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i-care, New Delhi has installed water Purification System in Police Line Ludhiana. It is functioning very well. This has proved to be of immense use to the famillies of Police employees and Police force as well.

Commissioner of police, Ludhiana

Technology (Ionization/Mineralization) - A New Revolutionary Technology

Water is essential to life. But pure, healthy and nutritious drinking water is hard to find.

Which is why to develop our range of advanced water purifiers, the engineers at i-care studied centuries old traditional methods of water cleansing, health and immunity from across the world. They discovered that the use of metals & minerals like silver, copper and zinc was the common outstanding feature of these methodologies worldwide.

For example, the Phoenicians used silver vessels to keep water, wine & vinegar pure during long sea voyages. In America, the first settlers put silver & copper coins in their water barrels to keep them clean. The Greek emperors stored their water in silver flagons and even drank from silver goblets! In India as well, the benefits of copper & silver have been known since ancient times—storing water overnight in a copper vessel and drinking it in the morning is a common tip for good health. Eating with silver plates & spoons is deemed both exclusive and nutritious!

The reason is that these low-soluble metals actually release trace amounts of their ions into the water.

Research proves that copper kills some of the most toxic species of bacteria and viruses. Silver’s bactericidal properties can treat conditions ranging from burns to pneumonia. And Zinc is deemed essential for growth & development.

i-Care incorporates advance technology first used by NASA to provide safe & healthy drinking water to astronauts long space flights. It is ideal for the needs of small families, but while it is compact in size, it is big on performance!

This technology is based on the fact that electrically charged copper ions (Cu2+) in the water search for particles of opposite polarity, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. The positively charged copper ions form electrostatic compounds with negatively charged cell walls of microorganisms. These compounds disturb cell wall permeability and cause nutrient uptake to fail in cell bodies. The copper ions penetrate the cell wall and they create an entrance for silver ions(Ag+) to do the same. The newly entered silver ions bond to various parts of the cell, such as DNA and RNA cellular proteins and respiratory enzymes, causing all life support systems in the cell to be immobilized. This means that there is no more cellular growth or cell division within. Bacteria can no longer multiply and eventually they die out. All the ions remain active until they are absorbed by a microorganism and hence they are our way to a healthy life.

Current Scenario of Drinking Water

The quality of drinking water is deteriorating day by day. It is no longer as pure as it was during our forefather’s time. Primary reasons why tap water may no longer be safe for human consumption are:-

  • Climatic changes, droughts, rampant and uncontrolled industrialization has led to alarming levels of waste being disposed into our water sources such as rivers, water reservoirs and ground well water. Due to ever increasing pollution levels, the water sources are under dire stress and are getting contaminated with dissolved impurities, bacteria, viruses and cyst.

  • Rivers are no longer sufficient to meet society’s ever increasing demand of drinking water and hence there is an increased reliance on ground well water, which contains excessive levels of dissolved impurities making the water hard (khaara).

  • Since the demand for municipal water is greater than the supply and due to the onset of multistory buildings, the practice of storing water in overhead tanks has become more common. These storage tanks are not airtight and become breeding grounds for unwarranted harmful micro-organisms like bacteria and viruses.

The impurities present in drinking water can be classified into:-

Suspended Impurities:- These are the physical impurities which remain suspended in water such as dust, sand, dead insects and harmful micro-organisms like bacteria, viruses and cyst. They lead to discoloration of water and may also cause diseases.

Dissolved Impurities:- These are the chemical impurities which get dissolved and mixed with water. They cannot be removed by simple filtration techniques and require advance technology for removal. These impurities include chemicals, rust, pesticides, insecticides and salts of metals like arsenic, fluoride, iron, calcium etc.

Hence, with the constant deterioration in the quality of water and rise in impurities, it is now imperative to have a water purifier in our kitchens, irrespective of the source of water supply.

Presently available Water Purification Technologies

As the problems of impurities in water are increasing, thankfully so are the solutions to get rid of them. There are many technologies available in the market which can make contaminated water safe for drinking. However, each of these technologies has its inherent advantages and disadvantages. Some are simple and cost-effective, while some are state-of-the-art but expensive.

  • Boiling - This is the most common and widespread form of purification technology available to us. Boiling effectively kills all harmful micro-organisms but has no effect on other suspended impurities like dust, sand, etc. It is also not able to remove dissolved impurities present in the water. The logic being simple- if you boil water containing sugar or salt, the water will still remain sweet or salty.

  • Ultra Violet (UV) Disinfection - Ultra Violet (UV) Disinfection has been in the market for many years now. Some people also refer to this technology as electronic boiling. This technology successfully deactivates harmful micro-organisms like bacteria and viruses but fails to properly deactivate the more harmful ones - cysts. Also, if the water purified through this technology is stored for a long time, then there are chances that the deactivated micro-organisms may reactivate again.

