Greensand Filter vs Terminox® for iron and sulfur removal

Terminox Iron Filter vs Greensand Iron Filter
Terminox®ISM water filter for iron and sulfur removal is far superior in every way to greensand filters using potassium permanganate. Terminox® has no salt or chemicals.

A conventional Greensand backwashing washing water filtration tank is comprised generally of a water tank (Usually around 4 feet tall or so) with an ionic exchange mineral inside (mineral) and an electronic control valve to channel the water where it needs to go. Virtually all of these types of water filter also have a much smaller tank with a single feed line to the bigger tank to introduce potassium permanganate (Pot perm) periodically.

NOTE: Our Terminox® ISM water filter has no harmful chemicals, salts or additives.

When removing substances, such as iron from the water passing through it, the minerals inside the Greensand unit can be used to remove electrons and hydrogen. It also acts as an oxidizing agent which is generally followed by a water filtration mineral (Greensand) to remove oxidized particulates (Such as iron or manganese). Most other filters use a dense mineral bed instead to actually filter contaminants. The most modern filters oxidize naturally instead of using harsh chemicals. Once the minerals in a greensand water filter become saturated with filtered substances such as iron, it must regenerate or “Clean” itself of these substances. One of the biggest downfalls of this type of filter is its susceptibly to organic and iron bacteria type issues. If anything coats the minerals or grows on the surface of these minerals, it can cause the exchange process to become marginal or stop working altogether. Then the contaminant return to the water supply.

Another issue with greensand is that if you introduce a substance such as chlorine to the water to inhibit the growth of bacterium, the chlorine can degrade the mineral over time. That is why many people now use oxidizing filters that can also remove or reduce chlorine and require no regenerates such as potassium permanganate to buy.

Many people who have more than one contaminate in their household water supply have marginal experiences with Greensand as well. For example the success rate for Greensand while removing iron seems far higher than the success rate when both iron and sulfur are present in the water supply, particularly if they are present in large amounts. Once you introduce a third contaminant such as manganese the success rate drops even further. If you happen to have an organic issue of some type in addition, or iron bacteria issues, a Greensand water filtration system is almost certainly doomed for eventual failure and/or extensive maintenance and repair issues.

Potassium permanganate itself is probably the biggest issue in current times with a Greensand. It is listed on the Hazardous substance list cited by the EPA and EPA.

Here are two excerpts from the www.NJ.gov site:

HAZARD SUMMARY

  • Potassium Permanganate can affect you when breathed 
in.
  • Contact can severely irritate and burn the skin and eyes with possible eye damage.
  • Breathing Potassium Permanganate can irritate the nose and throat.
  • Breathing Potassium Permanganate can irritate the lungs causing coughing and/or shortness of breath. Higher exposures can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), a medical emergency, with severe shortness of breath.
  • Potassium Permanganate may affect the liver and kidneys.

HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION

Acute Health Effects

The following acute (short-term) health effects may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to Potassium Permanganate:

  •  Contact can severely irritate and burn the skin and eyes with possible eye damage.
  •  Breathing Potassium Permanganate can irritate the nose and throat.
  • Breathing Potassium Permanganate can irritate the lungs causing coughing and/or shortness of breath. Higher exposures can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), a medical emergency, with severe shortness of breath. 
Chronic Health Effects 
The following chronic (long-term) health effects can occur at some time after exposure to Potassium Permanganate and can last for months or years: 
Cancer Hazard 
* There is limited evidence that Potassium Permanganate may cause mutations (genetic changes). Whether or not it poses a cancer hazard needs further study. 
Reproductive Hazard
  • Potassium Permanganate may decrease fertility.

Other Long-Term Effects

  • Potassium Permanganate may affect the liver and kidneys.

It would seem reasonable that everyone selling this product would instruct (Warn) residential end users to take caution with the use of this product to keep it from getting on skin, clothes, hair, floors, living areas, household water supplies etc. Virtually no one does this. In that regard we find it an antiquated and marginal practice at the residential level. It might be advisable to refrain from buying any product from any vendor who would not warn you of its hazards.

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