Before jumping the “RO” gun…

Thanks to a customer-centric salesman, I saved at least Rs.4000/- and learnt quite a few concepts (that’ll be useful throughout life) on water management. You can read about my thoughts on that salesmanship in my linkedin post . Here I talk about the key points – that I learnt – which would help you to save water as well. 
When it comes to clean drinking water, most of the urban families tend to turn towards “RO” (Reverse Osmosis) water treatment unit. The noticeable advantages – no need to purchase packaged water frequently (which might work out expensive in the long run), better control in terms of cleanliness assurance. The key disadvantage with most of the “RO” systems – wastage of water (to get every 1 litre of water, 2 litres of water are wasted). Though I was aware of this disadvantage, I thought that there was no other go and had been using RO for the past few years.
When it came to a point of purchasing a new RO unit, I had the following learning (thanks again to that salesman Mr. Siva in the small city Thanjavur, Tamilnadu)
– Installing RO unit for a household where TDS (Total Dissolved Salts, an indicator for dissolved impurities in water) is less than 150 ppm (parts per million) is actually detrimental to health as it strips off essential minerals (such as Calcium, Magnesium) as well
– Alternatives to RO units in areas of low TDS
  1. UV based purifier – in which Ultra Violet lamp kills the bacteria, virus, etc and retains the minerals. This will require electricity to operate. It costs approx. Rs.8000/-. Most likely, the filters in this purifier will have to be changed once in a year.
  2. Chlorine based (traditional) purifier – in which an acceptable level of chlorine is added to water to cleanse the water after initial filtering. Both manual and automatic “water fill” options are available. It doesn’t require electricity for operation. It costs approx. Rs.3000 (manual filling) or Rs.4000 (automatic filling). The filters in this type of purifiers may have to be changed every 6 months, but the annual maintenance cost on these filters will still be comparable to UV filters.

       In both the cases above, TDS will remain unaffected and wastage of water is zero.

In my place, the TDS is close to 100 and hence I went for Chlorine based (traditional) purifier (automated fill). While this is a good news on savings and health front, the shocker is that I had been consuming water with a very low TDS (20+) for at least an year (due to the earlier RO unit). Good that I’m enlightened at least now and I can be satisfied that I don’t waste water in the cleansing process.
P.S: Some useful links on the web in this regard –

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