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      CommentAuthorlegendre
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2009
     
    After seeing several commercials for ZeroWater I just had to take a look, and see what all the fuss is about. More than anything, I wanted to understand the claims, and find out just what "all zeroes" meant.

    As it turns out, the 'all zeroes' claim centers on a piece of hardware, known as the TDS meter, which is part of the ZeroWater system. Best as I can tell, it's a jazzed-up ohmmeter. It appears to measure the conductivity of the water, and translate this into ppM of dissolved ions. But what does that really tell us? I'm not so sure, but I do know what it does not tell us.

    From the ZeroWater FAQ:

    "The meter cannot detect uncharged particles such as organic
    contaminants. It also cannot detect undissolved particles such as
    bacteria."

    Ok, so benzene and E. coli still come up "all zeroes", did I get that right? They also constantly qualify their TDS claims with the term 'detectable solids'. That is, when the meter reads all zeroes, your water is free of everything that the meter is capable of detecting - which as we now know, doesn't include harmful pathogens or organic solvents.. which in my mind, would be pretty important to remove.

    Now I know what the TDS meter does: It tells you when it's time to buy a new ZeroWater filter for your pitcher! =P
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      CommentAuthorThicket
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2009 edited
     
    Lol. Why would your average citizen want a total dissolved solids meter? Also, why would you want to get TDS down to zero. You know what zero dissolved solids in water tastes like? Have you ever tasted distilled water? It's pretty tasteless.

    What about all those mineral waters like Perrier that proudly display their mineral (dissolved solids) content. Yup, let's filter all that out, get it down to zero and the water will taste ... ummmm... blechy.

    Filtering water can be a good thing. We filter our water because the town water has a slight musty taste/odour. Filters can take out some organics. Activated carbon is a common filter component. I doubt filtration would do much against bacteria.
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      CommentAuthorlegendre
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2009 edited
     
    @Thicket

    I know, it kills me too.. The reason that bad 'ol bottled water reads a filthy 074, is that the bottlers intentionally introduce a number of minerals so that it doesn't drink like sandpaper.

    Yes, it's true! One actually *wants* some calcium, sodium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, sulfur etc in their beverage. It's what makes water taste like water.

    Time to find someone who bought one of these, and see if the stuff actually tastes like distilled. If it does, I'm gonna splits meh gut.
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2009
     
    Some of the worst tasting water I ever tried was "ultrapure" superdistilled, micropore and resin filtered water intended for use in a molecular biology lab. Maybe it was OK for that but human taste buds are apparently more sensitive than DNA molecules because the terrible taste of the resin was very easy and unpleasant to detect. It tested very low in impurities with a conductance meter though.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2009 edited
     
    Deionised water is a staple in microfabrication. You have to check now and then for dead rats, because conductance meters don't tell you about that. Actually, good ale might pass the conductance check as well. Or a giviak.
    • CommentAuthorenginerd
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009
     
    Don't try your conductivity meter on your Gatorade.

    I thought minerals in the water were GOOD for you. People use to spend big money to live at various natural springs and drink the heavily mineral-laden water.

    We use DI water in lots of chemical plant operations, but we don't recommend it for drinking.
    • CommentAuthornova
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009
     
    Posted By: ThicketLol. Why would your average citizen want a total dissolved solids meter? Also, why would you want to get TDS down to zero. You know what zero dissolved solids in water tastes like? Have you ever tasted distilled water? It's pretty tasteless.

    What about all those mineral waters like Perrier that proudly display their mineral (dissolved solids) content. Yup, let's filter all that out, get it down to zero and the water will taste ... ummmm... blechy.

    Filtering water can be a good thing. We filter our water because the town water has a slight musty taste/odour. Filters can take out some organics. Activated carbon is a common filter component. I doubt filtration would do much against bacteria.

