Monday, 26 August 2013

The water's back

It has been 9 weeks, some 63 days, since we have been able to drink water from our taps. As I mentioned previously, the flooding here had a lot of bad outcomes for us, one of which was that the water quality of our well got affected.

On Thursday of last week, our long awaited UV system finally arrived -- a "Viqua UV Max Pro10". The Alberta Health Services folks recommended an NSF (National Safety Federation) approved system, and it was hard to find one. NSF systems actually measure the amount of UV light passing through the water, so have sensors that tell you if the water is adequately treated. I could have gotten a non-NSF system for about $500 in short order. But we ordered an NSF system, and got it from the manufacturer in Ontario (for significantly more than $500, installed). A plumber specializing in UV systems (and NSF certified, too), installed it.

It's pretty simple. A 5ยต filter gets rid of any debris that the bacteria could hide in. Then the water flows through a steel chamber. The centre of the chamber has a long lightbulb in it, inside a quartz crystal shroud. The water flows between the steel and the glass, and the water is treated.
The white thing's the filter.
I have to remove the quartz glass sleeve and clean it "regularly" as it will get coated with minerals from my really, really hard water. The cleaning process isn't too obnoxious -- maybe. I haven't tried it yet.

It took the plumber dudes several hours to install it, and the moment we pressured it up, a pinhole leak showed up in the weld of a flange that connects a sensor to the steel casing. So it needs replacing. Sigh. Still, the leak isn't that bad (in 3 days, it's leaked about 2 cups of water). Another leak has showed up in one of the piping connections, too. Also sigh. Still, plumber dude is coming back, so he can fix both.

We have noticed a significant loss of water pressure with the system, which we attribute to the filter. There are inlet and outlet pressure gauges on the filter, and although we've only lose 5 PSI across the filter, that's 10% of our pressure tank's discharge pressure. Suddenly, I have trouble watering my grass and can only run one tap in the house at a time. Plumber dude says he can fix this.

After the system was installed, we had to shock chlorinate the system again -- our 3rd time. This kills off any bacteria both upstream and downstream of the treatment system. So Thursday and Friday were "water free" days in the house, and Friday night was spent flushing 130 gallons of chlorinated water out of the system (which took almost 3 hours).

Just to show you what its been like for the last 63 days, here's a 1 week supply of empty bottled water bottles.
Too many to count
We are glad to be able to drink out of the tap again, now and forever more.


Edwin said...

Well, I guess having clean water run out of the tap everyday is something we just take for granted, thenagain, your story just proved me that maybe we shouldn't... Great to hear that your bottled water days are finally over (for now).

On a different note:
Saw Ross in action yesterday at our first practice; looks promising. Will keep you posted!

RyderDA said...

Turns out the lack of water pressure was caused by a partially closed valve in the system. Helps when you turn the taps all the way open.

VIQUA Ceri said...

Glad you're up and running!

Thanks for the great post, Jello! Can you email me your mailing address please?

All the best, VIQUA Ceri

RyderDA said...

Hey, Viqua Ceri! I did the warranty information on line just after it got installed, so you have all my details on file. Serial number may change as plumber dude is back doing the steel casing replacement as I type this. If it does, I'll send you folks an update through your website.