Safe RV Drinking Water Update, Lab Testing & Acuva Water Purifier Giveaway!

You may recall that the RVgeeks installed an Acuva Eco UV-LED water purifier in their RV last year. It’s been an awesome addition to their rig, but they wanted to really put it to the test. The lab test that is. So they visited a nearby river to draw samples, and even put the Eco to a really serious test by running highly contaminated water through it at Acuva’s facility. Not only do they share the test results in the video below, but they’ll tell you about Acuva’s latest model, which happens to be the prize in the latest RVgeeks Giveaway!

On Sunday, 12/16/18, one of you will win a brand new Acuva Eco 1.5 UV-LED water purifier! Watch the video above for complete details, then scroll down the page to enter for your chance to win. The giveaway ends on 12/16/18 at 7 pm Eastern /  4 pm Pacific time, so be sure to enter by then. Installation isn’t included, but luckily, RV Geeks’ original Acuva video shows you exactly how we installed ours. 

The Effects of Wildfires on Drinking Water Quality

At Acuva, are proud to call British Columbia our home. With BC being in a state of emergency as wildfires blaze through the province, we can’t help but think of the many communities impacted.

The surplus of sunshine in the recent months has led to higher risks of fire and shortage of water in some communities. And now our precious streams, rivers and lakes are subject to surrounding wildfires that make it difficult for water ecosystems to maintain good water quality. The build-up of ash, debris and soil erosion can change the taste, colour and smell of drinking water. The use of fire retardants also results in the possible increase of phosphate, nitrate and nitrite levels in soil and water.

For the communities that have been hit the hardest, it can be more difficult for local water treatment systems to make drinking water safe. How can you ensure your safety? Read this informative guide from HealthLinkBC:

The Future of UV Technology
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Professional development has always been critical to our success at Acuva. Staying active in the UV and UV-LED communities and up-to-date on the latest trends, tools, and techniques enables us to share what we’ve learned with our customers, and apply that knowledge to our growing line of UV-LED water purification systems.

UV technologies are growing at an unprecedented rate. Technical breakthroughs open new doors of opportunity for businesses like ours to leverage UV technology and design products and processes that improve quality of life. Although UV has a long history in water purification, it is only recently that UV and especially UV-LED are looked at as viable, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional chemical disinfection methods.

 

What’s next for UV-LED?

Our Chief Technology Officer Dr. Fariborz Taghipour was invited to contribute to the International Ultraviolet Association’s (IUVA) quarterly publication, IUVA News. Respected the world over, IUVA’s mission is to advance the sciences, engineering & applications of ultraviolet technologies to enhance the quality of human life and to protect the environment.

Speaking on behalf of our team, Dr. Taghipour frames UV-LED as a “technology enabler” and industry game-changer:

“UV LEDs have the potential to transform the UV industry, not only by advancing the design and application of current UV modules, but by enabling the creation of entirely new products and markets.”

Looking to the future, as UV-LED technology becomes increasingly competitive, customers can expect power outputs and efficiencies to rise and price points to drop. Both the UVA-LED and UVC-LED markets are expected to enjoy dramatic growth in the coming years: experts predict the latter will jump from US$7 million in 2015 to US$610 million by 2021.

Specific to water treatment, the market is undergoing drastic change. While there is consensus UV is superior to water disinfection processes that rely on chemical agents, UV-LED is angling to surpass conventional UV lamps as the preferred methodology. Beyond replacing these lamps in existing systems, UV-LEDs compact designs, low power and maintenance requirements, and extended product lifespan place once unimaginable product integrations within reach.

Our UV-LED water purification systems are closing the gap in available technology, offering not only standalone units for individual off-grid or residential applications, but also moving into this new and exciting arena of opportunity. Modular developments provide the flexibility to seamlessly integrate with existing appliances that require or could benefit from purified water, casting an even wider net for people to have point-of-use access to purified water.

Read the full IUVA News article here.  

Protecting Water Quality in British Columbia
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Like our friends at Interior Health, we believe in fresh, clean drinking water for everyone—including here at home in British Columbia.

