FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions:-

FIRST THINGS FIRST - you must have a 55psi pump to use our Purifier. Please check that your van is fitted with a 55psi Pump!

The fact that our Quantum Disinfection media meets the stringent certificatin of NSF Protocol 231, meaning that it acts as a disinfection media. Quantum Disinfection has a disinfection rating of 99.99% and kills bacteria and viruses within 0.1/second. Additionally, the Thirsty Nomad has been tested to AS/NZS Standard 4276.7 Water Microbiology to meet Australian Drinking Water Guidelines for e.Coli.  Our Quantum Disinfection meets the highest global standard for disinfection, that being the NSF Protocol 231. Our 1 micron activated media has an absolute (not nominal) 1 micron rating – becuase there is a difference. Our 1 micron activated achieved 94.6 % bacterial removal at 1 micron. The surface of our activated 1 micron filter media has a neutral charge (hydrophobic surface) to adsorb fine particles, organics and microplastics. The surface also has metal oxide catalysts which produce free radicals and thus a high redox potential, which makes it self-sterilising. Our 1 micron filter media prevents bacteria from settling to make it a unique, bio-resistant filter material. All of these facts make the Thirsty Nomad a purifier and not just a filter. 

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.

Yes, the Thirsty Nomad purifier can be installed either vertically or horizontally. However, you must take care to make sure that the flow direction is as per the label on the filter. The ‘direction of water’ flow is important.  

To answer this question, it is important to understand that “flow rate” is influenced by “water pressure”. 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 5 litres per minute when installed in your van, after a 55psi van pump and before your hot water off take line. 

Please note, over time, your Thirsty Nomad water flow rate will slow, that is because your purifier 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 team provided us with the following Flow Rates:

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

@55psi – Flow Rate will be between 4 – 5 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. 

 

People often ask, “how long does it last”. This is not the right question to ask of a filter. No water filter company can answer this question with certainty – how LONG a filter will last as is entirely dependent on water quality and water volume throughput. Particularly in the case of caravanning, where water quality is variable. Our 5 in 1 Purifier will last for 7,500 litres – provided it is used to purify clear, clean water. To get the maximum life out of our purifier, we always recommend you fill your van with our Bore Water & Sediment Pre-Filter.

The more you use your purifier, 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 Pre-Filter to fill your tanks and our “5 in 1” purifier to purify your water at the point of use – inside your van, after the pump and under your sink as a dedicated drinking water purifier. 

 

Yes, that is exactly what is it was designed for but you must use our 1 micron sediment pre-filter upstream of the Thristy Nomad – to reduce the sediment load on the Thirsty Nomad to ensure filter life is met. Anything larger than 1 micron is not recommended – we’ve tested this and you really need our 1 micron sediment filter first when drawing from rivers and creeks. 

We recommend to our customers that they always draw water from a. freshwater b. from as clear a water source as you can find c. from flowing water. We also 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. Have a read of the section on our website called 12 Volt portable water purifier – this section talks all about using the Thristy Nomad when drawing from rivers or creeks.  

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 and cooking water. You must always install the Thirsty Nomad after a 55psi caravan water pump.  Smaller pumps that are less than 55pis will not work with the Thirsty Nomad. Some caravans may 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.  With your Thirsty Nomad purifier you will recieve a pack of 4 push fittings: 2 x 12mm and 2 x 1/4″ (6mm). The most ideal placement of the Thirsty Nomad purifier is  after the pump and after the hot water line junction. (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 is highly engineered with a fine micron rating, it works best with the aid of 55psi pump pressure “pushing” the water through the purifier. 

Typically, the water pressure entering a van’s pipe system is usually around 55psi and ‘normally’, by the time the water reaches the Thirsty Nomad purifier,  the pressure should be around 45psi. (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 4-5 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. The Thirsty Nomad “5 in 1” purifier must be installed in a dedicated drinking water, cold water line – this way, you are only using the purifier to purify your drinking and cooking water. By using your Thirsty Nomad as a dedicated drinking water purifier you will also get the maximum life/litreage out of the purifier. Remember, purifier life is determined by water quality input. Once the flow starts to demonstrably slow – this is when the purifier is letting you know that it is time for a new purifier. 

The Thirsty Nomad has a 5 micron carbon fibre block and a 1 micron activated media, and finally our 0.001 micron 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 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 activated carbon fibres remove heavy metals such as  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 5 micron 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. 

No, the Thirsty Nomad “5 in 1” requires the pressure of a 55psi pump to push the water through the fine internal filters contained inside of our Purifier. If you have a 45psi pump in your van you may find that the water flow rate is less than 4 litres per minute. We have designed our purifier to optimally work with a aide of a 55psi caravan water pump. 

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 – This is why the Complete Caravan Water Filter System is to fill your tanks with our Bore Water & Sediment Filter and then purify your water with our ‘5 in 1’ purifier. 

Our Bore Water & Sediment Filter will protect your plumbing lines and appliances from scale and mineralisation which leads to clogging. 

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 for drinking water use.

    Please do not backwash your Thirsty Nomad, it does not require backwashing. 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. We see poorly designed caravan filters that are expensive and popular that have very tightly packed granular activated carbon – in this instance being so tightly packed, 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 large municipal water treatment plants where they have engineered and designed the requisite area for the ‘free movement’ of 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.  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 “5 IN 1” Thirsty Nomad purifier that is recommended to be installed inside your van is a small compact standard sized filter housing. The length of the “5 in 1” purifier is 25cm long (250mm). The diametre of the purifier is: 5cm (50mm). The weight of the “5 in 1” purifier is 350 grams. 

    Yes, 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 finer silts and clays may also be found in sand – these will get through a sand filter and will likely clog The Thirsty Nomad Purifier and most other brands of filter – we aren’t talking brands here, we’re talking about filter mediums. 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 – carbon filters are not. Sand may also be high is dissolved minerals, which could also cause mineralisation in the Thirsty Nomad Purifier. In short, our 1 micron sediment is a good “step 1” filter if you are using a sand filter. 

    Our Bore Water & Sediment Filter is a 1 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

    Yes, at the moment, it is what it is. While we tried to design a purifier that was refillable, the technology and the internal workings of the “5 in 1” purifier just didn’t lend itself to a refillable filter cartridge, like our Bore Water & Sediment Pre-Filter. For the “5 in 1” purifier, you will have to buy a new replacement Purifier unit once your old purifier unit  is ready to be replaced. These are available via our online store and are $195.95 – these replacement purifier units do not come with fittings as we assume you will already have the fittings you need from the old filter. However, we really do want you to get the maximum life out of your “5 in 1” purifier – if you use it with our pre-filter, there is really no reason why you should not get well over 7,500 litres out of your “5 in 1” purifier. 

    Stage One and Pre-Filtration of Bore Water is ESSENTIAL
    CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE TO READ

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