amounts of deuterium.

Saal and his colleagues found that the deuterium/hydrogen ratio in the melt inclusions was relatively low and matched the ratio found in carbonaceous chondrites, meteorites originating in the asteroid belt near Jupiter and thought to be among the oldest objects in the solar system.

That means the source of the water on the Moon is primitive meteorites, not comets as some scientists thought.

“The measurements themselves were very difficult,” Erik Hauri of the Carnegie Institution of Washington said, “but the new data provide the best evidence yet that the carbon-bearing chondrites were a common source for the volatiles in the Earth and Moon, and perhaps the entire inner solar system.”

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Nominal, Absolute, and Beta Ratio.  What They Mean.

Ratings of water filters that screen out particulate are usually stated in micron size. The micron is a standard measure of size that is used by filter makers. The diameter of a human hair is about 90 microns. Sediment filters are used to catch particles 1/300 of that.

Most sediment filters are given ratings by their manufacturers that describe their effectiveness at removing particles down to a specified size. The most common of these are”nominal” and “absolute.”

Nominal, according to the Water Quality Association (WQA), means that the filter will filter out at least 85% of the particles of the size it is rated for. In other words, a filter that is rated as a 1 micron nominal can be expected to pick out 85% of the particles that are 1 micron or larger from the water that passes through it.

Absolute, theoretically, means that the filter will reject virtually all of the particles of the given size. The usual expectation is a 3-log rejection–or 99.9%. Absolute ratings are usually used for the tightest filters and for purposes where efficiency really matters. For example, if a filter maker promises removal of E. coli, more or less 85% efficiency isn’t good enough. If you’re going to trust your life to the filter, you expect an absolute 3-log or 4-log rating at the very least.

The problem with the absolute vs. nominal system is that there is really no universal standard that assures uniformity. Some makers of filters for non-critical applications, for example, might consider 70% rejection suitable for a nominal filter. Definitions vary from one manufacturer to another, and there is really no way for the end user to verify the claim.

Beta Ratio is less frequently used. It establishes a ratio between the particles that are retained and the particles that pass through the filter. The formula is Particles In divided by Particles Out. Thus, the higher the Beta Ratio rating the better. A beta ratio of 1000 would mean that the filter allows only one particle per 1000 to pass through. A beta ratio of 100 means one particle per 100. The 1000-rated unit, therefore, is 10 times as effective. Note, however, that the beta ratio is no guarantee that the filter will perform as well in areas other than what it was tested for. The filter that works best in one application may not be effective in another.

Here are suggested maximum flow rates in gallons-per-minute for the four most common cartridge sizes in the popular Flow Max series of pleated sediment cartridges.

Micron Rating 2.5 X 9.75 2.5 X 20 4.5 X 10 4.5 X 20
1 Absolute 3 6 8 12
0.35 Nominal 4 8 9 13
1 Nominal 4 8 10 15
5 Nominal 7 14 15 25
20 Nominal 8 16 15 25
50 Nominal 10 20 15 25

Reference Source:  The Pure Water Occasional.

How Alum Is Used in Drinking Water Treatment, and What Are Alum’s Health Effects?

One of the first of the several steps that municipal water suppliers use to prepare water for distribution is getting it as clear and as particulate-free as possible. To accomplish this, the water is treated with aluminum sulfate, commonly called alum, which serves as a flocculant.   Raw water often holds tiny suspended particles that are very difficult for a filter to catch.  Alum causes them to clump together so that they can settle out of the water or be easily trapped by a filter.

Usually  a mixture of water with 48 percent filter alum  is injected into the raw incoming water at a rate of 18 to 24 parts per million. The alum promotes coagulation of fine particles which helps resolve problems of color as well a turbidity. If the process is given enough time to work and is applied properly, it not only corrects problems in the water but actually results in removing most of the aluminum used in the process.

Although concern over the safety of treating water with aluminum has often been voiced, there is no evidence that aluminum in water, whether it comes from the aluminum sulfate used in treatment or from other sources, is a health issue. Actually, most aluminum that we take in does come from other sources.  One study showed that only between 0.4% and 1.0% of our lifetime intake of aluminum comes from alum used to prepare municipal water. Most aluminum intake is from aluminum that occurs naturally in foods, aluminum used in food packaging, and from products like deodorants and vaccines.

Water treatment for aluminum is normally not needed, but aluminum is easy to remove with reverse osmosis or distillation.

See also “Simple Facts about Aluminum.”

 

Old and New on the Pure Water Gazette’s website.

New Articles

Benzene Cleanup is Costly and Complicated.    An event that scarcely made national news, a small leak at a gas processing plant in western Colorado,  put out enough benzene and other nasty chemicals to pollute hundreds of thousands of gallons of groundwater.  The description of the cleanup from an AP story gives a step-by-step description of the elaborate process necessary to contain even a small “seep” at a petroleum processing plant.

How to Get Big Performance out of Small Water Filters.  Frequently the most advantageous way to achieve high flow rates on a small budget is to use two or more small water filters installed in parallel so that only a part of the water is treated by each filter. One of our customers in Trophy Club, TX, recently installed a multi-filter system on his large home to remove chloramines.  The installation splits the water three ways using our compact whole house cartridge filters.  See pictures of this and other customer multi-cartridge installations in this article.

Cleaning and Care of Residential UV Systems.  Ultraviolet (UV) water treatment is overall the most trouble-free method for providing safe, microbe free residential water.  Compared with chlorination, modern UV units require no mixing of chemicals and pump maintenance and, in general, far less attention. They do, however, require in most cases an annual lamp change and periodic inspection and cleaning,  if needed,  of the quartz tube that protects the lamp. This article has general information about caring for lamps and quartz sleeves.

Despite a Predicted 20-Year Drought, Israel Expects to Have Plenty of Water.   Israel now gets half  its water from desalination and recycling, so things are not as bad as they could be.

From the Pure Water Gazette Archive

Many of  the Nation’s Poor Are Not Protected by Current Regulatory Standards,  Many of the nation’s poorest residents live in communities so small that they fall beneath the regulatory radar of agencies who set and monitor water quality standards for larger communities.  This sad situation  is particularly true in farming communities where decades of overuse of pesticides and fertilizers have now contaminated local wells and surface waters without provisions for cleanup.

New from Pure Water Products

Our main website now has the internet’s most comprehensive offering of the classy Flexeon LT-300 Reverse Osmosis Unit. The LT-300 is a compact, trouble-free unit that provides up to 300 gallons per day of top quality reverse osmosis water.  We stock not only the unit but parts and replacement items as well.

We’re also adding a full page of Rusco “spin down” filters in 1″, 1.5″ and 2″ pipe sizes, and Chester Paul Chloramine Plus catalytic carbon block cartridges for chloramine reduction.  Details will follow.

This issue is short, but packed with much wisdom.  Be sure to keep Monday nights open for the Occasional. 

Places to Visit on Our Websites

Model 77: “The World’s Greatest $77 Water Filter”
Sprite Shower Filters: You’ll Sing Better!
An Alphabetical Index to Water Treatment Products

Write to the Gazette:   pwp@purewaterproducts.com

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