Highwater Marks

By Lady Wa Wa

From sea to shining sea, all year long, the news overflowed with stories of catastrophic water pollution events that made people sick, destroyed ecosystems and cost uncalculated billions to clean up. The poisons are many – everything from naturally occurring gases released by mining to dumped dry-cleaning solvents and coal ash used as landfill.

 

2014 started with four states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia) finally confirming that fracking was responsible for contaminating water wells. Four days later, a disastrous Jan. 9 coal-washing chemical tank leak in West Virginia sickened hundreds of people. Incidentally, the same site was responsible for a similar chemical spill six months later.

By the time it was revealed on Dec. 29 coal ash was the source of water contamination in Wisconsin, so many environmental calamities occurred during the year that it is impossible to list them all here. Unless you’re one of the unfortunate residents affected, these stories are usually quickly forgotten among the stream of assaults against Mother Earth.

Here, briefly, are a few of the hugest water-pollution stories topping the news in 2014:

Winter

  • 4 States Confirm Water Pollution From Drilling  USA Today reported Jan. 5 that an Associated Press investigation revealed water wells in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia have been contaminated by oil or gas drilling, despite industry claims that such problems are rare.
  • Toxic Chemical Leaks into Elk River Upriver from the West Virginia American Water intake source, about 10,000 gallons coal-washing chemical, crude 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, leaked from a Freedom Industries’ holding tank into the Elk River, leaving 300,000 people without potable water for weeks. It was later uncovered that a second chemical also leaked into the river. Industry executives were charged in December.
Spring
  • Freedom Industries Leaks Chemicals, Again A faulty sump pump was blamed for causing potentially contaminated storm water to overflow into the Elk River from a containment trench at Freedom Industries’ site in Kanawha County, W. Virginia, in June — the same site that leaked chemicals into the river in January, poisoning the drinking water supply downstream.
Summer
  • Toledo Water Contaminated by Algae In early August, in the warm, still waters of Lake Erie, chemicals (likely from fertilizer components) caused a massive algal bloom that polluted the drinking water for hundreds of thousands of residents.
Fall
  • Study Links Water Contamination To Fracking In September, University of Texas researchers found  that levels of arsenic, selenium and strontium were higher than the EPA’s limits in some private wells near natural gas wells. A drinking water study by the National Academy of Sciences determined  fracking was indeed responsible for water contamination in several states. In New Mexico alone, the report states,  chemicals from oil and gas waste pits contaminated water sources at least 421 times. In August, Pennsylvania made 243 cases of contamination of private drinking wells from oil and gas drilling operations public.
 
  • Coal Ash Contaminates Wisconsin Water A decades’ long practice of legally dumping tons of coal ash in lots, waterways, landfills, and even hospital parking lots, has been linked to well contamination, according to a study released in November by Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy group. Government programs, such as “beneficial reuse,” allowed power plants to use coal ash as fill in construction projects. Chemicals leaching from the ash may be responsible for numerous serious health problems. The EPA confirmed 157 cases of proven or potential damage from coal ash, including 14 in Wisconsin.

Winter, again
  • West Wichita Wells Contaminated by Dumped Solvents In December, nearly 200 homes in west Wichita were connected to city water as the result of groundwater contamination caused decades ago by dry-cleaning solvents. Kansas Department of Health and Environment spent more than $2.5 million to pay for water mains, meters and connections to the homes that were within the area of the contamination plume.

To get an idea of the potential contaminants in your drinking water, see this report by the Environmental Working Group that compiled records from 48,000 public water suppliers, creating the largest drinking water quality database in existence. More than 300 pollutants were detected. To use the database online, simply enter your zip code to see the results of public water sources near you.

EWG also compiled a water filter resource guide to help consumers choose a system.

To find information about the many water filtration products that we carry, please visit the Highwater Filters website.

It's about time the EPA looks into how natural gas fracking is affecting the drinking water of people living near the over 10,000 natural gas drilling sites in the U.S. The EPA announced last week that they will study the impact of using massive quantities of water on the local environment, contaminant spills at drilling sites, and contamination of drinking water from the fracking process. Initial results will be available in 2012, but the study will not be complete until 2014. In the meantime, shouldn't fracking be put on hold? I think so. Read more here. If you are worried about your drinking water being contaminated, you should get your tap water tested at a lab. The money you spend will be worth it so you know if your water is safe. You can contact your local municipality to get the results of their most recent tests, but understand that they don't test for all contaminants.   If your water is contaminated, there are water treatments that can make your water safe. Check out Highwater Filters for our new lower prices on home filter housings and a variety of home water treatments for your particular needs.

