Water is the lifeblood of our homes. We are fortunate enough that no-one in New Zealand wants for drinking water.
Despite summer droughts (and encouragement from some city councils to share a shower in summer) we are able to keep ourselves clean too. But how pure is the water we use?
Behind the wall
When building a new home how many of us know what plumbing system is installed behind our wall? We choose the colour of our carpet, select our tapware and vanity, but we should be just as aware of what goes on ‘behind the scenes’.
Drink it in
Since the 1970s, plastic pipes have been more and more commonly used for domestic plumbing as the cost of copper has increased. At first glance, plastic materials look similar, but how many of us can look at chemical names and fully understand a material’s chemical properties?
In reality, there is a tremendous difference between plastics: at the basic molecular level there can be substantial differences in their toxicity, how long they are safe to use, brittleness, chemical sensitivities, expected life and recyclability.
Aquatherm polypropylene piping products are fully recyclable, non toxic, PVC free and approved by Greenpeace as a future-approved plumbing material product. The fusiotherm® product range is suitable for both hot and cold water. It does not contain heavy metals and is very stable, meaning no chemicals will leach into your drinking water supply.
Let it out
Waste water from your sinks and showers (known as “greywater”) travels through your drains and waste water pipes, ending up in the storm water system. For a healthy home and environment, FPB recommend a Marley Drain, Waste and Vent (DWV) system to remove any waste or greywater from toilets, sinks and showers.
Unplasticised PVC pipe is approved for use in water supply by the World Health Organisation and other independent bodies. All uPVC drinking-water products in New Zealand must meet stringent international standards and testing at independent laboratories.
Marley DWV uPVC pipes and fittings are lead free, cadmium free, mercury free and plasticisers free, making it a healthy option. uPVC (Unplasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride) is a type of plastic that is easily melted and reformed into many products you will see around your home.
Marley is one of the few New Zealand manufacturers of uPVC pipe and fittings for DWV to the residential market. They also make Rainwater harvesting systems suitable to collect high-quality drinking water.
Turn it on
The taps our drinking water flows from have traditionally been made using high, sometimes unsafe, levels of lead. Although some tapware is still made this way, new methods mean that lead can be nearly eliminated from the tap manufacturing process.
Ideal Standard, imported by Robertson, utilizes permanent, pre-heated metal casting molds with a new brass alloy formulation, meaning lead can be replaced with bismuth. Bismuth is an element with similar properties, but proven safe by use in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. This superior technology ensures safer drinking water from every faucet. Ideal Standard develop products that combine next-generation technology with high quality design to achieve safer, cleaner and more environmentally friendly water management solutions.
One of the drawbacks of being on mains water supply is the sometimes heavy chlorination required keep bacteria from growing in the reservoirs. Chlorine can be hard on the skin and hair, causing reactions including dry itchy skin and scalp, worsened eczema or dermatitis and faded hair colour.
Maia Beauty Shower was developed by the Methven design and engineering team, with input from spa therapists, dermatologists and other beauty industry experts (by jan). A holistic experience, it delivers the skin care benefits of Vitamin C infused through the water. The vitamin C also reduces the amount of chlorine in the water. Chlorine reactions are reduced and your hair and skin may become softer and healthier.
Maia uses Satinjet technology which delivers a gentler, luxury shower experience. It is available in two options and can even be quickly and easily retrofitted to any existing shower currently running on mains pressure.
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Find out what you can do to be Health & Safety savvy in the articles linked below.