    When used in combination with other filters (sediment and carbon), this technology is quite effective in removing all suspended impurities as well as some of the dissolved gases in water. But similar to Boiling, this technology has no effect on dissolved impurities such as rust, arsenic, fluoride, etc.

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration - RO technology is probably the best known purification technology to the mankind. It effectively removes all harmful micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and cyst. When it is used in combination with other filters (sediment and carbon), it successfully removes all other suspended impurities from water including dissolved gases and organic impurities. The biggest advantage of this technology is that it is able to remove more than 99% of dissolved impurities such as chemicals, rusts, salts of heavy metals, pesticides and insecticides present in water. In fact, RO is the only affordable technology to be able to remove dissolved impurities from water.

However, RO technology has its inherent disadvantages also:-

The process is so efficient that all the dissolved salts (minerals) from the drinking water are filtered out including the essential ones necessary for our body . Water purified through only RO technology is distilled, has a bitter taste (because of no essential minerals) and has pH value lower than 7 which makes it demineralized and acidic.

Further, RO technology uses a very fine membrane which has a pore size of 0.0001 micron. The process requires raw water to be forced at a very high pressure so that water passes through the small pores of the membrane, which blocks the bacteria, germs and other impurities from passing through. However due to variation in day and night temperatures and high speed pressure, some of the pores of the membrane get enlarged after few months of continuous use, allowing harmful micro-organisms to easily pass through it, thereby making the process ineffective in the long run.

Comparison Charts of water purification methods
Process Kill Bacteria Kill Viruses Replenishes micro nutrients Add minerals Works in turbid conditions Uses harmful chemical Leaves chemical residual Maintain long term purity Easy maintain-ance Operating Cost
Chlorination Yes Most No No Yes Yes Yes No No Medium
RO Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No High
Sand Filter No No No No Yes No No No Yes Low
Ultra Filter Yes Yes No No No No No No No High
Ozonisation Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No High
i-care Mineralizer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Low


Health Risks from drinking demineralized water (RO Water)

Demineralised water reduces the water content inside body cells, and increase the excretion of water and minerals through urine. It also upsets the balance of sodium and chlorine ions, and hampers the proper functions of cell membranes, many body enzymes and water- dependent hormones. There is zero or very low intake of calcium, magnesium and essentials micro elements from demineralised water.

Consumers may suffer from tiredness, weakness, headache , muscular cramps and impaired heart rate. Inadequate body water redistribution between various compartments (inside body cells, fluid between body cells, plasma in blood etc.) may compromise the function of vital organs. In severe acute cases, brain o edema, convulsions and metabolic acidosis may occur.

Properties of demineralised RO Water:

Highly aggressive

After the removal of minerals and other dissolved substances, pure water becomes very unstable. The aggressive demineralised water would attack the water distribution pipe and storage tanks, leaching metals and other materials from them and there are higher risks of metal poisoning. If untreated, its distribution through pipes and storage tanks would be impossible.(Source: WHO.2004 paper, section 1)

when demineralised or distilled water is ingested, the intestine has to add electrolytes (mineral ions such as potassium and sodium) to this water first. Hence it would take minerals away from the body reserves. As our bodies always eliminate fluid(urine or sweat) together with salts, intake of demineralised or distilled water results in dilution of the electrolytes dissolved in the body water.( Source: WHO 2004 paper, section 2.1) Long-term use of demineralised water is unnatural and ultimately dangerous. It leads to mineral deficiencies, and cause osteopenia(bone demineralization).

Acidic

Theoretically, pure distilled water or demineralised water should be neutral in pH value(i.e. pH 7). However, because of the unstable nature of such water, it will rapidly absorb carbon dioxide in the air, making the water acidic. Acidic water is not a healthy choice for drinking, it draws minerals and bicarbonate from blood, tissues, bones and teeth to naturalize the acid. Acidosis increase free radicals, increasing the risk of inflammation and cancer.

Poor taste characteristics

Based on a study report by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1980, low-minerals water with a TDS of 25-50 mg/I was described as tasteless.(Source: WHO 2004 paper, section3)

Less thirst quenching (Source: WHO 2004 paper, section 2.1)

Demineralised or distilled water is less thirst quenching than water rich in minerals. This property may affect the amount of water consumed, and induce consumers to turn to other less satisfactory water sources or beverages (e.g. soft drinks, carbonated water, tea, coffee etc.)

For more information please visit world health organization website:
http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutrientschap12.pdf