RO water purifying technology and water wastage are two sides of the same coin. Both of them are incomplete without the other.
Kent claims it has a solution to water wastage by introducing its Zero Water Wastage RO Technology. Let us bust the myths and burst the bubble.
RO Water Purification – A Hobson’s Choice
Millions of Indian families depend on groundwater, wells, or untreated water from rivers and lakes for daily requirements. This water has high levels of TDS, especially heavy metal impurities like arsenic, lead, mercury, etc. Besides, human, animal, and industrial wastage add to the contamination, making it essential for people to install RO water purifiers.
Secondly, BIS stipulates that households with TDS levels in water exceeding 500ppm should necessarily employ RO water purification.
Under such circumstances, consumers do not have any choice. The alternate water purification technologies like UV, UF, Activated Carbon, etc., are thoroughly inadequate to deal with TDS. So, there is no alternative left for people, but to choose RO as their water purification method. However, while RO water purification has its benefits, it has a significant drawback: it wastes water. So, let us now concentrate on this aspect alone.
The Fundamental Demerit of RO Water Purification
The primary disadvantage of RO water purification is that it wastes water. Depending on the TDS levels in the input water source, RO water purifiers waste up to three liters of water for every liter purified.
Now, that is a massive wastage, especially considering that most Indian household experiences water shortages. This drawback has forced families to look towards alternate water purification technologies. So, Kent has developed a unique solution – Zero Water Wastage Technology. Let us dissect this technology, understand how it works, and see whether it ensures zero water wastage.
Zero Water Wastage Technology – Is it true, or is it a myth?
Let us begin on a lighter note. Have you seen the film, Dasaavatharam (Tamil)? Kamalahaasan (renowned for his atheist leanings in his personal life) makes a compelling statement at the end of the film. “I am not saying that God is not present. Things would be better if he existed.” (Kadavul Ille na sollale, Irundha Nalla irukum) The Kent Zero Water Wastage Technology is somewhat similar. It would be better if it lived up to its name and actually did not waste the water.
So, to understand how Kent’s Zero Water Wastage technology works, you should know the basic working of an RO water purifier.
How RO water purification works
The RO water purifier has an RO membrane that does not allow TDS (substances with a molecular weight of more than 20) to pass through it. So, as the source water with TDS enters the membrane, it gets separated into pure water (almost zero TDS) and the reject water (full of TDS).
Therefore, you have two outlets, one that fills the storage tank and the other that goes directly into the kitchen sink. Consequently, you find the machine working for a few minutes after filling your glass. If you have ever measured the quantity of water draining waste into the sink, you will understand how bad the RO water purifying technique is.
Is Kent Zero Water Wastage Technology any better?
Surprisingly, the answer is NO. The Kent RO water purifiers equipped with Zero Water Waste Technology work precisely as all RO water purifiers do. There is an outlet for the rejected water to flow out of the machine. So, how does Kent claim that its unique technology results in zero water wastage?
The official Kent website states that the “Kent RO water purifiers equipped with Zero Water Wastage technology push back the rejected water to the overhead tank, thereby rendering the wastage to zero.”
Here is an analogy.
Suppose you find out after eating your food that you have excess leftovers on your plate. Would you mix this leftover food with your prepared food and consume it later? Of course, no one will do that. So, why do you want to do that with the rejected water from the RO water purifier? The Kent Zero Water Wastage technology provides this solution for dealing with water wastage. Is it not laughable, to say the least?
The counterargument is that the wasted water does not go down the drain. Instead, it is recirculated to the households. If that equates to zero water wastage, the Kent technology should be hailed as revolutionary.
It would be excellent if the rejected water were pumped into a separate overhead tank supplying water to lavatories alone. But, the Kent website clearly states that the rejected water gets mixed with the regular water supply. Besides, it claims that the TDS water gets diluted and reused as normal tap water for household purposes. So, the same water returns to the RO water purifier for purification again (this time with higher TDS levels than usual).
So, imagine the plight of other people living in the apartment complex. They have to contend with source water containing increased TDS levels. So, it becomes compulsory for them to use RO water purifiers. There lies the catch. Kent Zero Water Wastage technology is a pure marketing gimmick aimed at forcibly attracting more consumers.