B.C. is a natural wonderland. With nearly 350 bodies of water and more than 290,000 watersheds, water fuels our bodies and our adventures year round. As a province, we pride ourselves in living harmoniously with the natural resources that surround us, and recognize the importance in protecting water quality for decades and generations to come. We know firsthand how access to potable water positively impacts quality of life.

However, developed nations like Canada and the United States are not impervious to water quality issues. At any given time there are dozens of water quality advisories in effect for rural and remote communities across the country. Add to this a growing list of environmental and societal pressures: things like climate change and population growth are altering aquatic ecosystems, and aging infrastructure places us at increased risk of contamination. To guarantee our water supply stays clean and safe to drink, we must invest in innovative, proven solutions.

As part of the province’s water plan, government officials urged British Columbians to “think about how we can help protect our water and how the government can support these actions.” Our UV-LED water purification products—designed and developed in B.C.—rise to this challenge. We saw an opportunity to leverage UV-LED technology to combat water quality issues and answer the call for a system that is both cost- and energy-effective.

 

British Columbia Water Facts  

Our team is committed to educating and empowering people to make choices that will keep our communities healthy and hydrated.

 

Did you know:

  • Over 40% of B.C. residents are served water through pipe systems that are at least 50 years old. (Source: The Value of Water)

  • Revitalizing B.C.’s aging water and wastewater infrastructure will cost an estimated $3,200 per resident, for a grand total of about $13 billion. (Source: The Value of Water)

  • The average B.C. resident uses 490 litres of water per day, which is among the highest per capita water use rates in the world. (Source: Living Water Smart)

  • An estimated 91% of British Columbians get their water from municipal water systems, and 86% of the water that feeds into these systems comes from rivers and lakes. (Source: The Value of Water)

  • Piping for the province’s municipal water, sewer, and stormwater systems spans 80,000 kilometres—enough to circle the earth twice. (Source: The Value of Water)  

 

Water Quality Resources

The following web links provide additional information about water quality in British Columbia and across Canada:

UV-LED: A Powerful Low-Power Solution

Across Canada, dozens of First Nations communities are under drinking water advisories. Whether water quality is unknown or confirmed not safe to consume (due to poor filtration or equipment failure, for example), these populations are at risk of exposure, contamination, and illness.

Many First Nations and remote communities also have limited access to power and maintenance resources, and rely on diesel generators to supply electricity; this makes water purification solutions like reverse osmosis or UV lamps problematic, as both have significant power requirements. UV-LED water purification, however, operates on little power, requires minimal maintenance, and is proven to have a long product lifespan.

To confirm UV-LED as a viable, effective solution for off-grid water disinfection, we travelled to Ontario, Canada and carried out microbial tests with an EPA-certified third party on pond water adjacent to Grand River and Laurel Creek. Both bodies of water supply drinking water to rural and urban communities, and are known to be heavily contaminated with Total and Fecal Coliform, a bacteria found in most natural water sources that indicates the possible presence of microbial pathogens.

Using a basic filter, 12V battery, and water pump, we tested untreated water against three flow rates to evaluate our water purification systems’ ability to eliminate coliform bacteria. As shown below, pond water can be passed through an Acuva system at a low to medium flow rate, and potable water can be processed twice as fast and meet NSF purification standards. Further, complete TC inactivation and elimination of other microbial contaminants is feasible at a UVT lower than 95% of most water treatment systems.

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Our vision at Acuva is to make safe drinking water accessible to communities around the world, finding new ways to reach new markets. We continue to explore applications and improvements for our proprietary technology, reducing form factor and increasing disinfection capabilities.

Read the full case study here.

Your RV Tank May Be a Breeding Ground for Legionella

A flourishing RV industry means that each year, a growing number of North Americans are hitting the road in their homes on wheels. The majority of these RV travellers venture out seasonally, taking advantage of the warm summer months to explore new destinations, sometimes for long stretches of time.

While on the road, most RVers rely on local tap water or other municipal sources for their water supply and storage; however, there is evidence to suggest this practice may be putting travellers at unnecessary risk. Ambient temperatures and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can produce conditions inside water reservoirs that are prime breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful contaminants. While proper and regular disinfection can buffer against contaminant-related illnesses, many RVers are wondering: is there a better way?

