Nitrate Tap Water Filter
After discovering very high nitrates in my well water (95 acre farmers field across the road), I sought ways to obtain nitrate free water for water changes.
One of the things I came across was API's Tap Water Filter that produces deionized (DI) water. It removes all minerals and nitrates as well, so the water needs to be adjusted for minerals and pH. This was okay, but I discovered that I could only get about 50g-60g per $25 filter cartridge.
Also, in my quest for lower tank nitrates, I had used both Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover as well as API's Nitra-Zorb. These are pretty effective and can be regenerated with regular non-iodized table salt.
I wondered, what if I emptied a spent filter cartridge and filled it with API Nitra-Zorb. I contacted API Tech Support and communicated with Nathan Fekula who told me they had never tested the product in this way.
I went ahead and filled a cartridge with Nitra-Zorb and filtered water. So far I am very encouraged. I was able to produce 95g of water before there were detectable nitrates in the output. I regenerated the cartridge with salt water and I'm beginning another cycle. I don't know yet how many cycles I will get and if the gallons produced will diminish with each cycle.
I will document here as the experiment progresses.
Why not pick up a cheap RO system? I've noticed they have been coming down in price over the years, one that I got lightly used for $50 some time back is now new for just a bit more.
I was looking at the following:
And it's still a possibility, however:
1) my home well system is a 30/50 psi system. I am uncertain if the avg. pressure is sufficient to force water through the RO membrane. An additional pump would increase the cost.
2) there is approx. 4g of waste water for every gallon of RO water produced. At my low pressures, perhaps much more would be waste water.
3) there is the added cost of mineral replenishment and pH adjustment.
Although all the numbers aren't in yet, I believe the aforementioned DIY nitrate filter has the potential to be a very (if not the most) cost effective method of nitrate removal.
(I am mixing the water I filter 50/50 with water I reclaim from my basement dehumidifier. So far, this is working very well for me, producing very pure water for water changes.)
Anything that works well, reduces waste, and reduces expense is great by me. Sounds like your project has the potential to do all three, AD.
Just a note...
The nitrate levels in my well water is 80+ppm (blood red using the API FW test kit).
We have bottled water delivered for drinking/cooking and have for many years.
Wow! So there is a major cost there too! I had no idea AD!
Have you tested and compared the drinking water... is that cost effective to increase your delivery amount? It may be a stupid question but I have no idea what an extra jug, 2, 5 might cost. Forgive my ignorance.
As I outlined, the per gallon price for the tap water filter DI water was about $.50/gallon (it's relative to water hardness, impurities, etc.)
Bottled (spring) water brand names here in stores is about $1.00/g (our delivered water is a bit more) with store brands at about $.88/g. (and then there's the hauling).
I don't have a bottom line price on the DIY Nitra-Zorb filter and won't until it can't be regenerated any more. Maybe great, maybe dad's folly. :-)
Edit: I just checked the water delivery bill and the cost (excluding the bottle deposit) is $9/5g bottle, making it pretty expensive.
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