Thanks for joining us for another edition of Gordon Water Wisdom with Tom Duisterhof from Gordon Water systems where they are focused on the quality of the water in your home, in your business, that which you would drink, you clean with, you wash all of those things. And boy, this subject has become front and center for a number of years now. With what went on in Flint, for example, and as well the the PFAS problem today, we’re going to talk about PFAS and other items in drinking water that you can’t see, taste or smell and how you can get peace of mind in knowing that you’re getting rid of those things. Tom, welcome back.
Well, thank you, Richard.
It is a little scary to contemplate that there are things in our water that might not be good for us that we can’t see, taste or smell, and we go along with the presumption that everything’s fine and we’re drinking away and we find out like we sort of did with PFAS that all of a sudden there’s a concern. This is scary, isn’t it?
It is. In our previous few episodes, we’ve talked about things like color and odor, and quite frankly, it’s nice when you can see or smell a contaminant, but more importantly, is addressing those we can’t see, taste or smell. Lead, that was an interesting scenario up in Flint because people were complaining about the quality of the water and the lead became a secondary test that all of a sudden they’re like, this is awful. But there was color and odor and taste with the change from the water supply in Flint. And then the lead testing came along with it. And just because it’s a municipality, then they’re like, Oh, we got a problem here. PFAS locally, whether it’s in the Belmont area, became a very energized topic 4 or 5 years ago, and then subsequently down in Parchment and even Portage and Kalamazoo there were some levels that were not good, so it certainly is prevalent. They talk about perfluorinated chemicals as being forever chemicals because they were so wonderfully made. Quite frankly, the bonds don’t break down very quickly. And so they’re nicknamed the forever chemicals, which is good in the applications in where they are used, where we’re not ingesting them. But it’s bad everywhere else, right? It’s something that certainly has come to the forefront, and it’s something we were on a fast track for learning about. We had a state engineer email us through our website, and I reached out to him because I thought it was odd that I had a state engineer from Lansing asking us for an RO system, and I needed more information.
So we talked and he said, Well, I’ve got an armory on House Street in Belmont that has PFAS and we need a whole building RO system. And I said, What is PFAS? Literally, I didn’t know anything about it. He said, do a little study, but give me a number. And so me and quite frankly, my water specialist for the Rockford Belmont area, we both did a lot of digging into what do we know about per fluorinated chemicals and what’s the best way to treat them. And we discovered high quality carbon is one avenue and reverse osmosis is another that was confirmed. But there wasn’t, quite frankly, a lot of history around the country yet. There were a couple of contamination sites, one up in the northeast and one down in West Virginia that we made some phone calls to find out what they were doing. And sure enough, they were using a lot of carbon for whole buildings and then ROs for drinking water as the solution, and both of them worked quite well. So we were thrown into it and for better or worse, took on the mantle, if you will, helped a lot of families, quite frankly.
I can imagine after having been in business nearly 50 years when there’s a water question, people know who to call. That’s Gordon Water. Because if they’ve been using a Gordon Water system or they’ve been getting bottled water from you, of course they have faith that you’ll have a solution and you found it. And so that’s incredible. And PFAS and other things that we’ll talk about are those things that you can’t taste and smell, and we go about our business presuming that everything’s fine and then we find these things out. So you were able to pivot quickly and and provide that solution, I presume, right?
