These topics focus on safety issues in the office and with water.

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How do Hurricanes affect our Drinking Water?

Hurricanes affect our Drinking Water?

Hurricanes create danger and destruction on multiple levels, and the impact on drinking water is one that potential victims should especially be prepared for. Common disasters hurricane victims are forced to deal with include power outages, destroyed homes, and flooding. Special precautions are needed for each of these circumstances. Since hydration is a life-sustaining necessity, ensuring a supply of safe drinking water is essential.

How do Hurricanes affect our Drinking Water?

What about hurricane rain?

Conditions in a hurricane can be compared to sailing on the ocean. There can be rain water everywhere, but even the rain should be considered unsafe to drink. Hurricane water is prone to contain contaminants and should therefore not be considered safe for drinking. The following are a few conditions that can impact the quality of hurricane rainwater:

  • While gathering strength over the ocean, a hurricane churns up salt water that is undrinkable.
  • The salt water rain from a hurricane can cause corrosive damage.
  • The chemicals in hurricane water are similar to acid rain, which means that atmospheric pollution that can harm the environment is in the rainwater.
  • Particularly in rural areas, private wells and karsts can rapidly become contaminated by chemicals in fertilizers and other substances, when flooding and heavy rains in a hurricane cause high volumes of runoff from fields. A karst is an area in which irregular limestone has eroded and produced underground streams, fissures, caverns, and sinkholes.

Hazards of polluted floodwater and drinking water

Contaminated water is a health risk that can be serious to those most vulnerable, including infants, children, the elderly, and anyone with a weakened immune system. According to FEMA, the contaminants in water following a major flooding event can cause diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, and dysentery. Drinking water can be contaminated after heavy inland flooding has occurred, and wastewater utilities can also be affected.

Tap water can be contaminated during a hurricane when pipes break as a result of things like uprooted trees and washouts. Sewage spills can affect utilities, as well. Good water pressure is a good sign, but water is more likely to be contaminated when there is a lack of pressure. The low water pressure provides evidence that the water has probably become contaminated as a result of unsanitary storm water infiltrating water lines.

Case studies

Superstorm Hurricane Sandy that severely impacted multiple states in 2012 caused massive water damage. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 690 wastewater and drinking water utilities in Washington D.C. plus 11 states were negatively impacted in Hurricane Sandy’s destructive wake.

After 2016 Category 4 storm Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti, thousands of people suffered from a cholera outbreak connected to a lack of potable water.

Water and hurricane survival

After a hurricane, it is essential to keep in mind that any water could be contaminated, including tap water. Once you realize the hazards associated with hurricane-tainted water, it’s best to ask the right questions from credible sources upfront, such as how to make tap water safe to drink. For businesses, using a purified water cooler is a great step to take to ensure your employees have healthy, safe and pure drinking water available at all times.

Water Treatment Certification: Is it That Important?

Water Treatment Certification

Finding quality products in a marketplace flooded with options can be challenging. How can you tell if a product is safe, reliable, durable and capable of meeting the claims made on its packaging and in its literature?

If you’re using a point-of-use water dispenser, it’s a good idea to check on its certifications. Certifications are critically important to the health and well being of your employees and customers.

There are a number of certifications that you will want to look for when choosing a point-of-use water filtration system. Some of the most important include…

  • WQA gold seal
  • NSF/ANSI standards
  • UL Listing
  • ISO standards, and
  • Energy Star

Let’s explain each, to see the criteria upon which these certifications are granted.

WQA Gold Seal

WQA image

The WQA – or Water Quality Association – is made up of more than 2,500 members around the world. It serves as a resource for public information about water quality and the water industry in general.

The WQA Gold Seal Certification Program is an independent seal of approval showing a product has passed WQA standards, under scientific testing, ensuring a device’s safety.

