Let’s continue from part 1. The next type of water filter media I’ll discuss is known as Kinetic Degradation Fluxion®(KDF). This is a patented technology that works by way of biochemical reactions known as oxidation and reduction (or redox) using a copper-zinc media. Essentially, it works via either copper or zinc transferring one or more electrons to the toxin, in turn causing a chemical reaction that converts the toxin into a different non-toxic compound. For example, when KDF contacts chlorine, the zinc loses one electron (oxidation) and the chlorine gains one electron (reduction). As a result, potentially toxic chlorine gets reduced to non-toxic chloride ions. Generally, KDF is used in conjunction with another type of filter, often activated carbon. In addition to chlorine, KDF helps “filter” (really oxidize or reduce) iron; hydrogen sulfide (toxic and has a bad sulfur/rotten egg odor); metals (lead, mercury, copper, nickel, chromium, and other positively-charged metals); and it may also control bacteria, algae, and fungi growth (which is why it’s often used with carbon filters that “trap” and may colonize bacteria).
Now I’ll talk about another type of water purifier called reverse osmosis. This works by forcing the water through a semi-permeable membrane while leaving the contaminants behind. This system requires pressure to push the water through. That’s why it’s called “reverse osmosis”, because osmosis occurs when natural movement causes a solvent to move from an area of low concentration to an area of high concentration. Reverse osmosis is fantastic at removing many different types of contaminants. However, it should be combined with a type of sediment pre-filter and carbon filter because some contaminants (that the others can remove first) can clog or degrade the membrane. OK, so here’s the list of things reverse osmosis can filter: aluminum, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chloride, chromium, copper, fluoride, magnesium, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nitrate, selenium, silver, sulfate, zinc, asbestos, chemicals (that cause bad tastes, color, and odor), particulates, general turbidity (or cloudiness from particles), radium, bacteria, viruses, salts, sugars, proteins, dyes, volatile organic compounds, and chlorine and its by-products. I’m sure there are some others that I may have missed. Now think about combining that with an activated carbon filter.
Three important caveats: 1) bacteria and viruses can still accumulate and also degrade the membrane; 2) by removing minerals the water becomes acidic, meaning it will have a pH below 7 (our blood is between 7.35-7.45) – however high quality salt can be added to raise the pH, more on pH and why consuming alkaline-forming foods and drinks is extremely important for health in another article; and 3) it wastes A LOT of water – at least 3-5x the amount of original water that is filtered for drinking, is wasted.
Ok let’s move on. What do we do about all these bacteria, viruses, parasites, cysts, algae, fungi, and other microorganisms that can be in our water. Chlorine will not always kill everything. And there’s even chlorine-resistant bacteria out there. For these bugs, the best way to kill them is none other than light – ultraviolet light (UV) to be specific. The UV light damages the organisms DNA, making it’s cells incapable of reproducing/dividing – thus making it harmless or killing it. Simple as that! Hmmm, wouldn’t that solve the problem of having to add chlorine to water (which causes the production of toxic by-products). Of course it would, and ozone (a molecule with 3 oxygen atoms) is another alternative for the job. Apparently, there are “more than 400 municipal water treatment ozone systems operating in the U.S. alone.” BY THE WAY, for those of us in NYC – this option (of UV light) has been reported about in 2005, though I don’t know what sort of progress has been made.
Let’s finish with one more – ceramic filters. These use porous ceramic to literally filter the water through, while leaving the contaminants behind. They are especially known for filtering microorganisms, and the US Environmental Protection Agency has even created standards for their effectiveness. Search Google™ for “US EPA Guide Standard and Protocol for Testing Microbiological Water Purifiers” for their report. So if you get a ceramic filter, make sure it’s stamped with their approval. These filters most notably remove parasites and bacteria. It will certainly filter large sediment (that can’t pass through the pores) as well. However, some manufacturers of ceramic filters are certified to be effective in removing chlorine, lead, turbidity and particulates, and bad taste and odor. Additionally, these can be cleaned by hand when they clog up – but be VERY careful as simply handing it can clog the pores, rendering them less effective. They can also break, or get hairline cracks, which will cause particles to pass right through into your drinking water. Follow the instructions very closely.
Wait, really the last – distillation is by far the best way to remove most (and perhaps all) contaminants that can possibly exist. The water is basically boiled and the steam is collected which is then converted back to liquid for use. The contaminants are left behind, not emitted in the steam. However, that doesn’t mean it produces the best water. Some people say it can act as a vacuum and draw minerals out of the body. I haven’t been able to verify that yet.
And, Dr. Masaru Emoto has taken pictures of water from a “pure source” and distilled water. No comment – see the pictures and make your own judgment please. By the way, it’s quite tedious and energy consuming to distill water at home. SmartWater® is distilled, although it has some minerals added back into it. I like that it’s definitely “clean”.
On fluoride — some companies talk about a separate fluoride-removal filter, but fail to disclose the mechanism it uses.
There are some links at the end of the article if you’re interested in buying a water filter. I have no financial connection with any of the companies – although I signed up as a “dealer” with EcoQuest® last year. I haven’t renewed my membership this year, but probably will. It cost me $25 to become a dealer, which saved me around $100 on the filter (Living Water 3® with a fluoride and arsenic pre-filter).
If I were you, I would speak with the companies first to make sure the filter meets your needs. And you may want to call your local municipality to see if they add fluoride to the water – and see if, maybe (hopefully) they use UV light or ozone as a chlorine alternative.
I’m sure there are many more – I just happen to come upon these that “looked good”.
PS – don’t forget a showerhead filter!
Dr. Robert D’Aquila – NYC Chiropractor – Applied Kinesiologist