A recent study released by the USGS shows 13% of private wells in the U.S.  are contaminated with levels of metals and other elements above the set safety standards for health. Contaminants of particular concern include arsenic, uranium, manganese, radon, lithium and boron.

Some of the contaminants come from natural sources and therefore can be overshadowed by anthropogenic contamination (human-sourced). But regardless of the source, owners of private wells should test their water to determine the extent of contamination so they know what contaminants they are at risk for.

A good water test may cost $200 or more in a laboratory, but there are also home test kits available that can be bought for as little as $15. It's imperative that you find out what is in your water to determine if you should take measures to protect you and your family.

Filtering water at the tap is an inexpensive and effective fix for many elemental and chemical contaminants. There are water filters available for just about every contaminant and many of them are effective against multiple pollutants. To be extra protected, some even opt to purify their water with one of the many water purifiers on the market. Once you discover the crystal clarity and great taste of your filtered well water, you will wonder why there are so many others who are lugging big jugs from the grocery store, or stock-piling cases of plastic bottled water. You just can't beat the convenience and cost of your home-filtered water.

At Highwater Filters, we have a solution available to help you remove metals and other contaminants from your well water. A recent addition to our inventory is a ceramic counter top filter that is made specifically for well water by New Wave Enviro. It's got a cleanable ceramic filter that's designed to remove suspended solids, pathogenic bacteria, hydrogen sulfide, Chlorine, Mercury, Lead and VOC's.  

 

Check out the Premium Ceramic system here.

Investing in a water test may be the best decision you ever make. Don't put it off. There are a number of water test products available on the web.

And please visit the Highwater Filters webstore for the best quality, U.S. made home water filters.

Special offer for readers of this blog! Take 5% off the already low price of any Premium water filter product by New Wave Enviro. You must use discount code NWDIS at checkout to get your discount.

Read more here about the USGS survey: Environmental Health News

Thanks for stopping by!

Phthalates. Don't ask me to pronounce it but do be aware that this chemical, used to soften plastic and used extensively in the bottled water industry and for many toys, food containers, and medical tubing, has been shown to affect baby boys who were exposed pre-natally to phthalates.  A new study by a team of South Korean scientists shows that prenatal exposure to phthalates adversely affects the mental and psychomotor development of six-month old boys. That girls do not seem to be affected suggests that phthalates may somehow block or otherwise thwart male hormones. This is very disconcerting and every couple or woman who plans to start a family should be very aware of this danger.

The good news is that phthalates do not accumulate in the body. Simple avoidance of soft plastic items, including water bottles, is the best defense.

Filtering water is a cost effective and safe way to protect you and your family from harmful contaminants that may exist in your water. Although municipal tap water is tested and treated for a variety of contaminants, there are some very  concerning toxins, like hexavalent chromium, that have not been prioritized by the EPA and have yet to be listed as contaminants of concern. Don't trust your tap water to protect you from all contaminants. Well water is also subject to contamination and should be tested to ensure that you are not putting yourselves at risk.

The best way to test your water is to have a certified lab analyze it. It may be costly, but it is important that you know exactly what is in your water. Once you get the results, you can assess which water filter is best for you.

At Highwater Filters we have a variety of water filters and purifiers for many different needs. We are always adding new products to our inventory with emphasis on non-electric, US-made water treatment. Coming soon: arsenic and fluoride filter cartridges for home water filters.

If you know any women who are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, do share this information and advise them to avoid soft plastic products that may contain phthalates. I can't think of a better wedding gift for couples planning to start a family than a water filter. Check out our great selection and give our future generation a fighting chance.

Read more in the Environmental Health News.

For more information on the study see  Environmental Health Perspectives.

Thanks for reading!

