|Who are we?
The Home Water Plant is designed and manufactured by Aquametrics LLC, a Seattle area company formed in 2006. Aquametrics key employees aggregate almost 100 years of water quality treatment experience in residential, commercial and industrial applications. The Home Water Plant and other Aquametrics manufactured water treatment systems that include scale prevention and removal technology are sold through an Aquametrics sales-affiliate, Aquatronx, part of an intellectual property, patent protection arrangement.
|What is our experience?
If you call us, these are some of the people you will be talking to: Larry Meek, CEO, 19 years in the water quality industry; Scott Borough, COO, 20 years in the industry; Laren Meek, VP, Research & Development, 19 years in the industry; Richard Scheu, 35 years in the industry. All have residential, commercial and industrial water quality treatment experience.
|What certifications does the Home Water Plant have?
Certifications vary, depending upon treatment phase. The phase 1 sediments removal filter is certified by NSF International to NSF/ANSI standard 42 for material requirements only. Phase 2 enhanced catalytic carbon is certified to NSF/ANSI standard 61. The Phase 3 scale removal and prevention power supply is UL & CE approved. Phase 3 electronics have passed FCC Part 15 A (commercial), Part 15 B (residential) and Part 18 (laboratory) environments requirements. Phase 4, the dishwasher-only sequestering media, is certified to NSF/ANSI standard 42 for material requirements only and certified by NSF to NSF/ANSI standard 60, drinking water treatment chemicals-health effects.
|Our water comes from a city water plant. Why should we buy a Home Water Plant?
Your city water plant and the Home Water Plant perform different, but complementary functions.
Cities source water from surface waters, lakes, rivers, and underground aquifers. City water plant treatment may include screening, coagulation with ferric chloride or alum, sedimentation and filtration of particulates, then disinfection with chlorine and/or chloramines, and often the addition of fluoride. Great Britain began disinfecting water in the early 20th century and saw a sharp decline in typhoid deaths. Shortly after, disinfection was introduced into the United States. The result has been virtual elimination of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery and hepatitis A. Public health, generally, is the city water plants’ concern.
Leaving the city’s plant, water flows through reservoirs, pump stations, and miles and miles of pipe (Phoenix, e.g., has about 10,000 miles of pipeline). Some city pipe is really old, or cracked, or scum lined, and there are about 240,000 city water main breaks in the US each year. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nations’ drinking water infrastructure a D grade for aging pipes in 2013. Then, there is piping from the city’s main into your home.
City water still contains a host of contaminants, most of which are of aesthetic concern- color, taste, odor, and hardness. Other contaminants are of a more serious safety concern. The job of the Home Water Plant is to take over where the city leaves off: to further ameliorate safety concerns and to make your city water clean tasting, clean smelling, clear, and pleasurable to bathe in.
|Your brochure and website description of Home Water Plant treatment phases is brief. Where do I get a more detailed description of each phase’s treatment?
The Technical Information section of this website contains specifications and detailed scientific and technological information with respect to each treatment phase, in a series of PDF white papers.
|What is in my city water that I should be concerned about?
Of course it varies, city to city, and within any city from one time to another depending, e.g., on sourcing changes, storms, drought and other factors. A few concerns are: Eastern seaboard storms flooding livestock farms, causing widespread fecal contamination of drinking water. California droughts producing high nitrate concentrations. Lead leaching into pipes, e.g., Flint, Michigan, Tacoma, Washington Sebring, Ohio (where authorities had to mandate drinking bottled water). What is known as “bio-fouling” occurs when a homeowners’ water pipes scale because of hard water and biologic viruses or the like grow on the deposited limescale The Environmental Working Group website alleges that 81% of US water systems discharge water with contaminants linked to cancer, that 7 million Americans are drinking water with unsafe levels of nitrates, that 250 million Americans’ drinking water contains hexavalent chromium and that 19,000 US water systems discharge water in which lead was detected at levels harmful to children.
Water plants are required by EPA to issue annual “Water Quality Reports.” Those reports note whether regulated contaminants exceed permitted levels — but the reported numbers are only averages; in some neighborhoods and at some times permitted contaminant levels are regularly exceeded.
The Environmental Working Group alleges on its website that there are more than 160 unregulated contaminants, contaminants for which no limits have yet been established.
|Chloramines: does my city water plant use chloramines? Why should I be concerned about chloramines?
Your city water utility’s annual EPA Water Quality Report will disclose whether chloramines are used in its water plant. Your water quality treatment local dealer will also be able to tell you.
Chloramines are increasingly used as an alternative or supplement to chlorine purification by city water plants. Chloramines have a host of “disinfection by-products;” they are largely unregulated (one of the reasons cities use them). Chloramines are reported to adversely affect human respiratory and dermatological systems (the bathing hazard may be worse than the drinking hazard). See, e.g., Miranda, Marie Lynn, et al, Changes in Blood Lead Levels Associated with Use of Chloramines in Water Treatment Systems, Environmental Science & Technology, Vol 41, No 2, February, 2007; Richardson, S. D., New Disinfection By-Product Issues: Emerging DPBs and Alternative Routes of Exposure, Global NEST Journal, Vol. 17, No. 1 (2005).
|Trihalomethanes: what are they, and why should I be concerned about them?
