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               fresh water floë...

     a study on trapped stale water
       with the university of ulster

 

 

 

project brief

In 2011 and 2012, APT Innovations Limited helped thousands of customers, remove water from their caravans and motorhomes with their product Floë.  In that time, hundreds of emails have come pouring in from owners testifying how crucial the product had become as part of their winter preparation, to protect their vehicles.

During this time, Floë had been bought primarily as a tool to remove water from
the vehicle’s water system to avoid damage from winter frosts, but while carrying
out the process, many had collected the water and observed that it was cloudy,
often discoloured with a yellow hue and usually contained white suspended particles.

At APT Innovations, we knew that Floë was very effective at removing all of the
water from a system and as part of the process, this meant removing stale and
stagnant water trapped inside the system. 

Until now, it would appear that in all the years of caravanning, no one was able to
see this trapped water and its condition, which raised some important questions,
such as;

  • Why does the water from the taps inside the vehicle taste so unpleasant, even though fresh water has been introduced and flushed through the water system.?
  • When water is removed from the water system using Floë, it looks very discoloured and full of particles suspended in the water.  Therefore, what is contained within this water.?
  • How effective is Floë at removing the water and any impurities from the water system.?

 

 

timetable for non flowing water

According to water authorities throughout the UK, Europe and Scandinavia, typically fresh water that has not been flowing has a finite lifespan as follows:

 

> 1 day

Water will lose its Oxygen O2 and start absorbing Carbon Dioxide CO2

> 7 days

Water will become stale and taste acidic

> 14 days

Water is unfit for human consumption

> 28 days

Water will start to develop bacteria and could eventually present a health hazard

 

Water stored for a longer period than one month, may present a health hazard and there are many papers on the development of stale water diseases, such as Legionnaires and E-Coli. Although possible through an additional biological contamination in trapped portable water systems, it must be emphasised that these cases are extremely rare.

However, although the presence of stale water and other biological impurities may not necessarily be harmful, the taste and smell will certainly be impaired.  Its periodic removal would give the owner not only a greater peace of mind, but would also enhance their camping experience, knowing that their system is clean and fresh for drinking water and other beverages, washing fruit and vegetables, brushing teeth and showering etc.

 

 

 

commissioning

To answer the above questions scientifically, In December 2012, APT commissioned the School of Biomedical Sciences from the University of Ulster at Coleraine, Northern Ireland, to carry out a series of experimental studies.  The results of this can be found by reading the Project Executive Summary, by clicking on the University logo below.

To compare investigation results, a control water sample was collected from a local fresh water tap. 

  • Under the microscope, the control was absent of any impurities and fit for experimental purposes.

Water samples were then collected from four random caravans and motorhomes. 

  • The vehicles ranged in age from 2005 to 2012.
  • The vehicle's water systems were last used between a few days to two months.

First two vehicles – Traditional water flush test

Sample 1 – Many owners use large quantities of water in order to flush out the water system in order to clean it before use.  However, many are disappointed that the water still tastes unpleasant.  To test the effectiveness of flushing, two of the four vehicles were first flushed with control water and then a sample was taken of what should have been, fresh water from the vehicle‘s kitchen water tap.

All four vehicles

Sample 2 – Whether flushed with fresh water or not, the entire water systems were purged using Floë.

Sample 3 – Water systems refilled with fresh control water and a glass of water from a tap retested.

Sample 4 – Purge the system again using floe and retest a glass of water a second time

 

 

 

interpretation of results

From the results gathered after the initial flushing with fresh water in Sample 1, it can be concluded that although this method had a slight positive effect, Sample 1 still contained a considerable amount of stale water and other biological impurities.  Also, this method was found to have no effect on removing Biofilm (a biological coating on the inside of the pipes, which develops over time). 

This resulting diluted stale water and Biofilm would no doubt contribute to a bad taste and smell.  Also, the water would help to explain while on holidays and trips, many owners feel that the water tastes of the plastic pipework system, when infact, the water naturally turns stale and acidic when trapped between 1 - 14 Days, depending on their current climate conditions.

It is quite significant however that, when the Floë system drain down was applied, the Biofilm was removed and stale water, impurities and biological counts were significantly reduced by greater than 99.9%.