Humans have been using ordinary sand since ancient times as a way to remove contaminants from water. But now researchers from Rice University in Texas have developed a more efficient and effective "super sand" through a simple process that coats course sand with graphite oxide to improve contaminant retention and flow rate. With the abundance of sand throughout the world, and with graphite waste in abundant supply, this method is very cost effective. With so many high tech solutions to world problems, it's encouraging to see a growing number of low-tech, affordable remedies to our world's water crisis. With economies in the tank all around the world, we need to keep costs in the forefront of our minds when creating the solutions we so desperately need. For more info: BBC News
In a devastating blow to the people of Japan, Tepco announced today that the highest readings yet (up to 4,000 millisieverts per hour at reactor No. 1) were recorded inside the Fukushima reactor. This announcement comes on the heals of visible steam escaping from the plant recorded on video. To make matters worse, rains threaten efforts to install new decontamination equipment in the plant. Workers are currently racing to install the new equipment by June 15, but impending heavy rains threaten to cause the radioactive water inside the plant to overflow, potentially causing considerable damage. Tepco has warned that heavy rain could cause the overflow by June 20th, or possibly sooner. Rain is expected tonight and throughout the oncoming week in the Fukushima area. Let's hope it doesn't amount to as much as the forecasters fear. Highwater Filters is still offering free shipping on TRAP radiation filters and housings for people living in Japan. We recognize the immediate need to make your drinking water safe. We make this small gesture for the many people in Japan who are facing very troubling times. Please email us at info@highwaterfilters.com to receive a discount code for free shipping to Japan. I am starting to look into a good organization that could help to provide TRAP filters to people who are without the means to purchase a filtering system. I have pledged 10% of the purchase price of the TRAP radiation bundles of a single housing and 3 TRAP filters to make this happen. See here or here for details. For recent update on situation at Fukushima: Japan Times From the Business Insider. Here's a good video concerning the current situation at Fukushima: Record radiation levels at Fukushima
California is poised to join New York State in imposing taxes on online purchases made in the state from retailers with a "presence" in California. This would be a huge blow to big online retailers like Amazon.com who have facilities and resellers around the country, including CA. Appropriately, HB 155, a bill to amend the tax code, is being touted as "the Amazon Bill." As a small start-up online retailer, I have mixed feelings about this direction state legislatures are taking in order to raise revenue (Hawaii, RI, and the Carolinas have all attempted similar legislation). Although I feel fortunate as a small business owner to be able to compete with giants like Amazon, I am wary of losing the edge that keeps me in the game. If they can tax a company based on a "presence", I'm not sure how that will be interpreted in the future. Some contend that simply having an ad or a link on another retailer's site could constitute an affiliation or presence. This could change the way many online retailers do business and will threaten the status quo. But some applaud this as a way to "level the playing field." For state governments to compel out-of-state retailers to charge and remit sales tax to the state where the purchaser resides is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution. But when big retailers expand their facilities to other parts of the country, they are required to charge state sales taxes in the states where they operate. Retailers up to now have found ways to circumvent the laws. Affiliate programs are one way they do it. By linking to affiliates in other states, and sharing a percentage of sales, online retailers can avoid the sticky business of taxing the consumer. But in New York, that loophole has been closed. A mere connection, or "nexus", is enough to compel an out-of-state retailer to pay state sales tax. Our states are all struggling now and finding new sources of revenue is a full-time preoccupation for some of our legislators. I've always thought that states were losing out by not being able to charge tax on online sales. I wasn't as versed on the Constitution as I am now. It would take a Constitutional amendment to compel companies to collect taxes for the state where the purchaser resides. I am not adamantly opposed to this idea, as long as it reaches across the board. I still feel that a small business like mine has an edge over small brick and mortar stores, and imposing online sales tax would not only help the states, but small locally owned shops. I have to support shopping locally. It matters. But to compel online retailers to charge taxes to out-of-state customers can't be done unless that pesky Constitution is changed. I doubt that is gonna happen anytime soon. But what do I know? I'm just a small fish in a big ocean who is glad that our founders were looking out for me, whether they realized what the impact of their actions would be, or not. For more info check out Forbes. Here's the Assembly Bill 155 An editorial in the Santa Cruz Sentinel supporting the bill. Thanks for reading!
A new study that measured levels of PCB's in native youth from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation in northern New York state, Quebec, and Ontario shows levels twice the national average in the youth tested. The findings come more than 25 years after the Akwesansnes were told to alter their traditional diet high in fish. The highest levels were found in first-borns, those who were breastfed, and those who ate fish in the prior year. The Akwesasne territory is adjacent to a GE hazardous waste Superfund site. The GE factory used PCB's in its hydraulic fluid used in their machinery. Aluminum smelters in the area also contributed to PCB contamination. Fish is an important food source for our indigenous populations. In my area of northeast Washington State, studies are ongoing along the upper Columbia River to determine the risks of eating fish contaminated by years of industrial contamination from Teck Cominco, now Teck Resources, in Trail, British Columbia. Many members of the Colville Confederated Tribes, who live along the upper Columbia, subsist on fish out of the river. Each new study comes with a warning. Pregnant women and children should limit the amount of meals containing fish from the river and certain fish should be limited by everyone. Bottom feeding fish are especially contaminated. It is tragic that our native people have to choose between their traditional way of subsistence or elevated cancer risk. We can't undo the mistakes made in the past, but we need to be vigilant in preventing further contamination of our lakes, rivers and oceans so that future generations can benefit from a healthy fish-based diet. For more information on the recent study published in the journal Chemosphere go here. Thanks for reading!
Nestles Waters North America increased bottled water prices by nearly 10% last month in response to soaring plastic costs. It's the first price increase in almost a decade. It's no surprise that plastic, made from petroleum, is rising in cost. Our dependence on foreign oil and non-sustainable energy sources, combined with market speculation, has put consumers in a precarious situation. Fuel-efficient cars have never been more in demand. Energy conservation measures are being implemented world-wide. It's time to put a serious bite into our insatiable appetite for everything plastic The bottled water industry has taken a considerable hit in the media in recent years over the monumental waste problem it creates. Our roadsides, landfills, and waterways are littered with all kinds of debris; plastic bottles being at the top of the heap. Despite all the bad press however, Nestles announced that volume sales rose 6.5% in 2010. Home water filters have increased in popularity in recent years partially due to the bad rap plastic has received. And for good reason. Not only does filtering your tap water reduce your carbon footprint, it saves money as well. When you can filter your water for mere pennies per gallon, why would you want to spend over a buck for a liter of bottled water? Read more about Nestles Water price increases here: Marketwatch.com Check out our PurestOne home water purifiers. We have under counter and counter top models. They are well constructed, effective, and made in the U.S.A. Fun Fact: It takes 3-5 times more water to create the plastic water bottle than will actually fit in the bottle. Considering each bottle should only be used once (to prevent the leeching of phthalates)- that is a lot of water that is wasted for each bottle we drink. Taken from The Unofficial Stanford Blog Thanks for reading!
