RVing in the Winter: A How-To Guide

The average RVer spends 4 - 5 weeks on the road each year; however, most will hang up their keys when the weather turns cold, or head south in search of warmer climates.  

RV full-timers—a growing group of hardy men and women who’ve traded in a traditional home for a home on wheels—are well-versed in the ups and downs of spending 365 days a year in close, tight quarters. These folks are accustomed to waking up in icy winter wonderlands, and love having a front-row seat to the changing seasons.

Whether you’re heading into your first winter as a full-timer or are thinking of taking your RV out of hibernation for a snowy adventure, we’ve put together a to-do list (with the help of some RV pros) to help you stay safe and warm all winter long.  

 

Winterizing your RV

Sub-zero temperatures typically mean ice, snow, and biting winds. RVers must take proper precautions to keep their traveling homes in good working order through harsh winter conditions.

 

How to winter-proof the outside of your RV

Jason and Nikki of Gone With The Wynns are expert winter RVers; after six years traveling around North America, the couple know how to prep your RV for cold climates. Top tips include:

  • Covering windows, doors, and stairwells. Some RVs are built to cold-weather standards and come equipped with high R-value insulation and dual-pane windows. If you’re traveling in a fairweather coach, consider upgrading your windows and insulation. Can’t justify the spend? Heavy fabrics, bubble insulation, and plastic film are cost-effective alternatives, on top of best practices like checking weather stripping and re-caulking windows.
  • Skirting your RV. An RV skirt’s primary function is to prevent heat loss and cold penetration, but it also offers added undercarriage protection—particularly when you plan to spend an extended period of time in freezing temperatures. The New Lighter Life family spent a year and a half aboard their RV, and came up with five DIY RV skirt solutions.

The folks at RV Doctor share another important pointer when RVing in the winter: be aware of the conditions around your coach, too. Whenever possible, keep snow off your roof (and away from vents, satellites, and exhaust pipes) to prevent it from seeping into your RV and causing damage or system malfunctions.

 

How to winter-proof the inside of your RV  

RVers don’t have the luxury of a long, hot shower or bath after a day spent in the snow. Here are a few ways to winterize your RV’s interior:

  • Protect your RV’s water supply. Check to ensure your RV’s plumbing lines are run through heated sections of your RV; this will prevent freezing and maintain a steady water flow. A water purification system is a more sustainable, eco-friendly solution to hauling pallets of plastic water bottles on board.

  • Invest in compact heating solutions. Rather than run your RV’s in-unit propane furnace and drive up electricity costs, consider a space heater instead. Heated mattress pads are another great way to stay warm when temperatures dip overnight.

  • Make room for emergency items. A good rule of thumb for winter RVers is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Even though storage is in short supply, dedicate a space to emergency essentials like tire chains, solar charging panels, and extra blankets, clothing, and food.

 

Last-minute gift ideas for RVers

Of course, with winter comes the holiday season. With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we’d share a few of our favourite RV gift guides to help you find the perfect gift for the full-timer in your life

  • This year RV Geeks hosted a 12 Days of RV Christmas giveaway. Learn more about the duo’s favourite RV products (we’re thrilled our Eco Water Purifier made the list) and access exclusive holiday discount codes.

  • Wheeling It put together an RV gift guide for every occasion, capturing everything from safety to entertaining and adventuring.

  • Stefany (better known as The Fit RV) shared her shopping suggestions over on The Scenic Route blog. Coffee drinkers will love the portable, powerless k-cup coffee brewer, a great way to keep caffeinated when off the grid.

 

From all of us at Acuva, we wish you a safe, warm, and adventure-filled winter!

The Five W’s of Water Purification
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More than 50% of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by people battling waterborne illness and disease.

Water purification is a simple and effective way to prevent a hospital visit and protect yourself and your loved ones from the health risks of consuming contaminated water.

Before investing in a water purification system for your home, RV, or other off-grid application, it’s important to understand what water purification is, how it works, and why it matters to you.

 

What is purified water?

Purified water is free of chemicals and other contaminants. Purification involves running water through a specially designed system before it touches your glass. Today’s consumers can choose from a variety of purification methods: reverse osmosis (RO), carbon filtration, and UV-LED disinfection are just a few examples. However, each of these water purification technologies have specific benefits and drawbacks you’ll want to familiarize yourself with.

