Highwater Marks

[caption id="attachment_1493" align="alignleft" width="300"] The Vortex Non-electric Water Distiller with drain assembly[/caption] The best non-electric water distiller just got better. The Vortex Non-electric Water Distiller Kit by Highwater Filters now comes with a drain assembly to facilitate the draining of the cooling water inside the bucket. We have yet to see another distiller of its kind with all the features of the Vortex. What makes the Vortex better than other water distillers? For one, it doesn't depend on electricity, so when your power goes out, you will still have a way to purify your water. The Vortex is used with a pressure cooker, which is the boiling container for your contaminated water. Any heating source can be used including a camp fire, gas, wood, dung etc. The Vortex is also portable and can be easily disassembled and transported along with your pressure cooker. The Vortex is made of quality parts, 100% U.S.A made. We searched for hoses, post filters, clamps, grommets, buckets and drain assembly components and made sure they meet or exceed standards for safety. We guarantee satisfaction and offer a 10 year warranty. The Vortex adaptor that is installed on our pressure cookers increases the flow rate of the distiller. By increasing the size of the vent hole in the pressure cooker lid, the Vortex adaptor allows more steam to be released for a faster flow. We factory install the Vortex adaptor to ensure professional quality and your safety. The Vortex is the most affordable water distiller of its kind available. We went to great lengths to keep our costs down without compromising the quality of the materials. We couldn't find any stainless steel pressure cookers made in the USA, but we found a great quality cooker made in Spain by Magefesa. We've kept the price competitive and offer a number of different sizes for your convenience. [caption id="attachment_1494" align="alignleft" width="72"] 4 qt Magefesa with Vortex adaptor[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1495" align="alignleft" width="72"] 8 qt Magefesa with Vortex adaptor[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1500" align="alignleft" width="72"] 10qt Magefesa with Vortex adaptor[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1496" align="alignleft" width="72"] 12qt Magefesa with Vortex adaptor[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1497" align="alignleft" width="59"] 14qt Magefesa with Vortex adaptor[/caption]           What is the advantage of distilled water over other methods of water treatment? In an emergency when the power goes out, distillation is one of the best ways to remove contaminants from water. Microbial filters that remove bacteria, protozoa and cysts are great for backpacking and camping in the mountains, but when clean water sources are not readily accessible, distilling is an effective method for removing chemical and heavy metal contamination, in addition to microbes. It will even make sea water drinkable! What will distilling remove? Fluoride, arsenic, radioactive particles, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, salts...the list is extensive. Distilling is one of the most highly recommended and oldest methods of water purification available. In an emergency, the Vortex Non-electric Water Distiller really is a smart system to have on hand. Have questions? Don't hesitate to contact us below or at info@highwaterfilters.com. You can even call me at 509-685-0933. I love talking about the Vortex. Give me a ring! [caption id="attachment_1504" align="alignleft" width="150"] The Vortex hooked to a Magefesa pressure cooker[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1506" align="alignleft" width="150"] Vortex coil installed in bucket.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1507" align="alignleft" width="150"] The Vortex shown with Grover Rocket Stove[/caption]           Here's the video we made of our first two tests of the Vortex: Vortex test 1 and 2 Please visit Highwater Filters for all your water treatment needs. Thanks for stopping by!      
I read an interesting article in the National Geographic Daily News about a push to make recycled wastewater, or reclaimed water, more appealing to people on municipal water systems. This could partially help to meet some of our current and future potable water needs in the U.S and worldwide. It could conceivably meet 6% of U.S. municipal water needs. Treated wastewater is already being used in some countries, like Singapore, and some say that their model could be used to incentivize the use of reclaimed water. It looks to be a difficult sell to the American public, but it seems like it may be viable method to use water more efficiently. Much treated wastewater is currently being discharged into our oceans. A big concern is that reclaimed water may contain contaminants that are not currently tested by the E.P.A. (see my previous post, Our Tap Water at Risk: E.P.A. not doing adequate job of protecting drinking water.). How will the public feel confident that the treated wastewater is actually safe? Better regulation is needed for all our drinking water to ensure that our water is safe. If this method of recycling is to be used, people should demand that better testing is conducted before this water is used in our drinking supply. And why isn't the E.P.A. testing for radiation in our water? To be safe, a point of use home water filter is a great way to feel confident that you are doing the best you can to remove harmful contaminants from your drinking supply. Check out our large variety of home water filters at Highwater Filter's webstore. Thanks for reading!

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!

