Welcome, we are Aquatec - Water Purification Specialists

Aquatec will provide you with a scientifically advanced water purification process that is unique to the brand, with the technically engineered ability to purify your drinking, cooking and even household water to degrees only dreamt of by your supply company.  

Call Me Back

Blog

Nitrate in Your Water Supply

Posted on: February 22nd, 2012 by admin No Comments

Does it Pose a Potential Health Problem?

What is Nitrate?

Nitrate (NO3) is a colourless, odorless, and tasteless and extremely water soluble molecule made up of nitrogen and oxygen. It is naturally part of the nitrogen cycle where (mainly aerobic) bacteria breakdown animal and vegetable proteins and ammonium compounds – urine, excreta, and foodstuff remains. Ammonium (NH3NH4) – Nitrite (NO2) – Nitrate (NO3). This bacterial mechanism is part of the great circle of life and is how natural and manmade bodies of water, lakes and reservoirs, rivers, wet-lands (where your drinking water comes from), and even the sea is filtered and kept suitable to support the huge variety of life.

Nitrate is also a natural constituent of algae & plants and is found in vegetables at varying levels depending on the amount of fertiliser applied and obviously, on other growing conditions. Most human adults (according to the World Health Organisation) intake between 20-70 milligrams of Nitrate per day with most of this coming from foods like lettuce, celery, beetroot, sugar beet, spinach, and edible seaweeds. When foods containing naturally low levels of Nitrate are consumed as part of a normal balanced diet the Nitrate exposure is not (at this moment in time) thought to be detrimental to most adult humans.

Other common sources of Nitrate contamination in groundwater include animal wastes (wherever animals are reared on farmland, their wastes enter the soil and therefore the groundwater) septic tanks, local sewage treatment systems, decaying plant debris, and industrial pollution from manufacturing processes. Also, as Nitrate is a major constituent of many fertilisers, and as already stated is extremely water soluble; huge quantities of manufactured Nitrate enters the groundwater/water table whenever these fertilisers are added to the soil.

Nitrates water

Are Nitrates in water supply harmful?

Nitrate Levels in UK Tap Water

The current UK regulatory standard for Nitrate is 50 mg/l – (milligrams per litre). Derived from the water standard advised by the European Union’s Drinking Water Directive. This EU standard is based on the World Health Organisation’s guidelines for drinking water, which is also 50 mg/l – (milligrams per litre). That regulatory standard is intended to ensure that UK drinking water will not cause Methemoglobinemia in human infants.

However, the UK regulatory standards for Nitrate are breached at various times of the year, usually around the summer months, or if a particular area has a prolonged drought. In most years, representative tests for Nitrate on water samples taken from public water supplies in England and Wales just meet the UK regulatory standard for Nitrate. Regular remedial action is usually taken in the few locations where the UK regulatory standard for Nitrate is exceeded; this action involves the installation of special water treatment processes (usually Ion Exchange) to reduce the Nitrate concentrations in the public drinking water. Also, the technique of blending water containing high Nitrates from one supply with water that is low in Nitrates from another; is regularly practised by various water companies across the UK to achieve compliance with the UK regulatory standard for Nitrates.

However, in areas of high population or major urban growth and manufacture – using the greater London, Birmingham, or Manchester areas as examples, water is recycled time and time again; leading to regular localised ‘breaches’ of the UK regulatory standards for Nitrates.

Health Risk of Nitrates?

Methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome or cyanosis) – Nitrate/Nitrite poisoning

Young human infants who are fed water or milk formula made with water that is high in Nitrate can develop a condition that medical experts call Methemoglobinemia, and some infants may be more sensitive than others. The condition is also called blue baby syndrome because the most obvious symptom of acute Nitrate/Nitrite poisoning in young infants is the bluish colour of the skin; the skin appears blue-gray or lavender in colour, particularly around the eyes and mouth (this condition is also called cyanosis). An infant with these symptoms (no matter how slight) should be taken to casualty immediately, where an initial blood sample may be taken – the blood sample of an affected infant will be a chocolate brown instead of a healthy red colour. Nitrate poisoning can be treated, and in most cases the infant makes a full recovery. It is has to be strongly stressed, that it is extremely crucial to deal with this problem IMMEDIATELY, because this condition can lead to coma and eventual death if it is not treated promptly.

