Motorhomers who worry about the safety of the water they consume during their travels may want to check out the Living Water treatment system from EcoQuest International.
By Ralph Quayle, F123759
We have been RVing full-time for seven years. We also vacationed in RVs during the seven years prior to becoming full-timers. Throughout these many years of traveling, we have been in all areas of the United States, staying at the best and worst of campgrounds and hotels/motels, and drinking water from wells and city water taps.
One thing that always concerned us was the quality of our drinking water. We obtained city water whenever available, and we faithfully and regularly treated our fresh water storage tank with chlorine. When we did have to use well water, we did not know how recently (if at all) it had been tested for contaminants. Over time, we heard on national news programs about how many cities are having problems with old, underground lead pipes and with lead leaching from new copper-pipe installations because of the solder used. We also heard of other contaminants getting into drinking water supplies due to human error or overworked equipment.
We began to buy bottled water for drinking, until we heard the mayor of a large city say on television that the city was bottling municipal tap water and selling it. Various TV programs and magazine articles also disclosed that much of the bottled water for sale today is simply bottled municipal tap water, perhaps minimally filtered for taste and odor control. We had thought that bottled water was regulated for purity, but we found that this is not the case at all.
We then began to use only bottled distilled water for drinking and cooking. This has been our solution to the drinking water situation for a few years now, although storing several gallons of water in our coach is certainly space-consuming (a concern for most of us who RV), and sometimes it was difficult to find.
While visiting an EcoQuest International (formerly Alpine Industries) booth at a recent rally, I saw a water purifier that was touted as a compact, easy-to-install system that produces purified, good-tasting drinking water. It immediately sparked my interest for use in our coach. I was given ample information to digest at my leisure.
This water-treatment system is called Living Water with ECOTECH, and is available exclusively through EcoQuest International. It stands on its own, measures 13 inches high, 7.5 inches wide, and 4 inches in diameter, and can be placed anywhere near your water faucet. It requires 110 volts AC and consumes only 20 watts of energy while you are drawing water. The flow rate is a half-gallon per minute, and the device operates at between 15 and 100 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) of water pressure, making it ideal for RV use. However, this information alone was not enough for me to decide about its effectiveness and safety.
Next, I checked to see what kind of certifications and other specifications this water-treatment system has.
One major concern I have about drinking water is whether it contains cryptosporidium, giardia, feces, lead, chlorine, E. coli, or other contaminants too numerous to mention. After checking the certification documentation provided by EcoQuest, I found that most of the contaminants I knew about were mentioned as being removed, reduced, or neutralized. EcoQuest uses ANSI/NSF standards 42, 53, and 55 (see explanation at end of article) in determining the amount of contaminant reduction in the Living Water system. Some of these reductions are very impressive — for example, equal to or greater than 99 percent for lead, chlorine, cysts, and turbidity. Needless to say, I received more information than I can fit into this article, but I did determine that this unit is effective against the contaminants in my drinking water that concern me the most.
Next, I obtained an evaluation unit from Paul Robbins, an independent EcoQuest distributor. Installation was simple, in that I only had to plug it into a 110-volt AC receptacle, remove the aerator from the sink faucet, and install the provided replacement aerator (which includes an on-off diverter) on the faucet. To use the unit, I turn on the water faucet and pull a button on the new aerator-diverter. That’s how easy it is to fill a glass of water that tastes great. In addition, the best part is that I feel comfortable that it is healthful.
The filtration system uses ultraviolet (UV) light, ozone, and a special carbon block filter. When one pulls the button on the diverter, water is introduced into the bottom of the unit, where it is mixed with ozone, forming a spinning action of bubbles around the UV light that turns on to disinfect the water. Any ozone left after the ozone/UV photo-oxidation process is converted to oxygen in the special filter element before the water exits and flows into one’s glass, pan, cup, etc. This technology seems very effective.
Service on this unit is very easy and takes only about five minutes. To replace the filter (required twice a year), I unplug the unit, disconnect the water tube by pushing a lock ring and pulling the tube out of its fitting, unscrew the lid, and remove the filter. I reverse the process to put the unit back into service.
Another good feature of this Living Water system is that it is very portable, as long as you have electrical and water sources. The unit can be relocated easily from coach to house and back. In addition, it can be used with city-water or well-water systems.
If you have doubts or concerns about your RV or home drinking water, this Living Water system may be what you want to consider.
Additional information regarding performance and pricing can be obtained from any EcoQuest distributor. The name of a distributor may be obtained from EcoQuest International, 310 T. Elmer Cox Drive, Greeneville, TN 37743; or visit the company’s Web site at www.EcoQuestIntl.com
ANSI: American National Standards Institute
NSF: National Sanitation Foundation
ANSI/NSF Standard 42 is for taste, odor, and chlorine reduction (Class I), and particulate reduction (Class II).
Standard 53 is for cysts, turbidity, and lead reduction.
Standard 55 (Class B) is for ultraviolet microbiological water-treatment systems.