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Cryptosporidium Vomiting Bug Outbreak in Devon

You have probably been somewhat alarmed by the news of Cryptosporidium in your tapwater. In this article we are:

  1. giving you links to several articles covering the issue,
  2. summarising details and advice about the issue from those links,
  3. offering our advice and links to our products and
  4. more info on the two recommended filtration types – ultrafiltration and carbon block

Recent Cryptosporidium-Related Articles

Key points from the above articles:

  • Cryptosporidium Outbreak in Brixham: Residents in Brixham, Devon, are urged to boil their tap water due to a cryptosporidium outbreak with 46 confirmed cases, as South West Water found traces of the parasite in the Hillhead section of their network.
  • Symptoms and Spread: Cryptosporidium causes symptoms such as watery diarrhea, stomach pains, fever, and vomiting, lasting up to two to three weeks. It spreads through contaminated water, food, and contact with infected individuals or animals.
  • Affected Areas and Response: About 17,000 households and businesses in areas like Brixham, Boohay, Kingswear, Roseland, and North West Paignton were initially affected. A boil water notice remains for approximately 2,500 properties in Hillhead and upper parts of Brixham.
  • Public Health Measures: Authorities advise boiling water for drinking, cooking, and brushing teeth. Bottled water stations have been set up, and residents are advised to follow hygiene practices, including washing hands and avoiding swimming pools if symptomatic.
  • Investigation and Communication Issues: The outbreak is linked to a damaged valve, now repaired. The response from South West Water has faced criticism for delayed action and poor communication, impacting trust in the water supply network. Authorities and local representatives are working to resolve the issue and support affected residents.

The truth is, the UK does leave much to be desired concerning the quality of our tapwater, as covered in this article from The Sun.

Diagram showing faeces contaminated water areas in England.
IMAGE: The Sun – https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/27970119/devon-water-bug-symptoms-spread-lates-news/

 

How Aquatiere can help you:

So while there is a specific issue in Devon and surrounding areas, it is definitely advisable to make sure that you have filtered water in your home. Not only does it protect you from chemical and organic contaminants, but it is much more eco-friendly to filter your water at point-of-use; the kitchen tap, than to buy bottled water from shops. Buying bottled water negatively impacts the environment because:

  • of the logistics of transporting the bottled water to the shops,
  • plastic bottles that end up in landfill or generally littering the environment,
  • enormous resources have gone into piping water to your house. Buying bottled water dismisses that massive investment in building water treatment systems for us. Still worried about the treatment chemicals in the water and the fact that they might be leakage in the water pipes? Indeed, valid concerns. Therefore, filter the water in your house.

To get back to the main topic, “it’s worth understanding the cryptosporidium is a living organism. Not a bacterial species.” says Graham Brebner, founder of Aquatiere, “It cannot be killed or removed by ultra-violet treatment or basic filtration methods. Ultimate Filtration (which provides higher flow potential) and large carbon block filters seem to be the best ‘barrier’ protection.”

Our Ultrafiltration Water Filters:

Full system – Aquatiere Ultrafiltration Viral Control System

Just the cartridge (if you already have the filter housing) – Aquatiere Standard Utra Filtration Cartridge

Our Carbon Block Water Cartridges

You will need to have the water housing in order to accommodate these cartridges.

Recommend a combination of the above. The absolute best thing, therefore, is to contact us for advice. We can happily, and in detail, advise you on the best path to protecting yourself, your staff and your family.


Ultimate Filtration

Ultimate Filtration in the context of water filters typically refers to a comprehensive and advanced level of water purification that ensures the highest quality of clean and safe drinking water. This term encompasses multiple stages of filtration, employing various technologies to remove a wide range of contaminants. Here are the key components and technologies often included in Ultimate Filtration systems:

Multi-Stage Filtration Process

  1. Ultimate Filtration systems usually incorporate several stages, each designed to target specific types of contaminants. These stages may include:
  2. Pre-Filtration: Removes large particles such as sediment, rust, and dirt. This stage protects the subsequent filters and extends their life.
  3. Activated Carbon Filtration: Removes chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical contaminants. It also improves the taste and odor of the water.
  4. Reverse Osmosis (RO): A highly effective stage that removes up to 99% of dissolved salts, heavy metals, and other impurities by forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane.
  5. Ultrafiltration (UF): Uses a membrane to remove bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms without removing essential minerals.
  6. UV (Ultraviolet) Sterilization**: Uses UV light to kill or inactivate bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, ensuring microbiologically safe water.
  7. Post-Carbon Filtration: Further polishes the water, enhancing its taste and removing any residual impurities.

