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· Q & A

 

FILTER ELEMENT TECHNICAL DETAILS

Our goal in developing the RVF-1 filtration system was to reduce offensive and potentially harmful components that may be found in water, such as chlorine, pathogens and other contaminants. The system had to be capable of servicing the entire RV from the point-of-entry. We soon realized that there is no one single filter available that can do everything we were looking for. So, a double filter arrangement was adopted. Both filters are small (2.5 x 10 inches) and are easily maintained.

The Cove Systems RVF-1 water filtration system uses two of the most advanced water filters available today. Both are manufactured from high tech, patented materials and processes. The prefilter has the ability to effectively reduce many contaminants (in particle form) by employing electroadhesive adsorption. This includes sub-micron & colloidal particles, iron oxides and most microorganisms. The prefilter has a huge dirt holding capacity, far greater than any other comparable filter on the market today. The final filter, an extruded activated carbon block unit, was selected due to its chlorine and odor reduction capabilities along with its ability to remove certain metals. It also serves as a “backup” to the prefilter for reduction of pathogenic contaminants. Pre-filtering the water is essential to realize a useful life from the final filter. Hence, the two selected filters compliment each other very well.

Contaminants typically captured by the RVF-1 system include bacteria, viruses, cysts (Giardia and Cryptosporidium) and other pathogenic microorganisms such as Legionella, Anthrax, Cholera, E-Coli and Salmonella. Turbidity (typically seen as cloudiness), chlorine, trihalomethanes and lead are also reduced to exceptionally low levels. The beneficial dissolved minerals that give water its taste and which our bodies need are retained. A brief description of each filter cartridge follows.

PREFILTER

The manufacturer of our prefilter is a company that specializes in water purification technologies, ultrafilters, nano metals and nano oxide powders. The unique proprietary technology incorporated in the prefilter is highly electropositive and rapidly adsorbs particles, no matter how small. The active ingredient in this filter is a nano alumina fiber, incorporated in a standard sized 2.5 x 10 inch pleated filter cartridge. The average pore size is 2-3 microns, yet the filter functions as if it were rated as an Absolute 0.2 micron filter due to its electropositive adsorption properties. The media has demonstrated a capacity to capture contaminates smaller than .03 microns and colloidal particles to 25 nanometers in size.

Flow rates and its capacity to capture and retain particulate are tens to hundreds of times greater than equivalent performing membrane filters.  There is nothing on the market as unique as this patented filter technology.

Waterborne pathogenic microorganisms are a major source of disease worldwide. Manufacturer laboratory testing determined that the prefilter retains viruses, bacteria, silica, natural organic matter, metals, endotoxins, DNA and protozoa. Turbidity of the effluent is typically below 0.01 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) until the filter is exhausted. As a comparison, municipal water that is produced under EPA guidelines is allowed up to 1.0 NTU. 

Cove Systems, Inc. sponsored independent lab tests of this filter for removal of bacteria and virus. The lab is state and federally certified for water testing. Several runs were performed at varying levels of contamination, providing a good database on removal rates. In every test, 100% removal of bacteria was demonstrated. To determine the effectiveness of the filter in removing virus, a very large concentration of simulated Hepatitis A particles were used. The filter achieved 99.99% virus removal.  While this was not 100% effective, it must be noted that the probability of finding this high a concentration of virus in your water are virtually non-existent. Lab Test Results

The technology found in our prefilter was developed, in part, under a NASA contract to create a filter with the ability to purify recyclable water for long duration space flight. Military researchers also have an interest and are sponsoring tests and further development of this technology for water and air purification as well as the collection of biological agents.

A FEW WORDS ABOUT CHLORINE

Our research indicates that a large percentage of the water we use in our RV’s is from a public water supply. And virtually all public water supplies in the U.S. are chlorinated. Chlorine and its by-products are suspected carcinogens. Not only that, chlorinated water simply doesn’t taste good. Chlorine serves an important function in that it does kill many of the biological contaminants commonly found in drinking water. Okay, so chlorination is required. But consider for a moment three important points. First, if chlorine kills bacteria, what happens when we drink chlorinated water? Our digestive system relies on good bacteria to process the food we eat. If we drink chlorinated water, it is going to do its job and kill the desirable bacteria in our digestive tract. Not good. The following link is very informative. http://www.selene.com/healthlink/chlor.html

Second, chlorine in our water turns to gas very quickly. When we shower or bathe in chlorinated water, we inhale several times more chlorine than we consume in drinking water. Also, our skin readily absorbs it. Third, there is now evidence that chlorinated water, when used with anti-bacterial soap, produces chloroform, recognized by the government as a carcinogen.