Trihalomethanes are combinations of chlorine and organic matter. They are what is known as “disinfection by-products.” A few trihalomethanes have established EPA limits, e.g., chloroform. Many more trihalomethanes are simply unregulated. According to the Environmental Working Group, scientists suspect trihalomethanes in drinking water may cause thousands of cases of bladder cancer every year. Trihalomethanes have also been linked to colon and rectal cancer, birth defects, low birth weight and miscarriage. Sharp, et al, Water Treatment Contaminants: Forgotten Toxics in American Water, EWG website, February 27, 2013.
|How does the Home Water Plant reduce contaminants?
The enhanced catalytic carbon in Phase 2 of the Home Water Plant reduces many unwanted contaminants found in drinking water. The Aquasorb media provides superior filtration of chlorine, chloramine, trihalomethanes, and many unwanted inorganic substances such as iron and copper. Filtered water from the Home Water Plant will be safer and better tasting and smelling. See more technical information on the Aquasorb media by clicking on one of the following links:
|Is the Home Water Plant appropriate for well, community well, lake, river or stream source treatment?
The Home Water Plant is designed to treat water already treated at a city water plant.
|If my water is not treated by municipal/city water utility, where should I look for appropriate water treatment products?
Aquametrics, manufacturer of the Home Water Plant, also manufactures water quality treatment systems appropriate for individual well or community well, lake, river or stream sources, including chlorine and reverse osmosis treatments. See aquametricsusa.com.
|How does the Home Water Plant compare with water softening systems?
Apples and oranges. (There is a lot wrong with water softening, but see FAQ 12 for that discussion.)
Both the Home Water Plant and water softening systems resolve hard water problems. Water softening systems generally prevent limescale; however, they are not successful removing limescale already in place. The Home Water Plant scale removal and prevention technology not only prevents scaling, but removes existing scale (and any associated bio-fouling).
And the Home Water Plant does much more: Phase 1 removes sediments and eliminates turbidity; Phase 2 removes a host of contaminants and resolves color, taste and odor issues; Phase 4 prevents dish, silverware and glassware spotting and etching. These treatments (with the qualified exception of spotting) are not addressed at all by water softening systems.
The Home Water Plant eliminates the slippery feeling commonly associated with artificially softened water.
|Why are water softening systems the wrong solution?
Most importantly, water softening systems are an environmental disaster.
“Using a self-regenerating softener for a month is basically the same as taking a 40-pound bag of salt and dumping it directly into the [Santa Clara] River.” Ann Heil, Senior Engineer, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.
As a result, water softening systems are increasingly banned, e.g., cities in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Korn, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Marcos and Tularc counties in Southern California. In the Santa Clarita Valley, homeowners are prohibited from replacing existing water softeners and strongly encouraged to stop using their existing units. Residents who violate the no-replacement ordinance are subject to a fine of up to $1000 and/or jail not to exceed 30 days.
Water softening systems are labor-intensive, requiring regular backwashing and lugging around 40 pounds bags of salt.
Water softening systems are expensive, not only in themselves, but because drainage for backwashing brine often needs to be dug and piped to install the system and regeneration is a never-ending expense.
Then, after bathing in softened water, the homeowner emerges with slippery, soapy-like skin, feeling like it was just not possible to thoroughly rinse.
|Should I buy a Home Water Plant + Silica Treatment system or a Home Water Plant?
You should buy a + system if your water has problematic levels of silica, sulfates or chlorides. Otherwise, the Home Water Plant will provide entirely adequate water quality treatment.
|What if my city utility treated water has quality problems above and beyond the typical problems result by the Home Water Plant?
Aquametrics, the manufacturer of the Home Water Plant, also manufactures water quality treatment products appropriate for non-city water and a range of unusual water chemistries (including, e.g., the water purification system in STAR™, a hurricane and other disasters emergency shelter system, capable of turning severely contaminated into potable water).
|What maintenance is appropriate for the Home Water Plant?
Annual maintenance by a local dealer is highly recommended. Home Water Plant Aquasorb and + (Silica Treatment) media are not replaced during maintenance; they are simply regenerated by adding a package of desorption media and running a hose bib or bathtub faucet for 20-30 minutes. During annual maintenance the Phase 1 and Phase 4 canisters are replaced. The scale removal and prevention electronics are simply checked to verify proper operation.
|What is the Home Water Plant warranty?
Given annual dealer maintenance the tanks, valves and Aquasorb media are warranted for 10 years. The electronics are warranted for three years. The Phase 1 and 4 canisters are warranted for one year and should be replaced annually. Without annual dealer maintenance, tanks, valves and Aquasorb media are warranted for three years.
|Does the Home Water Plant have sufficient capacity to treat the water in my home?
The Home Water Plant and Home Water Plant + (Silica Treatment) provide fully effective treatment at 8 gpm (gallons per minute) water flow. 8 gpm approximates the simultaneous operation of a shower, two faucets and a washing machine. Occasionally exceeding this waterflow level is harmless. If a household is of such a size that 8 gpm is regularly inadequate, both the Home Water Plant and Home Water Plant + are available in an “Estate Size,” 12 gpm.