• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

If it's yellow, let it mellow and RO is the devil

Skatersav

Member
Joined
22 Nov 2011
Messages
86
Well, with the impending desertification of the south east of England, I have taken the decision to do my bit and cut RO out of my water changes. I have already reduced it to 1/4 of my water changes, but given the vast quantities of water wasted through the production of just 25 litres of RO water (which is what I need to produce for my 100litre weekly water change) I feel like even at this reduced level I am contributing to the destruction of the World. I fear for the livelihood of my fish and my plants but must place the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the few. I will be cutting down my consumption to 1/8th this week and eradicate it altogether from next week. I am using London water and keep Denison barbs, Corys and those wee algae eaters that everyone loves (Ocelots? Surely that's a Central American wildcat). If anyone has any views on this please feel free to let me know. I live in Hammersmith so I'd love to hear from other London tank keepers.

As an aside, I was talking to a water engineer about rain water harvesting. I was always concerned that rainwater in London would be too heavily laden with poisons to use in a fish tank, but apparently its only the first bit of a rain storm that is a problem, the pollution apparently being "washed" out of the air quite quickly and so even in an urban environment it is safe to use rainwater just so long as you ditch the first half hour's worth (this was his estimation and has no basis in scientific experiment). Once again, views very welcome.
 

Matt Warner

Member
Joined
25 Jul 2011
Messages
738
Location
Worcester
I don't think that your RO water is the problem. I think all of London's water main leaks is the problem and that the south east is the most overly populated part of the country :lol: Oh and your idea of harvesting water would be great, if there was actually any water to harvest. I've never known it to be so dry for so long and personally I am actually hoping for rain!
 

ghostsword

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2009
Messages
3,422
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
I have actually moved to RO water now, leave it overnight and get a 20l of RO ready for WC.

Yes, ethically sounds wrong, but shouldn't the government force thames water to fix the leaks in the first place?




___________________________
 

Skatersav

Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2011
Messages
86
I agree, but would add that the UKG have effectively forced the water companies to fix the leaks. They are on a massive pipe replacement programme hence all the street works but this will take years and the problem we have is unfortunately immediate.
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,212
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I have taken the decision to do my bit and cut RO out of my water changes
I don't use RO for this reason, and also try and do as much as I can to reduce water wastage. I've always used rain-water, and never had any problems, but I've always lived some-where rural. If we have a run of drier summers I could see a situation where my 5 water butts (1000 litres of water storage) isn't a large enough reservoir.

I think for those of us who live in the South and East we are going to have to get used to both water shortages and higher prices for the water that we use. As an example Cambridge has a very low rainfall "At the Botanic Garden, the 30-year average annual rainfall from 1970 to 2000 was just 557 mm" almost exactly the same as Jerusalem, and making it drier than Rome, Perth or Seville.

cheers Darrel
 

Radik

Member
Joined
26 Oct 2010
Messages
588
Location
London
I think there are some RO systems without waste or.. minimal waste water if one is interested. They just cost more than normal RO units. Also having 3 membranes in parallel significantly reduces waste water vs pure water productions at least what I observed. Then using pressure pump is a must to get best of it.
 

Matt Warner

Member
Joined
25 Jul 2011
Messages
738
Location
Worcester
dw1305 said:
Hi all,
I have taken the decision to do my bit and cut RO out of my water changes
I don't use RO for this reason, and also try and do as much as I can to reduce water wastage. I've always used rain-water, and never had any problems, but I've always lived some-where rural. If we have a run of drier summers I could see a situation where my 5 water butts (1000 litres of water storage) isn't a large enough reservoir.

I think for those of us who live in the South and East we are going to have to get used to both water shortages and higher prices for the water that we use. As an example Cambridge has a very low rainfall "At the Botanic Garden, the 30-year average annual rainfall from 1970 to 2000 was just 557 mm" almost exactly the same as Jerusalem, and making it drier than Rome, Perth or Seville.

cheers Darrel

This is something I would like to look at doing. Perhaps using 50% rain water to 50% tap water mix for water changes. Darrel, do you collect the rain water from the gutters of the roof into your water butts of your house or do you collect it another way?
I've never used RO water myself, but what percentage of the water used goes to waste?
Cheers
 

ian_m

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
25 Jan 2012
Messages
5,238
Location
Eastleigh
Matty1983 said:
.. but what percentage of the water used goes to waste?
An expensive and well kept RO unit may manage 4 litres waste to 1 litre of RO water, cheaper ones may be as high as 10:1, which may or may not matter depending if you are or are not on metered water :(
 

