Water treatment for well drillers working in residential, commercial and industrial settings can be a whole lot easier with the right filtration media. One good filtration media water professionals might try is zeolite. Natural zeolite, consisting of aluminosilicate minerals, provides outstanding filtration of suspended solids due to the high surface area of the granules.

Turbidex is one of the hundreds of natural zeolites similar to what professional drillers use in residential and commercial well drilling. Zeolites in the well drilling industry are mined and used as a solid or fluid to help keep the borehole open during the drilling process and well abandonment. This unique filtration media, distributed exclusively by Water-Right, is available for use in a variety of residential and commercial water treatment applications. I spoke with Luke Java, the company’s director of sales and marketing, to learn more.

Q. What makes a zeolite like Turbidex a better water filtration media than traditional options like sand multimedia?

A. In many applications, Turbidex is superior due to its small micron rating of partial size removal. The filtration media can remove down to 3 to 5 micron-sized particles. Combined with a better loading capacity, this media eliminates the need for pre-filtration in most water-using appliances and point-of-entry systems.

Traditional filtration requires the use of cartridges, which can get expensive due to replacement costs. The alternative option is to use multimedia filtration, which typically uses two to three different media types in a single vessel, including anthracite, granite and sand. In this scenario, the media traps larger particles at the top portion of the media bed and smaller particles near the bottom in a single pass. The down side: This filtration process generally requires a higher volume of water for proper backwashing. To overcome these common application issues, a product like ours is 50 percent lighter than traditional filtration media types, making it extremely versatile from an application standpoint.

Q. What are the biggest benefits of using your product in water treatment?

A. Let’s start with cost savings. The media’s primary use in pre-filtration applications, such as commercial reverse osmosis, will eliminate the use of chemicals for cleaning of the systems’ membranes. In many cases, Turbidex replaces the use and purchase of large cartridges as pretreatment, which makes it easier to maintain and more affordable. Because the media is lighter than other filtration systems, freight costs are up to 50 percent less, which also contributes to savings for businesses and residents alike.

Probably the biggest benefit is the media’s versatility and overall filtration performance. Because the media is lighter and can easily filter down to a smaller micron level, holding more dirt before backwashing, less backwashing is required. This helps conserve water and energy while saving money.

Q. Why is Turbidex a solution for pretreating water before going through a reverse osmosis system?

A. The media’s superior micron removal means little to no particles come in contact with the surface of the reverse osmosis membrane. The minerals in hard water are tough enough on a membrane, plugging microscopic openings on the surface and beyond. Small sediment is even tougher on those membranes. Using a zeolite like ours as a pretreatment is a cost-effective way of providing preventative maintenance for most reverse osmosis applications and can cut back on replacement costs associated with typical filtration systems.

Q. What are the most common applications?

A. Because of its ability to filter a large volume of water, it is most commonly used in commercial and industrial applications. Municipal water treatment and the food and beverage industry are two primary areas where Turbidex is used frequently thanks to its versatility and filtration efficiency. In residential applications where sands, silt and turbidity are a nuisance, it has proven to be extremely accepted as well.

Q. What is the difference between Turbidex and a synthetic zeolite like Crystal-Right?

A. While Crystal-Right is labeled “synthetic” and Turbidex is called “natural,” both medias are naturally-produced filtration products.

The definition of a zeolite truly represents a media that has not only good filtration principles, but ion exchange principles as well. Turbidex is a natural material and has some ion-exchange capabilities, though it is not used exclusively in applications as an ion exchange media. Crystal-Right is a manufactured natural material with a higher level of ion exchange abilities due to the control of the elements going into the zeolite during the manufacturing process.