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July 21,2010 - Water water everywhere...

Most folks in the US don't think about the quality of the water they get when they turn on the tap. Drinkable water from the faucet is expected. Earlier this Spring, a huge pipe which brings clean water into Boston burst and plunged the city into a water emergency. For a few days, residents had to pay a little more attention to their water. As it turned out, the water supply was fine and no one was really at risk during that period. However, we did field a bunch of questions about water filtration and the like. As the weather now hovers in the 90's more often than not, we thought it timely to talk a little about proper hydration and water-related topics.

While the water from the tap is usually very clean, it might not be very tasty. Sometimes it is because the pipes are rusty. Other times it may be due to the clorination or other processing residues. None of it is particularly harmful, but it can alter the "character" of the water. For great tasting water, running it through activated charcoal will usually take out any odor or odd taste. One convenient way to do that is to put a filter on the faucet. While this is possible at home, you can't do tht when you are out an about. This is where something like the Hydros portable filter comes in handy.

Hydros is a BPA-free plastic water bottle that has an antimicrobial FastFlow filter as a cap. The reusable filter water bottle is made from Eastman’s Tritan™ plastic, which is chemical and heat-resistant. Dropped it? It won’t break. Dishwasher safe? Of course. When the Hydros people say the filter is fast flowing, they are not exaggerating. Hydros' Fast Flow Filter™ technology reduces contaminants from tap water quicker than the typical pitcher filter. The filter uses IonArmour's natural, triclosan-free antimicrobial technology, which actively defends against odor-causing bacteria.

IonArmour®-enhanced products work by using an infusion process that durably embeds microscopic active particles into surfaces, the very places where microbes normally flourish. An untreated water filters can start to smell a little funky after a while. Surfaces of the Hydros filter are infused with these antimicrobial particles and are protected against microbes for the natural life of the product.

Having a fast flowing filter is great. We wished it would fit some of our other plastic bottles. Even though the Hydros' filter will not screw onto any of our Nalgene bottle, it will fit the openings. If we are careful, we could even use it with our CamelBak pack.

Buying and using a Hydros bottle does more than just reduce the plastic waste associated with disposable bottles. One dollar from each Hydros bottle goes toward a water infrastructure project designed to be socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. An example is Gundom, Cameroon, where 2 in 5 children drink unsafe water from tiny streams or ponds. Operation Hydros has teamed up with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) to bring clean water to this village.

By donating $1 ($1=2,000 gallons) from every bottle sale, Hydros helps EWB provide potable water that will be available year-round. You can find out more about the Gundom project here.

After we posted our FirstLook of the ZeroWater unit in March, we got a few of emails from readers who said we should check out a water purification system from HoMedics called Restore. It should be noted that neither the ZeroWater or the Hydros filters will make microbiologically unsafe water SAFE to drink. The Restore system's difference to the other two is that it cleans the water by combining germ-killing UV technology with a water filter. So in addition to removing chemicals and particulate matter from the water, it also actively kills bacteria & viruses which may be too small to filter out using the standard passive methods.

All of this water talk is making us thirsty. We'll go hydrate and will come back and take a FirstLook at the Homedics Restore filtration system next week. There are some difference with the ZeroWater unit which we'll highlight in the FirstLook. In the meantime, don't forget to drink plenty of water and stay cool. It's hot out there. [Permalink] - Water water everywhere...


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