Radik

Member
Joined
26 Oct 2010
Messages
588
Location
London
Not true, there are units with 1:2 ratio and they are not so expensive for example MERLIN GE RO :) I will measure our RO unit
 

ian_m

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
25 Jan 2012
Messages
5,238
Location
Eastleigh
Radik said:
Not true, there are units with 1:2 ratio and they are not so expensive for example MERLIN GE RO :) I will measure our RO unit
They quote 25%-33% efficiency which is 4:1 -> 3:1.
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,212
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
The efficiency of the RO unit is also dependent on how salty the water flowing in is. You can get pure RO from sea water with the right set up. Basically warmer, less salty water, at high pressure, produces less waste and more RO. Personally I would be surprised if any domestic systems gives much better than 3:1- waste:RO.

Darrel, do you collect the rain water from the gutters of the roof into your water butts of your house or do you collect it another way?
Yes, I collect it from the main house roof. You can get a system which lets the first few litres run away, but I collect it all.
Details here: <http://www.reuk.co.uk/First-Flush-System-Rainwater-Harvesting.htm>.

These are my water butts. This is my "pond filling butt" (there is another butt on the other front down-pipe).
pond1web-1.jpg


and the back garden.

back_wall.jpg


And this is how I "check" my rain-water with Daphnia.

I don't treat my rainwater in anyway either, I have 2 water butts connected together with a filter sponge in the downpipe on the first butt, I take the water from the second butt. I do a small volume water change every day, so I just leave what I need in the kitchen during the winter overnight to warm up, in the summer I just use it straight from the butt.

I did think about running it through an activated carbon filter, but eventually I went for the option of adding some Daphnia to the water butt. When I decant the water I need I just make sure the Daphnia are looking healthy, healthy Daphnia the water is OK, also gives "food for free".

Daphnia are used as a bioindicator of water quality widely in the water industry.

"Once thought of as an animal of polluted waters, Daphnia have been proven to be very sensitive to poor water conditions and a number of research and industrial groups use Daphnia to test water quality. For example, they are very sensitive to halide concentration, like the chloride or fluoride in tap water, which are extremely toxic to daphnia, even more so than to fish. They are also sensitive to metal ion concentration, like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which in increased concentrations can cause immobility and death, and daphnia are extremely sensitive to copper, zinc and most dissolved toxins (e.g. dichromate ions). They are often used to monitor water quality so that only safe water is released into the environment by industry and water treatment plants.
"

cheers Darrel
 

Skatersav

Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2011
Messages
86
Great stuff guys. I was learning from an engineer friend (the same one I mentioned previously) that there are devices which reject the first X% of any rainfall thus preventing the nasty rain from entering your reservoir. This is only relevant in urbanised areas where the air quality is lower. Anyone hear of something like this?
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,212
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I was learning from an engineer friend (the same one I mentioned previously) that there are devices which reject the first X% of any rainfall thus preventing the nasty rain from entering your reservoir. This is only relevant in urbanised areas where the air quality is lower. Anyone hear of something like this?
There are some low tech. ones in the link.
<http://www.reuk.co.uk/First-Flush-System-Rainwater-Harvesting.htm>

floating-ball-first-flush-system.jpg


cheers Darrel
 

Skatersav

Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2011
Messages
86
Darrel, that's awesome. I'd never have found that as I didn't know the term "first flush".

Hmmm. Dare I attempt DIY on this? I am really quite practically inept so I may have to get my wife involved - she's an engineer. NO, I must do this myself. If there is any success here I will post in the Journal section. If I fail miserably, which must surely be my destiny, then you will not hear from me again. Thank you for the challenge nevertheless although I fear this project may be a lesson in humility.
 

ian_m

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
25 Jan 2012
Messages
5,238
Location
Eastleigh
You can buy these things, the floaty ball type thing that attaches to your drain pipe as I have seen one years ago.

It intersected a section of drain pipe and allowed first wash to pass, then after a certain amount passed rest of water was diverted out of side pipe to your water butt. It also stopped when water butt was full and passed all water down the drain pipe.

