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Thread: Water Treatment options

  1. #1

    Default Water Treatment options

    I will be using water off my metal roof into a cistern and a year down the road or so I will also be adding water from a small spring on my property into that cistern. As far as water treatment, I want to get something like reverse osmosis under the kitchen sink for drinking water and cooking water only.

    But, I do want to at least be on the safe side for all water for the house - 1 shower, 1 washer, 1 sink. I want to keep my costs down as far as treatment go. I am trying to find out what would be a nice set up here. I was thinking about a whole house sediment filter and then something that would get rid of bacteria if present. As far as the whole house goes, i just want to be safe from things that would get me sick - I am not looking for drinking quality water for all the fixtures because that seems like a costly investment, (and then of course my undersink reverse osmosis or something else if someone had a suggestion).

    There are so many choices on the internet in filtration and i just am not sure what to trust.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    I installed a system that treats roof water to meet requirements of the EPA Surface Water Treatment Rule for public water supplies. It uses filtration and chlorination to remove suspended solids (dirt), and giardia, cryptosporidium, and other things that are present in fecal matter of warm blooded animals. Chlorination will kill residual giardia as well as viruses and bacteria.

    The system consists of a two stage filter, the final stage of which is the Harmsco 1 micron absolute cartridge, and a chemical feed pump to supply chlorine from household bleach. I use the PP-BB-20-1 which fits in a 20" "Big Blue" housing. The first stage can be a standard 1 micron cartridge that costs about half as much as the PP-BB-20-1. One cartridge set costs $70 to $80 after reasonable discounts and you should get at least 25,000 gallons of water through one set. You can decrease the cost of cartridges if you use more housings.
    http://www.harmsco.com/uploads/pdf/h...at_catalog.pdf

    The addition to your system would be two generic brand filter housings at about $50 each, the chlorinator (about $240), and a single stage jet pump to put it through the first stage filter before it goes to your storage tank. You should have a chlorine test kit at about $50. You will need float switch controls for the pumps. Parts for do-it-yourself installation will be less than $1000 plus whatever you need for collection and storage tanks.

    You should filter before the storage tank because you don't really want to create a stew of bird and squirrel crap in your storage tank, even if it will be filtered afterward. I always chlorinate ahead of the first stage filter.

    The filters will make your RO system membranes last longer. You can use a carbon filter to remove the chlorine before it goes to your RO system if you wish, but with the treated water you don't need RO.

    You should have separate tanks for collection of the peak rainwater flows and for storage, unless you have a big enough pump to filter the runoff immediately. That depends on the size of your collector and rainfall rate. For example, 1" per hour on a 2400 square foot roof is 1500 gallons and 25 gallons per minute.
    Last edited by Terry; 04-21-2011 at 04:42 PM.

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Is the roof painted? or galvanized steel? Are you drinking this water?

  4. #4

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    it is a painted metal roof. yes we will be drinking the water.
    I am looking into sediment filter, then .5 micron carbon block, then UV light filtration. Additionally, the water that we will drink will get some type of further filtration. the 2 filters and uv light will be for laundry, showers, sink in bathroom, and kitchen sink.

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