Author Topic: Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis  (Read 1061 times)

LearningMustachian72

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Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis
« on: October 28, 2021, 11:29:32 AM »
Hi,

Considering a Kinetico K5 reverse osmosis system.  Do not necessarily have any issues with our water, simply of the mindset that you cannot be too careful with your health and potential long term benefits outweigh the cost.

Anyone have one? Thoughts?

yachi

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Re: Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2021, 12:34:36 PM »
Do you have a well, or are you on a municipal source where a full-time certified water treatment operator is in charge of testing your drinking water daily and making sure all drinking water meets stringent EPA requirements for more than 90 contaminants?


LearningMustachian72

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Re: Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2021, 01:10:04 PM »
Municipal source, point taken.

mistymoney

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Re: Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2021, 04:06:16 PM »
like flint michigan had?

chicago recently gave out free water zero filters and pitchers because - lead was found in the drinking water.

LearningMustachian72

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Re: Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2021, 04:48:12 PM »
Yeah that is my concern.  Do not necessarily fully trust reporting and of the mindset that the cost outweighs potential risks even with testing.

yachi

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Re: Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2021, 08:00:29 AM »
General Motors saw the problem with flint's water switch early, and 6 months later they had a separate water source.  They basically said this water's too corrosive screw it, we'll us a different source so it's not our problem.  And then it wasn't their problem, so they didn't help anyone else with their problems either.

I don't want to encourage home water treatment systems like these for a number of reasons, one of them being that a bifurcated water system is bad for society.  Imagine the richest 20% in your state all have their own, redundant water treatment systems like these.  The rest rely on the water being properly treated at the plant.  For the 20% who afforded it, it becomes not their problem.  Who has the money, and cares enough to hold the local water plant responsible to provide a safe drinking water supply?  Worse is for our system to bifurcate to where those agencies setting drinking water standards start to rely on the redundant treatment systems.

I don't know where you are in your financial journey, but some of us are quite wealthy compared to others who live with the same water supplies.  If you're considering this system, you likely have that ability to influence your water utility to be better for the whole community, not just your own house.  But you don't seem to know if it's the best system in the country, or an average system.  Some alternatives to installing your own system, or things you should consider doing before installing your own system include:
  • Investigating whether your service area even has any lead pipes -many don't due to efforts by local water utilities to find and replace all leaded pipes
  • Pushing your utility's timeline on lead pipe replacement efforts
  • Reviewing your utility's water sampling results, and getting knowledgeable about what they mean
  • Petitioning your local utility to do more if you see an issue
  • Periodically sending out your own water sample to be tested
  • Investigating your own home's plumbing to see if you have lead pipes.  They were banned in 1986, but not always used prior to that.


LearningMustachian72

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Re: Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2021, 08:48:07 AM »
@yachi

Thank you for the note.

My concern arose due to my city redoing their water treatment facility to resolve an issue of trace amounts of  1, 4-dioxane in the water.

While building the new facility, they switched to using a neighboring cityís system and some home owners reported lead in their water.  The city does not use lead components but the switch from our hard water to neighboring cities non-hard caused lead to come off of pipes in homes.

 They said that this should be resolved when they switch back to hard water and the mineral coating of the pipes is re-established. 

I tested my water during this time and had lead levels of 4.5 ug/l.  My understanding is that this is below the epa standard of 15 ug/l but that still no level is safe.

The city does send out reports now and all levels are safe.  I am more concerned with once the water is entering my home system.  Home was built in 1976.

Anyone knowledgeable in this area, please weigh in.


myrrh

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Re: Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2021, 12:18:14 PM »
Your household only has two adults at this time, correct? The greatest risk from lead is to young children and pregnant/nursing mothers; non-pregnant adults have a much lower risk. And lead paint, for homes built before 1978, is a much higher risk than drinking water with lead levels below the EPA MCL. I'd test the paint before I start installing an RO system, especially given the results of 4.5 ug/L during the switch in water supply.

RO systems are great if you have contaminant levels above EPA or state limits, but if your drinking water is safe I would not install an RO system, first because they require a lot of maintenance ($$ and time) and can have a big learning curve to operate properly (not to mention take up a lot of space under the sink), second because they waste about five gallons per one purified gallon of drinking water, degrading the water quality for the downstream users and the environment, third because it's only good at the tap you put it at, not the whole house (if you have a water line to the fridge, it's very difficult to impossible to install an RO system for it).

Some resources:
https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-sources-lead#testdw
https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=500025PW.txt

Sanitary Stache

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Re: Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2021, 01:14:24 PM »
This is the best drinking water thread on the MMM forums that I have seen!

So many reasonable and knowledgeable responses.

I appreciate @yachi 's comments the most.  Safe Drinking water is an equity issue. I also resonate with myrrh's comment about the relative danger of long term exposure to lead and potential sources of contamination.  I would definitely advocate for removing all lead pipe, leaded brass fixtures, and easy to access lead soldered copper pipe and galvanized steel pipe in your house plumbing before purchasing a short lived, wasteful, point-of-use RO system.  I would also say that mistymoney has a good point too, don't blindly trust the safety of your drinking water, the US has good regulation of public drinking water, but not all of it is perfect all the time and water system's are subject to the same forces of inequity as all other US institutions. 

Removing lead materials from the drinking water distribution network is the only way to achieve the maximum contaminant level goal of 0 ppb.  The US does not currently have a regulation in place to achieve this goal.  Part of the infrastructure funding legislation that is in limbo makes a lane for a lot of money to remove leaded pipes from public drinking water systems.  This money isn't available yet, but it will most likely be used to replace buried leaded pipes and not premise plumbing.  Activism is needed to move this money from the under the streets into the homes (though removing buried leaded pipes will be helpful and the money will motivate many water system's to stop pretending they don't have buried leaded pipe).

If you are concerned about lead leaching from your pipes into your drinking water, replace your leaded pipes and fixtures.  I have not had my home water tested for lead, I know my municipal water is not especially corrosive and I have replaced all of my fixtures.  Visual inspection of pipe in the basement confirms no lead pipes, though my brass fittings and lead solder will have a lead content. 

Though I am not concerned about lead for myself, I always run the water for 20 seconds before giving it to my kids from the tap, I think this gets water from the pipes in the street to my bathroom tap.  No one in the house is allowed to drink from the hot water tap.  I have my children's blood lead levels checked, but I am not concerned about my own development at this stage.

Britan

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Re: Kinetico K5 - Reverse Osmosis
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2021, 05:28:41 PM »
For anyone interested, the EWG tests and releases results of water tests for a good many municipalities
https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/
In many cases, tap water meets federal guidelines, but due to antiquated guidelines, there are still a number of contaminants that are often higher than actual recent scientific recommendations. So I donít think itís out of line for OP to be a little bit concerned. Though I agree that advocating for and voting for change at the system level is an overall better option than installing a personal system and calling it a day.

In our case, because our city does have a history of lead contamination and we have young kids, we did install a filter at our kitchen tap. EWG also includes a guide to water filtration, and youíll note that reverse osmosis actually is only necessary for a few specific contaminants. Because our water doesnít contain those specific contaminants, and because reverse osmosis is highly wasteful of water (something like 3-25 gal can be wasted per 1 gal drinking water produced), we went with an under sink carbon filter system (aquasana claryum 3 stage), which removes lead, along with a number of other contaminants in our particular city according to EWG, and was a fairly simple DIY install. It was on sale earlier this week but doesnít appear to be any more. There are likely cheaper options, as I think some top of the line pitcher filters will even get lead, but you have to check specifically which contaminants they filter out because not all filters are created the same.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!