Mar 18 2012

Review: PNW Water Filters

While some of you may think that advertising is simply about money, and any company that advertises on this site is simply a business hoping to make a buck off of you, I’m here to say that view that doesn’t account for every perspective.

As skiers we know the value of good water.

For instance, the advertisers that are on this site, except for most of the Google Ads, are chosen by myself as advertisers because I like their product or the product they offer and think that it has value to many of you. I don’t like the Google Ads. I was hopeful they would be better filtered, but I think the sort of companies this site should hope to attract perhaps are not on the Google plan, and thus won’t ever show up.

This site is built on promoting the earn your turns philosophy. Backcountry skiing is but one expression of that perspective. So too is living healthy, and being good stewards of planet earth. Which is why there is a water filter company advertising here.

Since we are physically composed of at least 70% water, more if you’re young, it makes sense that you want to be drinking the absolute best water you can. The expression “you are what you eat” couldn’t be more true than with the liquid required by all life. Truly healthy water is only available up in the mountains, part of why mountain cultures tend to experience fewer chronic diseases and have a longer life expectancy. Diet, of course is another significant part of that equation.

So while neither you or I can change the fact that once water gets into man’s distribution system that purity becomes compromised with all sorts of toxic chemicals, some like organic by-products are naturally occuring, others are added, like chlorine or fluoride. Whether you think the chemicals are good or bad, we can all agree, tap water is no longer naturally clean and rich in minerals.

Stage 1 in PNW water filters is to eliminate the chlorine. KDF does the trick, neutralizing chlorine to harmless chloride.

With a good filtration system however, you can eliminate 99% or more of what is added for your “benefit.” Eliminating pathogens is a good thing, but using chemicals like chlorine or worse, chloramines, does the same thing to you, just slower because the dose is so much smaller. The reality is long term exposure to even small amounts can have the same deadly affect on us. The evidence that long term exposure to chlorine produces side effects like cancer of umpteen internal organs has been suppressed since it was first recognized in the 1920s, just ten years after the process began. The correlation has not diminished over time, only our awareness of the results.

There are a lot of ways to reduce this chlorine and most simple filters like the Brita system are good at absorbing about 70% of the chlorine, but not much more.

Reverse osmosis systems are a popular way to eliminate the chlorine, but it also eliminates 99.9% of everything else, including minerals that are essential for good health and the reason water direct from a mountain stream is so good for each of us. These minerals can be added back in, and you might even want to do that with any good filtration system as healthy boost to your mineral intake.

Argonide stops anything less than 2 nanometers.

However there is a better way to eliminate the gunk and keep the minerals, a the way that is offered by Pacific Northwest Filters. The key difference is they use a filtration system that transforms the chlorine or chloramines into harmless chlorides, and then runs the water through a nano-filter or argonide that blocks 99.995% of micron sized particles, and holds on to viruses and bacteria via a positive electrostatic charge inherent in the fiber. In the final stage PNW filters does what everyone else does, runs it through a carbon filter to absorb any remaining contaminants.

For those who want to make sure fluoride is filtered out, that option is available as well.

If you’re looking for a simple, reliable, cost effective way to clean up the water you drink, or the water throughout your house I can heartily recommend the systems PNW offers. I’ve been using one for my family for three years now. I can’t say if it will allow me to live to 100, but I can say I can truly taste the difference. It is harder to tell the difference if you’re used to unfiltered tap water. But when you get used to clean, filtered water you can always taste the additives once you cease to drink them regularly.

That’s about the only problem with a filter system this good. You’ll get spoiled and have a hard time stomaching water almost anywhere else except your favorite mountain stream.

© 2012