Monday August 26, 2019

Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plants be Set Up Only in Villages that Have Water Quality Problems

The study covered 21 gram panchayats (GPs), or village level local bodies, in seven states where the highest number of RO plants had been set up

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RO, Plants, Water Quality
The institute undertook a study on the RO plants, which were set up as technology solutions to address quality related problems in drinking water. Pixabay

 National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) has recommended that Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants be set up only in the villages that have water quality problems so as to avoid high costs and maintenance burden.

The institute undertook a study on the RO plants, which were set up as technology solutions to address quality related problems in drinking water.

The study covered 21 gram panchayats (GPs), or village level local bodies, in seven states where the highest number of RO plants had been set up, as per the data provided by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

The study looked at three GPs with RO plants in four southern states, two from west India and one from north India.

RO, Plants, Water Quality
National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) has recommended that Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants be set up only in the villages that have water quality problems. Pixabay

“Our hunch was that possibly, a GP President feels elated to say that he provides RO treated water to his voters, (when in reality the quality of the water is potable). Empirical verification revealed that we were right in every third case,” said Professor P. Sivaram, Head, Centre for Rural Infrastructure, NIRDPR.

Out of the 21 cases studied, eight units have come up at places where they were not required as no quality-related problem in water is observed there. This has several cost implications not only to the state but also to the GPs in terms of maintenance, he added.

In 16 of the 21 GPs, the RO plants are operated by the GP whereas in the other cases, they were found to be operated by private players for profit or by NGOs as part of their rural development programmes.

The study revealed that people were paying Rs 50 to Rs 150 per month depending on the usage. There have been certain unique modes of payment introduced such as swiping the ATM card, coin-operated systems, water coupons, among others, which are easing the burden on the GPs. Yet, challenges continue to persist in their uptake since several families feel the taste of RO-treated water is bland or that it is not affordable and they prefer piped water supply instead.

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In several of the under study states, it was found that the levels of calcium and magnesium fell drastically after the RO treatment, which could potentially cause calcium deficiency in the body.

In rural areas, however, which continue to struggle with contaminated water, the RO reject water can be utilised for other uses such as in school/anganwadi (child care centre) toilets which is being done in some villages in Rajasthan, the report said. (IANS)

Next Story

Water Filtration for Your Refrigerator

Water is one of the most common elements humans should be mindful of

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water filtration
Small filtration pitchers and filtration in refrigerators are also among the resources that have been developed in an attempt to clean the water we ingest. Pixabay

Many years ago, manufacturers began installing an inline filter to assist in the purification of the water used for automatic ice makers as well as for household water filtration. 

Water is one of the most common elements humans should be mindful of. Avoiding impurities, chemicals, and contaminants that occur naturally are used in water filtration by the various water companies servicing the world’s populations. In our daily lives, water affects us in numerous ways.

For years, lead was used in piping connections and infrastructures. Over the years, the piping and connections break down, releasing particles that easily travel through houses.

Arsenic occurs naturally as a byproduct of water desalination in and around the coastal regions throughout the world.

This has contributed to urgently providing safer water for humans to drink. We have evolved to using bottled water, treatment plants, and natural spring waters in more environmentally protected regions. Small filtration pitchers and filtration in refrigerators are also among the resources that have been developed in an attempt to clean the water we ingest.

Water filtration
For years, lead was used in piping connections and infrastructures. Over the years, the piping and
connections break down, releasing particles that easily travel through houses. Pixabay

How do I know what filter my fridge needs? 

Different refrigerators use different water filters; however, you need to purchase the specific model used for your unit.

To know what water filter for fridge you need to purchase, first remove the filter itself from your fridge and the water will stop automatically. Look for a printed note with a number on it and then using the manufacturer’s website, type in the printed number on their search box. A search result will appear for you. Or, if the site has a water filter finder, you can use that as well.

Another way to know is by contacting the manufacturer. Each manufacturer has its recommendation generally posted for guidance as well as the informational basis on their websites.

Water filtration
Different refrigerators use different water filters; however, you need to purchase the specific model used for your unit. Pixabay

Do I need to change the water filter in my refrigerator? 

Water filtration have activated carbon, which after some time, reduces its ability to eliminate contaminants. If consumed, it can cause stomach aches, putting the health of your family at risk.

If the water starts to have an unusual taste, it’s time to change your filter. You need to change it every six months because the overused filter will trap the substances and merge with your drinking water. 

Refrigerators have charcoal-based style filters. These filters are recommended by their manufacturers to be changed between 6 to 12 months. This is also based on usage levels. A family of four should change their filter at approximately six months of regular household use.

Is refrigerator filtered water safe?

water filtration for fridge removes the harmful substances from your water, so it is safe to use. You have to change it when needed to ensure the quality of your drinking water. However, after months of constant use, bacteria can breed in your filter.

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While some fridges come with a light, notifying users that it’s time to change filters, some don’t. Take note of the time you had your water filter replaced and make sure to turn it every six months to avoid getting stomach upsets.