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What water purity do laboratories need?
Why not tap water?
Tap water has far too many contaminants to be used in laboratories or for scientific purposes. Impurities, elements and compounds in amounts as small as one part per trillion, can influence results in many research experiments. Heavy metals and dissolved organics, commonly found in tap water, are particularly damaging to life science research. Some scientific applications such as High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) use detector base lines for calibration, and these require ultra pure water completely free of any impurities so that the results are the same in every situation. The water must especially be free of any elements that are being measured.
Because water purity is so important, several professional organizations have established water quality standards. Some of these influential groups are the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), US Pharmacopeia (USP), and the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS). NCCLS specifies three types of water--I, II, and III--and water intended for Special Purpose use.
What are the contaminants?
Contaminant is any substances you do not want in your water. These are also called impurities. Some common contaminants found in water are particulates, dissolved inorganic (solids and gases), dissolved organics, microorganisms, DNA, RNASE and pyrogens.
How should I purify my water?
You need to consider your application, the quantity of the water you need for your application and the existing condition of your feed water. If you are performing HPLC, Atomic Absorption, Mass Spectrometry or Gas Chromatographic Analyses, you will probably need a system that uses activated carbon, organic absorption, and deionization technologies. If you need bacteria-free water, then microporous filtration or ultrafiltration are better methods for your application. Given this information a water purification system can be matched to your needs. A call to one of our knowledgeable technical representatives may be helpful in deciding which system is the best one for your company.
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