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Water Filters

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Very Off Topic:

Decided to move away from my constant drinking of diet coke and have been drinking a lot more tap water or squash. The thing is I've been feeling sick for a month. Not trip to Peru type sick, but just generally not right in the belly.

Went out and bought a load of mineral water last weekend (which is now really cheap) and straight away feel back to normal.

Is it likely to be the tap water? Do these filter things work? and if so, any recommendations?

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been discussed here before - they don't filter out the crap in the tap, just purify it a bit more.

i'd advise 2 units alcohol per half pint of tap water, that seems to work for me. ;)

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I just moved to South Buckinghamshire and found the local water to be undrinkable, water and tea made with it tasted bitter, so am planning to get a filter system in once I've looked at the market.

I buy 5-litre bottles of spring water (around a quid each), and the difference is simply vast - vegetables boiled in spring water taste real - no going back to what I now call the "poison" coming out of the tap.

Despite the supplier (Veolia) claiming that it's safe.

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Reverse osmosis filters from reputable manufactures do work.

I had the water that comes out of mine tested and the purity was excellent, 95-98% filtered out (it differs among the various substances filtered out).

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been discussed here before - they don't filter out the crap in the tap, just purify it a bit more.

That's correct when talking about cheap table top filters like the Brita stuff but not when talking about reverse osmosis.

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South Bucks is Chilterns which is chalk for the main.

Dries your mouth out something rotten.

If you look to things like spring water, Malvern is supposed to taste pretty good, but it is strained through granite I believe, which holds dangers itself.

I would stick with the 2 units of alcohol to half a pint of any water. Might want to cut back a bit on the water, it's all a matter of taste.

Then again, I guess you could put in a request to check the purity of the water that comes out your tap.

Chances are it comes through miles of old pipe work.

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Went out and bought a load of mineral water last weekend (which is now really cheap) and straight away feel back to normal.

Is it likely to be the tap water? Do these filter things work? and if so, any recommendations?

Possible it's the water, but pretty unlikely, as the water here is generally of very good quality, and reliably treated (with fairly good quality control, so if something does go wrong with treatment, it tends to be publicised promptly).

Water filters do work, at what they are supposed to do - which is improve the taste of the water and soften the water.

The minerals in hard water (calcium bicarbonate and magnesium bicarbonate) have an unpleasant, bitter taste. They also scale your kettle up and leave a scaly film on your cup of tea.

Tap water also contains chlorine or chloramine as a disinfectant, but this can leave a taste which is undesirable.

Commercial water filters contain 2 active ingredients:

1. Chemical water softening beads. These strip the calcium and magnesium from the water, and replace them with tasteless, non-scaling potassium. [For this reason, people with kidney disease who need to strictly control their potassium intake, are advised not to use filtered water].

2. A charcoal filter. This absorbs and traps chemicals like chlorine, and a variety of other impurities, ensuring that the water looks clear and is odourless and clean tasting.

What filters won't do is remove biological contaminants such as bacteria and viruses. They also won't remove biological toxins, pollutants such as nitrates or phosphates or additives such as fluoride. Heavy metal toxins such as mercury, lead and cadmium might be removed, depending on the forumlation of the water softening beads (some resins will absorb heavy metals as well as light metals like magnesium).

A better technology is reverse osmosis. In effect, these are filters with atom sized pores. However, they are expensive, and they dump a lot of water down the drain during use, in order to ensure that the contaminants that can't go through the filter get washed away.

However, RO systems have the advantage that they get rid of pretty much everything (chlorine, hardness, heavy metals, fluoride, nitrates, phosphates, organic materials, etc.). The filters are designed so that they are the right size for water molecules, and pretty much nothing else will get through. Although, they don't promise getting rid of bacteria and viruses (due to the possibility of slight leaks around the filter membrane), they actually do a pretty good job.

Edited by ChumpusRex

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I wonder if you can get table top filters which do this, or is this a more specialised and expensive form of filtering?

I have a 5 litre per hour RO unit in my lab that takes tap water and cleans it up a bit before sending it to my ultrapure water rig. It's about the size of a large microwave and cost about a thousand quid if I remember rightly.

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Very Off Topic:

Decided to move away from my constant drinking of diet coke and have been drinking a lot more tap water or squash. The thing is I've been feeling sick for a month. Not trip to Peru type sick, but just generally not right in the belly.

Went out and bought a load of mineral water last weekend (which is now really cheap) and straight away feel back to normal.

Is it likely to be the tap water? Do these filter things work? and if so, any recommendations?

Very likely psychological symptoms. But still, ...

Water filters are popular amongst some. Many 'merkin backpackers swear by them when drinking from rivers or more dubious sources, and since they have a Giardia issue I'd take that as real evidence in favour of them. I know some Brits who use them for all domestic water, even when it's to be boiled up for tea or coffee.

I find that tapwater improves hugely with such simple additions as ice and a tiny shot of lemon. Doesn't even have to be fresh lemon: a decent specimen of those squeezy things will do (bearing in mind that supermarket squeezy lemons vary surprisingly much, from pretty decent through to grotty).

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If you look to things like spring water, Malvern is supposed to taste pretty good, but it is strained through granite I believe, which holds dangers itself.

Never saw the point in Malvern myself. Ugh. Mind you, I'll say the same of other UK bottled waters: none of them offers anything over tap water.

If it comes through granite then it's been exposed to a higher level of radioactivity than is permitted to the nuclear power industry.

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This got me interested...

Quick search and it looks like you can get domestic RO systems for about £250 upwards.

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Went out and bought a load of mineral water last weekend (which is now really cheap) and straight away feel back to normal.

Is it likely to be the tap water? Do these filter things work? and if so, any recommendations?

Drill down twenty feet maybe less or more to your water table and problem sorted, pump mine up for watering the garden and washing the car they both love it. ;)

Not forgetting the fresh taste to drink. :)

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You can distill water too. (Essentially it's rainwater.)

(If you have a powered dehumidifier anywhere, it puts out distilled water as waste.)

Distilling water is very good; microbes and harmful viruses are destroyed by the heat, and virtually every conceivable contaminant is removed.

The disadvantages are the energy costs (about 10p per litre), and the need for regular cleaning of the still (as all the c**p gets left behind in the pot).

As a bonus, they work great for distilling booze.

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I buy 5-litre bottles of spring water (around a quid each), and the difference is simply vast - vegetables boiled in spring water taste real - no going back to what I now call the "poison" coming out of the tap.

Steam the veg.

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Steam the veg.

+1 boiling them means losing many vitamins and minerals.

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Mr Bogle is right! Beer is extremely safe, and I try to get my five units a day, as recommended by the Government! :rolleyes:

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