Archive for September, 2012

Concerned About Your Drinking Water? Filtration Systems Protect You from a Host of Hazards

As seen in the September issue of the Mann Management Report:

“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 1798

Safe and healthy drinking water is crucial to human life. New York City has long heralded its  “world-renowned” drinking water, delivering a billion gallons a day from pristine upstate reservoirs to the taps of nine million thirsty customers. But a lot can happen in the 100-plus miles of travel it takes that water to get to your drinking glass. Many New Yorkers have experienced water problems from bad odor to poor taste to discoloration that have led them to take action.


New York City’s water flows from a series of pristine reservoirs, like the Ashokan Reservoir in the Catskills, above, at the rate of a billion gallons a day, traveling 100 miles or more to reach your tap.
Photo By Chester Karwatowski

The city’s ongoing backflow prevention campaign is designed to prevent any hazardous materials from flowing into the drinking water supply. But what is protecting the water supply within your building? Many property managers have received complaints of dirty water, bad tasting water, and mineral-laden “hard” water from boards and residents, problems that can affect the health and safety of residents, as well as the efficiency and life expectancy of building systems. All of these problems can be addressed with under-the-sink filtration systems, building-wide filtration systems, pipe de-scaling systems, or all three.

While many people have turned to bottled water as a solution, in some ways it is also part of the problem. Plastic water bottles have become a major environmental concern in this country. Americans buy more than 30 billion bottles of water each year; of those, about two million tons end up in landfills. The oil needed to produce all those bottles is enough to keep a million cars on the road for an entire year. On top of that, the water inside those bottles is often nothing more than filtered tap water or chemically treated spring water, neither of which is necessarily good for your health. The bottled water industry is loosely regulated, with no guarantee of water quality. In a four-year study, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that nearly a quarter of the water tested contained contaminants exceeding state health limits, some of which leaches in from the plastic bottles themselves.

Plus, buying bottled water is expensive. New York City officials estimate that New Yorkers can spend up to $1,400 per year by drinking bottled water instead of tap water. For a fraction of that, you could install an under-the-sink reverse osmosis system that will provide you and your family with safe, filtered drinking water every day.

Filtration Systems Protect People and Property

            “The EPA has identified more than 84,000 contaminants, but requires municipalities to test drinking water for the presence of only 90,” says Bobby Bellini, past President of the Master Plumbers Council of the City of New York and President of Varsity Plumbing. “Often ‘legal’ levels of toxins are higher than those considered ‘safe,’” he adds. “With the right filtration system, you can remove contaminants and restore beneficial minerals, resulting in safe, great-tasting drinking water.”

Many people routinely use pitcher style or faucet-mounted filters to “purify” their drinking water. But these types of filters remove only some of the potential toxins in your water, such as chlorine and fluoride. A reverse osmosis system such as the Easy Water Revitalife system, removes or reduces most contaminants, while restoring beneficial minerals to your drinking water.

When it comes to the building as a whole, “Lime, calcium and magnesium in the water can build up inside pipes, heaters and boilers, and reduce efficiency by up to 35 percent,” says Bellini. An electronic de-scaling system installed in the building sends electronic frequencies through the pipes, physically changing the minerals that form scale into a state that resists adhering to surfaces. Over time, existing scale is removed, while new scale build-up is prevented. These de-scaling systems are unlike salt conditioners in several ways: the salt in salt systems needs ongoing replenishment, which can cost up to $4,000 per year. In addition, high doses of sodium, absorbed through drinking or washing, can be a health hazard, especially for those with high blood pressure.

Building-wide filtration systems can also be installed to remove contaminants from the entire water supply in multi-family buildings. While 20 percent of personal water usage is for drinking, most is used for showering and bathing, and washing food, clothes and dishes. Toxins and disinfecting agents such as chlorine can be absorbed through the skin, inhalation or by eating foods washed or cooked in untreated water, and can pose health risks. Building-wide filtration systems ensure that all the water you use is safe.

According to the EPA, the average American family of four uses close to 300 gallons of water inside their home every day. Protect your family, your clients and your properties from dangerous toxins and contaminants by getting the right water filtration and treatment systems in all your buildings. For more information or to view videos on how to ensure that your building and your clients’ buildings have healthy water, visit or or Or call 718-358-5400.


An under-the-counter filtration system can provide you with safe drinking water at a fraction of the cost of bottled water, and without the negative environmental impact of using plastic bottles.

Bobby Bellini, President of Varsity Plumbing and Heating, Inc.

50th anniversary