RO-water for human consumption : Good / Bad

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by STRiDER, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. STRiDER
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    STRiDER Noob

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    Hi All

    (As per discussion with Prof Bellstedt...)

    There seems to be some evidence of RO-water not actually being beneficial to humans.
    On the other hand, if this is true, there is a multi-billion dollar industry that is lying to the public!!

    Not only the industry providing RO-filters for home use (I did a quick scan and found about 12 companies distributing in SA alone) but also certain bottled water variants are actually RO-water.
    More and more gyms, workplaces, etc are installing large scale RO-filtration systems and this type of water is becoming more and more an everyday occurrence.

    Prices of home-use RO-filters have dropped considerably over the last couple of years (you can get a 5-stage undercounter RO-unit for R2500 and portable systems for under R2000!)

    Evidence that RO-water is not beneficial to humans are scarce and normally the source is suspect. The biggest evidence I can find is the locally produced Bonaqua product from Coca-Cola. This bottled water is RO-water, but crucially they add salts back into the water afterwards.

    I also found the article below that explains a bit more.

    Dirk, would you be so kind as to comment on the article and its relevance.
    Thanks in advance.
    Andre dT

     
  2. Nicolaas Nel
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    Nicolaas Nel Algae harvester

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    Hi STRiDER,

    I find this artical on RO water very interesting!   I have been looking for something like this for some time now as I had a debated arguement with an H[sub][/sub]2O agent awhile back, and it now seems that they were correct in their point. It appears that I have been "taken" (like many others) that RO water is good for you.   This is all I drink, and plenty of it!

    I am looking forward to the reply from Dirk!
     
  3. Cameron
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    Cameron Green fingers

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    This debate has been going on for some time now. The issue seems to be with osmosis once the RO water hits the stomach it's supposed to cause all sorts of problems etc etc.

    Personally I think it's hogwash, there is nothing wrong with RO water for human consumption, drink as much of the stuff as you can, it's all good. :)
     
  4. Cameron
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    Cameron Green fingers

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    Or even better still, stick to beer :)
     
  5. STRiDER
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    I must add that for every article AGAINST RO water I can find about 20 that's FOR RO water.

    The main argument I can see for the against side is that RO-water contains no minerals and that minerals are good for you.

    The articles FOR RO-water states however that only 4% of mineral intake is through water (the rest is through food).

    The second argument against is that the RO-water will "leech" minerals from your system.
    I'm not a biologist, so I don't know if this is true.

    The third argument is that RO-water for human consumption is not bad for you, but that it is overkill.
    The pre- and post-filters in a 5-stage RO-unit will therefore be more than sufficient to remove all harmful bacteria and other nasties, and the RO-stage is not therefore necessary.

    Maybe we should have a poll ???

    P.S. Isn't beer made with RO-water :p :chee
     
  6. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Strider and others,

    Just a short reply after my return from holidays, but I am also not prepared to go into a long debate for the very reasons that you have already listed. There are a string of emotional issues surrounding RO water, but I will just go into a few of the practicalities.

    RO water will dissolve carbon dioxide from the air and will as a result become very acid. If measured with a good laboratory pH meter (and a hand held model with a poor electrode cannot measure this) you would read pH 4. Although not bad for your stomach (its pH is 2) this water is very corrosive and if kept in any metal container will dissolve metal ions, if kept in plastic this is better but will also leach out solvents (but this will also happen with normal water, I will also add).

    RO water, as quite correctly indicated is overkill for drinking purposes, UNLESS, your tap water is polluted by heavy metals for example. If this is the case, then RO water is better, but if heavy metals do occur in your water, half the population would be seriously ill in any case, and that does not happen in South Africa, and that I can assure you. The bacterial filters may be beneficial if there is a chance of such contamination, but that should also not be the case of constant amounts of chlorine are added to the water. Lastly, as RO removes almost everything, RO water will taste better than some tap water which may have an unpleasant taste, but then a Brita filter will do the same for far less.

    Keeping fish in pure RO water is torture, as their kidneys would have to work exceedingly hard to try to retain the tiny amount of minerals that they do get from the diet. Even for discus and altums angels this is definitely NOT advised.

    Finally, beer is definitely NOT made of RO water. Minerals in water for beer making are critical and that is why such good beer is made in Namibia because the water is often more mineral rich.

    So, I also prefer to drink beer.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  7. Nicolaas Nel
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    Nicolaas Nel Algae harvester

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    Thanks Dirk!

    I'll stick to RO water & Beer (WindHoek Lager!), and throw in a few vitamin pills every morning.
    I will also stop RO water changes to my fish tank. :slp:
     
  8. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Nicolaas,

    I do not know how hard your water is. If it is very hard, you should consider a mix of your tap water and RO water, as this would then be better for your discus, but keeping discus in pure RO water only is very tough of their kidneys.

    Enjoy the Windhoek whilst looking at your fish,

    Dirk
     
  9. henk hugo
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    henk hugo Noob

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    i used to drink the overflow water form my RO unit when i had marines :D
     
  10. City bowl
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    that explains a few things...
     
  11. henk hugo
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    *twitch*
     
  12. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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  13. STRiDER
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    Well that proofs it...

    Better to drink beer!!! :chee
     

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