 

Why should you purify water?

Contrary to popular belief, the way that water looks, smells, and even tastes is an unreliable indicator of quality or drinkability. Because microbial pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa are invisible to the naked eye, they will often go undetected without the help of a water purification system.

Left untreated, these microbes will begin to rapidly reproduce and, if consumed, overwhelm your immune system’s ability to fight back. This then opens the door to waterborne illness and disease.

 

Who should purify water?

In short: everyone. Because we are in the midst of a global freshwater crisis, third world countries and developed nations alike alike need to be aware of the threats posed by potential contaminants. Increasingly, urban centres including New York, Vancouver, and Paris are using ultraviolet (UV) water purification, offering residents peace of mind their residential drinking water is safe to consume. That said, the greatest assurance comes when water is purified at the point of use—in this case, immediately before drinking.  

 

Where should you purify water?

Whether you’re on the road, at home, or at work, if you’re drinking water, you should always consider where your water is coming from and take measures to keep that water as safe and clean as possible.

 

When should you purify water?

Water purification is highly recommended whenever you are concerned with or questioning water quality. Typically, most developed nations have governing bodies who regulate, test, and monitor municipal water sources; however, there are still cases when potability may compromised:

 

  • Water in the wild. Lakes, streams, and rivers are at risk of contamination from polluted agricultural or other runoffs. These natural sources may also be prime breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses.

  • Campground and RV hookups. When traveling, you’re often forced to rely on water sources of unknown origin or quality. Water purification offers added protection when filling your holding tank.

  • Boil-water advisories. These public health advisories issued by government or local health authorities signal a potential or confirmed contamination issue. If a boil-water advisory is issued in your area, make sure to follow the recommendations.

  • Foreign countries. Living like a local need not involve sipping unfiltered water, particularly in countries with known water safety issues. Often, water in foreign countries is not suitable for visitors

  • After natural disaster strikes. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes… all of these have the potential to compromise your home’s tap water. Even a power outage can slow water pressure to the point pathogens and other microorganisms start to take shelter.


At Acuva, our hope and future vision is a world where everyone has access to safe drinking water. Advancements in technology, accessibility, affordability, and awareness help move us closer to realizing this goal.

Is Your Tap Water Safe To Drink?
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In North America, there is often the belief that living where we live means the water we use at home (an average of 300 gallons each day) is both clean and safe. We entrust water quality to our municipalities and other governing bodies, assuming that access to advanced water filtration techniques guarantees our drinking water is free of contaminants.

While it is certainly the case that water in developed nations like the United States and Canada are at reduced risk of contamination than in other parts of the world, it is still possible your tap water contains bacteria and other potentially harmful microbes. Where you live, how your home is plumbed, and whether your water system is fed from a private well or a public source all factor into the equation.

If you’ve ever questioned the drinkability of the water in your home, keep reading—you’re not the only one.  

 

2017 Water Quality Association (WQA) survey results

Approximately once every two years, the Water Quality Association (WQA)—a not-for-profit organization that represents the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industries—performs a national public opinion survey.

Survey results from earlier this year revealed some interesting insights around public perception of water quality and legislation:

  • 52% of respondents felt that federal laws governing drinking water in the U.S. were “not strict enough.”

  • 40% of respondents stated their drinking water was “not as safe as it should be.”

  • 36% of respondents were concerned about tap water contaminants, and a further 29% had concerns about whether their tap water was safe to drink.

  • More than half of respondents identified they would be willing to pay for a water treatment system that would remove contaminants such as lead, arsenic, and pharmaceuticals, and 25% stated they had intentions of installing such a system in the near future.

  • 41% of respondents who invested in a water filtration system did so after their home region was hit with a boil water or “unsafe water for use” alert.

As public awareness about hazardous contaminants and associated health risks rises, so, too, does the desire to protect against these risks by investing in a home water purification system that promises pure, great-tasting drinking water. Point-of-use or point-of-entry water treatment systems exist for precisely this purpose.

 

UV-LED: A smart, simple solution

When it comes time to make an investment, survey respondents identified a number of key decision factors: these include things like brand reputation, quality of customer service, level of product knowledge, and ease of installation and maintenance. Ultimately, however, what mattered most was and is protection and peace of mind.

