Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Removing radioactive particles (radionuclides) from water…

OK, forgive me, I’m going to get all technical on you for a moment… with the growing concern of radioactive particles floating down into our water supplies, it is instructive to gain a little knowledge to make sense of the news reports.

First, lets cover a vocabulary term: “radionuclide

A radionuclide is any manmade isotope or natural element that emits radiation with an unstable nucleus that spontaneously decays or disintegrates, producing radiation.  They may also be termed as alpha, beta, photon, or gamma ray emitters and include radon, uranium, radium-226, radium-228, polonium, actinium, lead (Pb-212), thorium, strontium and measured in picoCuries per litre (pCi/L).  One picoCurie equals approximately one disintegration every 27 seconds per litre of water.

The Pure Water Systems BEV Series removes all radionuclides. You will see many reverse osmosis (RO) manufacturers making claims their systems protect against radioactivity, but it is VERY important to know that not all reverse osmosis systems are created eqaul, with the key component being the reverse osmosis membrane itself. The quality of RO membranes varies considerably, with some needing replacement in as little as six months, where superior quality membranes can last 5 years. (Yep, we use the superior quality membranes in our systems.)

As an RO membrane ages, the ability to remove contaminants begins to drop off. Many RO companies say replace the membrane when the overall rejection rate drops to 80%. That means you’re drinking 20% contaminants. Ugh!

With the PWS™ BEV Series systems, we use the second most recommended method for radionuclide removal (the most recommended method is RO) in our third phase of purification: ion exchange. In our case, we have a “de-ionization” module which exchanges the ions that get past the RO membrane for the ions that make up a water molecule: H+ and OH- (or H2O if your math skills are weak!).

This combination makes the BEV Series systems the most effective home water purification designs available. Very high quality distillers can also make extremely pure water, but they use one heck of a lot of electricity to do it. And would you really want those radioactive particles hanging around in the boiling chamber of a distiller?

Comments are closed.