Events at Fukushima continue to be tenuous. Workers are desperately trying to inject decontaminated water into the reactors in an attempt to cool the reactor cores. But the process was suspended today after only 90 minutes, due to pipe leakage. Hopefully, they'll have the system back up by tomorrow. This follows major problems with the purification process they are using to filter radioactive particles from contaminated water in order to re-inject into the reactors. There were simply too many radioactive particles for the system to handle. And news in the areas surrounding the reactors is grim. All 15 samples of urine from residents living 30-40 km from the site had levels of at least 3 millisieverts of radiation. This isn't good. Although, well below the maximum annual level of 20 millisieverts threshold permitted for a health adult, this is cause for concern. Radiation is cumulative. This must be very disconcerting for people living in proximity to the plant. [caption id="attachment_838" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant, Ft. Calhoun , Nebraska"][/caption] News out of Nebraska continues to be concerning as well. Flood waters have now surrounded the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant. An 8-foot berm that was constructed to block flood waters from the plant was breached yesterday and water is now seeping into a turbine building. Authorities continue to assure the public that things are under control. As someone who actively participated in protests and demonstrations against nuclear power back in the late 70's and early 80's, it has been my long held position that nuclear power is not safe, nor affordable. We were convincing enough back then to put an end to the construction of nuke plants, until a permit for new construction of a plant was approved last year. This new trend must be reevaluated, considering the circumstances. Many of our aging reactors are living on borrowed time. The life expectancy of the designs from 30-50 years ago were 40 years. Some of those plants have continued to operate past their projected lifespan. Decommissioning a nuke plant costs a billion dollars. How will that be paid for? On a brighter note, Highwater Filters has a new storefront! We are still working out the bugs, but once we do, I'll be announcing a Super Store-wide Sale that you won't want to miss. Check back soon for details on big discounts on our TRAP radiation filters, Life Saver non-electric distiller kits, Katadyn water filters and more! For more info on Fukushima go here (WSJ) and here (The Japan Times). For more info on the events at the Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant go here (Salon.com). Thanks for reading!
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
Here is a video of the performance test of the T.R.A.P cartridge filter for removal of radioactive particles from water. Conducted by Dr. Cindy Schreier of Prima Environmental Labs in El Dorado Hills, CA. Jim Settle of NuWater Concepts, developer of the T.R.A.P. filter shows us the inside of Prima Labs during a portion of the testing process. Test results are still pending and will be posted here and on Highwater Filter's store website. We are confident that the TRAP will prove to be the best method for filtering out radioactive particles. Here's the video: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7NsDZRNhOM
LifeSaver Portable Water Distiller I just reduced the Life Saver non-electric portable distiller kits down to $185. for a very limited time only. You simply cannot find a non-electric water distiller kit other than the Life Saver anywhere. I can honestly say that you may never see the price on the Life Saver this low ever again. sigh. Limited quantity! Order today.
radiation_h2oWhile dangerous events at the Fukushima and other Japanese nuclear reactors  are far from over, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cut back radiation monitoring to pre-tsunami levels. One has to wonder what the bleep are they thinking??? The dangers of nuclear fallout are far from over in Japan and answers about how much radiation is safe are far from conclusive. There have been elevated levels of iodine-131, Cesium-134, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 found in U.S. milk. Levels of Iodine-131 exceeded permissible limits set by the Safe Drinking Water Act and rainwater has been found with levels that exceed the EPA's Maximum Contaminant Levels for drinking water. So why are we not ramping up our monitoring of radiation in the US instead of ramping it down? In a way, I sort of feel like a whiny baby complaining about the radiation in the U.S. when so many people in Japan are facing much graver levels of contamination. My heart goes out to all the people who have no options but to stay at home despite levels of radiation that could jeopardize their health. I am announcing right here and now that in recognition of the victims of Japan's recent earthquake and devastating tsunami, I am offering FREE SHIPPING to Japan on all products until further notice. I hope that this will help the victims of the terrible recent events better afford products that can remove or reduce radioactive particles from water. I am excited by the new TRAP water filters, developed by NuWater Concepts, that were designed specifically for the fallout from the recent nuclear accidents in Japan. Finally, there is a product that addresses radioisotopes that can become suspended in water and can be ingested. The TRAP is the answer we've been looking for! Click here to read the TRAP brochure. Look for special deals on TRAP bundles coming soon! For more info on EPA's decision to ramp down radiation monitoring, click here. Attention! $50 Off Katadyn Pocket starting July 19, 2011 for one week only! You must use this discount code in order to qualify: PKTSVR. In addition, I am also offering free shipping on this item. Hurry, Sale ends July 26th! We are also offering $100 Off for Katadyn Expeditions, plus free shipping. Discount code: EXPSVR. Sale ends July 26th! Thanks for reading!
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 often visit forums and blogs where questions are posed regarding the type of water filter a consumer should buy. The number of different answers almost surpasses the number of choices a person has for water treatment. It can be a daunting task to decide which kind of filter best meets your particular needs. Although I’ve been passionate about clean water for a long time, I have only just begun to learn about water treatment. I am happy to share what I have learned here on this blog. Some key things to consider when choosing a water filter: • Where will you treat the water? Will you be wilderness hiking or camping? Will you be traveling overseas? Will you be in areas where disease outbreaks are prevalent? Will you have access to electricity? Are you looking for an emergency filter that is lightweight and portable? Do you want to treat water from your tap? • What is the water source that you intend to treat? Is the water in a remote wilderness location? Are you treating surface water from a creek, river, lake, or sea? Do people or industry exist nearby? Are there any known sources of contamination in your water source? Does your tap water come from a municipal water supply? Do you have well water? It would require a sizable book to fully cover all the different needs and best solutions for water treatment. The following just scratches the surface, but may be useful if you are trying to choose the right filter for your situation. I took the following information about water-bourne microorganisms from some promotional material I received from the Katadyn company:

Do You Need a Drinking Water System?

Microorganisms generally come from human or animal waste and are spread by rain and run-off. A pristine stream may be safe one day and contaminated the next. It all depends upon what’s happening upstream. Since you never know what’s in the water, it makes sense to always protect yourself with a quality water system. Beware of these three types of microorganisms: Cysts. Cysts are present in most outdoor water sources. Their relatively large size makes them easy to filter but their protective shell strongly resists chemical treatment (examples: Giardia, Cryptosporidium). Bacteria. Bacteria are a common threat in untreated water. Most quality water microfilters remove bacteria. (examples: e coli, salmonella). Viruses. Viruses are the least common microorganism, however they can also be a serious health risk. Viruses are typically too small to be removed by a water microfilter and require chemical disinfection (examples: Polio, Hepatitis A, Norwalk Virus,). Other concerns that many people around the world are struggling with are the existence of many water contaminants that originate from industry, or from illegal dumping of toxic contaminants. Accidental and deliberate spills happen every day and fines often aren’t severe enough to act as a deterrent to polluters. The pursuit of new energy sources has created some serious environmental problems. (See my previous post on hydro-fracking.) Heavy metals lace our water and soil in many of our communities. There is also a long list of chemicals that people around the world must now contend with in their drinking water. The latest threat that the people of Japan and surrounding areas are facing is contamination from the nuclear power generators that were damaged during their recent earthquake. Emissions from the Fukushima plant are at dangerous levels and swaths of the area surrounding the plant have been evacuated. There is a big demand for water treatment that eliminates radioactive particles. The good news is that a company in California, Nuwater Concepts, has developed a home water filter (TRAP) that removes radioactive particles of concern released from nuke plants. I’ve been working with them to keep me supplied with this new product and I expect to receive my first shipment sometime within the next week. I've already got them listed in my Highwater Filters store, but not quite ready to take orders yet. Please check back to see when they become available, or email us at info@highwaterfilters.com to be notified as soon as they are available for sale in our webstore. If you are backpacking or hiking in the wilderness, or traveling overseas, Katadyn water filters are a popular Swiss-made brand of water filters that to those in-the-know are considered one of the best filters available anywhere. If you are concerned about your home drinking water, it behooves you to get your water tested in a lab. This will greatly benefit you when choosing a water filter. [caption id="attachment_393" align="alignleft" width="150"] The PurestOne home purifier[/caption] We just added the PurestOne home purifier that I think is one of the best deals on the market. It’s well-constructed, carries a lifetime warranty on the housing, and removes an impressive amount of contaminants from your tap water. And it’s made in the U.S.A. Feel free to comment on this blog and ask a question about your specific water treatment need. If I don’t know the answer, I can at least try to find out. Thanks for reading!
T.R.A.P. radiation filterWe are anxiously awaiting a shipment of a brand new product that will filter out iodine-131, cesium-137, strontium-90, as well as other radioisotopes and other harmful contaminants from water. It’s the T.R.A.P. radiation filter developed by NuWater Concepts. This is an exciting new product that has been developed to meet the growing needs of the people in Japan who are immediately threatened by harmful radioactive emissions, and for people who are concerned about radioactive contaminants in drinking water across the globe. Check out the Highwater Filters store for product information and contact us at info@highwaterfilters.com if you want to be notified when we have the filters ready to ship. We will have two models of countertop home water filters. There is a white plastic model and a chrome model. You can see them here. Made in U.S.A!
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.