NSF/ANSI Standards

NSF certification

The acronym “NSF” began as the National Sanitation Foundation in 1944, at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Today, NSF has joined ANSI or the American National Standards Institute to help oversee water treatment and water distribution products in North America.

Water is tested on a voluntary basis. A complete product review is done which includes testing and evaluation to ensure that the product submitted meets their standards.[1]

The certification process under NSF/ANSI is thorough but also very efficient. A dedicated NSF project manager is assigned as a single point of contact to help a manufacturer through the certification process.[2]

There are a number of NSF/ANSI standards you will want to look for in your water treatment products. Specifically, look for certifications 53, 58, and 42.

NSF/ANSI 42 and 53 have set the benchmark for the integrity and safety of water filters. The NSF/ANSI 42 and 53 certifications include minimum requirements for filtration systems that reduce things like chlorine and other odors in water.

NSF/ANSI 58 addresses such health hazards as lead, organic chemicals and any asbestos that may be present in the water.

UL Listing

UL-Cert image

The UL listing is something we’re all familiar with – it stands for Underwriters Laboratories. UL tests, inspects and verifies compliance and regulatory issues across the supply chain from manufacturers to consumers.

Having a UL Listing for your point of use water distribution system gives you and your employees the peace of mind that UL has tested that product against its national standards for safety.



The ISO, International Standards Organization certification is something else to take into consideration when purchasing a point-of-use water system. The ISO certification has everything to do with environmental impact and performance.

In fact, ANSI is the U.S. member of ISO which makes certification a worldwide goal.[3] There are two numerical standards to pay attention to with respect to ISO and they are 9001 and 14001.

ISO 9001 is an international standard dealing with quality management systems. ISO 9001 is the only standard that’s used for conformity assessment to ensure that the supplier of your water system has met ISO’s stringent safeguards pertaining to management commitment.[4] That commitment involves a manufacturer’s management team defining the processes that meet a customer’s requirements in an efficient and cost-effective way.[5]

ISO 14001 deals with environmental performance and this management tool allows an organization to control the impact of its activities and products in a holistic manner.[6]

Energy Star

Energy Star

The Energy Star label is something we have seen on our appliances for decades now. The Environmental Protection Agency started the Energy Star Program in 1992 to help cut down on computers that were draining energy. [7] This program now covers all sorts of household and office appliances including point-of-use water distribution systems.

This qualification ensures the product you’re using is as efficient and environmentally protective as possible.

Products can earn the Energy Star label by meeting the energy efficiency requirements established for energy savings and verifiable performance.

A great solution to clean drinking water in the workplace is a reverse osmosis system that is certified to all of the certifications previously mentioned, like Pure Water Technology’s 2i & 3i units.








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Chloramines in Your Drinking Water: Safe or Harmful?

Chloramines may be something you’ve never heard of before but they’ve been in your drinking water for a while. For some cities, it’s been nearly 100 years.

Let’s back up a moment. What are chloramines and why should you be interested in them? You probably know what chlorine is and how it has been used to help disinfect drinking water before it enters your home.

Chloramines are a combination of chlorine and ammonia and that mix has caused a number of consumer concerns. One of them is that ammonia itself is a food source for bacteria which means the germs are growing and not being depleted. The next is that chloramines are corrosive and can damage copper piping.[1]

Chloramines – the plural is used because it can come in many forms depending on the pH and mineral content of the water – have been the backup disinfectant to chlorine for a long time in major cities like Cleveland, OH, Springfield, IL, and Lansing, MI. A 1998 survey done by the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] reported that as many as 68 million Americans – that’s 1 in 5 – had been drinking water disinfected with chloramines.[2]


Why the Switch?

There is one really important reason why chloramines were added as a back up to chlorine: Chlorine dissipates quickly and the result could be that germs remain in the drinking water.

But there’s an even bigger concern about chloramines and that’s what they can do to your health. Research is currently underway to provide better answers as to why the use of chloramines to disinfect your water is risky business.