  This idea seems crazy to me, but studies have shown that drinking water with trace amounts of lithium has been linked to lower rates of suicide. A recent study conducted at the University of Vienna in Austria, compared suicide rates and amounts of naturally-occurring lithium concentrates. Other studies in Texas and Japan support the link of higher concentrates of lithium to lower suicide rates. This latest study has led some researchers to suggest adding trace amounts of lithium to drinking water supplies, much like many municipalities add fluoride. This is not a new idea and in the past it was met with too much resistance. I have to say that I would not support any initiative to add lithium to drinking water supplies. But it's worth further consideration for some people to decide whether they would benefit from adding lithium to their water. Maybe there could be a filter that could accommodate folks who want to opt for lithium water. To read more see Mail Online.
Wow, I must have been too busy last week to notice the email I received from American Rivers that announced the "Most Endangered Rivers of 2011." I received another email today urging me to take action to help protect our rivers. I was shocked to see that the Susquehanna River that flows through New York State, Pennsylvania, and Maryland was rated #1 for 2011. But with the threats to water throughout the Marcellus Shale formation from natural gas extracting, it really shouldn't be that big of a surprise. The Susquehanna River is no stranger to me. I have lived near its shores in both Plattsburgh, NY and Binghamton, NY, back in the late 70's to mid 80's. But of a greater concern is that my folks live on the Isle of Que in Selinsgrove, PA. They moved there 30 years ago. It lies just off shore in the Susquehanna River. In addition, I have a sister who lives with her family on the Isle of Que and my younger brother and his family live in Selinsgrove, too. So this hits home for me. As I stated in my previous blog post on Hydro-fracking, this method of energy production comes with considerable costs. It wastes and contaminates large amounts of water, and numerous cases of leaks and ground water contamination illustrate the risks to environment and the health of people living in the vicinity of extraction sites. That the gas companies use the mask of "proprietary information" to preclude themselves from disclosing the chemicals that are used in the fracking process is disconcerting, at the very best. A glimmer of hope may be on the horizon as the Wall Street Journal reported in today's edition that: "On Wednesday, shareholders at three gas producers, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., will vote on whether the companies should provide more information about the risk of air and water pollution, lawsuits and possible harm to their reputations from an increasingly widespread drilling practice." I unfortunately couldn't access the entire article because I am not a subscriber but if you subscribe, you can read more here. As the truth becomes more apparent to the risks of hydro-fracking and the eventual costs to stockholders is considered, we can only hope that the voices of reason will be able to help stockholders realize that the risks, and expense, outweigh the benefits they may be currently enjoying. We can only hope.
We have just received our first shipment of TRAP radiation filters and I am so excited to have them available for sale at Highwater Filters. The TRAP home water filter was developed by NuWater Concepts after the recent earthquake in Japan and the subsequent nuclear disaster that has left many citizens of Japan, and others across the globe, feeling vulnerable to the fallout of iodine-131, cesium-127, and other radioisotopes. Now you can rest easier knowing that the TRAP radiation filter removes radioactive particles from your drinking water. How does it do it? With a proprietary layered blend of activated carbon, zeolite, and polymer beads. The TRAP is the first home water filter of its kind to directly address the immediate needs of people facing the dangers from nuclear fallout. We've got two different countertop housings to hold the TRAP filter. I hope to add an undercounter model sometime in the future. Everything is made in the U.S.A. I am thrilled that I can ship the TRAP radiation water filters to Japan and worldwide. Cost estimates for shipping are available when you add to your shopping cart. For more information, check out my Highwater Filters website. Thanks for reading!
I just got off the phone with Loprest and they are shipping my first order of T.R.A.P. filters today. I expect them in 3-5 days. [caption id="attachment_421" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Coming soon!"][/caption] I've been getting requests for notifications to be emailed when they are available for sale. If you want to get on the list, contact me at info@highwaterfilters.com. The T.R.A.P. filter was developed by NuWater Concepts in response to the nuclear accidents in Japan. They are still in production testing, but all the media within the TRAP filters meet or exceed NSF standards. NuWater Concepts is a subsidiary of Loprest Water Treatment Co. which has been in the wine and water treatment business since 1928. They have taken their expertise in solving municipal water treatment problems and developed a solution for the people of Japan and all who want to protect themselves from radioactive particles. See the TRAP brochure here.  
Hydraulic fracturing is the new oil boom. This controversial process to extract natural gas from deep below the earth’s surface has been expanding at breakneck speed, almost as if gas companies are racing against an invisible clock. Perhaps they are concerned that their dirty little secrets are becoming big daily news reports, and the dirt is piling up. Take the recent nightmare that a young mom from Granville Summit, PA is experiencing. 29-year-old Crystal Stroud wasn’t fazed by the change in color or odor of her family’s tap water shortly after a gas company set up a natural gas drilling rig near her home. She naively believed  the company's claims that fracking was safe and that ground water contamination wasn’t a risk. But when her hair started to fall out and she became very ill, she soon regretted her decision to drink from the tap. She sent water samples to a lab and the results were alarming. According to the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, “The water test revealed high doses of lead, strontium, barium, arsenic, radium and other chemicals, she said, and she immediately stopped drinking the water, but the damage had been done.” Read more about Crystal’s nightmare here. The fracking process depends on very large quantities of water that are mixed with a proprietary blend of chemicals and forced deep into the earth to aid in the release of natural gas. The resulting huge amounts of contaminated water are a waste product and, despite what gas companies will tell you, have been know to contaminate ground water nearby. Unfortunately for the public, the proprietary nature of the process prevents disclosure of the chemicals that the gas companies use. Even after local wells have been contaminated with toxic cocktails that not only release vapors, but can actually be ignited into flames at the tap, property owners are often left with catastrophic medical problems, worthless real estate, and few answers or accountability.  This horror story apparently has been replayed in communities across the country where hydro-frack drilling rigs are sprouting up all over, or as in the case this past week in Towanda, PA, spilling all over. I will be introducing a new product in the very near future that I am very excited about. This countertop filter is capable of removing radioactive particles including iodine-131 and cesium-137. It also removes strontium-90 and radium-226. People concerned about radioactive emissions from the Fukushima reactor will be delighted with the protection this filter will provide, and I am hoping that those contending with contaminated water from fracking will be too.  I am still learning more about its capabilities, but I am encouraged with what I have seen so far. It’s brand new and still in testing mode, but I hope to have them available soon. Check back for updates and in the mean time, check out my Highwater Filters store for the best selection of Katadyn portable water filter products (including our best selling Katadyn Pocket) and our brand new non-electric Lifesaver distiller kits. Thanks for stopping by!  