Yeah. And we even did a test site because there was no proven track record for any piece of equipment. There were some studies or some things applied in other parts of the country, but we felt we had a really good solution because we were at a town Hall meeting, and I did address the front panel, the township and the health department and others with the solution. We had people that reached out to us after that and one of them was a friend of this person that was right in ground zero of the contamination in Belmont. So we got connected with him. We put in our test equipment and it worked superbly for one month, two months and now five years. And it changed their life because, you know, again, previously we’ve talked about color and odor and how uncomfortable it can make you feel when you’re using water in the home. But picture a family, a family that had two cases of unusual cancer in the family, the months leading up to the announcement that don’t drink your water and suddenly they’re going, our water could be the source for our ailments, right for our cancers. And one was of a child and one was a parent. So with the with the equipment that we put in and the testing subsequently that that showed that it was reducing drastically either down to non detect or single digits from very high numbers like triple digit numbers in parts per trillion. To this day, we’ve become friends. We stay in touch. Yeah, the father and I do, and I ask about his kids and whatnot because it changed their life. And it quite frankly impacted all of us at Gordon Water because, you know, soft water, iron free water, odor free water is all very nice for quality of life. But when you have people thank you, and they’re welling up with tears, then you start going we’re in a really important role in this and we are at the right time with the right equipment.
That’s the truth. Boy, congratulations on that job well done. There are other things, too, that could be in water that isn’t necessarily PFAS, but that you can’t smell, taste or see and you’re focused on some of those things and have been for years, right?
Yeah. The phone started ringing with Flint because it created that, well, you can’t taste lead, at least not in the levels that are of concern. If you’re drinking lead liquid lead, that’s a problem, but a it would be molten and be very hurtful. But you just don’t taste it when it’s in your water. And so that along with things like nitrates, arsenic and other things, but those those are kind of the big ones when you’re in a farming area. Nitrates, fertilizer. Yeah, you know, you don’t taste those, but that’s pretty important. There’s something called Blue Baby Syndrome when you have nitrates above the 10 parts per million, you’re required to have equipment to bring it down below that. And I tell people, let’s take it down to non detectable, if at all possible, especially if there’s an infant in the home or a pregnancy or something. We want to make sure we’re taking care of that because it does hinder oxygen uptake in an infant and hence blue baby. And so nitrates is certainly a big one, and we have a lot of rural customers, whether it was orchards or farm fields, you know, the nitrate can be an issue.
Well, I reserved questions specifically about water systems just because I know we’re going to get further into that in the coming episodes. But you talked about reverse osmosis. The R.O type system is RO part of every system you offer or is that just one option?
Well, as drinking water, it is quite frankly a solution for everything. And I don’t mean 100 percent of 100 percent of everything. But what I do mean is an RO system a high quality one is going to reduce those manmade components called organics that are long chain things, as well as things like arsenic and lead and other things that are more elemental because they’re natural elements. But, you know, copper too much can be a problem. So you want to take care of that. So what I tell people is regardless of the contaminant de jure, the reverse osmosis drinking water system is going to address by far and away the vast majority of anything that’s already in our water that maybe we’re not testing for, right? Because it is today’s technology for making high purity water. And so I strongly recommend drinking water system for everybody when we talk about nitrates or even arsenic for a whole home because you don’t want to necessarily shower or brush your teeth or all of that, right? We have customers with whole home arsenic systems because they’ve had health problems and they discovered they had high levels of arsenic. And so we do whole home nitrate. We do a whole home arsenic, whole home PFAS, a home lead, all of that we can do. But I fully recommend a polish with a high quality reverse osmosis system just to make sure regardless if you’re tackling one contaminant for your house, the drinking water system for rinsing your fruits and vegetables and drinking and making all your juices, teas, coffees fully recommended just to make sure you’re doing everything you can for yourself and your family.
Makes a lot of sense. And as you contemplate that in our next episode, we’re going to talk about what you need to know before you buy a whole house water system. So be watching for that particular episode that will come later in November of 2021. Of course, if you’re stumbling on this, well after that, this information is still good to know. So Episode five will bring you that information and expand on the whole house water systems that Tom is referring to. In the meantime, if we’ve sparked a question, all you have to do is go to the show notes for this episode and click on the link to Gordon Water Systems. And Tom and his team can answer your questions and begin a process to take a look at your water and analyze it if that’s what you’d like to do. And so they’re ready to do that, just look in the show notes for those details. There’s also a link there to all of the episodes that are so far constituted the Gordon Water Wisdom series here on the Richard Piett Show, so check those out as well. Until next time. Tom, thank you.