There are a number of options on the market for purifying drinking water, and of these UV-LED disinfection leads the pack. Building on the successes of UV water purification, UV-LED systems satisfy homeowners’ requirements by offering a longer lifespan, lower maintenance requirements and lower power requirements.

Wondering if a UV-LED water purification system is right for you? Get in touch—we’d love to hear from you.


 

What’s the Best Way to Purify Drinking Water?  
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Right now we are in the midst of a clean water crisis. Although 70 per cent of the earth’s surface is water, only 2.5 per cent of that is freshwater. And with our global population expected to rise to a staggering 11 billion by 2100, it is essential we turn our attention to making sure the water we do have access to is safe to drink.

A July 2017 report from the World Health Organization and UNICEF revealed that more than 4.2 billion people currently don’t have access to safe water sanitation methods. That’s nearly 60 per cent of world’s population.

As North Americans, we are fortunate to have access to some of the cleanest, safest water on offer. However, even we cannot escape the risk of illness and disease from waterborne pathogens. It is easier than you might think for drinking water to become contaminated at the source, along the pipeline, or inside a “safe” container.

Ultimately, disinfection is key. As technology evolves, so too do the options at our disposal for improving access and availability to potable water.

Here’s a look at what is currently on the market for consumers:

 

Chemical disinfection

Chemical disinfection uses oxidants such as chlorine-based compounds to rapidly react and kill some (but not all) harmful micro-organisms. Adding chlorine has been used as a convenient water disinfection technique for swimming pools and other household applications. While fast and effective, there are significant health and safety concerns. For example, chlorine-based components are corrosive and must be handled with extreme caution and care.

 

Filtration

Filters trap particles in porous material structures, but still allow water to pass through. This technique is effective for removing things like sand and rust, but it cannot address materials that have dissolved into the water. Though relatively inexpensive, the pore size of most filters is too large to trap microorganisms, so they end up passing through into people’s drinking water. They also require regular replacement, making them a high maintenance approach with only moderate effectiveness.

 

Reverse osmosis (RO)

Membranes, such as those used in reverse osmosis (RO) systems, are also considered filters. RO systems are a more effective alternative for removing microorganisms, but tend to be difficult to install, consume a lot of energy,  and have been found to waste up to 70 per cent of water post-treatment. Unfortunately, RO systems also strip water of its healthy minerals, taking the good with the bad.

 

Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection

One of the world’s most effective water treatment technologies, UV disinfection uses short wavelength radiation to deactivate microorganisms by disrupting their DNA. However, this technology is not without its limitations. Typically, UV lamps require replacement annually, along with monthly cleaning and maintenance requirements. Further, because UV lamps contain mercury and cannot be turned on and off (causing them to consume energy even when there is no water flow), their environmental impact has been the subject of much controversy.

 

UV-LED disinfection

Following careful observation of these and other techniques, scientists introduced a revolutionary technology known as UV-LED. With a longer lifespan (10+ years on average), low power requirements, and low maintenance requirements, the characteristics of UV-LEDs produce an optimal disinfection efficiency and is fast becoming the go-to source for water purification.  

It’s no surprise we’re particularly endeared to this form of water purification. In fact, you’ll find it in all of our Acuva purification systems.

No matter whether you’re gearing up for a month-long adventure in your RV, heading out to the cabin for the long weekend, or cozying up at home, keeping yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy is always a priority. As a business based on transparency, we believe in providing honest, accurate information to help you make the best decision for you.

Accessing Clean Water on the Road: A Guide for RVers
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Traveling by RV requires considerable planning: mapping your route, packing your bags, prepping your vehicle, and picking your campsites are just a few items on the to-do list. And while RVing affords certain luxuries tenting does not, hitting the open road is not without its challenges--one of which is accessing fresh, clean water.

It’s no surprise the last thing you’d want on vacation is to fall ill. Consuming contaminated water places you at risk of vomiting, nausea, rash, diarrhea… all surefire ways to spoil an adventure. Because we are accustomed to potable water at home, consuming foreign water sources that may contain bacteria, viruses, and cysts can make for an uncomfortable travel experience

To protect your health and your holiday, we’ve pulled together some information all RVers should know about on-the-go access to safe drinking water.

