Frequently Asked Questions
What are the dimensions of the Santevia Water System? How much water does the unit hold when full? Is Santevia BPA-free? What do the mineral stones do? How does the Santevia "gravity" system differ from Reverse Osmosis? Are chlorine, chloramines and chlorine byproducts removed by Santevia? Will the Santevia system remove pharmaceuticals? What heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria etc. will Santevia remove? What would be the concentration of minerals (ppm) in 1 litre of water? How long will the filters last? How often does the ceramic pre-filter need to be cleaned? Holiday Storage: Going on holidays for more than one week? How do I install the ceramic pre-filter? Scheduled Maintenance Table Why does it take so long for water to flow into the lower tank?
- 12.25" x 12.25" x 23.5" H.
- 31cm x 31cm x 60cm H
The Santevia™ Water System holds 10 liters of water in the lower tank. The upper tank is 5 liters in size, so by processing two upper tanks, you will have 10 liters of clean mineralized drinking water. Please note: If you fill the upper tank when the lower tank is mostly full it will overflow, leaking where the white connector joins the upper and lower tank together.
Polypropylene (PP#5) is used in the Santevia tanks. It does not contain any Bisphenol A (BPA). PP#5 is an inert plastic that does not leach any carcinogens or endocrine disruptors.
Safest Plastics for You and the Environment
*Polypropylene (PP) (#5)… has not been shown to leach any carcinogens or endocrine disruptors.
The mineral stones contain calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc and other trace minerals. The stones continuously release ionized minerals for up to 5 years. The highly porous mineral stones aid in the oxygenation of water and in the adjustment of the water to mild alkaline. The stones gradually deplete in size – when you notice the stones getting smaller it’s time to replace them.
We recommend that you regenerate your mineral stones each time you perform your scheduled maintenance routine to maintain optimal re-mineralization. To do this, remove the stones from the lower tank and boil for 5 minutes. We are also encouraging users to “release their minerals” by placing them directly into the lower tank; this removes one piece of unnecessary plastic and makes the periodic cleaning and regeneration of the stones simpler.
For more detailed information, go to the Bio-Ceramic Energy Balls page.
A reverse osmosis (RO) water system requires water pressure to force water through a membrane to purify it. It produces extremely clean water that is stripped of everything, including all beneficial minerals. We have seen some studies that indicate that health issues may arise from long term drinking of regular RO water, as is also the case with distilled water. The World Health Organization has concluded that mineralization is generally desirable in drinking water. The Santevia™ Gravity Water System uses a more natural process that purifies and re-mineralizes the water.
Our long contact filtration process and our activated carbon layer removes virtually all chlorine, chloramines, and chlorine by-products. Independent laboratory testing verifies a minimum of 99.99% chlorine removal; the requirement under NSF/ANSI Standard Number 42 is only 75%.
We anticipate that our ongoing testing program, developed to meet or surpass the NSF/ANSI standards using independent water testing laboratories, will provide more precise and higher percentages for chlorine removal.
Since the Santevia® Gravity Water System contains both granulated and powdered carbon in the central five stage filter it should be effective in removing most pharmaceuticals.
Due to the vast and ever increasing number of pharmaceuticals we have not tested specifically for their removal. However our research located number of reliable sources on the internet which address these issues:
The Water Conditioning and Purification Magazine in their June 2003 online issue discusses pharmaceuticals in drinking water supplies. They state: “Advanced water treatment technologies have been evaluated for their efficacy in removing the most common pharmaceuticals form drinking water…. In addition… filtration with granular activated carbon are thought to be highly effective."
In an article in Environmental Science & Technology, the author states: “GAC (granulated activated carbon) is effective because carbon can bind a broad category of compounds, and many pharmaceuticals have components like benzene rings or amine groups that enhance their ability to be taken up by activated carbon. The powdered form of activated carbon can be even more effective, removing virtually every possible pharmaceutical and personal care product.”
We do not have a breakdown of water before and after using the Santevia® gravity water system; it would be impossible for us to know the composition of input water across North America as each treatment system will be different. What we can tell you is that the ceramic pre-filter has a pore size of .3 of a micron (a micron is one thousandth of a millimeter; by comparison a grain of salt is approximately 60 microns).
This tiny pore size allows highly effective filtration; various tests of similar ceramic filters show a 100% blockage of particles of 0.9 of a micron, and a 99.997% blockage of particles sized 0.5 to 0.8 of a micron. The water then flows slowly through the activated carbon layer, the silica sand layer and the zeolite layer. The system is highly effective in removing particles and parasites suspended in the water, but will not effectively filter out materials dissolved in the water (for example, fluoride and arsenic).
The water then passes through mineral sand, bio-ceramic balls, and mineral stones which sit in the bottom of the tank. These materials all assist in re-mineralization of the water and in the process alter the pH of the water to make it more alkaline.
