I am totally in favor of water filtration devices., but when used properly. A review of a Camco water filter posted recently on Let’sRV.com motivated me to write this short blog. A photo included in that review showed the filter lying horizontally on the ground. This is the wrong configuration for placement of a filter of this type.
My PhD is in microbial ecology and I conducted research on the bacteria of aquatic habitats for many years. Later I served as president of the Hydro Life Water Filter company in Bristol, Ind. We sold water filters that were installed in RVs. Hydro Life was the first water filter that used kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF) as a filtration media. When used in conjunction with activated carbon, many of the impurities and contaminants are removed from the filtered water.
KDF is an excellent filtration medium. We obtained KDF directly from the inventor, Don Heskett. In fact, I played on an industrial league softball team sponsored by KDF.
More importantly, I conducted the first, and perhaps the only, research that verified the ability of KDF to kill most, but not all, of the bacteria in water that passed through the Hydro Life/KDF filters.
Most low cost water filters use activated carbon as the primary filtration agent because it is relatively inexpensive. Carbon may remove many bacteria when it is fresh and new, but it also removes organic materials. Bacteria feed on organic materials and multiply in the carbon media, greatly increasing the number of bacteria that may pass into the “filtered” water.
When KDF is present in the filter, most of the bacteria are killed. Therefore, a KDF/carbon filter is more efficient and effective than a carbon filter.
Positioning a water filter
To be most effective, the water filter should be placed in a vertical position and mounted so that the water flows from the bottom to the top of the filter. Never mount or place the filter in a horizontal position because water seeks the path of least resistance.
The filtration material will settle to the low side of the filter and water will pass over the top of the media instead of flowing through the filtration media. This is especially true of KDF because it is a heavy, copper/zinc alloy which settles to the lowest area. Water should pass through the KDF first and then through the activated carbon filtration media.
In those situations where there isn’t enough space between the spigot and the ground to allow the filter to hang vertically, you may need to buy a stand for the filter. The same is true if there isn’t enough space in the RV’s water compartment to allow a filter to fit in the compartment. Then, a short hose between 6 and 12 inches in length may be required.
For more information on how KDF filters work, click here.