Let us break down the Zero Water Wastage Technology bit by bit and expose its fallacies.
Kent’s Claims Exposed
1. Highest Water Recovery
Kent claims this innovative technology has boosted the recovery rate to 50%. They cite an example that with Zero Water Wastage technology, the RO water purifier would waste two glasses of water while producing two glasses of pure drinking water. In comparison, other RO water purifiers would waste four to six glasses.
The second part of the example seems more correct because if the Kent RO water purifier keeps depositing the rejected water back into the overhead tanks, the conventional RO water purifiers have to work harder and, in the process, waste more water than usual. Besides, Kent admits that the TDS levels in the overhead tank water will increase. Under such circumstances, how can the Kent RO water purifier improve the water recovery rate? The higher the TDS levels, the lower the recovery rate. So, we can conclude that Kent is spreading misinformation about the water recovery rate.
2. Upgrade Kit
Kent claims that existing Kent RO water purifier users can upgrade their water purifiers to Zero Waste Water technology by installing an upgrade kit.
What does this upgrade kit comprise? Kent is silent on this issue, but the upgrade kit includes a separate pump and plumbing arrangements to transport the rejected water to the overhead tanks. So, consumers must make structural changes to their existing infrastructure.
- Can people living in rented houses do it? It depends on the landlord.
- Will it be possible to have this upgrade in multistorey apartments? The pump should be powerful enough to send water to the overhead tank, primarily if you reside on the lower floors. Kent says that the pump can push water up to a maximum of ten floors. Besides, the additional plumbing work can affect the external façade of the buildings, especially with most multistorey apartments providing concealed plumbing.
- Will other residents object to contaminating the overhead tank with your rejected water? Yes. They should object, provided they know how this Zero Water Wastage technology works.
So, we can say that this technology or its upgrade kit can work with RO purifiers for people living in individual homes. But, we doubt whether tenants can benefit from this technology until the house owner agrees to these structural alterations.
3. No need for a separate overhead tank
Kent claims this technology does not require a separate overhead tank. It further says that RO water purifiers use barely 10% of the total water in the tank. So, the rejected water comprises 5% of the total water in the tank. They claim that the rejected water gets diluted with the fresh water supplied to the tank. However, the fact remains that this 5% rejected water contaminates the fresh water in the tank and increases its TDS levels.
Kent says the increase is marginal and does not affect home appliances, pipes, or fittings. However, it is not so. First, any rise in TDS levels will affect the plumbing and other home appliances in the long run. Secondly, contaminating the overhead water tank in multistorey apartments is a criminal offense because there will be residents who do not use RO water purifiers. Why should they pay the price for others using Kent Zero Water Wastage Technology RO water purifiers?
4. No reduction in lifespan of membranes and filters
Surprisingly, Kent claims that there are no adverse effects on the life of the membrane and the filters of RO water purifiers because the rejected water gets diluted with fresh water supplied daily to the overhead tank. It is a preposterous argument. We agree that the rejected water gets diluted, but what about the water in the overhead tank. It has to contend with higher TDS levels because of this additional infusion of rejected water. Consequently, the RO water purifiers work harder to remove the extra TDS from the source water, reducing the lifespan of the RO membrane and other filters.
The Inference Drawn From These Arguments
Perusing the different arguments detailed above, we infer that.
- Kent Zero Water Wastage Technology RO water purifiers are similar to any other RO water purifier that wastes water in its ordinary functioning. Therefore, the Zero Water Wastage claim is an absolute lie. These water purifiers work on a water recycling arrangement.
- People living in rented homes and multistorey apartments cannot use this technology as easily as Kent claims it possible.
- People residing in their own individual accommodation can use these water purifiers. However, we suggest they install separate overhead tanks for collecting and recycling the rejected water from the purifiers. This water can prove beneficial for lavatory use, washing utensils, watering plants, and cleaning the floors.
The Kent Zero Water Wastage Technology is purely a marketing gimmick. Besides, the technology artificially induces people to purchase Kent RO water purifiers by intentionally contaminating the overhead tank with rejected water full of TDS.