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Old 02-17-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default Anybody reuse RO water waste?

If I buy a machine, can I set it up to save the waste to feed to my plants?

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Old 02-17-2012, 01:54 PM   #2
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Doesn't the waste get trapped in filters and filter media?

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Old 02-17-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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I am reading that up to 9 gallons is wasted for every 1 gallon you use. It apparently just goes down your drain. I don't care if it's pennies, I don't like to see that much waste. The minerals should help my plants too.

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Old 02-17-2012, 02:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badbrew View Post
If I buy a machine, can I set it up to save the waste to feed to my plants?
The wastewater will have more dissolved solids, but you might be able to get away with it for outside plants. I wouldn't use it for potted plants.

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Doesn't the waste get trapped in filters and filter media?
No. RO units waste between 8-12 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of RO water. It's a pressure thing. Only so much water can pass through the RO membrane at household pressure, the rest runs down the drain. I've been thinking about getting one, but I don't like how ineffeicient they are.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:07 PM   #5
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No. RO units waste between 8-12 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of RO water. It's a pressure thing. .
Ahhh! I've never had a RO system, and I had no idea of that.. Then in that case I would want to harvest it and use it too if I could..
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:48 PM   #6
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depending on your water source and how you water plants can suffer form a buildup of salts in the soil. using the effluent form an ro system would just make the problem worse.

on the radio there is a call in show with a garden guy early sunday morning that regularly deal with this problem. any potted and acid loving plants are most supseptable but any plants that require a certain ph of the soil can be affected.

all that being said if you are really bothered by it you can always use it for other brewery or house hold uses. do you freeze water to keep fermentation temps low or for cooling wort? hose off a driveway? it just depends on how hard your water is.

just remember that the effluent has concentrated mineral content.

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Old 02-17-2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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The concentration isn't going to be that much higher if it is 'wasting' 9 to 1 is it?

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Old 02-17-2012, 03:22 PM   #8
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Modern RO units don't waste anything like 8 - 12 gallons for every gallon produced. It is more like 3 or 4 for the inexpensive systems and more like 1 or 2 for the fancier ones. This is good news in terms of conservation of water but bad in the sense that the higher the recovery the higher the mineral content in the concentrate. If you know what your recovery rate is (and the manual that comes with the unit will tell you this) it's a pretty simple matter to determine an approximate concentrations in the brine from assumed rejection. Of course you need to know what's in the feed.

Assuming, for example, 25% recovery (1 gal RO water, 3 gal brine) 100 mg/L of some ion in the feed and 95% rejection ratio for that ion we'd have 400 mg entering the system in 4 liters. Ninety five percent of that, 380 mg, would go out with the 3 liters of brine for a concentration of 380/3 = 127 mg/L. You'll have to decide for yourself whether that's too much for whatever purpose you have in mind.

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Old 02-17-2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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I suppose you could flush your toilet with it. You are currently using potable water to discard waste. You could just collect the waste water, then pour into toilet instead of flushing.

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Old 02-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #10
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A permeate pump dramatically cuts down on waste water as well as reducing regeneration time. I have these on all my ro systems:

http://www.airwaterice.com/product/PAM1000/Permeate-Pump-With-Clips.html

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