Desalination Plant and Reverse Osmosis filters have proven very effective in removing bacteria (E. coli, Samonella), protozoa (Guardia, Cryptosporidium), and chemical inorganic contaminants such as sodium, chloride, lead, and fluoride from the water. However, some of the essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium can also get eliminated in the process. Desalinated water results in reduction of pH thus resulting in corrosion of water distribution network such as water main and service line. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the presence of Calcium and Magnesium in drinking water and their potential contribution and benefits to human health are very relevant. Remineralization filter cartridges to treat water from desalinated plants or under-sink reverse osmosis systems has gained tremendous popularity providing remedial solution to issues caused by these processes.
This article discusses the different treatment techniques of remineralization that are available to provide enhanced quality water which is added with required nutrients for drinking and cooking purposes.
TREATMENT TECHNIQUES FOR FILTER REMINERALIZATION
1. ADDITION OF ALKALINIZATION STAGE IN REVERSE OSMOSIS PROCESS
Alkalinization stage refers to the process of increasing pH of the treated water over 7.0 through the electrolysis process and adding natural minerals such as calcium and magnesium. This helps in providing enhanced taste while providing the essential nutrients in drinking water. One of the major advantages of installing a reverse osmosis system including an alkaline filter as post treatment is that it eliminates the need of installing additional point-of-use filters such as alkaline faucet filters or pitcher filters.
2. USE OF ALKALINE WATER PITCHERS
Alkaline pitchers provide convenient and portable solution for demineralized water coming either from desalination plant or reverse osmosis process. There are several options available in the market today for alkaline pitchers. Some of the important features to look for while purchasing alkaline pitchers are:
- pH level achieved (should be typically between 8.0 – 10.0)
- types of minerals added (calcium, magnesium, and potassium)
- NSF certification
- any additional contaminant removal
- shelf life of filter cartridges and filter housing
- filter cost
3. ADDITION OF MINERAL/ELECTROLYTE BLENDS
Electrolyte Blends are extracts of minerals like sodium, magnesium, and potassium. They are very straightforward to use and come in a variety of forms and flavors such as tablets that can be dropped in a bottle of water or powder that can be mixed instantaneously. The blends differ in composition depending on the brand. These soluble minerals not only provide balanced alkaline water, but they also enhance the body’s immune system.
4. ADDITION OF MINERAL SALTS
Various natural salts such as Himalayan Salt, Rock Salt are available in the market today that are rich in minerals. Himalayan Salt contains all the necessary trace minerals that are removed during the Reverse Osmosis process. A small amount of salt can be added to a gallon of filtered water which can re-mineralize water. This is one the most cost-effective means of remineralizing water. However, it should be noted that common salt (Sodium Chloride) cannot be used as an additive as it only contains sodium and chloride. Excessive sodium may not be suitable to people with certain health issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney issues.
5. USE OF MINERAL FILTERS
Mineral filters such as Calcite Filter Cartridges contain naturally occurring calcium carbonate media. These filter media raises the pH enough to reach a non-corrosive equilibrium and providing adequate calcium and magnesium content necessary for healthy body.
6. USE OF GREEN BLENDS
Green blends are extracts from plants and vegetables to enhance mineral content of the water and provide essential nutrients. One of the drawbacks of this treatment is that it is not cost-effective as it’s an organic solution derived from actual plants and vegetables. Another disadvantage is the aftertaste of using green powders. It may take some time to get acclimatized to the taste.
Remineralization filters can help restore the nutrients lost during desalination or reverse osmosis processes. As discussed above, there are a broad range of options available to remineralize water. Consumers should know about their existing water quality characteristics and determine the best option suitable to their needs. This is where the water experts at Saniwater come into play. Saniwater technicians can help consumers understand their needs and recommend products suitable to achieve optimal water quality enhancing their overall well-being.
- Luptáková, A., & Derco, J. (2015). Improving of drinking water quality by remineralisation. Acta Chimica Slovenica, 62(4), 859-866.
- 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. Desalination, 300, 46-50.