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Thread: peroxide and softener

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member jimmy2708's Avatar
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    Default peroxide and softener

    we are having a hydro-peroxide system put in our house this Friday. could someone tell me if we need to keep our water softener for soft water or will the peroxide system also make it soft besides removing the impurities??

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    I've used H2O2 to remove IRB in a water heater, and it worked well, although it was a nuisance to keep re-treating. It's commonly used to treat wastewater in commercial or municipal systems.

    The EPA says (http://iaspub.epa.gov/tdb/pages/trea...tOverview.do): "Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is rarely used in drinking water treatment as a stand-alone treatment process. H2O2 is a weak mirobiocide [sic] compared to chlorine, ozone, and other commonly used disinfectants. Consequently, it is not approved by regulatory agencies as a stand-alone disinfection treatment process." I'm not sure why they say it's weak compared to chlorine, because H2O2 is a more powerful oxidizer than Cl, at least in their pure forms (which are rarely used).

    One on-line vendor who sells H2O2 systems (http://www.cleanwaterstore.com/peroxide-iron-filters.html) says "Hydrogen peroxide (“H2O2”) is a powerful oxidizing agent, much more powerful than aeration, chlorine or potassium permanganate." They use a 7% H2O2 solution. They also say that you need an activated-carbon filter following the H2O2 system to remove the oxidized gunk, as do chlorine-based systems.

    To answer your question, IMH(non-professional)O, it won't do anything softener-wise, and wouldn't be much better purification-wise than chlorine, which is very commonly used. I do know water treatment pros who despise chlorine for various reasons, however; they would probably prefer H2O2. All in all, I would only use it on a whole-house basis if there were a disinfection need only, and would follow it with GAC. It looks like the ongoing maintenance cost of H2O2 is also significantly higher, but I may be wrong -- it depends on injection rates of the $15/gal H2O2 vs $3.29/gal Ultra Clorox.

    I'd be very interested in your experience with the system.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member polychromeuganda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    ...

    The EPA says (http://iaspub.epa.gov/tdb/pages/trea...tOverview.do): "Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is rarely used in drinking water treatment as a stand-alone treatment process. H2O2 is a weak mirobiocide [sic] compared to chlorine, ozone, and other commonly used disinfectants. Consequently, it is not approved by regulatory agencies as a stand-alone disinfection treatment process." I'm not sure why they say it's weak compared to chlorine, because H2O2 is a more powerful oxidizer than Cl, at least in their pure forms (which are rarely used).
    From reading this and other EPA material, they aren't excited about hydrogen peroxide for three reasons.
    First, they focus almost exclusively on public water supplies because under the clean water act public water supplies are compelled to send them reports.
    Second, public water systems don't use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to get free reactive oxygen because its simpler and cheaper for a larger system to use an ioizer to generate ozone and inject that. A single 10 cent kWh of electricity makes the equivalent a lot of peroxide.
    Finally, public water systems also have to provide a residual (continuing) disinfecting capabilty as the water slowly travels through miles of pipes so that bacteria doesn't grow between the water treatment plant and the customers. Both ozone and hydrogen peroxide rapidly dissipate, so public water supplies all have to add some chlorine to provide that residual disinfectant. With a chlorine feed already required feeding anther oxidant that cost 5x as much would require a compelling rationale that hasn't been advanced.

    The EPA discussion about disinfectant strength revolves around killing specific pathogens like cryptosporidium. The rate of reaction of the oxidizer doesn't define its ability to kill specific pathogens.

    The overall question of what the peroxode is supposed to do instead of the softener kind of depends on what the softener is/was doing, so there's not enough information to comment on specifically. If the softener is removing Ca from CaC03, the peroxide feed wouldn't seem likely to provide any corresponding benefit. If it was removing iron and the peroxode is injected to help oxidize it into red insoluble iron and to be removed from the water by an un-mentioned filter, there's more to it.
    Last edited by polychromeuganda; 05-31-2013 at 11:38 AM.

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