Young human infants are extremely susceptible to acute Nitrate poisoning because of certain bacteria that may live in their digestive system during the first few months of their life. These bacteria convert Nitrate (NO3) into the more toxic Nitrite (NO2). The Nitrite reacts with hemoglobin (which carries oxygen to all parts of the body) to form methemoglobin, which does not carry oxygen. The level of oxygen in the blood carried throughout the body decreases in proportion to the amount of hemoglobin converted to methemoglobin. As the oxygen level decreases, the infant is slowly suffocated; hence the blue colouration of the skin.

In all cases where the drinking water contains high levels of Nitrate, an alternative source of water low in Nitrates should be found for the human infant. Boiling the water WILL NOT reduce the Nitrate concentration; in fact, it actually INCREASES the concentration by only evaporating the water content. Water that is high in Nitrates should never be used for preparing infant milk formula or in any other way that could result in the infant consuming any liquids with a high Nitrate level.

Around the age of three months, an increase in the amount of the hydrochloric acid in a human infant’s stomach kills most of the natural bacteria that convert Nitrate to Nitrite. By the time an infant is six months old, its digestive system should be fully developed, and none of the Nitrate converting bacteria remain. In older children and adults, Nitrate is absorbed and excreted, and Methemoglobinemia is not usually a concern for most healthy adult humans.

Although no confirmed cases of blue baby syndrome have been associated with Nitrate in breast milk, it may still be advisable for nursing women to avoid drinking water that contains more than 50 mgl – (milligrams per litre) Nitrate. However, infants under one year of age and women who are pregnant are still at risk of certain adverse effects, because when nursing mothers ingest liquids/foods that contain high levels of Nitrate; the amount of Nitrate in breast milk may increase. Some scientific studies have found some evidence suggesting that women who drink water containing high levels of Nitrate during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to babies with certain birth defects. High levels of Nitrate in the drinking water, liquids, and foods given to the pregnant mother may also lower the amount of oxygen available to the foetus. It may be that this potential reduction of oxygen to the unborn foetus, especially the reduction of oxygen supply to a newborn infant’s brain, may result in irreversible brain damage.

Other Health Risks from Nitrates in Your Water Supply Including Cancer

As it is now a medically accepted fact that severe Methemoglobinemia can result in brain damage and death. Pregnant women, adults with reduced stomach acidity, and people deficient in the enzyme that changes methemoglobin back to the normal hemoglobin are all susceptible to Nitrite induced Methemoglobinemia and therefore, should take precautions about the quality of their drinking water and other liquids/foods, especially when it comes to their Nitrate content..

People who have an immune deficiency, heart or lung disease, certain other inherited enzyme defects, or various cancers; may also be more sensitive to the toxic effects of consuming Nitrate than others. In addition, some medical experts also believe that the long-term drinking of water that is high in Nitrate may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

A number of epidemiological studies have investigated the possible association of Nitrate in public tap water supplies and the incidence of various cancers. As yet, none have provided any firm evidence for determining any direct association. In fact, no adverse effects have even been linked with inhaling Nitrates or Nitrites, so reference concentrations – used to suggest safe levels of a substance and therefore, to assess the potential toxicity when inhaling these compounds – have not been developed. The contribution of Nitrates and by bacterial conversion Nitrites, to the potential to cause various human cancers and the magnitude of the associated risk of actually developing these cancers is unclear. A number of studies have demonstrated that extremely high doses of Nitrite can cause various cancers in research laboratory animals because Nitrites react with secondary amines in food to form nitrosamines, many of which are highly carcinogenic. There is also some medical concern in the US about a possible link between drinking water with high levels of Nitrate and Thyroid cancer.

What can you do if you are concerned about drinking water containing Nitrate?

The technology exists to almost completely remove any level of Nitrate from your incoming public mains or private bore hole – water supply. This can be easily accomplished by the use of a special Ion Exchange Resin, a process that is exactly the same as the one used by water supply companies when they have to reduce the level of Nitrate in their treated water supplied to the public (incidentally, a technology that doesn’t waste water as some other technologies do). This technology can be as simple as a small unit fitted under the kitchen sink, to self regenerating systems in ever-increasing capacities, according to the level of Nitrate free water required by the end-user.

Aquatec – the Pure Water People, a UK-based company, has specialised in the design and construction of these Nitrate Removal Systems for many years. Aquatec has under-the-sink units, self regenerating domestic family units, to units for large retirement homes and hospitals; and even larger units and computerised controlled systems for industrial and agricultural applications, including public aquaria and zoos. If you are at all concerned about the level of Nitrate in your water supply, then don’t hesitate to book your free water test today.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

4 Financial Benefits of Water Purification Systems

Posted on: February 21st, 2012 by admin No Comments

Spend money to make money is an oft-quoted truism, but the fact that you can spend money to save money is also true.