Chlorine is a double-edged sword. It can protect us from a wide variety of water-borne contaminants but it can also contribute to serious illnesses and even kill us. Additionally, when it comes in contact with organic contaminates, chlorine produces trihalomethanes (THM’s). The term “trihalomethanes” encompasses a group of organic compounds including chloroform, bromoform and several other harmful contaminants. This is a very real threat that is now being recognized by the scientific and medical communities.

So what are we to do? Our solution is to use chlorine to disinfect water, but reduce our exposure to it as much as possible. There are a number of ways to remove chlorine. The two more popular chlorine reduction processes use KDF and/or carbon media.  KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) is a process based upon the principle of oxidation/reduction. This is an effective process but KDF can impart a “taste” to water that some people find objectionable. Various other methods use carbon filtration, which relies on chlorine adsorption. Carbon filters are very common and come in a large number of configurations. In today’s water filtration industry, the most optimum carbon filter is made into a solid brick or block. There are many ways to do this and we have found the most effective brick is an extrusion made from very fine carbon dust. Pore size can be controlled and is available down to 0.5 microns or less. A major consideration in using carbon is its inherent ability to encourage bacterial growth. The small pore size of our selected final filter inhibits bacterial growth because there is not enough room for them to multiply. The small pore size also improves the contact time with the passing water, enhancing chlorine removal.

FINAL FILTER

Our final filter is an extruded, activated, rigid carbon block manufactured under a patented, solid-state process. It is rated at 0.5 microns nominal and 1.0 microns, absolute. This filter reportedly meets NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for reduction of chlorine taste and odor. Published claims also indicate removal or reduction of other contaminants, such as Entamoeba, Giardia, Crytosporidium, Toxoplasma and certain metals such as lead. The materials used to manufacture this filter are certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 42.

Cove Systems, Inc. sponsored independent lab tests of this filter media to verify certain claims. These tests were performed by a state and federally certified water testing facility. We established a test plan to look at chlorine removal rates in “real world” terms.  We also wanted to look at trihalomethanes and lead removal. The testing was accomplished using normal, everyday municipal tap water with unrestricted flow rates. Manufacturer data indicates a flow rate of .75 GPM during their tests. In our testing the flow rates were close to 2.5 GPM.

The results were very reassuring and validate manufacturer claims for the tested contaminants. Lab Results

CONCLUSIONS

Our test programs for the two selected filters were primarily developed to verify manufacturer claims on a somewhat subjective basis. As with any new company, our budget has not been unlimited. Our goal was to analyze the more critical manufacturer claims and then select various test points to verify those claims under normal, every day circumstances. If the claims could be verified, the assumption could then be made, with high probability, that all other claims were accurate. Please take a moment to review the test results in their entirety. The reports are under Lab Results located on this web site. Bear in mind that the tests performed represent “snapshots” of performance, using new filters and unrestricted flow rates.

 Our initial goal included development of an effective water filtration system for recreational vehicles that was small, lightweight, easy to use and inexpensive. We have met these goals. Using the RVF-1 in conjunction with the other maintenance procedures we present to you on this web site will provide safe, clean, good tasting water for you to drink, cook and clean with, make ice cubes and bathe in. As you travel you will encounter available water quality ranging from good to extremely poor and in some cases, dangerous. The RVF-1 filter system will process and standardize this water very consistently. The system was designed to process water normally found in our RV parks around the country. It is not designed to process swamp water, sewage water or seawater. In our research we investigated virtually hundreds of available filters. The two filters ultimately selected represent the best of the best. You can be confident that we have done our homework.

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History | Technical Details | Lab Reports


· Installing & Maintaining the RVF-1 System | Bottling & Storing Drinking Water

RV Water System Cleaning | Treating Fresh Water for Storage | Pickling the Water System


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