The problem that the Puroserve whole house water systems are designed to solve—salinity loading—is a modern one, but it actually has ancient roots. Across the span of world history lie the remains of ancient civilizations that relied on farming and irrigation to a fault. Eventually, they withered and died as a result of excess salinity in soil directly related to ignorance of proper water management practices. The Harappa people in the Indus region of ancient India/Pakistan, the Viru Valley culture in Peru, and the Hohokam Indians near Arizona’s Salt River are all thought to have declined due to the negative effects of soil salinization.
Among the most prominent examples of a poor water management policy contributing to a civilization’s failure is the example of Sumer, the grand ancient Mesopotamian culture that flourished near present-day Iraq nearly 5,000 years ago. The land that the Sumerians settled on was desert, until irrigation via river diversion transformed the area into an oasis of grain fields, palm trees, and grazing land for livestock. Today, the soil around Sumer is salt-encrusted, a telltale sign that the pace of soil salinity outran the ancient Mesopotamians’ ability to correct it.
The water that fed the growth of Sumer, which had been diverted from the Euphrates River, lost as much as half its volume through evaporation by the time it arrived at the fields. For this reason the salt levels in the water when it arrived in Sumer were concentrated. Over the centuries, the salt levels in the soil accumulated steadily, eventually ruining the soil quality and breaking the back of the ancient city’s food supply, thus killing the city. The collapse must have been terrifying to Sumer’s residents and leaders alike, seeing as their knowledge of water chemistry was very limited compared to ours. They may have simply attributed gradually less abundant crop returns as a sign of displeasure from their deities. Fortunately, we live in a modern world where the problems of ancient cities can be analyzed and their lessons applied to our present salinity problems.
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Urban salinity is an ancient issue, but also a modern one. What has changed is the scale of the problem. Our large communities change the very landscape upon which they are built, and without well-conceived water management policies for susceptible areas, the development of high chloride levels downstream of larger communities is inevitable.
Although the exact process does vary from watershed to watershed, urban salinity issues essentially begin when the natural environment under and around a community is changed. This occurs mostly because we replace the native plant life with lawns or garden plants that require far more water. Along with unfamiliar plants, we also add our road systems and other infrastructure, which change the drainage patterns from those established on the land before humans developed it.
Dissolved salts are naturally present in soil, groundwater, and rain. The salts from these sources are usually dispersed through natural processes. In areas where human populations are high, like cities and towns, this salt accumulation can outpace the environment’s ability to disperse it.
Where salt-based water softeners are prevalent the discharge of softener brine can often compound this problem. Ironically, the areas where softeners are prevalent are often also the same areas that are salt-sensitive because of the characteristics of the local water supply. The calcium and magnesium that a softener removes is a form of salt. So in a sense, when we use a salt softener, we are treating a salt problem by using more salt, just a different kind. This just drives salt levels ever higher. In extreme cases agriculture and wildlife will eventually be affected if salts are allowed to accumulate.
In the Southwest United States, among the responses to the urban salinity problem has been to ban salt-based water softeners across entire watersheds. Officials in the community of Santa Clarita, in Southern California, have plans to build a $250M Reverse Osmosis based waste water treatment plant, paid for by raising taxes, to help deal with their salt problem.
At Puroserve we believe that there is a much more sensible way. The installation of a better residential water system, using essentially the same technology that has been proposed to treat waste water, across a sufficient percentage of homes and businesses, would effectively solve the problem. This could be done at a fraction of the cost of taxpayer-sponsored treatment plants.
With low-energy Reverse Osmosis membrane technology and our innovative chloride stream diversion techniques, Puroserve has a solution today for the very old, but very current, problem of urban salinity.
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The Future Of Water Softeners
With a set of principles that include Earth-friendliness, efficiency, and environmental responsibility, we strongly believe that the Puroserve approach is the future of water treatment, especially since the water-related issues that are affecting the country—reduced supply, increasing population, pollution, rising chloride levels across the very dry Southwest—are already calling for us to take action.
Earth-friendliness means taking an approach to our water treatment technology that aims to bring the water you use back to nature without introducing anything additional to it. Salt-based softeners cannot provide this because they add salt to the water that leaves your house. With Puroserve’s future-minded processes, salt is greatly reduced in your water, reducing the problem of excess chlorides, even if the water you receive at the tap is higher in chlorides than it should be.
Efficiency is the key to the Puroserve ideal. Other water treatment systems don’t distinguish between different streams of water, which means everything goes down the drain when you’re done. That adds up to waste, which is why Puroserve allows you to divert rinse water to other uses around your property for which it is well suited. Water your lawn or garden, or top off your swimming pool. Whatever your water needs, Puroserve is looking to the future and keeping your options open.
The future is uncertain, but with our water storage tank solutions, you can be prepared for nearly every situation that might result in a temporary interruption to your household water supply. Built from rigid food-grade plastic, the tank will keep a sufficient quantity of water available for essential or survival uses when it is needed most.
Puroserve keeps a keen eye on the future of water treatment. We know that keeping the focus on improving water quality throughout entire communities means that everyone will have better water in the long run. It’s a straightforward commitment that will reap benefits for all of us over time.
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