The explanation is that, Floë creates air turbulence inside the water system,which is effective
in cleansing the interior walls of the pipes as well as removing the stale water and impurities.  The results of the study and remarks from Professor Banat can be found by reading the
Project Executive Summary
Click on the University logo. Further Information available from
info@keepfloeing.com
.

 

 

recommended draindown process

At APT, we would recommend that, at the start of the summer season, any water trapped inside the water system, should be purged without treatment as it is stale and impure.  Any sterilising treatment will certainly kill any biological growth or impurities, but the water remaining will still be stagnant and without oxygen O2.  We would recommend Floë for this initial removal process.

We have a number of kits available, which are either fitted outside if you use an outside portable water tank, or fitted inside if you have an on-board tank.  To drain down,

  1. First the water heater and on-board tank (if applicable) is drained and then the dump valves are turned off together with all the taps, to seal the system. 
  2. Floë is fitted to the vehicle and either a footpump or 12 volt compressor is attached and the system is pressurised to 15 PSI. 
  3. Once pressurised, the owner opens a tap inside such as, the hot kitchen tap.  (Doing this will also demonstrate that air is passing through the water heater). 
  4. After the water is pushed out and only air is left, the owner turns off the tap again to reseal the system. This process of compression, tap on and tap off is repeated for all of the hot and cold taps, showers, water heater and toilets (if necessary).  Simple !!. (see Demo Video)

After removing the stale water and just as an extra precaution at the start of the season, a sterilising agent should be flushed through the system.  Afterwards, this water should be removed using Floë also, to remove any residual taste.  The remaining water system will be left empty and sterilised, ready for fresh water.  Using Floë, will remove any impurities throughout the summer months, so sterilising would only be recommended at the start and the end of the season.

Throughout the summer, the water within the system should be removed every couple of weeks, or before, or after most trips.  This will ensure the system is empty and safe without the further use of a sterilising agent.  Leaving taps open on an empty system will allow fresh air to circulate, keeping the system fresh until your next trip.

Filtering systems are a good method of removing the natural debris found in fresh water and many use these methods in the home, but please remember, they will not reintroduce Oxygen O2 to stale water now absorbing Carbon Dioxide CO2.  Therefore, this method should not be used as a substitute for the routine removal of the water in the system.

At the end of the summer season, the water tank and system should be sterilised and then drained using Floë to protect vital components, in preparation for winter.  The water tank (if present) and water heater should be emptied and the drain valves left open.  Also, all taps in the vehicle should be left in the open position.

 

 

benefits

Only taking ten to fifteen minutes, you can be assured that your caravan, motorhome or holiday home has the FRESHEST OF DRINKING WATER EVERYTIME YOU USE IT.  This is particularly of use to touring caravan and motorhome owners with portable supplies, where "running the taps" is not an option, thus saving lengthy trips to the standpipe.  Why use stale water when you can have fresh water for drinking beverages, washing, brushing teeth and preparing fruit and vegetables.

Further benefits can be realised such as, FROST PROTECTION IN THE WINTERTIME.  Instead of worrying whether you are going to be winter’s next victim, another statistic with an insurance company that may refuse to pay you, as they will call it “negligence”, have the confidence to know that water has been removed around vital often brittle components such as pumps, water taps, shower blocks or in water lines.

NO MORE BOTTLED WATER.  Water has become expensive and lets be honest, who knows where it comes from, so it wont take long to pay for your Floë system and it’s yours for life, no maintenance and no costly filters.

You can BE BETTER TO THE ENVIRONMENT, by not creating more rubbish for the landfill site with empty water bottles and flushing out your water system several times with perhaps 50L of water before use.

You’ll also SAVE MONEY ON COFFEE AND TEA.  That’s because, it takes less to make these essential beverages with fresher water.  Also wait until you stand outside your property, take in the view, smell the aroma of a freshly brewed cuppa and taste the freshness.   It’s the best.

Floë has only been on the market since 2010 and is the only one of it’s kind.  Currently it has five patents pending and uses the methods advised by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS).

 

take action

Take a look at our variety of products together with full demonstration videos to show you just how easy and effective it is to use Floë.  But, just dont just take our word for it.  Make sure to have a look at our extensive list of customer, magazine and video reviews.

Should you like to order from us, you can do so by visiting our shop online and if you visit our stockists page, you should be able to find a caravan accessories retailer carrying our range of products near your location.  Thank you for reading.

 

 

 
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