 

Legionella in RV Water Holding Tanks

In collaboration with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, researchers at Georgia Regents University commissioned a study of RV water reservoirs following a case of pneumonia where both the patient and the reservoir of the RV he was travelling in tested positive for Legionella pneumophila. Organisms belonging to the genus Legionella have been clearly and repeatedly linked to contaminated potable drinking water, and tend to surface in high numbers when water is heated, unused, or under-chlorinated.

Data from the Collaborative National Waterborne Disease and Outbreak Surveillance System is proof that legionellosis is a growing concern for public health professionals, despite being entirely preventable. Between 2001 and 2006, Legionella accounted for nearly 30% of drinking water outbreaks and 80% of water-related deaths.

A research team travelled to three separate campsites and found that a staggering 20% of on-site faucets and RV water tanks tested positive for different Legionella spp. Researchers also spoke directly with RV users to learn more about their RV maintenance practices; these conversations revealed that RVers seldom use chlorine to disinfect their water tanks. Only 50% had performed any general RV maintenance over the past year, with only 60% spending the time to clean out their RV water tanks.

UV-LED Water Purification

Installing a UV-LED water purification system is a proven, effective way to keep yourself and your guests from getting sick (whether from pneumonia or other common waterborne diseases). Because improperly sanitized RV water tanks and weather conditions impact the quality of your RV’s drinking water, making sure water is free from viruses and other pathogens at the point of use is critical.

Learn more about our innovative solution here.

Ready to Roam: Preparing Your RV for Camping Season

After months spent dreaming of hitting the open road, sharing stories around the campfire, and drifting off to sleep under the stars, spring is finally in full swing.

As RVers everywhere look ahead to camping season, we reached out to a few of our friends in the RV community for on-the-road insights and tips to keep your rig running smoothly all summer long. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Plan a “shake down” trip

Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi are avid adventurers who spend considerable time on the road and in campgrounds throughout North America with their family of five. The couple launched the RV Family Travel Atlas (RVFTA) blog and podcast to inspire others to spend more time out in nature, too.

When asked how the Puglisi family prepares their RV for spring, Stephanie and Jeremy both agreed a “shake down” trip tops the list.

“A shake down trip refers to a short, close to home excursion with your RV for the purpose of testing out the systems and stocking up on necessary supplies.”  

In what has now become a beloved family tradition, the Puglisis kick off the season with a weekend away at a nearby campground. While there, they’ll determine whether their RV is sufficiently stocked and properly packed; test its water, heating, and cooling systems; and keep an eye (and an ear) out for maintenance issues that, left unaddressed, could create costly disruptions to future holiday plans.

The pair confessed they learned this lesson the hard way: “We used to be so excited about dewinterizing our travel trailer and hitting the road that we skipped this tradition for years. Then we ended up on a 10-day vacation in Myrtle Beach without any running water.”  

 

3 springtime RV DIYs: Tires, water heaters, and generators

Affectionately known as The RV Geeks, Peter and John are a trusted resource for RVers around the world keen to save time and money with DIY maintenance and repairs. After nearly two decades spent RVing full-time, the pair have built an extensive repertoire of handy “how to” videos that cover everything from cleaning headlights to installing awnings.

Not surprisingly, Peter and John had plenty of suggestions for their fellow “mechanically inclined” RVers, but narrowed it down to three top tips:

“Tires are an important safety item to maintain, and inflation pressures are key. We also flush, clean, and inspect our RV’s water heater every spring. And, of course, any RVer with a generator needs to keep in mind that it’s an engine, and requires the same type of annual maintenance as any other engine.”

 

Check your RV’s tire pressure

Flush and clean your RV’s water heater

Inspect and protect your RV’s generator

Spring clean your RV

All of us agreed that as winter melts away, a familiar ‘spring cleaning’ itch begs to be scratched. When it does, we head to our closets, cupboards, and pantries to organize and purge. But what about our RVs?

Before setting off on your shake down trip, we recommend devoting an afternoon to an RV spring clean. The job isn’t done after you remove its protective cover and run the vacuum around the interior, however; you’ll also want to take time to check your appliances are working correctly, switch out the batteries in your fire extinguisher, lubricate hinges, replenish your stock of linens, and so on. A few years ago, The RV Geeks published an RV spring cleaning checklist video, but shared one important update:

“An overall list of virtually everything we do to get our summer season off to a great start is outlined in this post and video, although the need to sanitize our fresh water system has been reduced or eliminated since we made the video with the installation of our Acuva Eco.”

Any other handy hacks that help you set the tone for a successful, adventure-filled RV season? Let us know!

4 Health Benefits of Drinking More Water
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Water is as important to our health as it is the environment. Drinking enough water protects against dehydration and keeps our bodies looking, feeling, and performing their best. After all, we are composed of 60% water, and losing even 1% of that water can impair mood, memory, and more.

The good news is that, across North America, a growing number of consumers are coming around to this natural, calorie-free drink. In 2017, after years of sitting in second place, bottled water overtook carbonated soft drinks as the beverage of choice in the United States. Even though bottled water is not a sustainable solution, it’s a move in the right direction.  

Here are 4 ways staying hydrated improves your body and brain, keeping you active and ready for your next outdoor adventure:

 

Benefits of Drinking Water

1. Water boosts immune system performance

Because water is known to help with decongestion and (not surprisingly) dehydration, drinking enough water can keep ailments like the flu at bay. It’s one thing to pick up a nasty cough or flu when you’re in the comforts of your home, but the same illness on the road is quite another. Suddenly, your RV is full to bursting with bacteria, and you’re more likely to pass that cold on to your travel mates. If that’s the case, do as the doctors say and bump up your fluid intake to speed up the recovery process, and try out these RV cough and cold survival tips to prevent further outbreaks.  

 

2. Water enhances physical performance

We lose more water than normal following vigorous, intense exercise or spells of high heat and humidity; this puts us at risk of fatigue, demotivation, and dramatic changes in body temperature. Athletes and take special precautions to stay hydrated, but the rest of us—especially if you’re an avid hiker, biker, or boater—can also benefit from monitoring our daily water intake. Water keeps our joints lubricated, reduces oxidative stress (a bodily imbalance of free radicals and antioxidant defenses), and regulates body temperature.

 

3. Water boosts energy levels

If you’re feeling sluggish, dehydration could be the reason why. Fluid loss contributes to feelings of fatigue, but contrary to popular belief, coffee is not always the answer: a glass of water first thing in the morning can be just as, if not more, invigorating than caffeine. Naturally, staying hydrated throughout the day keeps your energy levels high, helping you to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

 

4. Water improves brain function

Because your brain is mostly water, and cells require water to function, making water part of your daily routine promotes optimal cellular health and brain function. Researchers have made linkages between proper hydration and decreased anxiety, increased working memory, focus, and mental performance.

 

Whether you’re setting out for a weekend camping adventure or hiking treacherous terrain, filling a water bottle with cold, fresh, purified water instead of reaching for a sugary fruit juice or soft drink will help you make the most of your time outside.

The Health Risks of Raw Water
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The latest in a string of health fads, the “raw water diet” has been making headlines at The New York Times, The Verge, TIME, and Vox. Supporters of this controversial trend are renouncing bottled and tap water for “raw” water—water that has not been filtered, processed, or treated—in the belief that it offers better hydration, detoxification, and immune system activation than municipal sources. And this trend comes at a price: one 2.5 gallon jug can cost upwards of $16.00.

Loosely considered part of the water consciousness movement, raw water drinkers argue that public water supplies and disinfection practices are unreliable and, therefore, dangerous. Lead pipes, aging infrastructure, and fluoridation top the list of grievances, leading proponents to choose expensive, untreated alternatives over lobbying for modernization and infrastructure updates.

Given widely publicized reports around contamination and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violations, it’s no surprise that North Americans are more concerned than ever about the safety and quality of their drinking water. But before you reach for a glass of raw water, it’s important you know the facts.

 

The Risks of Consuming Raw Water

Water purification is critical for preventing the consumption and spread of viruses and bacteria. Since the early 1900s, we’ve relied on an evolving range of disinfection methods to protect public health and optimize water quality. These efforts have had big payoffs, too: water purifications processes have led to dramatic decreases in rates of typhoid, cholera, and a variety of other illnesses and diseases.

When you consume water that has not been treated, you are putting yourself at risk of needlessly ingesting harmful chemicals and bacteria. Even a seemingly pristine, natural water source may still house parasites and viruses that can wreak havoc on your digestive system.

According to a 2009 UNESCO report, naturally occurring arsenic pollution in groundwater affects nearly 140 million people in 70 countries around the world. Pollution is also a major contributing factor for water quality; many water contamination problems can be linked to agricultural, industrial, mining and untreated urban runoff and wastewater.

 

UV-LED Water Purification

Most, if not all, of the concerns raised by raw water drinkers are addressed by UV-LED water purification. A growing number of municipalities are looking to UV-based technologies as an efficient, effective, and environmentally-friendly way to deliver clean, quality drinking water to the masses.

One key advantage of UV water purification is its scalability: these water purification systems can be installed for single-home use, or scaled to operate at a municipal level. This means that even in areas where infrastructure is outdated and there is risk of compromised public water supply, you can still guarantee safe, potable drinking water at the point of use. Best of all, UV-LED technologies protect water’s healthy minerals while simultaneously sterilizing harmful bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants.

Click here to learn more about our commitment to safe drinking water.

Tyler RobinsonComment
The Truth About Bottled Water
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Water is both fundamental and essential to human life. It keeps our joints lubricated, our bodies hydrated, and our planet healthy.

As a general guideline, the Institute of Medicine recommends men and women over the age of 19 consume 3.7 litres and 2.7 litres of water per day, respectively. While the exact amount may vary depending on lifestyle factors, we access the water we need through liquids and foods with high water content (watermelon and cucumber, for example).

To satisfy these fluid requirements, more and more North Americans are reaching for plastic water bottles over simple tap water. There is a sweeping misconception that bottled water is not only more convenient than tap water, but also safer, cleaner, and healthier. But there’s a big price tag for this belief: bottled water drinkers spend an average of $100 billion dollars per year on single-use plastic bottles.

At Acuva, education is at the core of our business; we want to help our customers make choices that yield the highest financial, physical, and environmental benefits. To help you settle the longstanding bottled water vs. tap water debate, here are four bottled water facts that may surprise you.

 

Plastic water bottles: The facts

1. 25% of bottled water is sourced straight from the tap.

In recent years, major bottled water brands like Dasani and Aquafina have been found guilty of fraudulent labeling, marketing their products as sourced from natural springs when, in reality, they draw from public water sources—the same as household tap water.   

 

2. Tap water quality is more strictly regulated than bottled water quality.

Though you might pay up to 1,000 times more for a single-use plastic bottle than you would tap water (Americans, on average, spend $1.22 per gallon on bottled water), the quality of the product is generally equivalent or even inferior to what you have access to at home. Unlike the Food and Drug Administration that oversees the bottled water industry, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is known for enforcing strict tap water testing and filtration regulations.

 

3. It can take up to 700 years for one plastic water bottle to decompose.

Petroleum-based plastics like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) don’t decompose the same way organic materials do. Each year, an estimated 35 billion plastic bottles are landfilled, littered, or incinerated instead of recycled, putting unnecessary stress on landfills and the environment by wasting upwards of $1 billion of reusable plastic.

 

4. It takes three times the amount of water to produce a plastic water bottle than it does to fill it.

The energy spent on manufacturing bottled water per year is enough to power 190,000 households for the same length of time.

 

Global consumption of bottled water grows by as much as 10 percent each year, which means every little change matters. Looking for ways to reduce your environmental footprint and go green? Here are a few options:

  • Organizations like Ban the Bottle are committed to eliminating the production and circulation of plastic water bottles. Their website is full of facts, tools, and resources to help you take action.

  • Invest in a bottled water alternative. While there are many ways to purify drinking water, making a one-time investment in a UV-LED water disinfection system is proven to deliver a purer, more potable product. One Acuva system can eliminate as many as 1.2 million plastic water bottles over its lifetime.

UV-LED: Mercury-Free Water Disinfection
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Mercury is a naturally occuring and highly toxic element; so toxic, in fact, the World Health Organization named it one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern. Even limited exposure can threaten the nervous, digestive, and immune systems, impairing function and often causing irreversible damage. Mercury pollution has devastating effects on the environment as well and of the estimated 5,500 - 8,900 tons of mercury emitted into the atmosphere each year, only 10 per cent is traced back to natural sources.