It’s been over a month since the tragic earthquake in Japan left a large portion of that country in a constant state of high alert. Concerns for leaking radiation from damaged nuclear plants continue to make many people all over the world nervous about the possibility of radioactive emissions falling in their area of the globe. Don’t let those who are quick to dismiss these concerns as "going overboard" deter you from getting the facts for yourself. Anyone who wonders what the dangers are should research the risks posed and decide if precautions are needed, even if the only benefit is peace of mind. Don’t we all at least wish for this? As I’ve said in my previous blog post about radiation and drinking water, there are so many claims out there about what method is best for filtering radioactive particles from water. It’s difficult to separate truth from wishful thinking. Chemistry was never my strong suit, but I’m learning a lot about radiation these days. I am happy to share what I have discovered with you here. I went to the Environmental Protection Agency's website to see what information they have available about radiation. I discovered they had plenty of free info available to citizens like me. I learned that most radiation occurs naturally at levels too low to be concerned about. I learned there exists a spectrum of radiation that includes lower level non-ionizing radiation such as sound waves, light, and microwaves. This is not the type of radiation we should be worried about, however. On the higher end of the spectrum is radiation that falls within the "ionizing radiation" range. Radiation within this range can be used in manufacturing processes, in cancer therapy, and to generate electricity. Radiation from Japan’s nuclear facilities falls into this category. [caption id="attachment_231" align="alignleft" width="365"]

