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Thread: How safe is the bulk water from grocery stores?

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    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    It is my understanding that the machines here (I think they are Glacier) use RO filters and some other filters. So I have used it for years.
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Both the Glacier and Culligan dispensers use Reverse Osmosis. Culligan made their name selling water softening units and is one of the big names in water filtration and processing.

    The only major difference I see between the dispensers is that the Glacier units have a second carbon filtration and UV treatment step following the RO filter.

    When using bulk water dispensers make sure that they use RO filtration and have been serviced within 6 months.
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    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Finally got my TDS meter today, and tested some things.

    My tap = 490. Ugh.

    Tap after running through a "Brita Filter" on the faucet = 460. So - basically that filter is useless. But, it is one month old. So I'll put a new filter on and retest.

    Bottle of "Purified Drinking Water" - 110.

    And finally, the bulk water which I was so curious about in the first place

    Drum roll

    ...
    .
    .
    ...

    19! Wooohoo! It is safe indeed. Very good news!

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    Great to hear. I bet there are machines with even lower TDS ratings around, especially after a recent servicing. The Glacier machines have a display which registers its last servicing date but I'll have to break out the old meter and check anyway.

    The most recent jug registered 2.4 ppm. At .35 cents a gallon, I can well live with that, gas and all, and forego the whole RO unit maintenance drill for the time being . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

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    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    You probably won't see much difference with a new Brita filter on your faucet. That type of filter is usually a carbon filter which removes chlorine and some other chemicals but doesn't remove many dissolved minerals. Some brands, like PÜR, sell filters that add minerals back into the water.
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    Well, it killed off much of my plant collection if that helps ya!

    Actually, it was fine for a bit and would have continued to be fine had the company just kept up with it. I started getting suspicious about the high death toll on my shelf and in the yard this spring so I had it tested and came out hard. I now drive across town and fill the 5 gal jugs at a place that I trust instead of the one 30 seconds from the house.

    I'd say (and I apologize if I'm repeating since I haven't read through all responses yet) to take a sample to a pet store's fish dept and get it tested. If safe, enjoy it but maybe get it tested periodically to ensure that the place is keeping up with it. I tested at first and then nothing until all sarracenia seedlings were dead as well as most sarrs coming out of dormancy.

    Definitely go for it as long as you know that it is safe.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightsky View Post
    Finally got my TDS meter today, and tested some things.

    My tap = 490. Ugh.

    Tap after running through a "Brita Filter" on the faucet = 460. So - basically that filter is useless. But, it is one month old. So I'll put a new filter on and retest.
    Interesting, when I tested a "Britta Filter" it cut the TDS by about half. I don't recall the exact numbers (posted elsewhere, too lazy to search) like 360 to 180 - still too high in any case. Filter was old.

    Quote Originally Posted by ilbasso View Post
    Well, it killed off much of my plant collection if that helps ya!

    I'd say (and I apologize if I'm repeating since I haven't read through all responses yet) to take a sample to a pet store's fish dept and get it tested. If safe, enjoy it but maybe get it tested periodically to ensure that the place is keeping up with it. I tested at first and then nothing until all sarracenia seedlings were dead as well as most sarrs coming out of dormancy.

    Definitely go for it as long as you know that it is safe.
    As always caveat emptor. A TDS meter is essential. I'd prefer using the machines closer to home since there were two of them and the readings were lower than the machine I'm currently using. Just the homeless keep peeing in the other machines.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    Interesting, when I tested a "Britta Filter" it cut the TDS by about half. I don't recall the exact numbers (posted elsewhere, too lazy to search) like 360 to 180 - still too high in any case. Filter was old.



    As always caveat emptor. A TDS meter is essential. I'd prefer using the machines closer to home since there were two of them and the readings were lower than the machine I'm currently using. Just the homeless keep peeing in the other machines.
    Another case in point to follow Not a Number's advice and purchase a TDS meter:

    An old friend who was growing orchids and began using "soft" water in the belief that it was supposedly safer than her well-water (at around 125 ppm) and that it did wonders for her long blonde hair (it really did) had a fairly rude awakening, when all of the mosses in her baskets and pots began to die off.

    We tested it the other day and it was 447 ppm -- higher in TDS than the NaCl solution often used to calibrate the meters (at 342 ppm) . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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