FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions:-

The 5 in 1 is our highest level of protection and filtration, with each technology playing a role to condition the water for the next. The Thirsty Nomad is ideal for the immune compromised, the young with not yet fully developed immune systems,  and for the off-road traveller, who may wish to draw water from rivers and creeks where waters may have signs of turbidity (suspended silt and sediment). The 5 in 1’s 0.01 Ultrafiltration (the same technology used by the Military, Kidney Dialysis and the LifeStraw) has been in use for over 15 years and is a membrane filter capable of removing 99.999% (log 5) of viruses, 99.999999% (log 8) of bacteria (including E. coli), 99.999% (log 5) of parasites (Giardia, Cryptosporidium, etc.), and 99.999% (log 5) of microplastics.

The main function of granular acivated carbon is the retention of organic contaminants and the elimination, by chemical reaction, of the free residual chlorine that remains in the water after chlorine disinfection . The removal of free chlorine is removed in the first few centimeters of the carbon bed, so there is no longer any protection against bacterial growth in the rest of the bed. Sooner or later, bacteria can enter from a poorly disinfected influent, or from some point in the effluent pipe.

The W.H.O’s multiple studies have proven that it takes hours of contact time for silver to be effective. What silver does, is inhibit the multiplication of bacteria. Some vendors claim the elimination of bacteria with Silver, but we have only seen lab results that confirm the “hours” of contact time that it needs. This is not how caravanners use these filters, the water runs through the silver at a very fast flow rate – certainly not hours.  So if the water you are about to drink contains a dangerous dose of E coli, treating it with silver will not give you much protection. The silver treatment is intended to stop any bacteria from multiplying in in the granular activated carbon. 

This happens mainly when there is no water circulation while the granular activated carbon is out of service. Bacteria reproduce, and turn the granular activated carbon into a source of contamination. In order to inhibit bacterial growth, the surface of the carbon is usually impregnated with metallic silver. The resulting carbon is called bacteriostatic. (remember the term “bacteriostatic” – we’ll explain futher later).

Futhermore, the colloidal silver impregnation method has been declared an unacceptable form of disinfection in point of use water filters by the USA EPA. 

Furthermore, in 2018 a W.H.O study concluded that:

“Silver has not demonstrated significant capability to be considered a candidate for primary disinfection of drinking water. There are insufficient data to document that it acts against a broad spectrum of pathogenic organisms. Performance efficacy has been adequately documented only for some bacteria and not for viruses and protozoan parasites. The impact of water chemistry is often neglected in efficacy studies, and further, long contact times are generally required“. Citation: Alternative drinking-water disinfectants: bromine, iodine and silver. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018.

It is vitally important that people understand the difference between a Bactericidal agent and a Bacteriostatic one. A bactericidal agent is one that is applied to a fluid in order to kill the bacteria contained in it. Examples of bactericidal agents for water treatment are chlorine, iodine, ozone, chlorine dioxide, chloramines and silver ions. The latter are dosed by electrolysis, from a silver anode, in which an electric current causes the oxidation of the metal, which is released into the water in its ionic state (Ag+).

In contrast, a bacteriostatic agent is not dosed into the fluid, but remains fixed in the solid. Therefore, silver-impregnated carbon is bacteriostatic but not bactericidal. In other words, it serves to inhibit bacterial growth on its surface, but does not guarantee the annihilation of microorganisms if they are carried by water in relatively high concentrations.

The Thirsty Nomad’s Quantum Disinfection™ has been tested by a Certified Laboratory to meet the NSF Protocol 231 meaning that our media acts as a microbiological purifier.

The Thirsty Nomad combines 5 stages of water treatment processes into one unit. All of these filtration and ultrafiltration mechanisms work together to enable our Quantum DisinfectionTM to kill viruses, disease causing bacteria and other contaminants far smaller than submicron filtration alone can do. 

To answer this question, it is important to understand that “flow rate” is influenced by “water pressure”. We understand that as a caravanner, you will encounter many different water sources at varying pressures. The Thirsty Nomad has been specifically designed to flow at an optimal “water to filter” contact time. The Thirsty Nomad “5 in 1” will flow at between 4 and 10 litres per minute depending on water pressure. We don’t expect that at your home or at a caravan park you will encounter any greater water pressure than 80psi. 