The system is designed to take potable biologically safe water and to further purify and enhance the taste and pH. The system is being very well received by health food (wellness) retailers, alternative medicine practitioners (hundreds have been purchased by Naturopathic doctors across North America) and health conscious consumers.
Testing done at Cantest Laboratories in Burnaby, Canada indicates the following beneficial mineral concentrations in the Santevia® gravity water system. Our understanding of beneficial minerals in drinking water comes from a variety of sources, including the World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality.
Calcium (Ca) 5.91 mg/L
Copper (Cu) 0.009 mg/L
Iron (Fe) 0.06 mg/L
Magnesium (Mg) 0.65 mg/L
Manganese (Mn) 0.007 mg/L
Potassium (K) 0.2 mg/L
Sodium (Na) 5.47 mg/L
Zinc (Zn) 0.016 mg/L
These results will vary of course with the mineral content of the source water.
We rate the 5-stage filter for 1,500 litres or six months, whichever comes first. This is based on average consumption of 2 litres per day per person and a household in which 4 persons are using the Santevia system.We recommend changing the 5-stage every six months regardless of the volume of water flowed through in order to insure that bacteria does not accumulate in the filter beyond its capacity to absorb.
The ceramic pre-filter lasts up to 12 months depending on sediment levels in your source water. The ceramic pre-filter is to be cleaned once a week, but may need to be cleaned more often if sediment levels are high.
The mineral stones are replaced every 2 – 5 years.
Both sides of the ceramic pre-filter should be cleaned weekly or whenever it appears dirty, because without proper cleaning the flow-through may slow significantly. The bottom of the double-sided ceramic pre-filter usually attracts the most contamination, so the filter will have to be removed to clean both sides. The coloured "slime" that appears on the ceramic pre-filter is water contaminants that your body no longer has to process.
We recommend that you clean the double-sided ceramic pre-filter under cool, running water with a Scotch-Brite scrub sponge (yellow sponge on one side and green scrubbing pad on the other). Use the greeen side to clean the filter. Please do not use soap or a scouring pad with soap in it as this will just re-clog the pores. After the pre-filter has soaked for an hour (if you’ve been regularly using your Santevia, it will have been well soaked), use the scrubbing pad to give a vigorous scrub to both sides of the pre-filter to unclog the pores.
- Drain your Santevia Water System (give the water to your plants – they will love it!) and disassemble it. Clean the ceramic pre-filter following the weekly maintenance instructions and let it air dry. Allow your mineral stones to air dry as well.
- Place your 5 stage ultrasonic filter in a Zip-loc bag in the refrigerator.
- Complete your scheduled maintenance when you return from holidays.
How-to install the Santevia Ceramic Pre-Filter into the Upper Tank of the Gravity Water System.
Please note the two styles of filters
- one with 2 washers,
- one with only 1 thick washer.
|New Assembly & at Filter Replacement||Weekly||6 months||12 months||Repeat scheduled maintenance|
|Full system cleaning||Wash||Wash||Wash|
|Ceramic Pre-filter||Soak (1 hour) and scrub||Scrub||Replace|
|5 stage Filter||Rinse||Replace||Replace|
|Mineral Stones||Boil||Boil||Boil||Replace at 5 years|
Detailed Maintenance Instructions
Full System Cleaning: Use a soft sponge and a natural cleaning solution (eg. Vinegar and water or 3% hydrogen peroxide) to wipe out both the upper and lower buckets as well as the tap.
Ceramic Pre-filter: Soak for one hour in tap water and scrub both sides vigorously with the green side of a scotch brite sponge. Weekly scrub: scrub both sides vigorously with the green side of a Scotch Brite sponge.
5-stage Filter: Pour tap water through the 5-stage filter until water coming out the bottom is clear.
Mineral Stones: Boil mineral stones for 3-5 minutes and let sit until dry. Place back in system. **If mineral stones are contained in a white basket DO NOT BOIL BASKET. Remove mineral stones from basket and boil the rocks separately
Slow is good! The Santevia® Water System is based on long contact filtration. Gravity, rather than water pressure, maximizes filtration time and allows water to move naturally through the multiple levels of filtering and re-mineralization elements. It is designed to produce up to 20 litres of water per day, which, based on optimal water consumption, should be adequate for a family of five for drinking and cooking.
Initially it may take as long as five hours for the upper tank to flow into the lower tank (5 litres). However after a few tanks of water have flowed through, and the system is fully wetted, the time required should end up around 4 hours. You can insure maximum flow through by soaking the ceramic pre-filter for one hour prior to assembly (see assembly video) and by cleaning the ceramic pre-filter regularly (see maintenance video). Because the water flow slows as the upper tank empties, topping up the upper tank also helps. Fill the tank at night before you go to bed and just before you leave for work! It’s worth the wait. As our slogan says, “Healthy Humans – One drop at a time”