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2014 Water Purification Survey Results

Water is the most commonly used laboratory reagent; however, the importance of water quality is often overlooked. Because impurities can be a critical factor in many research experiments, water purity ranks high in importance. There are several types of impurities and contaminants in water such as particulates, organics, inorganics, microorganisms and pyrogens that can adversely affect results. 

Achieving water of a high quality requires the careful use of purification technologies and a method for accurately measuring and monitoring contaminants.

Trevor Henderson, PhD

Trevor Henderson BSc (HK), MSc, PhD (c), is the creative services director at Lab Manager.  He has more than two decades of experience in the fields of scientific...

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Top 4 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Water Purification System

  1. What do you need the water for? What is your application & what type of water is needed? What is the source of your current water? How much water is required per batch/day? Are there special requirements for delivery?
  2. What is your budget? (This will determine the technology). What is the cost of ownership over five years?
  3. Where do you need the system in the lab(s)? Consider: top of counter, under counter or wall mounting the unit. What is the overall footprint/real estate of the system(s) and components?
  4. What kind of warranty and service is provided? Is the system manufactured to quality standards and which ones? Is this a pharmaceutical application that needs to be validated?

Principal water feed sources as reported by survey respondents:

Raw potable 36%
Deionized 29%
Distilled 10%
Reverse Osmosis 14%
Di/RO 11%

Types of contaminants typically found in respondents’ lab water:

Particulates 28%
Dissolved inorganics (solids and gases) 26%
Dissolved organics 21%
Microorganisms 16%
Pyrogens 4%
Other 5%

Nearly 23% of respondents plan on purchasing a new water purification system in the next year. The budget ranges for these purchases, as reported by survey respondents, were:

Less than $5,000

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a water purification system:

Performance of Product 94%
Durability of product 94%
Availability of supplies and accessories 88%
Service and support 93%
Low operating costs 93%
Ease of use 94%
Low maintenance/Easy to clean 93%
Warranties 93%
Value for price paid 92%
Total cost of ownership 90%

For more information on water purification systems, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit 

See the latest survey results here