Highwater Marks

Here we demonstrate how to avoid the problem of bucket water warming up too fast by cooling the Vortex coil directly in the river. Worked like a charm.

For more information and to purchase the Vortex, please visit our website.

Do you lug bottles or jugs from the store with purified or "natural" water because you don't trust the water coming from your tap? What makes you trust the water in those bottles? Did you know that bottled water is not regulated and has no real guarantees for quality? Could what is in those bottles be making you sick?

An old friend of mine recently asked me for a suggestion for an alternative to bottled water because she is concerned about BPA in the bottles she buys from the store. I told her she has good reason to be worried. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is an industrial chemical used in some plastics, including many water bottles. Studies have  shown that it can seep from plastic into food and beverages. Although the FDA currently considers it safe in small amounts, evidence is building that it could have negative effects on children and fetuses, even in small doses. BPA is an endocrine disruptor. It mimics estrogen. In 2006, the US gathered 38 experts to review studies and they concluded that: "BPA at concentrations found in the human body is associated with organizational changes in the prostate, breast, testis, mammary glands, body size, brain structure and chemistry, and behavior of laboratory animals." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A)

The FDA is continuing to study the effects of BPA but has yet to recommend a total ban. Does this make you feel more secure? Not me. Besides possible negative health effects from bottled water, the problem of plastic trash littering our roadways, water bodies and landfills just makes filtered tap water all the more practical. Add to that significant costs and inconvenience of buying water from the store and a filter at your tap becomes that much more attractive.   Now is an excellent time to invest in a water filter system for your home. I used to lug 5 gallon jugs home with reverse osmosis water, which was good but cumbersome to handle. Now I just turn on my tap and have great tasting, clean water.

Do yourself a favor and make your life easier and healthier. Start drinking clean, great tasting water straight from your tap. We've got a number of systems to choose from. Check them out here. And if you are looking for something portable to treat water, we've got a great inventory of affordable and effective products for camping, backpacking, travel and emergency use at Highwater Filters.

Thanks for stopping by!  

[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!      
Let us never forget the tragedy following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan a year ago.  On March 11, 2011, life changed irreversibly for many people living in proximity to the nuclear power plant at Fukushima. From now until Monday, I will donate 10% of all purchases to the victims of Fukushima. Proceeds will be donated to Architecture for Humanity, who have been working courageously to provide housing to those who lost everything a year ago. Visit our Highwater Filters web store to get the best prices on Katadyn, Sawyer, TRAP radiation filters, LifeSaver portable distiller kits, PurestOne, and more. Thanks for caring.
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!
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
Dr. Helen Caldicott is arguably the world's leading expert on the effects of radioactivity on the human body. She is the founder of  Physicians for Social Responsibility and she has been a relentless voice of reason for decades. Her dire warnings about the dangers of nuclear power have rendered many, many people speechless. In her April 30th  Op-Ed article in the New York Times (Unsafe at Any Dose), Dr. Caldicott puts the recent nuclear accident at Fukushima, Japan in clear perspective. She states: "doctors know that there is no such thing as a safe dose of radiation, and that radiation is cumulative." Dr. Caldicott describes the cancers and miscarriages that occurred, and continue to occur long after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. She explains how leukemia can take 5-10 years to emerge, but most cancers take 15-60 years. She cites a publication from the New York Academy of Sciences that says over a million cases of cancer deaths and diseases have resulted since Chernobyl. Leaders in the nuclear power industry and some government officials may downplay the significance of elevated emissions of radioactive isotopes. There are good reasons they want us in the dark about the dangers. It's people like Dr. Helen Caldicott who know the truth about the hazards of nuclear power and nuclear war and are not afraid to speak out. She is a true planetary hero. Incidently, if you know anything about Dr. Helen Caldicott, she has really been a beacon in the anti-nuclear movement for many, many years. When I was a member of the Environmental Action Committee as a college student at Plattsburgh State University of New York in the early 80's, we had Dr. Caldicott speak at our annual Towards Tomorrow Festival. The National Film Board of Canada came down from Montreal and filmed her speech. It is forever documented in the film "If You Love This Planet." It won an Academy Award for short documentary and required a disclaimer/trailer in the U.S. that it was deemed propaganda by the US government! I was in the audience in the film. I could go on about Dr. Helen Caldicott. She is my hero! If You Love This Planet 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.  
Update: Highwater Filters is proud to offer the TRAP radiation filter for home water filter system. We have countertop and under counter systems that are compatible with the TRAP cartridges. These filters were designed after Fukushima to address the needs of the people of Japan following the tragic tsunami. The media used is zeolite and ion exchange. Zeolite is ancient volcanic ash that is effective in removing radioactive particles and is used at the Hanford Nuclear Reserve. Ion exchange is recommended by the EPA for removal of radiological isotopes. 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.