Improving Drinking Water Quality Through Remineralization

The primary source of drinking water for the emirate of Dubai is treated seawater from the Arabian Gulf. Desalination plants constitute about 42 percent of the total water demand and this number is increasing rapidly due to rapid urbanization and an increase in population owing due economic growth witnessed in Dubai. One of the preliminary drawbacks of desalination plants is that it eliminated some of the essential minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium in addition to the harmful contaminants such as excessive minerals, high total dissolved solids, and bacteria.

Another disadvantage of desalination plants is the reduction of pH resulting in acidic and corrosive water that can damage the distribution system pipe materials and leach metals and other materials from the pipes and associated plumbing materials. This article discusses the impacts of drinking desalinated water without any post-treatment in the form of remineralization and how the drinking water quality can be improved and enhanced through remineralization.


The following are some of the direct impacts of drinking desalinated water on human health. Additionally, as discussed earlier it also impacts the quality of distribution system piping by lowering the pH.

1.Direct effects on the intestinal mucous membrane, metabolism and mineral homeostasis or other body functions.
2.Little or no intake of calcium and magnesium from low-mineral water.
3.Low intake of other essential elements and microelements.
4.Loss of calcium, magnesium and other essential elements in prepared food.
5.Possible increased dietary intake of toxic metals.


Remineralization mainly involves the addition of calcium and magnesium back into the mineral replenished desalinated water. Additionally, fluoride and other minerals are also added to the water to enhance its quality and nutrition value.
Calcium and magnesium are both essential minerals for human body growth and development. Inadequate intakes of either calcium or magnesium can result in severe health issues especially for certain groups of people, particularly women.

• Postmenopausal women as they experience greater bone loss and their body doesn’t absorb calcium well
• Women of childbearing age who experience amenorrhea because they exercise heavily or eat inadequate diet or do both
• Lactose intolerant people who cannot have dairy intake
• Vegans and ovo-vegetarian as these groups avoid milk and other dairy products

Over 99 percent of the total calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth. It is one of the fundamental minerals essential for the growth and maintenance of strong and healthy bones. Deficiency of calcium has been associated with osteoporosis which is the condition of bone fragility and deterioration of bone tissues consequently resulting in bone fractures. Inadequacy of calcium also results in kidney stones, hypertension, coronary artery disease, insulin resistance and obesity.

Many recent studies have confirmed that magnesium plays a vital role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Moderate to high levels of magnesium i.e. between 25 and 100 ppm or at a minimum of 10 ppm could potentially prevent approximately 4.5 million deaths per year caused by heart diseases and stroke worldwide. Adequate magnesium is essential in the prevention of Atherogenesis and inappropriate clotting, in maintaining vascular tone, electrolyte balance and a host of other cellular, biochemical and physiological processes crucial to cardiovascular function and health. Adequate intake of magnesium is also associated with a significantly lower risk of diabetes, possibly because of the important role of magnesium in glucose metabolism. Magnesium deficiency is related to factors that promote headaches, including neurotransmitter release and vasoconstriction. Studies found a direct correlation between lower levels of magnesium and increased number of migraine headaches amongst humans.

Fluoride is another mineral that is proven to be beneficial to human health. Fluoride in drinking water prevents tooth decay, one of the most common childhood diseases. Studies show that fluoride in water systems prevents at least 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults, even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste. Water fluoridation has proven to be safe and effective means of promoting good dental health, thus saving high costs associated with dental treatments such as cavity filling.

The above discussion helps us understand the significance of remineralization in enhancing drinking water quality. Remineralization process can prove to be very useful in adding the required nutrients back to mineral-replenished desalinated water. water filter provides guidance in helping our clients select the best available technology for remineralization. Our team is committed to provide enhanced quality drinking water to our customers.

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Rosanoff, A. (2013). The high heart health value of drinking-water magnesium. Medical Hypotheses81(6), 1063-1065.
El Azhar, F., Tahaikt, M., Zouhri, N., Zdeg, A., Hafsi, M., Tahri, K., … & Elmidaoui, A. (2012). Remineralization of Reverse Osmosis (RO)-desalted water for a Moroccan desalination plant: optimization and cost evaluation of the lime saturator post. Desalination300, 46-50.;jsessionid=F2458301E49E6F98DB07A61AEBCFF871?sequence=1
Nerbrand, C., Agréus, L., Lenner, R. A., Nyberg, P., & Svärdsudd, K. (2003). The influence of calcium and magnesium in drinking water and diet on cardiovascular risk factors in individuals living in hard and soft water areas with differences in cardiovascular mortality. BMC public Health3(1), 21.

Meet our Expert

Abhiram Satyadev has a Masters in Environmental Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an MBA at Goldey Beacom College in Delaware, and a Masters Certificate in Standford University. He is currently the Program Manager, Potomac Interceptor for the DC Water in Washington DC. He is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining the Potomac Interceptor Renewal Facility specifically including operation and maintenance of odor control facilities at the Potomac Interceptor Sites and Pump Stations.

With Saniwater, he serves as our Research and Development Consultant and provides us with insights into his expertise. Read his section here on to know more.