Only reason I knew about it was its owner was always fiddling with it, as the ball thing would get slimed up and not float and no water would go into the butt.

Heres one like it. My mates one was parallel to drain pipe (and black).
http://www.rainwaterharvesting.co.uk/filter-first-flush-water-diverter.php
 

PeteA

Member
Joined
20 Jun 2011
Messages
170
Location
Devizes, Wiltshire
I know what you mean, I tend to run around 40 litres of RO a week as my water is quite hard too and my fish prefer it. Would love to get something a bit more efficient in general - I plonk a space saver box in the middle of my (small) kitchen and run the pure there and waste into the sink. Would love to have a better set up that has less waste and the pure in a more manageable container.

Oh if you have a garden it will love the waste water :)
 

Nat N

Member
Joined
28 Dec 2011
Messages
120
Hi everybody,
Another suggestion/idea which somebody will hopefully find useful. Instead of RO water I use de-ionized water. I filter the tap water and thanks to my husband’s brilliant idea how to run tap water through the filtering unit I don’t waste any tap water at all. Of course, I must say that I use this de-ionized water mostly for topping up evaporation and only sometimes to dilute the waterchange water. Still, I think this may be an idea for somebody.
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,212
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Instead of RO water I use de-ionized water. I filter the tap water and thanks to my husband’s brilliant idea how to run tap water through the filtering unit I don’t waste any tap water at all
These anion/cation de-ionising resin units work, but they are quite an expensive option if you buy disposable filters, you also need a TDS meter to tell you when the resin needs changing. You can re-charge the resins with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrochloric acid (HCl), but it is quite an unpleasant task, and not one I'd take on lightly.

<http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-09/nftt/index.php>

cheers Darrel
 

PeteA

Member
Joined
20 Jun 2011
Messages
170
Location
Devizes, Wiltshire
Nat N said:
Hi everybody,
Another suggestion/idea which somebody will hopefully find useful. Instead of RO water I use de-ionized water. I filter the tap water and thanks to my husband’s brilliant idea how to run tap water through the filtering unit I don’t waste any tap water at all. Of course, I must say that I use this de-ionized water mostly for topping up evaporation and only sometimes to dilute the waterchange water. Still, I think this may be an idea for somebody.

Hi,

Ok, being a bit thick can you explain what/how you've got as a set up? I'm concious that the sheer amount of water I pump into the sink could help offset any increased cost

cheers

Pete
 

Nat N

Member
Joined
28 Dec 2011
Messages
120
Hi,

Ok, being a bit thick can you explain what/how you've got as a set up? I'm concious that the sheer amount of water I pump into the sink could help offset any increased cost

cheers

Pete

Hi,
I started with using API filter. This proved to be relatively expensive and instead of buying branded cartridges I thought I will start buying just resins and filling them in myself. I contacted one of the RO water filters manufacturer in the UK. They were a little interested at first but when I explained what I was after – a unit to put resins in and the resins – they lost any interest and did not reply to my emails.
After some research, I contacted one of the manufacturers of de-ionized water filters. They supply, say, large hotel chains where a lot of ironing is done and de-ionized water is used in irons. These were very-very helpful. We discussed my requirements and they came up with the set which I am currently using. It looks like a RO filter but does not need plumbing. One more problem was how to create sufficient but not too much water flow from the tap to push the water through the filter.
My husband came with a genius idea which possibly deserves a copyright in case these will ever become a commercial product. He used one of the small internal filters for a simple “device”. So, now I use two buckets. One filled with tap water and another for filtered. When needed I just position them next to each other, filter the water (no waste) and whatever small amount of unfiltered water is left can be used for whatever – even pouring it down the sink only wastes a liter or two.
Now the cost. The unit with resins and everything cost me just over £100 including delivery and I am yet to see how long it lasts. I opted for colour changing resin so I will know when it needs replacing. With my tap water not being too hard and moderate use, I suspect, it will last well into 12 or more months. Afterwards I will need to buy resins only, not the unit and not the cartridges...
Of course, this remains to be seen how expensive that is but I am pleased with the results so far – and especially with the fact that the under sink cupboard can be used for normal household stuff – I do not have a big kitchen...
 
Top