Tips on having your own urban allotment/planter at home
How do you choose the right water-treatment system for your home?
The water that we consume doesn’t have the same quality in all regions in Spain, as this depends on the particular calcium and magnesium salts content in the rocks of the area where it runs. For this reason, it’s very important to know how hard the water is where you live.
Water is considered to be hard when it contains a high concentration of calcium and magnesium ions, while soft water has a low concentration of these minerals. As you can see on the map, the water in Menorca is very hard.
Types of water according to its hardness:
- Very soft water: less than 50mg/l of calcium carbonate
- Soft water: between 50 and100 mg/l of calcium carbonate
- Hard water: between 100 and 200 mg/l of calcium carbonate
- Very hard water: more than 200 mg/l of calcium carbonate
A high level of hardness lowers the quality of the water we drink and use for cooking, for showering, laundering clothes, etc. or cleaning our homes. This type of water can have a more unpleasant taste and cause both skin and kidney problems. In addition, it can also affect performance in white goods and water-heaters and harden fabric.
A high concentration of calcium and magnesium ions creates limestone build-up, meaning that you can consume 15% more power to heat up water and on heating. Limestone build-up also causes stains on taps, shower-screens, tiles and crockery etc, and also clogs up pipes.
More limestone in the water makes washing more difficult: soap doesn’t foam and it marks surfaces, while some detergents are not as efficient and don’t perform as well on laundry, glassware and cutlery and you tend to need more cleaning products.
Fortunately, there are various types of treatments to combat water hardness and ensure safe drinking water.
The main purpose of decalcification is to eliminate the limestone and magnesium from the water. This process consists of exchanging calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. The units work through ion-exchange resins, thus obtaining salts which soften the water and don’t encrust the pipework. Then, on regeneration, the ion-exchange resin discharges the collected calcium and magnesiun into the soakaway.
A decalcification unit will make the water that comes out of the tap clearer, it will protect pipework and white goods as the flow supply will improve. This will allow for more pressure and energy-saving, you’ll notice that your hair and skin is softer after a shower, and laundry will also feel softer after washing.
You will need to buy regenerating salt for the decalcification unit. The amount of salt needed varies depending on the number of regeneration cycles and the size of the decalcifier but, to give you an idea, the average amount of salt needed for a family of 4 is for 100kg per annum, which is four sacks.
Your decalcifier will need periodic maintenance to ensure that it works properly: keep a regular eye on the salt level in the deposit (at least 1/3 of its height), check on the protective filter and clean the resins in the decalcifier every 6 months, and carry out a complete maintenance job on the unit every year.
Reverse osmosis systems purify water by means of a semipermeable membrane which separate impurities in the water. A reverse osmosis unit turns tap water into quality water, eliminating any dissolved material and other type of harmful elements it may contain such as organic compounds, heavy metals, nitrates, bacteria, viruses and pyrogens, and achieving complete desalination.
This process allows for water that is cleaner, purer and low in mineral content, apt for consumption. It has a high quality and prevents the pipework corroding or any build-up of sediment. In addition, water that is free of impurities heats up faster and thus saves on energy.
The system is completely environmentally friendly, as no harmful products are utilised.
Reverse osmosis is the most efficient process of the different water-treatment systems. Maintenance is also very easy, simply requiring regular changing of the filters and membrane.
It’s important to take into account that the reverse osmosis unit’s water flow is limited, so it’s better to use it for just one part of your home, such as the kitchen tap.
By installing a unit like the Cillit Bonaqua Pump, suitable for most homes, you can reduce the salt concentration in water by 90% and totally eliminate any harmful elements and substances. Plus, water treated with this unit works out up to 200 times cheaper than buying bottled water.
In homes with a decalcifier, it’s advisable to also install a reverse osmosis unit to eliminate excess sodium and ensure a purer, better quality of water. The combination of these two systems in your home will provide you with perfect water.
A filter system consists of filtering water through a porous object which removes and contains any impurities, separating them from the water so that they don’t penetrate the interior installation of buildings, thus preventing corrosion in pipework and problems with tap systems in white goods.
There are different types of filters available:
- Cartridge filters, in which the filtering mesh must be cleaned when dirty.
- Self-cleaning filters that are manually activated.
- Automatic self-cleaning filters.
Your choice of filter will depend on the hardness of the water that needs treating and the type of protective system.
At Jaype, we have a more basic range of filters suitable for home use, and another more technical range for any industrial purposes.
We also have more types of water treatment systems that we can give you more details on at our store in Menorca, whether you need them for your home or an industrial site: purifiers, dispensers, anti-fouling systems, strainers, decontamination units.