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Old 09-09-2017, 19:00   #1
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Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

We are full time live aboard and drinking RO water 90% of the time.
Two years ago we installed a remineraliser as recommended by the manufacturer of the Watermaker.

Skeptics have questioned this. So I did some research and determined the following:

Straight RO water:
1. Taste is not great and can lead to reduction in physiological desire to drink water. People can acclimatize to the taste though (we can't)
2. RO water is corrosive to metal and causes leaching of metal components into the drinking water, and will affect metal parts in the plumbing
3 The TDS is so low in minerals that this is not good for the body and increases cardio vascular risk for example.

I think for a 3 month cruise this is not an problem, but if you are drinking it as your only source of water year after year it could be in the long run.

Are there any people experts out there in the science of RO than can shed any more light on this?,

References: are at the following links:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile...salination.pdf


and

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_...entschap12.pdf


Quoting from the first one:


"7. Post-treatment
Untreated permeate from sea- or brackish water reverse osmosis plants does not conform with drinking water standards such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) drinking water guidelines [73] or the Gulf Drinking Water quality standards [74]. Drinking water requirements according to different drinking water legislation are listed in Table 25.
Due to the low TDS values RO permeate water can be unpalatable, corrosive and unhealthy. Post-treatment to meet drinking and irrigation water standards is therefore an essential part of most reverse osmosis plants"
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Old 09-09-2017, 20:07   #2
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

We have been drinking RO water for 10 years without problems, you get lots of essential minerals from your food. After 9 years of RO water my serum electrolytes were normal.

Fancy theory in the face of practical results. And I have a degree in physiology!
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Old 09-09-2017, 20:16   #3
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

It is very common to confuse RO made from fresh water with a tds ppm of 10 or less to RO Water made from sea water with a tds on the low end of 90ppm, but more typically 150-300ppm. The papers and research cited in favor of remineralization always looks at RO made from fresh water.

Now is a $30 off the shelf remineralization cartridge going to hurt you....nope, so if you like it run with it. But there isn't a compelling body of scientific data saying it is needed. You also have to remember the people selling you those cartridges are also going to make it sound essential they're selling something to you.

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Old 09-09-2017, 20:19   #4
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
We have been drinking RO water for 10 years without problems, you get lots of essential minerals from your food. After 9 years of RO water my serum electrolytes were normal.

Fancy theory in the face of practical results. And I have a degree in physiology!
If the nations of the world used individual anecdote as a basis of designing desalination systems, think of how much money they would save.
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Old 09-09-2017, 20:27   #5
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

Four of those years were drinking water fron Rich's excellent Watermaker!
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Old 09-09-2017, 20:52   #6
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

To me our RO water tastes great. Tapwater is absolutely disgusting! And can't you get the minerals and elements you need from food?
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Old 09-09-2017, 20:57   #7
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
And can't you get the minerals and elements you need from food?
Scientifically that's exactly where you get them, from the tacos....
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Old 09-09-2017, 20:58   #8
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
And can't you get the minerals and elements you need from food?
Scientifically that's exactly where you get them, from the tacos....

One of the selling points of the remineralization cartridges is that it will balance out the pH. But again that's from 0 to 10 PPM water which isn't the same as desalination water on Marine water makers so it's kind of a moot misapplied selling point.
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Old 09-09-2017, 21:19   #9
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

It is well known that street tacos are the source of proper nutrition.

La quenta por favor!
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Old 09-09-2017, 21:22   #10
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

About to eat them for dinner in Fiji, but drinking wine not the excellent RO water.
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Old 09-09-2017, 23:09   #11
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

I'm in agreement with most responses, especially Rich's.

There is a huge commercially driven pseudo - scientific marketing campaign to get consumers to "treat" perfectly healthy town potable water and/or buy bottled water. The later usually coming in the ubiquitous plastic bottles that litter our waterways. Taste comes down to personal preference and experience, but in most first world countries we are so lucky to have good reticulated drinking water. The "need" for treatment centres around the removal of perceived harmful chemicals.

Now this campaign of selective mis-information is targeting the comsumers of some of the world's purest water; us yachties! In this case, there is a "need" to add chemical substances to our water.
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Old 10-09-2017, 02:20   #12
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

BeanCounter,

Run your RO drinking water through a Brita pitcher with a charcoal filter to eliminate the tank taste and you'll be fine.

Most of your minerals come from the food you eat, not the water you drink. Does it look like most of the Navy officers and sailors are wasting away? Use some common sense and stop reading all the nonsense trying to get you to buy something you don't need.
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Old 10-09-2017, 02:30   #13
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAELESTIS View Post
It is well known that street tacos are the source of proper nutrition.

La quenta por favor!
And act as a great laxative.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:58   #14
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

My Father self administered Hemo Dialysis for years in his home.
His RO unit he had for dialysis was a far cry in the level of purity of water than our marine units are. To begin with it took drinking water and ran it through two large as in five feet tall activated charcoal filters to remove all chlorine and any other chemical that activated charcoal could before it got to the RO unit. The whole thing was pretty massive.
The one he had, the water was so pure that it would eat pipes, wasn't good for you to drink and honestly tasted odd, in that it had no taste, and believe it or not but drinking water must have a taste.
Water is the universal solvent, and absolutely pure water will dissolve almost anything given enough time, however our marine units output is far from pure.

A lot of bottled water is RO water that has certain minerals added for taste
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:45   #15
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Re: Water Maker / Reverse Osmosis water health

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bean Counter View Post
We are full time live aboard and drinking RO water 90% of the time.
Two years ago we installed a remineraliser as recommended by the manufacturer of the Watermaker.

Skeptics have questioned this. So I did some research and determined the following:

Straight RO water:
1. Taste is not great and can lead to reduction in physiological desire to drink water. People can acclimatize to the taste though (we can't)
2. RO water is corrosive to metal and causes leaching of metal components into the drinking water, and will affect metal parts in the plumbing
3 The TDS is so low in minerals that this is not good for the body and increases cardio vascular risk for example.

I think for a 3 month cruise this is not an problem, but if you are drinking it as your only source of water year after year it could be in the long run.

Are there any people experts out there in the science of RO than can shed any more light on this?,

References: are at the following links:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile...salination.pdf


and

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_...entschap12.pdf


Quoting from the first one:


"7. Post-treatment
Untreated permeate from sea- or brackish water reverse osmosis plants does not conform with drinking water standards such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) drinking water guidelines [73] or the Gulf Drinking Water quality standards [74]. Drinking water requirements according to different drinking water legislation are listed in Table 25.
Due to the low TDS values RO permeate water can be unpalatable, corrosive and unhealthy. Post-treatment to meet drinking and irrigation water standards is therefore an essential part of most reverse osmosis plants"
I spent 30 years of my life on merchant ships where invariably the drinking water either came from a flash evaporator or in later years a reverse osmosis plant, never seemed to do me any harm, the only thing to remember unless you have a very sophisticated water treatment plant, I,e with UV filters and the like, never ever use your water maker whether it a reverse osmosis or flash evaporator to produce drinking water within 12 miles of the coast or in less than 20 metres of water, too much risk from some very nasty pathogens
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