While purchasing a water purification system may seem like a large initial investment, deeper analysis of your energy costs and the costs of running your home reveals otherwise. Here are four
reasons why buying a water purification system could save you thousands of pounds during your lifetime.

1) Imagine the expense of having a major home appliance such as a washing machine or a boiler break down. If either of these vital home appliances fails, most likely it will be because of limescale clogging up the pipes, something that will happen after the warranty expires. Not only could repairing or replacing these items be incredibly expensive, but you have the extra money lost from taking time off of work to sort out the problem.

2) While the cost of buying kettles is not nearly as prohibitive, the expense of buying multiple kettles over a life-time really adds up. When you buy Aquatec’s bespoke purification systems we guarantee that your kettle will descale within 12-16 weeks of installation prolonging its life and saving you the time and money of buying another one.

Water purification

Home water purification can save money

3) Limescale buildup also stops your appliances from working properly. Because appliances that are blocked with scale have to work harder to do the same job, that racks up your energy costs. We estimate that having a water purification system that softens hard water and eliminates limescale could reduce your energy bills by up to 40%.

4) Huge savings on cleaning products. Our water softening process means that you will need less cleaning products to clean the limescale off of your taps and bathroom. Furthermore you will need less washing machine powder or dishwashing machine powder to get your clothes or dishes clean. Our pure water technology will cut out expensive sprays and bleaches from your shopping list over the long term.

So contact us for a free water test today and find out whether you could make huge savings by installing one of our home water purification systems.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Could Fracking Contaminate UK Groundwater?

Posted on: February 14th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Advances in technology have helped boost the growth of gas shale drilling in the United States over the past few years.

‘Fracking’, as it is known, has helped the United States to become almost self reliant in energy; lowering the price of gas for the largest energy user in the world.

But as this new art of releasing the natural gas embedded in shale rock deep below the Earth’s surface has expanded, it has obviously raised concerns. Environmentalists and concerned citizens wonder about the impact that this type of drilling for gas has on the environment, especially on UK groundwater.

Water Contamination Concerns

The concerns about the possible contamination of UK groundwater come from the essential part of the process called hydraulic fracturing, which in combination with the horizontal drilling techniques pioneered in the US, is an essential part of the shale gas production process.

The shale rock in which the gas is trapped (in small pockets) is so solid that it has to be ‘fractured’ in order to help the gas reach the surface. Called ‘fracking fluid’, a combination of water and sand laced with a cocktail of chemical compounds which the various drilling companies are reticent of detailing, is pumped into the gas shale at very high pressures, shattering the rock and opening millions of tiny little fissures. When this happens, a small earthquake is produced by the pressurised injection of this ‘fracking fluid’, fracturing the gas shale around the horizontal pipeline.

fracking contaminates water

Fracking could cause UK water concerns

The gas trapped inside the shale is now released and makes its way to the surface along with approximately half of this chemical cocktail called ‘fracking fluid’, plus huge quantities of mud and rock. The rest of this ‘fracking fluid’ remains deep underground, and there is part of the concern, no one really knows what happens to it?

Fracking in the UK

From there, if the possible UK scenario is similar to the US experience, the gas is piped to nearby compressor stations that purify it and prepare it to be piped (and sometimes transported in liquefied form) to power plants, manufacturers, and ultimately, domestic customers.

Volatile organic compounds (carbon-based gaseous substances with a variety of detrimental health effects) and other dangerous chemicals are burned off directly into the air during this on-site compression process. Meanwhile, the returned ‘fracking fluid’, now conveniently called wastewater, is either transported off or stored in large – open-air – membrane lined pits – on site, where it is allowed to evaporate. ‘Fracking’ is an energy-and resource-intensive process. Again, if the UK experience will be similar to the US, every individual shale-gas drilling site that is ‘fracked’ requires between three and eight million gallons of water. Huge transport fleets have to make hundreds of trips to carry this ‘fracking fluid’ to and from each drilling site.

It’s this injection of ‘fracking fluid’, a chemical cocktail with possible unknown health effects, and the shattering of the geological strata; that raises concerns about the possible contamination of UK groundwater. If the rock strata that contains the groundwater lie within the vicinity of the shale gas deposit, then the possibility of potential contamination from this chemical cocktail (and the gas itself?) must be a huge risk. Is the possible contamination of the UK’s groundwater for cheaper energy bills worth this health risk?