Please note, over time, your Thirsty Nomad will slow over time, that is because it is doing it’s job of removing contaminants. When the flow really starts to slow down – you know that the filter is coming to the end of it’s life. 

Our field testing provided us with the following Flow Rates:

@80psi – Flow Rate will be 10 Litres per minute

@60psi – Flow Rate will be 8 Litres per minute

If you have installed your Thirsty Nomad permanently (after the pump) this will be a water pressure of 55psi – which is most standard caravan pumps – at this pressure, the Thirsty Nomad should flow out of your taps at around 4 litres per minute. 

 

Our 5 in 1 Purifier will last for 7,500 litres or 12 months – this is depending on the water quality through the purifier. 

The more you use your purifiers, the slower the flow rate will get over time, while this may seem frustrating, it is an indictor that the purifier has been doing it’s job in removing maximum contaminants, and it may be time for a replacement Thirsy Nomad purifier.  To get the “longevity” out of your “5 in 1” purifier we recommend that you use the Thirsty Nomad Bore Water & Sediment Filter to fill your tanks and our “5 in 1” purifier to purify your water at the point of use – inside your van, either just after the pump or under your sink. 

 

Yes, that is exactly what is it was designed for. We recommend to our customers that they always draw water from as clear a water source as you can find. However, with The Thirsty Nomad 5 in 1 Purifier, you can also draw water from a natural water source that shows signs of turbidity, in this case, we recommend that you draw from the top 10 – 15cm layer of the river or creek. Continual use in very turbid water will shorten the life of the filter. 

Water is best filtered at the last possible point of use, that is why we recommend to install the Thirsty Nomad under your sink at the source of where you will obtain your drinking water or immediate after your pump, in you van if you wish to purify all of your van’s water. Some caravans will have a separate drinking water tap – the size of this water line is usually 1/4″. The Thirsty Nomad can be installed into this 1/4″ line. Additionally, some camper trailers have a 12mm line and just one tap – the Thirsty Nomad can be installed into this 12mm line as well.  Upon checkout select the “Permanent” option from the drop down box and you will recieve a pack of 4 push fittings: 2 x 12mm and 2 x 1/4″ (6mm). If you are installing the Thirsty Nomad into your van to filter all of the van’s water, we recommend that the most ideal placement of the Thirsty Nomad purifier is  after the pump. (NOTE: the Thirsty Nomad is not a simple ‘sediment’ filter, it is a water purifier that is (eliminating bacteria) from water). As the Thirsty Nomad 5 in 1 purifier has Ultrafiltration of 0.01 micron, it works best with the aid of the pumps pressure “pushing” the water through the purifier. 

Typically, the water pressure entering a van’s pipe system is usually around 45psi and ‘normally’, by the time the water reaches the Thirsty Nomad purifier,  the pressure should be around 35psi. (there is loss of pressure going through the water pipe system). This would typically result in a flow rate out of your taps of between 4-6 litres per minute. This is usually ideal for camping and will also provide you with, not only optimal water contact time with our filter and therefore optimal contaminant removal, but also with water conservation benefits.

Yes, the 5 in 1 purifier comes with both 12mm and 6mm (1/4”) fittings that will easily push onto either a 12mm, 16mm or 6mm (1/4”) cold water lines. Both of our models can be used at point of fill with a standard garden hose fitting or point of use (under your sink). But, as Scientists, we always advise our customers to filter and purify their water at the very last possible point of use. 

The Thirsty Nomad has a 5 micron carbon fibre block and a 0.01 Ultrafiltration hollow fibre membrane unit, and finally our Quantum Disinfection media. Our Quantum Disinfection™ media has a disinfection rating of 6 log reduction = 99.9999% reduction and the Quantum Disinfection™ has an electrochemical micron equivalent rating of 0.001 micron.

Yes, the Quantum Disinfection™ has 7 global patents.

It is a high purity, alumina based, environmentally friendly, solid ceramic media, odorless and insoluble that supports nano-composite materials that use the quantum mechanic principals of electron movement to create powerful catalysts for pathogen elimination within 0.1 of a second with an efficacy of 99.9999%. Best of all, the Quantum Disinfection will not leach anything into the water. 

Away from the traditional disinfection methods (chlorine, alcohol, bromide, ozone or UV), Quantum Disinfection™ uses a discharged surface (positive quantum field) that attracts electrons from microorganisms causing their entire structure to collapse.

As harmful microorganisms come into direct contact with the Quantum Disinfection media, the electrons inside the pathogens are irretrievably attracted by the positively charged surface. This causes the entire structure of the micro-organisms to collapse on a molecular scale.

Yes, our 5 in 1 Purifier’s first stage media removes heavy metals such as Arsenic III, Arsenic V, Cadmium, Copper, Antimony, Lead, Mercury, Uranium, Zinc, Selenium.

Unlike traditional activated carbon in powder or granular form, Activated Carbon Fiber Block (in our 5 in 1 Purifier) is a fibrous adsorbent that is 10x more adsorbent than traditional granular activated carbon and gives you 15 – 20 times higher contaminant removal than granular activated carbon filters. The Thirsty Nomad Activated Carbon Fiber Block removes chemicals, chlorine, heavy metals, discoloration and improves taste. The carbon particles in a block filter are usually 5 to 20 times smaller than the particles used in GAC filters. 

Yes, our team of engineers have tested the “5 in 1” in the field with a hand pump and a foot pump – the pressure an adult can generate with a hand pump and/or a foot pump is enough to push water through the Thirsty Nomad “5 in 1”

At many caravan parks around Australia, you may encounter a tap that may be fed from a bore and may be marked as “non potable”. Only  approximately 30% of Australia’s groundwater is potable (containing less than 1500 mg/L of TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) so you may find that these water sources may be too salty for human consumption.  The remainder of Australia’s groundwater varies from brackish to highly saline, and can be saltier than sea water. In particular, the Western Australia tablelands have salty groundwater.  

The Thirsty Nomad “5 in 1”  is not designed to remove salt from highly saline waters – this is the domain of Reverse Osmosis, the Thirsty Nomad can handle water that is between 500mg/L and 1000mg/L TDS but only for a limited time or quantity of water – we do not recommend that the Thirsty Nomad be used to desalinate bore water over a long period of time. But, if you had to fill your tanks with water, you could. The Thirsty Nomad’s 0.01 micron Ultrafiltration will keep you safe. 

Guideline levels for TDS in drinking water is based on quality (taste), not safety (health risk). TDS guidelines vary because they are based on panels of tasters describing water which is very subjective and dependant on personal preference and to what a person is accustomed.

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and TDS

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines stipulate:

  • “based on taste, TDS (TDS are recorded in milligrams per litre (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm) in drinking water should not exceed 500 mg/L” although “water with a TDS content of up to 1000 mg/L is acceptable to many”
  • water will become increasingly undrinkable in the 1000 to 2000 mg/L range.

Based on taste, the following categories are provided to rate drinking water according to TDS concentrations:

  • less than 600 mg/L is regarded as good quality drinking water.
  • 600 to 900 mg/L is regarded as fair quality.
  • 900 to 1200 mg/L is regarded as poor quality.
  • greater than 1200 mg/L is regarded as unacceptable
Many caravan parks throughout the Kimberley, Central Australia, WA and the NT may supply their caravan park with ‘treated’ bore water. This water will be treated with chlorine to make it microbiologically safe but it will still contain sediment and potentially high mineral content such as Iron, Manganese and Calcium – this water can reduce “clog” and thus reduce the life of your Thirsty Nomad. Our complete water treatment solution comprises of our Thirsty Nomad Bore Water & Sediment Filter to fill your tanks and our “5 in 1” Purifier to “purify” your water inside your van – best installed after you pump to purify all the water in your van or under the sink at the point of use. 

    Please do not backwash your Thirsty Nomad, it does not require backwashing. The Ultrafiltration in your Thirsty Nomad is a “mechanical’ filter via fine membrane filters in a straw like pattern and backwashing may destroy the fine membranes contained within our 0.01 Ultrafiltration.  Backwashing is generally used for granular activated carbon beds that have what we call in the water industry “free-board” – this is the gap or free space/ open area in your filter that enables the carbon fines to be “tossed about” in back washing and mixed up. If your caravan filter is tightly packed then backwashing is not effective and your filter has not been packed to allow for the ‘movement’ of the granular activated carbon. The process of backwashing granuar activated carbon in common in water treatment plants where they have engineering and designed in the requisite area for the ‘free movement’ for backwashing. We see many caravan filters that are tightly packed and don’t even allow for any “free-space” for the carbon media to be tossed about in the backwash process. 

     

    Chlorine is widely used to disinfect water, and this can produce (free) chlorinated organic by-products. According to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, the Odour threshold is generally 0.6 mg/L, but 0.2 mg/L
    for a few people. In some supplies it may be necessary to exceed
    the aesthetic guideline in order to maintain an effective disinfectant
    residual throughout the system. The free chlorine in municipal tap waters will generally be between 0.1mg/L and 0.3mg/L. 

    We like to give you honesty and facts and let you decide:

    The carbon fibre block in the Thirsty Nomad was tested with 0.2mg/L of chlorine and the results demonstrated that our carbon fibre block can adsorb the following chlorine levels (expressed a a %) over the lifetime of the filter. 

    From ‘new’ 0L to 2000L of water volume throughput, containing 0.2mg/L of chlorine, the Thirsty Nomad can remove 100% Chlorine. For water volume throughput of between 2000L and 4000L use, the Thirsty Nomad can remove 96% of Chlorine at a level of 0.2mg/L. Between 4000L and 6000L use, the Thirsty Nomad can remove 92% of chlorine. You can read these results by clicking on the below link: 

    https://thethirstynomad.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Carbon-Fibre-Block_Chlorine-Removal-Test-Results.pdf

     

    The dimensions of the filter housing are outlined below. 

    Yes, both our Heavy Metal Removal Media and our Quantum Disinfection media removes fluoride. The addition of fluoride to a drinking water supply is generally governed by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. The Guidelines recommend a health-related guideline value (maximum concentration) of 1.5 mg/L for fluoride, which mirrors the World Health Organization Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality 2006. Additionally,
    Fluoride can occur in groundwater used for drinking, but typically at concentrations less than the drinking-water standard for human health. You are welcome to read our Laboratory Results of our Heavy Metal removal media and it’s ability to remove fluoride and the results of our Quantum Disinfection and it’s ability to remove Fluoride. You can see the report here (clink on the blue text below).

    Heavy Metal Removal Media_Laboratory Results and Fact Sheet

    Some of our customers have asked if The Thirsty Nomad can be used with some of the Sand Pump filters that are on the market. The simple answer is no, this is not an ideal scenario. Why? You Ask. Well, sand has a micron rating of between  63 micron to 2000 micron. Silt is typically 3.9 micron to 63 microns and Clay is 3.9 micron to 0.98 microns. The silt and clay that may also be found in sand could get through a sand filter and will likely clog The Thirsty Nomad Purifier. This is why we recommend people use a 1 micron sediment filter prior to the Purifier when drawing from rivers and creeks. Sediment filters are specifically designed to handle those fine silts and clays. Sand may also be high is dissolved minerals, which could also the Thirsty Nomad.

    Our Bore Water & Sediment Filter is a 5 micron polyspun polypropelene sediment filter which contains Corosex media. What is Corosex media you ask?

    Corosex Media is mineral-based product used to raise low pH water. Corosex media is magnesia (magnesium oxide, or MgO). Magnesia, which has been used for years as an antacid therapy for indigestion (Milk of Magnesia), can likewise be an effective acid-water neutralizer. 

     

    Corosex® Advantages:

    – fast acting
    – capable of large pH corrections – effective over a wide pH range of 4.5 to 6.0
    – certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 60

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    Meets Australian Drinking Water Guidelines for E.Coli

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    Scientifically proven by Australian Laboratory tested under the AU/NZS Standards for Water Microbiology