Reverse osmosis for salt free water

BORE water quality can vary dramatically.

BREAKING THE DRY: Australian manufacturer of domestic and commercial desalination units, Saltfree, have units installed to reclaim bore water across Australia.

BREAKING THE DRY: Australian manufacturer of domestic and commercial desalination units, Saltfree, have units installed to reclaim bore water across Australia.

Mineral salts such as calcium and magnesium can contribute to water hardness and scaling. 

Sodium and chloride are the primary contributors to salinity in water, potentially affecting irrigation use, let alone potability.

With much of the country in, or approaching drought, methods of bore water remediation are once again the popular topic at country barbecues.

Saltfree, owner operator, Brian Schulz, said he and his wife Carolyn have been manufacturing and installing reverse osmosis desalination units across mainland Australia for about ten years. 

“Our smallest units are designed to produce up to 15,000 litres a day of potable water,” he said.

“We also build units capable of up to half a million litres for commercial operations.”

Mr Schulz said a core motivation in their business was helping people.

“It makes a big impact on peoples lives when you can supply them with decent water,” he said.

“They really do have options available now, it’s not like farming in the 1960s.”

It makes a big impact on people's lives when you can supply them with decent water

Brian Schulz

Mr Schulz said reverse osmosis was a simple process.

“You pass water under very high pressure, through very fine filters, known as membranes,” he said. 

“The membranes effectively keep the mineral content on one side of the fabric.

“While the fresh potable water is extracted through an internal membrane which has pores that act as a pipe.

“The mineral content won’t pass through the internal membranes.”

Mr Schulz said there was a range of mineral salts that could be present in bore water, affecting quality and potability. 

“The yield of fresh water would depend on the mineral content,” he said.

“Brackish water is classed from about zero to 10,000 parts per million (ppm) total soluble salts.

“Most potable drinking water is around 100 ppm and seawater is about 32,000 ppm.”

Mr Schulz said another consideration when costing a unit was power usage but solar is an option.

Bore water is not only essential to many landholders for livestock but also domestic usage.

Bore water is not only essential to many landholders for livestock but also domestic usage.