Shale Gas Deposits

Just like the United States, it seems that the UK has extensive shale gas deposits (deep underground) sweeping right across the country. So what could be the potential health implications if fields of gas drilling wells were suddenly to appear across our green and pleasant land? This is the crux of the problem, the concerns of many NGOs lobbying to either halt or at least slow down this type of drilling in the UK, because no one really knows!

If we only experience a fraction of the ‘fracking’ experience in the United States then we could be entering a situation where we all have to be highly suspicious of our drinking water.

Unlike the United States, the UK has a far better water supply situation with the various water supply companies extensively filtering our drinking water and obviously monitoring for any contaminants that may be of concern. But is this enough?

Unanswered Questions About Fracking

• We don’t know what chemical cocktail is used in this ‘fracking fluid’? (the drilling companies concerned say that their particular ‘fracking cocktails’ are ‘commercially sensitive secrets’).
• We don’t know what ‘other’ chemical compounds may be in the shale gas itself, some may have health implications years in the future?
• We don’t know how these minor earthquakes will damage the ability of the rock strata to hold our groundwater?
• We don’t even know ‘if’ our water supply companies ‘can’ remove every chemical compound that may appear from this particular type of possible groundwater contamination?

This is the concern. Exploratory drilling companies are being granted licenses to drill (just look at Blackpool for an example) across the UK, before the possible chance of contamination of our communal drinking water can be explored and evaluated. Even ‘if’ our water companies ‘can’ filter out the possible contamination for the main centres of population throughout the UK, what’s going to happen to the people and businesses not on the main water supply network? Other people or parts of the environment that may be affected are:

• Residents that get their house-hold water from bore-holes.
• Villages and outlying hamlets which have always relied on traditional supplies from ancient springs and artesian wells which have historically supplied them with relatively clean water.
• The farming community that use huge amounts of groundwater to produce our food.
• Fisheries and fish farms that rely on the height of the water table and therefore the groundwater itself.
• Rivers, lakes and wet-places that are just starting to recover from the contamination over the years since our industrial revolution.

This possible contamination of our shared water supply could lead to the scenario where no one trusts the tap water anymore. A situation that has not been seen for an awfully long time in the UK. A situation that may lead to everybody having their own filtration and water purification system in their own home, filtering their incoming mains water, not just relying on their water company to provide clean, safe drinking water.

Water purification companies like Aquatec Rainsoft Ltd of Bristol are already on the case, developing water purification systems for the normal house-hold as well as systems for businesses; to mitigate any contamination that may be present by removing ‘every’ chemical compound from the water supply, and then replacing the essential electrolytes for human health. An Aquatec Rainsoft Ltd spokesperson said today that “Aquatec Rainsoft Ltd prides itself on providing clean, safe, and fresh drinking water for any situation. Tailored to suit most people’s home, business, and budget. We have looked at the possible situation that may arise concerning fracking, and have developed filtration and purification systems that are second to none in their ability to provide the best possible water from whatever the supply.”

If you want a free water test, contact Aquatec today.

Read more on Fracking here.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Reverend Tackles Zimbabwe Water Purification

Posted on: February 6th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Find this blog in the education blogs directory

The BBC has reported on a reverend from Dorset who works to bring water purification equipment to residents of Zimbabwe.

Despite having retired from his job as a medical technician, the reverend Alan Clarredge risks his life to help others.

The 71-year-old felt moved to set up the pure water charity after a stint treating the first wife of the despot Robert Mugabe.

The Zimbabwe health authorities say that since then his work has helped to save an estimated 3 million lives. The country is desperately in need of such action as Mugabe’s actions have bankrupt the economy and created massive food shortages.

water purification Zimbabwe

Reverend Alan Clarredge

Many Zimbabweans are forced to live on handouts and they struggle for basic medical care with supplies stopped before they come in. Dirty drinking water is one of the largest killers in the world and is responsible for a huge amount of children’s deaths globally, which is why pure water is important for health.

The reverend explained: “There are risks but I do it because I’ve lived with the people and seen their needs.”

“I love doing it and it is an honour to be able to help the people of Zimbabwe.”

He has now been working in Zimbabwe for 30 years and founded the Rivers of Living Water charity that purifies water in small village clinics. Pure water helps protects locals against horrible diseases such as cholera and gives them a greater quality of life.

This Saturday Mr Clarredge will be holding a coffee morning at Rossmore Gospel Church in Poole to help raise the money for his next trip to Zimbabwe.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather