Posts tagged Water Purification
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.

Test Analysis.png

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.

UV-LED: Mercury-Free Water Disinfection
UV-LED vs UV Lamp.jpg

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.

The Five W’s of Water Purification
Blog Hero - 5 Ws of Water Purification.jpg

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?
Blog 5 - Hero.jpg

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?  
Blog Hero - What’s the best way to purify drinking water?  .jpg

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
Blog Post Hero - Accessing Clean Water on the Road.jpg

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
Blog Hero - Eco Product Launch.jpg

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.

COMPSHOTv10.jpg

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.