Is Campground Water Safe to Drink?

There is sometimes the misconception that all campgrounds are reliable water sources. Of course, many sites do exercise tremendous caution and due diligence, taking the necessary precautions to monitor their equipment and supplies. In fact, most campgrounds will operate their own wells; these wells must be tested and approved before water can be supplied out to the general public.

However, because water purity, quality, and type can drastically differ between campgrounds (even across short distances), assurances from campground management will still leave room for doubt.

Particularly if you are traveling with children, the elderly, or anyone who is or may be pregnant, why take an unnecessary risk and rely on a source of unknown origins? Although it’s true there are a number of visible indicators of poor water quality--bad odour or a cloudy consistency, for example--many more are only found under a microscope. Consider, too, that water quality can change in as little as 96 hours, which means the water you have sloshing around in your RV’s holding tank--no matter how pure it was to begin with--can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and other micro-organisms.  

What is the Best Way to Guarantee Water Quality?

Where once travellers could safely sip from fresh mountain streams, today these untreated sources are susceptible to harmful contaminants. A purification system offers peace of mind that the water you use and consume each day is both potable and palatable.

Some travellers might think relying on bottled water is the best approach, but fail to consider that the well water used to wash dishes, countertops, and other high traffic surfaces may be teeming with pesky micro-organisms that can cause illness. Further, plastic water bottles are wasteful, and storing them on board your RV chews up precious space.

Other travellers may choose technologies like reverse osmosis (RO) and UV fluorescent lamps to get the job done. However, these, too, have their shortfalls: both have high power requirements, RO systems waste a significant amount of water, and UV lamps require regular maintenance and replacement.

UV-LED is a cutting-edge technology that addresses these and other competitor weaknesses,  delivering a complete solution you can trust. The advantages of a UV-LED water filtration system are plenty: in addition to effectively treating microbial contamination, it is low maintenance, energy efficient, and eco-friendly. When a UV-LED purification system is installed at the point of use, it ensures you and your fellow travellers will enjoy fresh tasting water, no matter where your spirit for adventure takes you.

Introducing the NEW Acuva Eco Purifier
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At Acuva, we believe a well-designed product is one that offers a real solution to a real problem. Over the years, we’ve spent countless hours chatting to boat, RV, and cottage owners, learning more about their drinking water habits, likes, dislikes, and values.

These conversations inspired our suite of Arrow purifiers. Each system offers a complete water purification solution that is energy efficient, low maintenance, and environmentally friendly.

Today, we are proud to introduce you to the newest addition to our product line-up: the Acuva Eco Purifier.

Designed for Real Life

Success, for us, is about keeping our customers at the heart of our business. Your feedback helped us reimagine our 1L unit’s shape and size, resulting in a smarter, sleeker way to access clean drinking water.

You told us you value trust, and we listened.

We understand how important it is to have peace of mind that the water you serve your friends and family truly is safe to drink. You should never have to question or doubt its cleanliness or quality.

For years, we’ve delivered trusted water purification systems, and the Eco Purifier is no exception. By leveraging the latest in UV-LED technologies, we’ve raised the bar when it comes to safety standards, producing a unit to help you confidently enjoy the great outdoors.

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You told us you value convenience, and we listened.

We’ve designed the Eco Purifier to be durable, low maintenance, and easy on the eye. The system installs alongside your existing tap, offering a seamless integration that won’t clutter your space.

Not sure when your water is ready to drink? The Eco Purifier’s intelligent light indicator makes it easy: a blue light means your system is up, running, and ready to serve clean, fresh-tasting water. 

You told us you value space, and we listened.

At only 9.9” x 3.6” x 1.6”, the Eco Purifier is our smallest form factor yet.

We understand space on board your boat and RV is limited. Designing our product with compactness in mind allows you to reclaim space previously reserved for bulky water storage tanks and flats of bottled water.

Purpose built to fit below your sink, the Eco Purifier eliminates the need for alternative water purification techniques and technologies.

You told us you value performance, and we listened.

The Eco Purifier has a flow rate of 1L (or 0.25 gallons) per minute. Put another way, that works out to two 16oz water bottles every 60 seconds.