Key Features

  1. Comprehensive Contaminant Removal: Ultimate Filtration systems are designed to remove a wide spectrum of contaminants, including but not limited to, sediment, chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, pharmaceuticals, and industrial pollutants.
  2. Enhanced Water Taste and Odor: By removing chlorine and other chemicals, these systems significantly improve the taste and odor of the water.
  3. Health Benefits: Providing clean, safe water can reduce the risk of waterborne illnesses and improve overall health by ensuring the removal of harmful substances.
  4. Convenience: Many Ultimate Filtration systems are designed for easy installation and maintenance, providing a convenient solution for households seeking high-quality water.

Applications

  1. Residential Use: Ultimate Filtration systems can be installed under the sink, as countertop units, or as whole-house systems to ensure all water sources in the home are filtered.
  2. Commercial Use: These systems are also used in restaurants, hotels, and other businesses where high-quality water is essential.

In summary, Ultimate Filtration represents the pinnacle of water filtration technology, combining multiple stages and advanced techniques to deliver exceptionally clean, safe, and great-tasting water.

What is a Carbon Block Filter?

Carbon block filters and granular activated carbon (GAC) filters are two common types of carbon-based water filters, each with its unique advantages and applications. Understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed choice for your water filtration needs.

A carbon block filter is made from activated carbon that has been ground into a fine powder and then compressed into a solid block. This block is highly porous and has a large surface area, allowing it to effectively trap contaminants.

How Carbon Block Filters Work

  1. Adsorption: Contaminants are trapped on the surface of the carbon particles within the block. The fine particles of activated carbon provide a large surface area for adsorption.
  2. Mechanical Filtration: The dense structure of the carbon block also acts as a physical barrier, trapping larger particles and sediment.
  3. Catalytic Reduction: Some carbon block filters can also reduce chlorine and chloramines through a catalytic reduction process.

Advantages of Carbon Block Filters

  1. Higher Contaminant Removal: The dense structure and large surface area of carbon block filters enable them to remove a wider range of contaminants more effectively, including chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), lead, mercury, and certain pesticides and herbicides.
  2. Longer Contact Time: Water flows more slowly through a carbon block filter, increasing the contact time between the water and the carbon, which improves the removal efficiency of contaminants.
  3. Consistency: The uniformity of the carbon block ensures consistent filtration performance throughout the filter’s lifespan.
  4. Reduced Channeling: The solid block structure prevents channeling, a phenomenon where water creates pathways through the filter medium, bypassing the carbon and reducing filtration effectiveness.

Why Choose a Carbon Block Filter Over a Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Filter?

  1. Enhanced Filtration Efficiency: Carbon block filters generally provide more thorough filtration compared to GAC filters. They are more effective at removing smaller particles and a broader spectrum of contaminants due to their higher surface area and denser structure.
  2. Better Taste and Odor Removal: Because of the increased contact time, carbon block filters can better remove chlorine and other chemicals that affect the taste and odor of water.
  3. Less Maintenance: Carbon block filters typically last longer and maintain their efficiency over time, reducing the frequency of filter replacements.
  4. Lower Risk of Bypass: The solid block structure minimizes the risk of channeling, ensuring that all water passes through the carbon medium.

Use Cases for Carbon Block Filters

  1. Drinking Water: Ideal for under-sink, countertop, and refrigerator water filters where high-quality drinking water is desired.
  2. Whole House Systems: Suitable for whole-house water filtration systems that require consistent and effective removal of contaminants throughout the home.
  3. Commercial Applications: Used in restaurants, cafes, and other commercial settings where high-quality water is essential for both safety and taste.

In summary, if you are looking for a water filter that offers superior contaminant removal, better taste and oudor improvement, and consistent performance, a carbon block filter is generally a better choice than a standard granular activated carbon filter.