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Home » Environment issues

Treating limescale the non-chemical, environmentally green way!

Submitted by on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 Loading Add to favourites  2 Comments

We’ve just bought a new kettle.

Not because I’ve grown tired of my old one. No, because the element looked like the one at the top of this post.

We’ve also had to replace the heating element in the immersion tank. When we took it out, it had virtually fallen apart.

In the 12 years I’ve lived here, I’ve replaced three kettles, three immersion tank heating elements and we’ve got through our fair share of water filters too.

Our saucepans and taps have limescale on them and a humidifier I bought for the bedroom is just about hanging onto life because the electrodes are becoming corroded.

I’ve never found a truly ‘natural’ laundry product that really works effectively. Soapnuts just sit there and look at me. Eco balls do absolutely nothing. When I get out of the bath my skin usually feels tight, even if I’ve only used water on it.

It’s safe to say we have incredibly hard water here at Chez Green.

Corrosion and scale

But it’s not just householders that get affected by the minerals in hard water. Corrosion and scale causes huge and expensive problems for businesses.

Many businesses use chemical water treatments to counteract scale but this comes with many drawbacks such as:

  • Chemicals must be added in precise amounts
  • Chemicals are high maintenance
  • Using chemicals can be costly
  • Effects on environment are unsatisfactory

Non chemical treatment

Fortunately there is a safe and non-chemical way to soften your water effectively and I’ve been speaking to one company who have been doing exactly that for 42 years; long before ‘green’ was trendy.

Over in Norfolk, Virginia, Ernie heads Descal-A-Matic Corporation. They use magnets to treat water, thus eliminating the need for toxic chemicals.

This company now boasts a large variety of clients, including the United States government, the WW2 Memorial in Washington D.C., the Hilton in Northern VA, and many places around the world.

Magnetic water treatment

Magnetic treatment involves running water through a metal tube containing magnets. This changes the polarity of the Calcium and other dissolved solids in the water, which prevents it from sticking to the walls of the pipes.

Any residue, or “scale” that might be in the pipes is gradually dissolved away. Therefore the pipes remain scale-free. In parts of the world where water is scarce, clients are able to re-use the water instead of having to throw it out due to contamination of chemicals.

Benefits of soft water

As a householder I can immediately see six benefits of softer water:

  • You can use less cleaning products (and the eco friendly ones will actually work!).
  • You’ll be less likely to get soap scum around the bathtub.
  • Glass ware will be cleaner and you’ll reduce white spots.
  • Water heaters will last longer and be more efficient to run.
  • Skin irritation is reduced.
  • Clothes fibres last longer and feel softer (even with fabric softener our clothes are like ‘cardboard’).

Benefits for business

But can you imagine the benefits for large corporations? I can only guess but I reckon they cover huge financial savings (Descal-A-Matic say there is an 18 month pay back on investment in water and chemicals) as well as massive kudos for that company’s corporate social responsibility programme.

Costs such as handling, storage and disposal of chemicals are eliminated, water consumption and power costs are reduced, heating efficiency is increased and maintenance is dramatically lowered.

In addition, toxic water discharges and the need for hazardous chemicals are eliminated.

Benefits for environment

It seems to be a no-brainer to me. Yes, using magnets might be a little controversial but I wonder how much of that is our resistance to thinking outside the box. Our environment is being poisoned by our use of toxic chemicals and when a solution can be found which benefits our health, the environment AND our bottom line then surely it needs to be considered.

What do you think about using magnets to treat water? Remember, Descal-A-Matic clients have been doing it successfully for 42 years!

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