We’ve been working behind the scenes with our LED supplier to build ultra-efficient water purification systems. Incorporating new, more powerful LEDs means our system achieves the same result with fewer lights. This not only reduces the unit’s size, but also its power requirements. Unlike UV lamps, our patented UV-LED technology does not require you to keep the system running at all times; instead, the system is only activated when you turn the faucet on, providing purified water on demand.

Our Eco Purifiers are now available--click here to bring one with you on your next adventure.

Does Water Really Expire?
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Does Water Expire?  

Water is one of the most abundant substances on the planet, covering nearly 71% of the earth’s surface. It is also one of, if not the, most vital substances—both for our health and for the health of the environment.

Off-grid RVs, boats, and cottages are faced with the challenge of regular access to safe, potable water. Many North Americans choose to filter water in bulk, housing it in water storage tanks for future use.

In theory, this sounds like a future-proof solution, but it begs an important question: does water expire?

 

Water Storage: The Facts

The short answer to this question is no, water itself does not expire. The expiration date you’ll find on bottled water is more of a regulatory requirement than anything (although plastic has been found to leach impurities over time). However, microbial organisms (bacteria, viruses, germs, and the like) will build up when water sits stagnant and unused. Those of you who leave a glass of tap water on your bedside table overnight may have noticed its taste will change over the course of as little as 12 hours. This is caused by carbon dioxide and airborne bacteria mixing with the water and tampering with its pH.

Of course, storage tanks are sealed containers, but does this variable eliminate the problem? A peer-reviewed study by the American Water Works Association compared four water tanks of different materials. Their goal was to better understand exactly how water’s chemistry changes when it is stored over a span of time.

Here’s what the researchers found:

  • Water quality can change in as few as 96 hours – Within 4 to 7 days, the chemical characteristics of tank water shifted dramatically. These changes were attributed largely to a loss of chlorine and an increase in pH, both of which lead to an increase of HPCs (heterotrophic plat counts, used to measure the overall bacteriological quality of drinking water).

  • Non-continuous water flow negatively impacts water quality – With high HPC measurements comes an increase in bacterial species, something that may be attributed to bacteria’s ability to slowly grow under low-nutrient water conditions.

The tanks themselves come with a separate set of needs: to optimize effectiveness, water storage tanks must be fabricated using high-integrity materials, and undergo regular inspection and cleaning. It’s no surprise, then, that AWWA recommends the public limit traditional water storage methods, and instead consider alternative options.

 

UV-LED: A Better, Safer Way to Purify Water

Public health (an umbrella term which includes water safety) has added 25 years to the life expectancy of people in the United States in the 20th century. It’s safe to say we’ve come a long way, and technological advances are helping us continually raise the bar for the standards to which we hold our drinking water.

Because water is cleanest at the point of use, purification methods that work immediately prior to consumption are the safest, most reliable way to guarantee potable water. Technologies like ultraviolet (UV) and light emitting diodes (LED) have both proven their ability to eliminate potentially harmful microorganisms, and joining these two techniques provides safe and reliable drinking water. Learn more about this water purification technology here

Plastic will Exceed Fish in Sea by 2050
Image: The New Plastics Economy

Image: The New Plastics Economy

Here's some food for thought. Can you imagine a world where there are more plastic than fish in the ocean? According to a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, this could be a reality in our lifetime.

Current plastic production has increased by a factor of 20 in the last 50 years. In fact, every year the plastic waste created is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every single minute. Also, did you know that only 5% of current plastic wastes such as water bottles are properly recycled? While there is a huge opportunity of improvement in awareness and process of recycling, we believe the best way of reducing plastic water bottle is through alternative methods.

Many marine boat owners have expressed their concerns over the inconvenience of carrying plastic water bottles. As such, we strive to play our part in building a sustainable future for generations to come. We believe that the convenience of safe drinking water and the reduction of plastic waste can be intertwined with advancements in the proven technology of UV-LED.

How Fresh is that Water in Your Tank?
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We’re in the depths of winter and, unless you are a snowbird and already have escaped the cold for warmer climes down south, you’ve likely drained your water tank and winterized your RV. Soon it will be time to start thinking about getting your RV ready for another season of memories built upon those long, warm evenings that make camping so special.

