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Seccua Home Solutions

Seccua Brochure including all information you need to select the right water treatment technology for your home

Risks from Water How

Risks from Water How many germs are really in my pipes? Counting bacteria cultures after breading them on a fertiliser plate, a method going back more than a century, is still used to detect microorganisms in drinking water today. A small sample of the water collected is smeared on a culture medium and the number of bacteria colonies that form are counted. Scientists now know that only 0.1 to 1% of all bacteria in water tend to form colonies on laboratory cultures. This means • That for each litre of water we draw from the public water supply, 100 million bacteria are coming into the pipes of our buildings. • Every day, billions of new bacteria thus infect our pipes. • The values for Legionella on which we base our treatments are 100 to 1,000 times below the actual values. So even if no Legionella shows up in the analysis, there is still plenty in the actual supply. Is heating the water an effective form of disinfection? Current technical regulations say that the water in your pipes would need to be heated to 70°C (158 °F) for at least 20 minutes in order to kill the Legionella they contain. But scientific studies have shown that Legionella can survive for more than 60 minutes at such temperatures. Our existing technical standards that advise flow temperatures of at least 60°C (140 °F) and 70°C (158 °F) for thermal disinfection simply no longer meet the needs for modern environmentally-friendly systems. Geothermal heat pumps deliver their highest efficiency at below 50°C (122 °F), while modern boilers often run with return temperatures at 30°C (86 °F). 10

Scaled warm-water pipe, taken from an installation in a hotel in Munich, Germany. Water Treatment 101 Facts about hard water Lime Scaling consumes energy Lime scaling on surfaces of heaters acts like an insulation: In consequence, more energy is required to heat up water. For example, a heat exchanger becomes less efficient through scaling. Over time, more and more energy is needed and the heater itself approaches its end-of-life quickly. Limescale forms stains on fittings and tiles Once water, spread on smooth surfaces has dried up, limescale forms white stains, which are difficult to remove and ugly. Without treatment, hard acids and low-pH treatment is required to get rid of those stains again. Lime scale provides ideal breeding ground Limescale is optimal for the formation of a biofilm. The risk of water system contamination increases with greater levels of calcification inside pipelines and boilers. Myths about hard water Myth: Stainless steel and plastic pipes do not scale Although stainless steel and plastic both provide a smooth surface, they still have microscopic voids which favour the formation of limescale. Once seed lime-crystals have formed, limescale will grow further and cover the entire surface over time. Myth: Lime only scales at temperatures greater than 60°C (140 °F) This myth is a persistent one. But fact is that lime deposits can occur at much lower water temperatures. The only difference is the slower speed at which it occurs. Myth: Lime causes hardening of the arteries Lime is a mineral (calcium carbonate) and has nothing to do with arteriosclerosis, kidney stones, or gallstones. Numerous studies have shown that the hardness of the water does not affect health. 11