Types of Radiation in the Electromagnetic Spectrum[/caption] There are three main kinds of ionizing radiation: alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays. The kind we are concerned about affecting our health from a nuclear reactor accident are beta particles. I could give you a detailed description about how beta particles are formed, but I doubt I’d fool you into thinking that I know what I’m talking about. In a nutshell, when the ratio of neutrons to protons becomes too high, it causes a chain reaction that forcibly removes an electron from the nucleus of an atom. The original radionuclide, considered a “beta emitter”, is transformed into a different element. There are many beta emitters including cesium-137, strontium-90, and iodine-131. Radioactive iodine is the biggest concern after a nuclear reactor accident. These particles are what are most likely to cause contamination to our food or water after a nuclear accident. According to information from the EPA's website, “ Direct exposure to beta particles is a hazard, because emissions from strong sources can redden or even burn the skin. However, emissions from inhaled or ingested beta particle emitters are the greatest concern. Beta particles released directly to living tissue can cause damage at the molecular level, which can disrupt cell function. Because they are much smaller and have less charge than alpha particles, beta particles generally travel further into tissues. As a result, the cellular damage is more dispersed.” A common fear of exposure to radiation from contaminated food and water after a nuclear accident is the threat of cancer. This can occur after long term low-level exposure and can take many years before symptoms appear. Immediate threats from higher doses of radiation can include burning of the skin and radiation sickness, or radiation poisoning. Symptoms include premature aging, nausea, hair loss, weakness, diminished energy, and sometimes death. Other long term health effects include physical anomalies in babies who are exposed in the womb, and genetic mutations passed on to future generations. So that’s some background information for you to try to absorb, but the burning question of the day remains, how can we protect ourselves if water becomes contaminated after a nuclear accident?   First off, it is useful to know the MCL (maximum contaminant level) for beta particles in water. The EPA sets this at 4 millirems per year. If your water exceeds levels that could cause you harm, the EPA lists (drum roll, please) ion exchange and reverse osmosis as the two methods of filtering water that are proven effective. So there you have the results of my investigation. I am not saying there isn’t information out there on the web that will dispute this conclusion, and I know there are many who would never depend on or trust the EPA for a decision that may be the difference between life and death. I encourage you to do further research and see if there is information out there that can support, or dispel, these claims.