As you prepare, you need to think about the quality of the water in your water tank. Even if you drained it, chances are there has been moisture in the tank during the winter months. And you can just imagine what grows in such an environment over the course of four or five months. And all of those contaminants are going to mix with the water you add to your tank. Untreated, your RV water tank is a mobile petri dish!

So what do you do to ensure you and your family have access to quality drinking water? While there are various options on the market, they all have their deficiencies. UV-LED technology has emerged as a proven method for water purification. With the Acuva Arrow Essential you will have access to fresh drinking water, whether from your water tank or the RV park’s water supply. That means you have safe & convenient drinking when you need it, no matter where you are.

Learn about the benefits of UV-LED technology when it comes to providing you with safe & convenient drinking water.

Derek LeungRVComment
It's Boat Show Season... We're Going! Are you?

Well, it is that time of year again. That time when the calendar fills up with boat shows across North America. It is a great opportunity for boat owners check out the latest in manufacturing and technology as they try to shake off those winter blues with thoughts of sun glistening down on them while out on the water.

There is always great information shared at these events for both novices and experts alike. And we’re glad to be part of the experience, showcasing our innovative approach to ensuring safe & convenient drinking water while you are enjoying time on your boat with family and friends.

Acuva will have a presence at the

· Vancouver Boat Show (Jan 18-22) – Booth 445

· Toronto Boat Show (Jan 20-29)

· Seattle Boat Show (Jan 27-Feb 4)

We will also be represented at the Montreal Boat Show (Feb 2-5) and the Halifax Boat Show (Feb 9-12) by our partners .

Drop by and learn about the benefits of UV-LED technology when it comes to providing you with safe & convenient drinking water.

Derek LeungComment
Technology Driving Environmental Sustainability

Learn how Acuva technology is contributing towards environmental sustainability.

Photo by Smithore/iStock / Getty Images

At Acuva one of our design principles is “eco-friendly”. Yes, lots of companies have green initiatives and establish recycling targets for employees to achieve. We think all of that is important and required for any company.

For us, the eco-friendly design principle is not only engrained in our company culture, but also dictates our approach to R&D and product development.

By harnessing the power of UV-LED technology to create the next generation of water purification systems, we are using technology to make a positive impact on the environment we all enjoy. Because of our on-demand water purification systems, we are helping to reduce the reliance on plastic water bottles.

And there are some scary stats when it comes to the consumption of water from plastic bottles. The Water Project recently shared data showing that:

  • U.S. landfills are already overflowing with more than two million tons of discarded plastic water bottles.
  • It takes approximately 3 liters of water to produce a 1 liter plastic water bottle.
  • Over 1.5 million barrels of oil are required to meet the demand of U.S. water bottle manufacturing. More than is required to power a city of 100,000 for an entire year.

We believe everyone should have access to safe & convenient drinking water and technology is allowing us to provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to the commonly used plastic water bottle.

The lifespan of a single Acuva Arrow Essential product is equivalent to the consumption of 1.2 million plastic water bottles! And given that over 80% of all single-use water bottles are never actually recycled, the use of one Acuva product will result in 960,000 plastic bottles never ending up in landfills. Now, that’s eco-friendly!

And this is just the beginning. As our R&D and product development teams expand the applicability of UV-LED technology, there is much more we can do with UV-LED technology to drive environmental sustainability. Stay tuned!

Derek Leung
New Year. New Presence.

We are excited… and why shouldn’t we be?

As we continue to drive forward our vision of everyone having access to safe drinking water with the design of next generation of water purification systems, we have also unveiled the next generation of our website.

We believe our new website reinforces our design principles of safe & convenient, proven technology and eco-friendly.

So what are these design principles? Well, they not only shape our company culture here at Acuva, but also our approach to R&D and product development. After much discussion and debate of our vision and where we want to take Acuva, we settled on the following design principles, which are reflective of both our philosophy and future vision:

Safe & Convenient

Proven Technology

  • We are taking established UV and LED technologies to the next level. The result? Acuva is providing a proven and safe alternative for water purification.

Eco-Friendly

We’d love to hear from you about these design principles and our new website. Questions, ideas, comments? Feel free to send us feedback at info@acuvatech.com.

Derek Leung