Is it Safe to Drink RO Purified or Filtered Water?
We have had to live with quite a few disasters in the past couple of years and now there is the fear of Typhoid being a risk in our lives and one question comes to mind - is it safe to drink RO purified or filtered water?
A lot of people have invested in water purifiers, whether it is UV, Reverse Osmosis (RO) or a filtering system. We are all taking the cleanliness of our drinking water seriously. But with the recent Typhoid scare, even if it is localised, raises questions about the safety of our drinking water even after it has been purified or filtered. For more information on Typhoid you can visit the KZN health website: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/typhoid1.htm
RO Purified or Filtered Water?
First, let us look at the main difference between RO purified water and filtered water. There is a big difference between the two types of treated water, and it is a big difference. A water filter is generally a water jug or tank that has an integral filter that removes sediment or dirt that is about 1 micron in size. That doesn't include dissolved chemicals or larger bacteria. To remove the latter two, you will need to invest in an RO purifying system.
RO Purifier or UV Purifier?
The two most popular types of purifiers currently on the market are an RO purifier and a UV Purifier. Both use a series of membrane cartridges that filter tap water to remove impurities. An RO purifier filters out total dissolved solids (TDS) and that includes essential minerals and salts that are also removed from the water, which is why when investing in an RO purifier you should make sure that it includes cartridges that replace these missing elements. A quality RO purifier should also be able to remove bacteria such as E-Coli, salmonella and cholera and reduce your family's exposure to the diseases caused by these.
A UV Purifier uses UV to kill bacteria and viruses, however, it does not remove TDS and other substances such as fluoride, arsenic, and rust to name a few. If you are considering investing in a water purifier for your home, consider that a UV system can destroy up to 99.99% of harmful bacteria and microorganisms without affecting taste.
Does an RO Purifier or UV Purifier Protection you from Typhoid?
The answer to this question is yes and no. It all depends on the system you are using, but the only way to prevent infection by Typhoid is to boil the water after filtration. Using this method guarantees that drinking water is safe and free and will not cause Dysentery or Typhoid.
How to Ensure Drinking Water is Always Clean
Having a water purifier installed is all fine and well, but it needs to be serviced regularly. In an area where the water is known to be contaminated, regular replacement of the cartridges is essential and where the water is given a clean bill, the cartridges should be replaced at least annually.
The cost of replacement cartridges varies depending on the system installed but can be anywhere from R700 upwards, so be sure to request this information when purchasing a purifying system. I have a Blue Spot system and every year I receive a phone call for them to come out and do maintenance. I only pay for the replacement cartridges and this costs around R750 per annum plus they flush the system and check for any leaks.