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  • Reverse Osmosis Water

    I have read a little here about water and it is said that RO water is bad for taste? Can it also damage my machine?

  • #2
    Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

    Yep.

    it causes the boiler to oxidise faster on the inside, This shows up as scale deposits and various Oxide compounds in the nooks and crannies of your boiler and group head.

    Put simply, unless youre planning to do a full descale your machine once a month. Dont put Demineralised or Reverse Osmosis treated water through it.

    Cos well, Water is just that good a solvent.

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    • #3
      Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

      Hi David,

      A quick search >>>^^^ on "reverse osmosis" or "RO water" will provide you with plenty to read. In a nutshell, its a no go unless its remineralised post RO treatment.

      Chris

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      • #4
        Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

        All the damage is really secondary. :P

        Primarily it just makes coffee **DULL**. >

        Greg

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        • #5
          Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

          Thanks all..

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          • #6
            Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

            Can reverse osmosis cause climate change?

            The Sydney desalination plant, like others around Australia, uses reverse osmosis to make sea water drinkable.

            The plant at Kurnell on Botany Bay was turned on in January 2010 and it has hardly stopped raining on Sydney since. The water storage dams have risen from half full to over 80% full now due to the rain.

            When working full bore, the desal unit can daily supply about 15% of Sydney’s water needs. Mixed with dam water it shouldn’t effect the flavour of our coffee.

            Happy Valentines Day.

            Barry.

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            • #7
              Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

              It does need to be mixed as well.

              Testing has shown that desal water actually exceeds WHO standards on Cobalt levels so it needs to be shandied down. Operators of desal plants are fighting to get the WHO maximum Cobalt levels tripled.

              We would have been in trouble in Melbourne had we filled empty dams with desal water....

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              • #8
                Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

                As Sydney desal water is shandied in the water mains with dam water, some suburbs will get a higher concentration of RO water than others. So it may effect some coffee.

                It may be a coincidence that the Sydney desal plant was completed at the start of a La Niña weather event, but many Sydneyites are now praying for the return of the El Niño conditions with its droughts, water use restrictions, bushfires, flies, heatwaves, sunshine and barbeques.

                As I look out now, the rain is pelting down.

                Barry.

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                • #9
                  Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

                  Originally posted by 1E3D2E2E25031829323F3D325C0 link=1329116063/5#5 date=1329172148
                  Can reverse osmosis cause climate change?

                  The Sydney desalination plant, like others around Australia, uses reverse osmosis to make sea water drinkable.

                  The plant at Kurnell on Botany Bay was turned on in January 2010 and it has hardly stopped raining on Sydney since. The water storage dams have risen from half full to over 80% full now due to the rain.

                  When working full bore, the desal unit can daily supply about 15% of Sydney’s water needs. Mixed with dam water it shouldn’t effect the flavour of our coffee.

                  Happy Valentines Day.

                  Barry.
                  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
                  Everything else does, so why not?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

                    Originally posted by 617A7365666B120 link=1329116063/8#8 date=1329183120
                    Everything else does, so why not?
                    Aint that the truth!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

                      Any explanation as to the source of the cobalt?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

                        Originally posted by 033C042F2D254E0 link=1329116063/10#10 date=1329196843
                        Any explanation as to the source of the cobalt?
                        Sure is- its roughly the same size as a water molecule- so passes through the membranes easily.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

                          I have to say Im a little skeptical. I actually couldnt find any reference to Cobalt in the WHO Drinking water guidelines (although I understand it to be 0.05 mg/L).

                          I have actually seen reverse osmosis suggested as a method for removal of cobalt from wastewater in journal articles (I spent a short time working in a related industry, and read a quite a lot of the literature, hence my interest).

                          The water in my area has so many dissolved salts it isnt funny; so Id be quite happy if they diluted it with some of the RO water from Kwinana.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

                            Yes I am sceptical too.

                            1] An RO system in your home is not the same as a RO desalination plant.  Desal plants add chemicals to adjust pH etc.  How does the Co concentration increase in the RO product water - does someone have a reference?

                            2] While the size of a Cobalt ion (approx 0.15 nm diameter for Co2+) may be small enough to pass through an RO membrane it is rejected based on its electric charge which is the other mechanism by which RO membranes reject impurities.

                            3] RO membranes are about 97% efficient at removing scale forming ions so where does this extra scale come from?

                            4] As an aside, Cobalt ions and water molecules may have some similar dimensions but they are quite different shapes.

                            5] I have tasted a lot of coffee on machines with and without RO systems feeding them.  I think there is a taste difference but to simply say RO makes coffee taste bad is definitely not true.  A Q-grader I know changed over from a sediment and carbon filter to an RO system for their machine and was stunned by the improved taste.  This is in Perth where mains water has around 500 ppm total dissolved solids.

                            6] Finally, the performance of an RO system is dependent on the feed water.  Mains water in WA ranges from around 200 - 1000 ppm TDS at least. So a properly functioning RO system could produce water ranging from approximately 5 - 100 ppm TDS which I am sure has the potential to taste different.  And thats without considering the differences in the water chemistry.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Reverse Osmosis Water

                              I dont know anything about the cobalt, but I can say that the lack of minerals in the water definitely affects the taste--and in a very negative direction. Ive done the trials.

                              Try running a few litres of commercial de-mineralised water through your machine and see how you like the coffee. A few litres wont unduly harm your machine but youll be able to taste the difference. On a non-hx machine you may have to flush the boiler to taste the RO difference.

                              Search for the "Insanely long water faq" if you are interested in the chemistry, standards, and calculations.

                              And of course its not the RO water itself that tastes bad, its the lack of minerals that flattens the coffee. If the RO water is re-mineralised (usual in coffee installations) or the feed water is so bad that 97% pure is still around 40ppm then there is no issue.

                              Greg

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