I am especially curious to learn of any credible information as to the effectiveness of silver-impregnated ceramic filters like are in many of our Katadyn water filters, including our best-selling Pocket Microfilter.   I am also interested to see if claims that distilling removes radioactive particles is true. especially regarding iodine-131. Since we sell Katadyn products, and portable non-electric distillers, I would be pleased to know that both these methods are effective against the type of radiation we are currently concerned with. Unfortunately at this time, all I can claim is that the silver impregnated ceramic filters and distillation can reduce radioactive particles. And for me, that is an added sense of security. Please feel welcome to leave a comment if there is anything you can add to this conversation, or if you have any questions that you are itching to ask. I will do my best to respond and find answers. Thanks for reading! Update: January 10, 2013 The Vortex Non-electric Water Distiller Kit by Highwater Filters is now available. We have both kits installed in 5 gallon buckets and DIY kits available.

Update: We now carry CuZn Water Filtration products including a radiation filter. Go here to view replacement filter. Triple under counter for radiation, fluoride, chlorine and other contaminants.

I made this fun video for all my survivalist friends. Don't get stuck without your Katadyn Pocket water filter when emergencies hit. Be prepared! Check back later today or tomorrow to see if our shipment of new Katadyn Pockets has arrived. We will update our website as soon as they do. Enjoy! httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U582zGRiEc&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Just arrived and on sale! Check out our store for more info. I am excited to announce that a shipment of Katadyn Pockets is on its way to us from Katadyn's US headquarters in Minnesota today. We should have them in stock sometime next week. The Pocket is by far our best seller and it's easy to understand why. It's rugged construction and superior silver impregnated ceramic filter are what has created such a strong demand for this product as of late. Many online retailers are back ordered on Pockets. With a capacity of up to 13,000 gals and a lifetime warranty, you can't go wrong with this filter. Penny for penny, it's the best deal around. [caption id="attachment_165" align="alignright" width="150" caption="penny for penny, the best deal around."]The one and only[/caption] News this morning of another earthquake off the shores of Japan brings new concerns for a possible tsunami. As people are being evacuated I want to extend best hopes that another disaster will be averted. It's times like this that make people aware of how very vulnerable we are. This is why the Pocket has been so hard to find lately and why so many include them in their emergency disaster preparedness kits. It's a good choice for personal use for disaster relief workers as well. Because of high demand the manufacturers in Switzerland can't keep up with all the orders. If you'd like to be put on our email list for notification of when the Pocket will be available, please email us at info@highwaterfilters.com And look for discount promo codes on select products, including the Expedition, coming soon.
Yesterday ended Highwater Filter's pledge drive to donate 10% of sales from our Highwater Filters store to disaster relief efforts in Japan following the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and currently the nuclear emergency that threatens the area surrounding the Fukushima nuclear plant. I am pleased to donate $225.00 more to the charity Architecture for Humanity. See my previous post to learn why I chose this non-profit to donate to. Thank you to everyone who chose Highwater Filters to purchase your portable water treatments from. Please follow us on facebook and twitter to learn of upcoming special promotions and sales. May the recovery efforts in Japan lift the spirits of a very traumatized nation and may the Japanese people overcome the tremendous loss they are currently experiencing.
Japan Disaster Relief As the news of earthquake and tsunami damage, nuclear meltdowns, and evacuations of swaths of Japan continue to be unsettling, I am compelled to try to help in some way. I thought about donating an Expedition water filter, but I’m not really sure how to go about that. I realize that cash donations to disaster relief organizations are the best way to help those in dire need. But how do I decide which charity will use the money for the most good? I decided to do a Google search and found the website Charity Navigator. They have a multi-point formula where they rate organizations on how they use their funds and they give percentages of how much goes into administration, how much comes from fundraising, the amount that goes to Directors’ salaries, etc. They give the charities efficiency ratings and based on a set of logarithms they come up with an overall star rating system. It all looked good to me, but how was I really to know if the Charity Navigator was legit? Well, I Googled them to find out. Sure enough, I found a website that criticized their rating system. Then I thought, well, what if the folks at this blogsite are biased? I then thought about googling them to see if I could find an axe they were grinding, but I realized this type of cyber investigation could be endless. I decided to trust in the Charity Navigator since they explain how their rating system works and I found it very helpful for choosing what group to give my money to. I donated to Doctors Without Borders after the Haiti Earthquake and was happy to see that they rated high. I also liked the looks of the group Americares. So I sent them both donations. As a new start-up online business, I am committed to providing a service to those who may be traveling overseas to help victims of disasters and I have pledged at least 10% percent of my profits to charity. But for the immediate needs of those in Japan, I am going to go even farther. From now until the end of March, for every purchase you make at HighwaterFilters.com, I will donate 10% of the proceeds from your total order to a group aiding earthquake survivors. If you have a specific charity that you support and want to give a recommendation, I will be happy to consider. Thanks for your business and for helping those in need!