Risky Business

Exposure to chloramines in your drinking water can cause skin rashes and itching. It also doesn’t kill the pathogens that live in your water.

That may be okay for a healthy person but it isn’t for someone who has an autoimmune disease or children and the elderly.[3]

Here’s a way to find out whether your water treatment plant is using chloramines as its disinfectant: Ask for a consumer confidence report. In this report, you will see what the contaminant levels are over a certain period of time and see how that compares to the safe levels the EPA describes.[4]

If you find that your water contains chloramines, removal is the next step.

The Chloramine Removal Process

There are two good ways to remove chloramine from your water: An activated charcoal filter or use of a reverse osmosis system.


There are two types you should consider and each of them comes in either a rigid block containing activated carbon and a binder or a shell with granulated activated carbon or GAC:

  • Charred and activated coconut
  • Wood

The carbon absorbs the chloramine but there is a caveat: Once the carbon filter wears out, you must replace it.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis systems are a great choice for your workplace to provide clean, fresh drinking water for your employees and guests. One of the most important things to consider when choosing a reverse osmosis system is to make sure the chloramines are removed using a chloramine filter before the water gets to the reverse osmosis membrane.

PWT products utilize both GAC filter and Reverse Osmosis. It even includes a 4th coconut fiber filter for added filtering & taste benefits.

Make sure to see the certifications provided by any point of use water filtration system before buying the product. They should carry the WQA gold seal as well as ISO 9001 and 14001.





How to Clean Your Water at Work: Ozone Vs UV Light Purification

Ozone Vs UV Light Purification

While most tap water in the U.S. is safe to drink due to chlorine disinfection, Nancy Hearn says  this method alone won’t kill all the dangerous microorganisms. So installing a water purification system at your office can be a great way to improve the health of your employees—and be more environmenpure-water-technology-san-diego-activated-oxygen-injectiontally friendly to boot. Two methods you may want to consider are Ozone Vs UV light purification.

What is Ozone Purification?

Ozone is created by passing oxygen through a corona discharge generator and dissolving it in water. Unlike the oxygen you breathe, which has two oxygen atoms, ozone has three oxygen atoms. This means that ozone is an unstable gas that quickly gives up an atom of oxygen; these atoms are lethal to most microorganisms.

Ozone systems were once just widely used in Asia and Europe, but many U.S. companies have used them since the early 2000s. .

What is UV Light Purification?

UV light systems are very simple: UV light disrupts RNA and DNA which stop microorganisms from reproducing, thus rendering them harmless. However, the water can only be purified by UV light if there is no haziness or cloudiness caused by particles in the water. While this method can help to purify the water in your office, further sanitation is often required once the water flows out of the UV chamber.

Why Are These Two Systems Confused?

While both Ozone and UV systems are different, some people get them mixed up. This is a very easy mistake since UV-generated ozone treatments were incredibly common in the late 90s and used for people’s spas and pools.

While both UV light and Ozone systems have their advantages and disadvantages, Ozone is arguably a better treatment since it is a very powerful oxidizer and can kill biofilm. Ozone systems are efficient and have minimal maintenance requirements, whereas UV light systems typically need to have lamps swapped out every 6-12 months.

What Are Some Other Advantages of Ozone?

According to, the most popular water treatments for municipalities are chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and chloramine. However, when used in excess, wcponline also says that chloramines can irritate mucous membranes and cause nausea. While Ozone cannot remove these chloramines, it can pre-treat the water so less chloramine is used.

Lastly, ozone can help your office’s water supply by removing the following:

  • Organic Materials (e.g. food debris)
  • PCBs: These chemicals are used for industrial applications, like paint
  • Dangerous Bacteria: Unlike chlorine, ozone can easily eliminate Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
  • Strange Odors or Tastes

You can definitely remove all of these contaminants in workplace’s water, as there are many point-of-use systems out there that can incorporate ozone technology.