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FAQs

Q. How does the filter work?

A. A fine network of pores filter out bacteria, parasites, and suspended solids. In fact, up to 99.99% of bacteria are eliminated.


Q. What endorsements do you have for the filter?

A. The Filter has been endorsed by the Lao Ministry of Health's Environmental and Clean Water Division as well as by the Lao National Food & Drug Laboratory. In addition, many international studies and orginisations have confirmed the efficacy of ceramic water filters.

 

Q. Water from my well has a yellow or red colour "nam kham". Will this filter make the water clear? 

A. Yes, rust and other suspended solids will be removed from the water.

 

Q. What Type of water can I treat?

A. The TerraClear Clean Water Filter will make your water clean if you currently use:

  •  Hand dug or drilled well
    Piped city water ‘Nam Papa’
    Purchased 20L bottled water
    Gravity feed water system
    Spring water
    Stream or river water
    Pond water
    Rain water

 

Q. I usually boil my water, can I use the TerraClear Clean Water Filter?

A. Boiling water is an effective method for treating water. However, boiling water leads to deforestation and has a negative environmental impact. TerraClear filters are a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to boiling water.

 

Q. I normally buy 20L bottles but I am unsure of the quality, can I use your filter?

A. Yes, you can use the 20L bottles in our filter to ensure quality, but it is unecessary because the Clean Water Filter effectively treats even unfiltered water.

 

Q. How do I clean the water filter

     A-1    For the ceramic filter:
               1. Use a brush to gently wipe down the filter, and rinse with filtered water. 
               2. If needed, you can clean the inside and outside, but always clean the outside of the ceramic first to avoid contamination.     
               3. Replace the ceramic element without touching the post filtered side.  

     A-2    For the plastic parts of the filter:
               1. Use a brush with soap and filtered water. 
               2. If needed, you can clean the inside and outside, but always clean the inside of the plastic tank first to avoid contamination.     
               3. Air dry the tank or simply rinse with clean water and re-assemble.
 

 Q. Can I use your filter with hard water ‘nam hinboun’? 

A. Yes, the TerraClear Water Filter works with hard water.  If the water you use has relatively high hardness then the filter will lower the amount of hardness of the water.  In these cases, small calcium flecks, Lao “hinboun”, might appear at the bottom of the blue plastic tank.  You can clean this whenever you clean the filter. In rare cases, calcium deposits directly on the outside of the ceramic filter element. This shows how much ‘hinboun’ is taken out of the water from the filtering process.

 

Q. Does hard water ‘nam hinboun’ cause kidney stones? 

A. This is a common belief in Laos, however research shows that kidney stones come from Calcium Oxalate, not Calcium Carbonate, known in Lao as ‘nam hinboun’.

 

Q. What causes kidney stones?

A. One of the main causes of kidney stones is high Oxalate consumption with low water consumption. Another cause can be a genetic predisposition to kidney stones.

 

Q. Where does Oxalate come from?

A. Many types of common vegetables contain Oxalate.  Oxalate can accumulate in a person's body when they eat these vegetables.

 

Q. Where does Oxalate go in our bodies?

A. After eating vegetables containing Oxalate, the Oxalate is found in the intestines.  In most healthy individuals Oxalate binds with Calcium and is  then excreted when going to the bathroom.

 

Q. Why does low water consumption lead to kidney stone formation?

A. Water that is rich in calcium ‘nam hinboun’ helps the Oxalate bind with the calcium in the intestines. This binding is an important step in excreting Oxalate from the body. However, when someone doesn’t drink enough water or get enough calcium in the diet, then the Oxalate gets absorbed from the intestines into the blood stream. Eventually, the Oxalate is deposited in the kidneys. It is here that the Oxalate forms hard ‘stones’ or ‘nieo’.  When the stones get too big they must be removed. 

 

Q. Why are kidney stones ‘nieo mak kai lung’ so common in Laos. 

A. One of the reasons is because high Oxalate intake with low calcium ‘nam hinboun’ intake. 

 

Q. How do I protect against getting kidney stones? 

A. The easiest way to protect yourself is to drink enough water. 

 

Q. I drink about 2-3 cups of water each day.  Is this enough?

A. International groups suggest that each person should drink a minimum of 2 liters a day. For better health, you should drink 3 or more liters of fluid each day.

 

Q. I see white ‘hinboun’ deposit on my cooking pot.  Is this dangerous? 

A. This usually means that you have ‘hinboun’ hard water.  It isn’t dangerous, and actually carries many health benefits. 

 

Q. I have ‘nam kem’ (salty water) from my well.  Can I use your filter? 

A. The TerraClear Clean Water Filter cannot treat salty water. 


Q. Can the TerraClear Clean Water Filter remove arsenic from water?
 

A. The TerraClear Clean Water Filter does not remove arsenic from water.

 

Q. What heavy metals does the filter remove?

A. The TerraClear Clean Water Filter removes bacteria, parasites, dirt, and other suspended solids. It does not removed dissolved metals.

 

Q. Aren't there heavy metals in the Mekong river, big lakes, and other surface waters?

A. There are extremely small levels of metals found in surface waters in Laos.  These metals are typically at low enough concentrations that they are not health risks. 

 

Q. I live very close to a big factory that dumps chemicals/metals into the stream/river I use for drinking.  Will your filter make this contaminated water clean?

A. The TerraClear Clean Water Filter will not make chemically contaminated water clean. You should not drink water that you think is contaminated in this way.

 

Q. What is the ceramic part of the filter made from? 

A. The ceramic part of the filter is made from a special mixture of ground clay, pulverized rice husks, water & colloidal silver. It is the special production process that makes these ordinary materials effective in filtering water.


Q. I boil my water using charcoal fuel.  How much will I save by using the filter? 

A. The typical family will save about 2,200,000 KIP annually in reduced charcoal fuel, reduced workload by mothers in boiling, and by decreasing medical expenses due to safe water storage. 


Q. I boil my water using fuel wood.  How much will I save by using the filter?

A. The typical family will save over 2,900,000 KIP annually in reduced workload gathering fuelwood, boiling drinking water, and by decreasing medical expenses due to safe water storage. 

 

Q. I buy 20L bottled water.  How much will I save by using the filter?  

A. A typical family using 4 bottles per week will save about 780,000 KIP annually due to reduced purchase of 20L bottles, and purchasing expensive small bottle drinking water when the company doesn’t deliver on time. 

 

Q. I don’t treat my drinking water.  How much will I save by using the filter? 

A. A typically family can save between 1,500,000 -3,500,000 KIP annually by reducing medical related expenses due to drinking untreated water. 

 

Q. My filter broke on its own.  What do I do? 

A. All elements are guaranteed for two years from date of purchase.  If you purchased your filter directly from TerraClear or a TerraClear agent after 1 July 2016, your filter is eligible for a comprehensive 4-5 year warranty.  If your filter is under warranty, please contact the Clean Water Expert or Dealer who sold you the filter for a replacement.