Removing microsporidia

Question: Kelly Reynolds wrote the article, “Microsporidia Outbreak Linked to Water,” in the January 2000 WC&P issue.

Would you find out whether or not a filter that is certified for “cysts” by NSF will remove microsporidia? Since microsporidia are 0.5 to 1 micron, it appears to me that a 0.5 micron filter such as the Multi-Pure or Amway would remove them. Let me know.

I also want to thank you for doing such a fantastic job with WC&P. Your articles are timely, relevant, and well written. I look forward to receiving each issue.

Deanna DeLong
Beaverton, Oregon

Answer: Testing on microsporidia has only begun and removal rates are not fully quantified. Since most microbes are pliable, even pores smaller than the nominal size can pass the microbe, and until we can state with authority by testing the possible removable rates, merely filtering through smaller pores is not an assured method.

In search of water efficiency

Question: I have a Watermate water softener. It’s about 14 years old. The water seems fine, but how do I know it’s doing a good job? Also, with the recent drought, I run low on water when it cycles. How much water does it take to regenerate a typical system, and are some more water conserving than others?

Lee Test
Bellbrook, Ohio

Answer: Fourteen-year-old equipment is likely approaching its expected life—particularly if you’re looking for water efficiency. Today’s equipment may offer a lot more in terms of monitoring and control instrumentation, i.e., demand initiated regeneration, etc., that not only saves water but improves on the salt efficiency. Have the water tested before and after it enters the unit to find out how well it’s performing. Sometimes simply having a unit serviced by a knowledgeable professional technician can improve its efficiency with a few adjustments or resin cleaning. There are so many softeners that brine in the “counter-current” mode saving water and salt, it’d be hard to mention all. Some brands are Technetic, Kinetico, ECO and DWC-Plus. Even a newer Watermate likely will be more water conservative.


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