Removing Tannin With US Water Systems Disruptor and Interceptor Filters… and a lot more!
I think it was in 2018 when we first introduced our wildly successful Interceptor and Disruptor Charged Membrane Filters. In those 5 years we have had some amazing success, but also a few heart-breaking fails. Water is a fluid thing (no pun intended) and how you treat it depends upon what is in it, what levels of contaminants there may be and what “competing contaminants” could be present.
This is a disruptive technology, because it displaces an established technology in that a filter system can now reduce or remove contaminants that are small then the filter pore size. The filter media has a Zeta potential of 51 millivolts. These cartridges retain bacteria, virus, cryptosporidium oocysts and even tannin with its strong Zeta Potential. Unlike mechanical filtration systems which rely on “pore size” the Disrupter and Interceptor systems literally “secure” the contaminant. It is “absorbed” in a very real way. The filters have a long life and are easily replaceable. They can remove the following contaminants, under the right circumstances:
- Chromium VI
- Tannic Acid
- Humic Acid
- Heavy Metals
- Fulvic Acids
The Interceptor and Disruptor filters are manufactured from a naturally occurring element called boehmite, which has no known Health Side Effects. In fact, boehmite has long been used as an additive to food products and digestive analgesics. Additionally, it has passed testing for NSF/ANSI Standard 42 and 61 for potable water and USP Class VI testing and endotoxin testing.
What is the Difference Between the Interceptor and the Disruptor?
Disruptor filter media is engineered with a 51 millivolt charge covering the entire volume and depth of the media. A Disruptor filter accomplishes submicron filtration with a “charge” rather than “sizes of pores” filtration, which allows for virtually zero pressure drop and high flow rates. If you compare the Disruptor filter to “ultrafiltration” membranes, you will find dramatically higher flow rates with less pressure drop. In summary, with the Disruptor filter, you get the following:
- High efficiency reduction
- Electro-adsorptive reduction of virus
- Electro-adsorptive and mechanical reduction of bacteria and endotoxin
- Mechanical removal of cysts
- Higher flow rates and lower pressure drop then membranes
The media is made by Finland-based Ahlstrom-Munksjö, a global provider of fiber-based products. They also have a plant in the US, namely in Madisonville, Kentucky. The media has been is short supply because it has been widely embraced in the manufacturing of masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Fortunately, we have been impacted very little and are able to meet the demand.
The main difference between the Interceptor and the Disrupter systems is that that Interceptor has about 35% less Disrupter media and has a 5 micron outer wrap to protect the Disrupter media. Later, I will discuss which of the methods is right for you.
When choosing a charged membrane filter, you need to understand that filter choices and performance often depends upon on the seal integrity within the filter vessel. Double Open End (DOE) or Single Open End (SOE) gasket cartridges on some brands of cartridges may have very high efficiency capability but their reliance on a “knife” or pressure seal may not maintain a positive seal sufficient to stop the migration of microbial contaminants due to pressure shifting or pulsations changes from varying flow rates, which can break the seal!
Without a proper seal, microbial contamination is likely to occur right from the start. Cartridges using a knife or pressure seal do not have the tolerances sufficient to act as a microbial barrier.
We have solved that problem with our Black and Grey MADE IN USA filter housings with a Double O-Ring Type (222) Seal. This is depicted in the photographs below:
Filter cartridges with a double O-ring seal such as a 222 or 226 (or similar design) that fit into a receiver, within the element vessel, and that provides an O-ring compression necessary to prevent by-pass are the type of filters that should be used (see above photo).
The Disruptor Electro-adsorptive technology is now available at US Water Systems, and it does not rely on exclusion pore sizes for high levels of microbial reduction. It also does not release the retained contaminants in an event of an integrity breach, because it has the Double O-Ring Posi-Seal.
The electro-positive charge captures and retains contaminants throughout the depth of the pore structure. This method reduces microbes via adsorption plus mechanical filtration, not simply exclusion to pore sizes. The electro-adsorptive charge provides a net adsorption efficiency of ~.002 um and mechanically with a mean pore sizes of approximately 1.2 microns. The charge field removes the negatively charged, submicron particles while larger particles are captured within the fiber structure of the media. This method reduces virus by > 4 LRV with a mechanical mean pore size of approximately 1.2 microns.
Electro-adsorption provides “retention” of the organisms through these charged structures within the media and small integrity breaches, which may occur, does not produce a catastrophic release of organisms. Mechanical pore dependent membranes and filters do not enjoy this benefit. This filter media has over 400 layers of pore depth created by a wet laid non-woven manufacturing process. This results in a media having a torturous flow pattern, high flow rates at low pressure drop.
While, it will remove bacteria and virus, it does rely on a mechanical seal, so I would always use some type of disinfection system with the Disrupter or Interceptor. In my own personal case, I utilize UV or ultraviolet to destroy the microorganism, then I pass the water through my Interceptor filter.
One of the contaminants that Disrupter media readily removes is Tannin. In case you don't know, tannin is what give tea its' color. Tannin exists in small pockets in numerous places across the country and is simply caused by decaying vegetation which gives the water a unique yellow or brown color. The discoloration can run from mild to very dark. A few years ago, a customer contacted me after buying a Disrupter filter and wrote this:
Hello: Have to admit we were a bit skeptical but figured we had nothing to lose, so we decided to try the US Water Systems Disruptor Filter System and we are now tannin free! Couldn't be happier! Thank you so much! I've attached our before and after shots of our test run. Photos are not retouched. Sincerely, Chris S
The photo tells the story. Their tannin water is on the left and the water through the Disrupter is on the right. WOW!
We have found that in 80 to 85% of the cases, the Interceptor or Disruptor does and amazing job with the the removal of tannin. They also do an amazing job at other things, such as iron and silica removal. Therefore, if you have iron, it ALL has to be removed before the Disrupter or Interceptor or it will plug very quickly which will bring down the effectiveness of the systems. High levels of silica can also plug the media and change the effectiveness of the systems as well.
So, before using the Disrupter or Interceptor filter, we suggest a pilot test. We do the pilot test with an Interceptor since it has a lower cost. The Pilot test includes a 2.5” x 10” filter with regular garden hose connectors, as well as the interceptor filter. The cost is $99.95, but if you return it, we will credit you back $70.00. So, it only costs you $29.95 to determine if the Disruptor or Interceptor filter will work for you.
To do the test, you simply hook up the hose to a boiler drain (like at your washing machine). You will need a white bucket to complete the test. Run the water at about 1 to 1.5 GPM. You can judge by how fast you fill the bucket. Let the water continue running at about 1 GPM and see how long it takes to plug the filter (maybe it will not plug). Hopefully, it will take several hours to plug the filter, but this is a “baby filter” – the full-sized filters will take 20 times as long to plug.
If you are removing tannin, then the results will be apparent. If it removes it, then you can buy one of our Full-Size Systems. We usually suggest a system like THIS, with a 5 micron, a 1 micron, and a.5 micron, followed by the Disruptor.
If the Pilot Test fails to remove the tannin, then there is but one final solution and that is with the Matrixx Tannin Removal System. It looks like a water softener, except that it has special resin that is regenerated with salt and removes tannin. If your water is hard, and you want the perfect solution you must also have a working water softener as hard water damages the tannin salt resin.
Finally, while the Disruptor and Interceptor media does an amazing job, it must be applied properly, and the Pilot Test is certainly very important because it links you with the perfect filtration systems. If you have any questions about whether our Interceptor or Disruptor Cartridges are right for you, please call one of our Certified Water Specialists or go on our website page today!