    Actually I love the taste of ultrapure DI RO water. When I worked in labs 18 meg ohm water was always available.
    It had a very clean almost metallic taste.
    I can't stand hard water taste.
    I have run into several people who prefer clean water and can tell the difference.
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    I hate how filtered/distilled water makes me thirstier than I was before I drank it. That cannot be good.
    • CommentAuthornova
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009
     
    After spending summers in Arkansas where the water tasted like it was filtered through a bucket of rusty nails I got very thirsty all the time. Rainwater when available was heaven. Distilled water tastes like rainwater. Of all the places in the world I have been the best tasting water from the tap came from New York City.
    • CommentAuthorBigOilRep
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009 edited
     
    People are always complaining about London tap water being nasty.

    I like to fill a decanter with the stuff, stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours and serve it up as being extracted "from a Japanese volcano" or somesuch nonsense. People lap it up saying how fantastic it tastes.

    And it does.

    Though of course it's the same people who think London water is foul.

    Fresh, clean, always available water is one of the crowning achievements of modern civilisation, and something that half the planet still doesn't have access to.

    Having said that, the high phosphate (from my bit of london) and nitrate content of the water is no good for my tropical fish tank - makes beard algae blooms hard to control and means I have to use phophate removers and all sorts of other chemicals.
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009
     
    Posted By: BigOilRepPeople are always complaining about London tap water being nasty.

    I like to fill a decanter with the stuff, stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours and serve it up as being extracted "from a Japanese volcano" or somesuch nonsense. People lap it up saying how fantastic it tastes.

    And it does.

    Though of course it's the same people who think London water is foul.

    Fresh, clean, always available water is one of the crowning achievements of modern civilisation, and something that half the planet still doesn't have access to.

    Having said that, the high phosphate (from my bit of london) and nitrate content of the water is no good for my tropical fish tank - makes beard algae blooms hard to control and means I have to use phophate removers and all sorts of other chemicals.


    How many ppm of Nitrates are in your tap water, and how many ppm nitrates do you maintain in your tank?
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      CommentAuthorGrowler
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009 edited
     
    On a related note, my father (a now retired research chemist) was once at a NATO symposium discussing the relative merits of varying levels of SO2 that should be allowed in flue gas (his company designed 'scrubbers' to remove said SO2). At this high level meeting of politicos and bureaucrats he managed to drive his point home by pointing out that the levels they were talking about were akin to making it illegal to dump the bottled 'mineral' water on the table into any river in Europe......
    • CommentAuthorenginerd
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2009
     
    I have worked at two different chemical plants where it was illegal to dump well water into our outfall. The water tasted fine to most people who tried it but our outfall limits on some minerals were so low the well water didn't pass.

    I personally prefer the taste from a little hardness in the water but I know people who like distilled water.

    Very small pore filters are available that can remove most bacteria.

    Water that is contaminated with organics, minerals, and acids we call tea, coffee, and pop.
    • CommentAuthorMorgenster
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2009
     
    Posted By: GrowlerOn a related note, my father (a now retired research chemist) was once at a NATO symposium discussing the relative merits of varying levels of SO2 that should be allowed in flue gas (his company designed 'scrubbers' to remove said SO2). At this high level meeting of politicos and bureaucrats he managed to drive his point home by pointing out that the levels they were talking about were akin to making it illegal to dump the bottled 'mineral' water on the table into any river in Europe......


    My grandfather had the exact same experience with a discussion about fissile material storage: they were proposing that storage required that radioactivity levels outside the containers did not exceed a level way below the level of natural background radiation.
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      CommentAuthoralsetalokin
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2009 edited
     
    Posted By: enginerdsnip
    Water that is contaminated with organics, minerals, and acids we call tea, coffee, and pop.


    In Ireland, it's called Guinness.

    It would be interesting to compare contaminant levels, before and after consumption. It's probably illegal to pour Guinness down the toilet...
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    Posted By: Morgenster
    My grandfather had the exact same experience with a discussion about fissile material storage: they were proposing that storage required that radioactivity levels outside the containers did not exceed a level way below the level of natural background radiation.


    That's pretty much the case these days. The dose limit for non classified radiation workers in the UK is 1 mSv/year. the difference in background dose between where I live and Cornwall is >3mSv/year.