To address this global issue, in 2013 the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) introduced the Minamata Convention on Mercury. This international treaty is designed to control mercury emissions and protect human health and the environment; since its inception, nearly 130 countries have come together and begun making changes to phase out a number of mercury products by the year 2020.

Mercury may be present in a number of consumer products, from batteries and barometers to automotive parts and thermostats. Most relevant to the water purification industry, however, is its prevalence in ultraviolet (UV) lamps. UV light is a proven way to disinfect drinking water, and while increasing numbers of water treatment facilities are adopting this technology, many are unaware of the potential risks and performance limitations associated with relying on conventional UV lamps:

  • High maintenance and operational requirements put users at risk of mercury exposure in the event of a lamp breaking or other accident.

  • Because mercury lamps require a longer warm-up time to achieve stable, high-performance results, UV lamps run continuously—even when there is no water flow.

  • UV lamps have a short lifespan, and must be replaced regularly.


At Acuva, we are proud to be part of the mercury-free movement. Since LEDs don’t require mercury, all of our UV-LED water purification systems are fully compliant with the Minamata Convention, offering a practical, effective, and scalable alternative to UV disinfection without the use of hazardous UV lamps.


Learn more about how UV-LEDs will help #MakeMercuryHistory.

2017 Year In Review: A Note From Our CEO
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2017 has been a monumental growth year for Acuva, one we’re especially proud of. With change comes challenge, but also achievement; as we look back on the past twelve months, there is much to celebrate, and we’re excited to share some of our accomplishments with you as we look ahead to a new year filled with exciting opportunity.

 

New Products

Acuva exists to transform the way we think about and drink water. Considerable time, thought, and resources went into fine-tuning our proprietary technology before debuting our original suite of UV-LED water purification systems. However, keeping pace with evolving technologies and protecting our reputation as a global leader in water purification requires an unwavering growth mindset. Our team has this in spades.

Our goal is, and always has been, to deliver industry-leading solutions that respond to our customers’ needs and position us to provide safe, clean water to people around the world. Thanks to advancements in LED technology, this year alone we’ve successfully doubled our products’ performance to provide the same level of disinfection with half the UV-LEDs.

Your feedback also inspired us to completely reimagine our 1L unit. In September, we launched the Eco Water Purifier, a system as compact as it is powerful. The Eco is a smart, portable system whose applications we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of.

 

New Relationships

Early on, we recognized an opportunity to provide an eco-friendly alternative for RVs, boats, and cabins beyond bottled water or unreliable filtration techniques. Staying connected to these customer communities has helped us refine our technology in a way that suits their lifestyles and breeds trust. We’ve especially enjoyed connecting with influential members of the RVing market; endorsement from trusted sources like RV Geeks has improved awareness of our UV-LED technology and purification systems and we truly appreciate their support.

Although major cities including Vancouver and Paris have taken notice and invested in municipal-level UV water purification, we wanted to make our technology accessible to the residential market, too. In October we showcased our products at the Vancouver Fall Home Show, and look forward to exploring this opportunity further in 2018.

Demand for our product is growing; to continue to deliver on our promise of removing harmful microbial pathogens, we maintain positive, professional relationships with original equipment manufacturers and a growing group of distributors.

 

New Faces

The most valuable part of this business is the team we’ve built around it. Acuva’s successes this year—from developing IP to filing for 10 patents and getting our product to market—are due to the dedication and skill of our talented group of sales, operational, and technical professionals. I would like to take a moment to congratulate all of our team members on their hard work and help in transforming the water purification industry.

 

New Horizons

I immigrated to Canada from India with a goal to support a product that would positively impact the lives of people in my home country and beyond. Growing up in India meant I saw firsthand what is advertised in the media: that waterborne illness and disease is the world’s leading cause of death. Each year, 3.4 million lives are lost, and I’m proud to be at the head of a business that can drastically reduce these numbers by providing water free of harmful pathogens.

Our vision is and always has been to develop a technology that could scale to solve our planet’s global water crisis. Water is a basic human necessity, and we believe everyone deserves safe, clean drinking water. In 2018, we look forward to exploring opportunities to take our technology in the direction of this vision.    

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Sincerely,

Manoj Singh

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.