The Quest for The Best Water, Part 2

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Written By Courtney, you can follow her at Alkaline Mom         Read Part 1 go here    

Several years ago I bought a $2000 counter-top alkalizer/ionizer that was supposed to give me amazingly pure, non-toxic alkaline water. After years of use, I was told that said machine did NOT remove fluoride, but the new affordable unit available does. After a year of use, I discovered that it is useless for fluoride removal. Infuriated, and a bit panicked that I have been unwillingly poisoning my children, I went on an emergency quest, involving massive amounts of research, to get clean, non-toxic water into our home. This series will share all that I learned on that journey and why I made the final decision I did on what is actually the best water for my home (and maybe yours!)

Part 2: Evaluating systems and companies
In this post, I’m going to process the information I received from various companies that pitched their water purifying systems to me. I am also going to highlight the things that interested me most about each of these systems.

Company 1:
The regional sales manager who typically sends out other sales representatives actually decided to come to my house himself after our brief initial phone call because of my history with ionizers, understanding of alkaline water, and severe aversion to fluoride and other chemicals. He has been in the industry for 29 years, even testing water all over the country. He knows the industry, not just his system and would only sell something he believed in. His test equipment was unmatched – he was the only one able to test our fluoride levels, as I discussed in the last post, and ours is off the charts.

What did he suggest for us?
A 2-part system:
1. A water-softener that doubles as a state-of-the-art whole house purification system
2. Reverse Osmosis (RO) system for under our sink to eliminate 99.99% of fluoride and extra filtration for our drinking and cooking water.

What aspects of this system were selling points and which were not?
1. One of the main points he went over several times is that their system uses Jacobi Catalytic Carbon rather than just plain old coconut shell activated carbon and said that Jacobi absorbs 5x more toxins than activated.
2. He knew what potential threats could be in the water and how his system could handle them. The whole house system both softened water, which is great for skin, water use, detergent use, and eliminating detergents, but it removed 99.99% of chloramines, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals (that could potentially end up in our water if our water supply starts using reclaimed water, which some cities already do), haloacetic acids, trihalomethanes, scale, hydrogen sulfide, fertilizers and more.
3. The RO system
>6-stage, including a re-mineralization filter to add back in important minerals to increase the pH of the water to healthy drinking pH (8-9).
>includes a Jacobi Catalytic Carbon filter (not just activated carbon).
>the Perfect Water 507 Permeate Pump yields 2 gallons of good water to 1 gallon of waste water.

The initial cost proposal: $3900.00
Maintenance over 5 years: $450

Company 2:
The salesman was very nice and thorough in his answers. He did say that in some respects it is hard to tell what is in the water because it changes all the time and it would be hard to know how to remove each contaminant and so their filtration system for the whole house might not remove everything and it would be hard to prove. I think that there is obviously some truth to that, but I also want to use the most powerful system that will remove everything possible.

What did he suggest for us?
A 3-part system:
1. Water Softener
2. Big Blue Filter
3. RO under our sink

What aspects of the system were selling points and which were not?
I didn’t know it at the time, but having the whole house purification function separate from the softener is beneficial, the reason I will cover in Part 3.
On the other hand, they use activated carbon rather than Jacobi Catalytic and has a 5-stage RO system rather than 6.

Initial Cost Proposal: $4720
Maintenance over 5 years: $972

Company 3:
The sales representative from this company was likable. He came with test equipment and although he couldn’t measure our fluoride, he did measure and compare our tap water to our Watermark and showed us a few things. He had us wash our hands with soft water, and I honestly had to laugh out loud – my husband’s reaction to this phenomena was infomercial-worthy! It was at that moment, and his discussion on water softening, that we were convinced we wanted soft water for our skin, not just for purification benefits.

What did he suggest for us?
A 3-part system:
1. An Activated Alumina tank right after our main water supply to remove 90%-95% of fluoride coming into the house.
2. Their water softener/whole house purification system.
3. RO system for our kitchen.

What aspects of the system were selling points and which were not?
The primary factor that shot this companies rankings to the top was the ability to remove fluoride from our whole house for less than $8500. Their softener/purification tank is a 5-part system. On the other hand, their RO was only 5-stage and both the RO and purification tank use activated and not Jacobi Catalytic Carbon.
One other fascinating part of the offer was that they don’t lower their price, but they include several years worth of natural cleaning products. At first, this did not appeal to me, but after looking at them I admit, I got excited to use them, including the natural dish washing liquid. A major downside was that the RO system produces 1 gallon of good water for every 2 gallons of wasted water. He also gave me a handy chart that showed which media removed which toxins…a reference that proved valuable later.

Initial cost proposal: $5490 financed/$4990 cash
Maintenance over 5 years: $1075

So, as I considered what these systems had to offer, some questions came up and here are the answers I found.
Q: Is Jacobi Catalytic really better than activated carbon?
A: Yes, yes, and yes.

Q: What are the ways fluoride can be removed?
A: Reverse Osmosis, Activated Alumina, Distillation, Bone Char.

Q: Can fluoride be absorbed into the body through the skin?
A: Some say yes, some no. I know currently there are 3 forms of toxic fluoride pumped into our water system. Maybe some are, some not. Maybe they will dump some it that is in the future. Either way, do I want my kids bathing in toxic waste? No.

So, in the end, I was thinking that since only the third company had the option to remove it from my whole house, they would win. But then I thought, why compromise? I liked the RO system better from Company 1, and their carbon better. So I thought I, being the customer, could split the difference. Company 3 told me that the Alumina tank add-on was normally $800, but they would throw it into the deal “for free” (insert eye-roll). When I contacted the sales rep to confirm the price if we only get that, he said he wasn’t sure if it included installation. He later came back and said the installation was another $400. And text me once again to say, “It isn’t worth it for us, good luck with the other guy”. I replied that I thought it was poor customer service to not be willing to sell me something to protect my family just because I didn’t buy all their products and they came back and said they would do it for $1800 cash price, $1900 financed. That didn’t sit well with me, so I decided to see if I could find it somewhere else. They aren’t the only people in the world with an alumina tank. What I found threw a wrench into my entire plan and led to 1,000 more annoying questions for a 4th company.

READ PART 1

READ PART 3

Courtney is a contributor to Vaxxter.com  You can follow her at her website, AlabasterLiving.com or on Facebook at Alkaline Mom




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About the Author

Courtney
Courtney is founder of Alkaline Mom.

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