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Seccua Home Solutions

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

Water Treatment 101

Water Treatment 101 Scaling on the surface of aerators, unscrewed from kitchen and bathroom-faucets. Water Softening How does a conventional water-softener work? In conventional water-softeners, Calcium- and Magnesium-Ions, which make up hardness, are exchanged against Sodium. This exchange happens in a reactor, that contains charged polymer-beads. The large surface of those beads is loaded with Sodium- Ions, which are replaced against Calcium- and Magnesium-Ions from water during operation. „Magnesium, an abundant mineral in the body, is naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids and laxatives). Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. It contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione. Magnesium also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.“ - US National Health Institute The saturated beads then get regenerated with a highly concentrated solution of Sodium-chloride. That salt-brine, containing a vast load of salt and only little of Magnesium and Calcium, gets flushed to drain. Ecological impact of conventional water-softeners With over one million of softeners being sold in the US only every year, and with millions of system installed, the stream of high-salinity waste-water flowing back into public sewage-systems is significant. In areas of draught, where waste-water is treated to be used for irrigation in agriculture, that high concentration of salt damages plants. Waste-water becomes non-reusable, unless extensively treated. In many areas of the US, the sale of conventional softeners has therefor been forbidden. Health impact of water-softeners Not only do conventional softeners remove Magnesium and Calcium from water, two healthy minerals, and exchange it against salt. Such softeners also provide a very large surface for bacteria to grow on, so the effluent from a softeners contains more bacteria than the water fed into it. 16

Water Treatment 101 Media-filtration and Adsorption What is media-filtration? „Media-filtration“ describes filtration of water through any bulk material. On its way through that material, water contaminants are removed either by getting stuck between the particles of the media or by being adsorbed - or attached - to the surface of the media. Media filters need to be either backwashed with filtered water to remove the particles that got stuck in between the media or regenerated or exchanged in case the media adsorbed contaminants from water. Pros and cons of media-filtration For simple media-filtration, often sand is used to remove particles from water, travelling through the filter. Sand is cheap, nonetheless sand does not provide for a defined removal performance of the filter. Furthermore, water contaminants can break through a media filter, if not designed or maintained properly. Therefor regular media-filtration cannot be used for removal of bacteria or parasites. The use of adsorption Adsorption happens between very small particles, dissolved in water, such as e.g. Pesticides or endocrine disruptors, and very large surfaces, like provided by granular activated carbon (GAC): One gram of activated carbon holds a surface of 32,000 sq. ft (3,000 m 2 ). Once attached, those small contaminants will remain on the surface and will not re-dissolve into water. Depending on the concentration of contaminants in the feed, GAC gets loaded over time and needs to be replaced. GAC has the capability to remove the following contaminants from water • Pesticides, Biocides • Selected residuals of pharmaceuticals • Color • Taste & odour, if caused by organic matter Like every other media, also GAC offers bacteria good conditions for breeding. Therefor a downstream filtration, strong enough to provide for a high grade of bacterial removal, should be installed. 17

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