Water Treatment Solutions. Domestic & Commercial.

Integraflow Water Care specialise in delivering the latest products and information for improving your water supply. We have extensive experience in water filtration technology servicing domestic, commercial and rural markets.

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FAQ’S

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Q: How do I stop mineral scale on my shower screens, and prolong the life of my hot water system?

A: Mineral scale is a result of calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water and is called hardness. The best way to remove hardness is with a water softener, these units treat your incoming water supply, protecting your household appliances. Showering in softened water will also help improve the condition of your skin and hair. Many people with health concerns such as eczema and psoriasis find showering in softened water of great benefit. Removing hardness from the water can also improve its taste and reduce the use of detergents.

Q: Can a normal filter cartridge system remove hardness and salt from my water?

A: No unfortunately not, salt and minerals are dissolved as ions in the water and they are simply too small for removal with a normal filter cartridge. If you want drinking water that is near 100% pure you need a reverse osmosis unit.

Q: So what is a cartridge filter good for?

A: Cartridge filters are good for removing chemicals, heavy metals, odours, taste, sediment and some bacteria from your supply but do not remove any of the hardness or salt. If you would like to drink mineralised water they are ideal but will still leave scale in your kettle and deposits on your shower screens.

Q: Do I need the minerals in water for good health?

A: There are two types of minerals - organic and inorganic. Organic minerals are found in the food we eat and inorganic minerals are found in the water we drink. Most of our body's requirements come from organic minerals in food. The body cannot absorb most of the inorganic minerals found in water, and these are expelled as waste. Rainwater has long been accepted as a good source of drinking water. Rainwater is basically distilled water which does not contain any minerals. These days, due to pollution and the amount of chemicals added to tap water we feel it is better to remove all the minerals and contaminates by filtration, and concentrate on a healthy diet for your mineral requirements. At the very least, highly purified water tastes better so you will be inclined to drink more, thereby improving your overall heath.

Q: I have my own private water supply, why should I have it tested?

A: Although it sometimes may not taste so good, municipal tap water is comprehensively tested to ensure it is safe for consumers to use. There are a set of guidelines called the Australian Drinking Water Standards which sets out quality requirements for both chemical and biological safety. Chemical safety refers to the levels of minerals and chemicals in the water that can cause harm to ourselves and our gardens. Biological safety refers to bacteria and viruses which can cause us stomach upsets and disease. In most cases a private supply such as rainwater, bore water and dam water rarely conforms to these standards, leaving people open to health concerns.

Some common problems would include:

Blue stains on bathroom surfaces or under dripping taps - this would normally indicate the supply is too acidic resulting in copper corrosion and possibly contamination from other metals in the plumbing. The drinking water guidelines recommend a pH range of 6.5 to 8.5 to minimise plumbing corrosion and maximum health concentrations for dissolved metals are listed. Most corrosion problems can be treated with a calcite filter which neutralises the water giving it a pH near 7. There are also a range of cartridge filters which remove metals from the supply for drinking and showering. If you have blue marks on surfaces or a metallic taste in the water there is a good chance you have metals exceeding the health guidelines. Rainwater which typically has a pH of 5.5 results in the main source of plumbing corrosion we see.

Stomach upsets and skin infections - untreated water normally contains some bacteria regardless of how clean or clear it looks; most are harmless organisms from the environment but some carry waterborne illness from faecal contamination. With rainwater there is always a possibility of contamination from bird and animal droppings washed off roofs, or in the case of bore water contamination from septic systems and animal faeces making its way down to the aquifer. Dam water is especially high in faecal bacteria due to animals drinking and water birds feeding. The drinking water standards recommend that faecal bacteria should not be present at any level in a household water supply. Some common treatments for bacteria are UV sterilisers and chemical treatments such as chlorine.

Chemical Contamination - chemical contamination can result from runoff due to farming or industry making its way into our supplies. There are also natural contaminates such as sulphate and heavy metals which can occur in groundwater sources. Ways to treat your supply for these contaminates can range from simple carbon filtration to reverse osmosis and will depend on the situation and the type of contamination concerned.

Water Staining - water staining is can be a result of iron and manganese in the supply. Treatment with an iron removal softener and also aeration are some of the ways to help with this problem. Some staining is also due to hard mineralised water, which can be treated with a water softener. Other staining problems can be due to organic material and clays in the supply which can be treated by filtration and carbon media.

Salty Water -  the very least a person should test their private supply for its total dissolved solids or salt content. This test gives an overall reading of all the salts in the water but does not differentiate between them. Testing rainwater for its TDS is normally not necessary but sometimes it will show if contaminates have entered the tank. For a human, the maximum salt content for drinking water is around 1500ppm, for growing sensitive plants such as strawberries the reading can be as low as 500ppm. On many occasions people think their water is fresh because it tastes OK but this not always the case. Salty water supplies can only be treated by reverse osmosis which differs from the domestic reverse osmosis units fed by municipal supplies. The main difference is that to treat very salty water you need a high pressure pump and a system that is designed to suit your water chemistry.

Q: What about magnets, electrical fields and filters with coloured rocks to treat my water? They seem very simple, innovative and sometimes require very little maintenance.

A: Unfortunately when it seems too good to be true it usually is. There have been various alterative gizmos around over the years claiming to make water taste better, help with mineral problems and make salty water usable. Until there is replicable proof that these items work, we will not sell or promote alternative treatment products. In industry settings such as breweries where millions of dollars worth of equipment needs to be protected from water damage, conventional water treatment systems have always been employed when these alterative treatments fail to live up to their claims. You will often find drinking water stations showing off layers of coloured filter rocks which do little more that a normal cartridge filter, possibly less. A cartridge filter is far more hygienic as it takes water from a supply under high pressure for superior filtration rather than filling the filter by hand and introducing a means of bacterial contamination, a clear filter housing showing off special filter media also provides light for algae growth. When a water filter salesperson claims their product takes out the bad minerals and puts the good minerals back in, we would be very sceptical because according to research this is simply impossible.