Boiling Water

Discussion in 'Science' started by Whisper, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Phalanx

    Phalanx Member

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    I have nothing to contribute, but a bloody interesting read, thanks guys :thumbup:

    I guess I always just turn on the tap and glug away without a thought. Time to go read about the water treatment where I live (Canada. But there are so many fresh water lakes/rivers that treated sewerage won't happen for a long, long time)
     
  2. brenton1987

    brenton1987 Member

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    You should use unboiled water since boiling removes dissolved oxygen. The more dissolved oxygen in the water the nicer the tea.

    Why?
     
  3. screamer

    screamer Member

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    Welcome Phalanx, not sure if you know but Canada is famous here among water quality people.

    It happend in the year 2000.... I got an email from colleague to visit the Canadian Broadcasting Commission website about a disease outbreak. Very soon emails were flooding across Australia to all water utilities.

    The reason was the waterborne disease tradegy in the town of Walkerton Ontario. Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkerton_Tragedy where around 2000 people became ill in a town of 5000 and 7 people died. Think about what would happen if it was a city the size of Melbourne with 3.5M people !

    Our water quality scientists have a good relationship with their Canadian colleagues. The Walkerton event (plus the apparent problems in Sydney in 1998), changed how we approach risks in water - the risk based multiple barrier approach that I spoke about previously. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines mentioned by KrAzEe were developed shortly after the event. They are now the basis for the current World Health Organisation Guidance on Drinking Water (their Water Safety Plan approach is the same as our risk based approach).

    I've met Justice Dennis O'Connor - who led the Walkerton investigating commission and did the most thorough investigation of a water borne outbreak since John Snow! His report is most impressive and in the wikipedia references.

    So despite the tragedy - we can thank Canada for the modern water quality guidelines we have spreading around the world. They are also the basis for drinking recycled water - where Australia has just produced the first guidance in the world in this area!

    You are indeed lucky to have so much fresh water over there. Its a luxury we dont have here. But water quality issues are the same in all countries!
     
  4. TRAG!C

    TRAG!C Member

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  5. screamer

    screamer Member

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    Have to agree with TRAG!C.

    Have a look at this really nasty chemical - http://www.dhmo.org/ and its all true :shock:
     
  6. nudge

    nudge Member

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    Wow, interesting read guys, especially screamer for your details about water filtration :) Just made me look up the water supply here in the Netherlands.
    I've been living over here for about a year now, and I must say the tap water quality is quite good (well tastes fine anyway), i think they use mainly groundwater with lots of filtration. Supposedly there is an increasing problem with increased usage of fertilizer on farms (nitrate-rich) so they have to filter that out.

    A few years back i built a prototype using transducers to launch acoustic waves to filter/trap dirt and particles water, it is impressive to see in action! @screamer do you know if this technique is used widely in industry?
     
  7. screamer

    screamer Member

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    Welcome Nudge,

    been to Amserdam once about 5 years ago and spoke to the CEO and Technical Director of the major water company servicing the city. The Dutch are very interesting. They have a national water research group called KIWA which is world renowned. Our water researchers do quite a bit with KIWA (as well as some Canadian groups).

    Through KIWA they have developed their concept of "biologically pure" water. Because they have a pretty average catchment (the Rhine R) and groundwater (and as you say farms contribute nitrate to ground water), they have some of the most extensive treatment systems in the world. The groundwater is pretty hard - so they have to remove calcium and magnesium as well.

    About half of the Netherlands uses groundwater and half from the Rhine River.

    I think Amsterdam gets most of their water from the Rhine River. They filter it through the "polders" (sand dunes), and then have a very extensive (ie multi barrier) treatment process - much greater treatment than here. Their last stage is "slow sand biologically active filters" - (these filters were the first form of water treatment in the 1800's - just after John Snow.)

    The treatment all acts to remove almost all the residual organic material in the water - so leaving it biologically pure. Consequently they don't use chlorine as a disinfectant - so you wont taste or smell chlorine over there.

    But their extensive treatment costs a lot - last time I looked I think they were around $3-5$ per kilolitre (we are around $1.50).

    I have heard about "acoustic waves" - for some industrial treatment applications - but I dont believe they are used in the major metropolitan water systems. Not sure why - maybe cost / energy at large scale?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009

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