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Potable Water

The earth’s water supply is virtually the same today as it was during prehistoric times. Unfortunately, 97% is in the form of saltwater. Of the 3% that is fresh, two-thirds is ice; the remaining 1% is mostly adulterated with manmade and naturally occurring pollution.

Ozone has been used to purify water in Europe for over 100 years. The city of Los Angeles has one of the largest ozone generation facilities in the world. But due to the short half-life of ozone in water, the disinfecting qualities rapidly dissipate in the long pipeline from the treatment facility to the point of use.

Many contaminated water wells, lakes, rivers and other natural sources of water can be disinfected at their point-of-use (POU). Recent well-publicized drinking water contamination in Milwaukee, Des Moines and Washington, DC, pointed out the vulnerability of municipal water supplies. Internationally, a new cholera strain is sweeping through Asia, Africa and Latin America. According to the United Nations Development Program 1.3 million people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water.

Since World War I, the most common method for disinfecting public water in this country has been the addition of chlorine. Chlorine, however, reacts with organic matter (such as leaves, trimmings, vegetation, etc.) in the water to form carcinogenic byproducts known as THMs. Many microorganisms can survive chlorination; the notorious cryptosporidium protozoa can cause mild to severe gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and stomach cramps. Over 200,000 water consumers in Milwaukee were stricken by this water-borne disease in 1993.

In addition to several forms of cancer, chlorination has also been linked to learning disabilities and other behavioural problems in children, and increases in male reproductive tract disorders. The Seventh Biennial Report of the International Joint Commission (IJC), a government body with responsibility for maintaining and restoring environmental quality for the Great Lakes, calls for “a ban on the manufacture and use of chlorine”. An intense battle between the US EPA and chemical industry lobbyists began when the Clinton Administration moved to phase out chlorine.

Active oxygen, or ozone, is a natural oxidizer, 1 1/2 times stronger than chlorine and up to 3000 times faster acting. Properly applied, ozone is used to oxidize iron, bacteria, sulfur, manganese, nitrites/nitrates, some herbicides and pesticides, tannins, phenols, algae, coliform and many pathogens. It also prevents and removes mineral build-up in plumbing systems. Because ozone is simply another molecular form of oxygen, it is completely safe and the supply is inexhaustible. It does not leave any harmful residues (it quickly reverts back to simple oxygen). According to the published results of a 1990 test (Applied Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 57), “ozone was the only method that completely eliminated infectivity of the cryptosporidium virus in the waters tested”. Ozonation effectively removes taste, colour and odor from water. Filterability is also improved, making contaminants easier to remove. Water treated with ozone has a much higher free oxygen content – an added health benefit.

Ozonex drinking water systems are designed to meet existing and proposed EPA standards and protocols. The EPA proposal for point-of-use (POU) microbiological water purifier standards says the device must “… remove, kill or inactivate all types of disease-causing microorganisms from the water, including bacteria, viruses and protozoan cysts to render the processed water safe for drinking.” The standard also requires that systems “… provide an explicit indication or assurance of the unit’s effective use lifetime to warn the consumer of potential diminished treatment capability” through “automatically terminating discharge of treated water, sounding an alarm, providing simple, explicit instructions for servicing or replacing units after a specific recommended maximum volume of water is treated or a maximum time frame expires” (Roddy Tempest: Water Technology, Oct. 1993).

Most local health departments still require chlorination of drinking water while the EPA seeks to ban it. Many installations will require a waiver or special finding by the local authority having jurisdiction in order to sidestep this requirement.

The potable water treatment units offered by Ozonex offer the following advantages:
  • Highly reliable, state-of-the art ozone generation equipment

  • Safe “negative pressure” method eliminates need for air compressors

  • Sophisticated monitoring and control equipment

  • Easy maintenance and service

  • Guaranteed results

There is mounting evidence that the public is turning away from reliance on public water supplies. A 1992 survey by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) of the $2.7 billion industry revealed that one in six Americans consume bottled water (one in three in California). This is three times the number a decade ago and is expected to double again by 2001. According to Water Technology magazine, U.S. households are spending over $1 billion per year on home water treatment units. Many small communities, resorts, ranches and villages depend on local water supplies such as wells, rivers or lakes. These supplies are often polluted by pesticides, chemicals and other toxins that leach their way into the water source. According to the EPA, 38% of the country’s lakes, rivers and estuaries are unsafe for swimming or drinking. State authorities have had to limit public consumption of fish and shellfish from over 1300 bodies of water.

Numerous land developments are limited by the availability of sufficient quantities of drinkable water. Previously unusable sources of water can easily be brought up to government health standards by using the strongest and safest disinfectant available for drinking water.

An affiliated Ozonator distributor in Washington state had over twenty-five proposed installations pending approval. Four communities, including one Indian tribe, are now enjoying the benefits of ozonated water. The Indians are convinced that the highly oxygenated water has resulted in fewer diseases and possibly provides a therapeutic effect. When the Bureau of Indian Affairs installed a chlorinator on the system the Chief, responding to complaints about the water taste and smell, actually bulldozed the chemical injector!

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