We know about the importance of preserving the Mississippi river ecosystem, and the fact that we recycle our wastewater, using water purification systems installed on board of our ships, instead of releasing it into the Mississippi, has attracted a great deal of interest among our customers.
In general, they like the idea that by spending their holidays with Mississippi Explorer River Cruises, they don't contribute to the destruction of natural habitats and environmental pollution. They have heard about reverse osmosis systems, which filter contaminated water and make it drinkable.
At the same time, our customers don't know much about the topic. 'Does reverse osmosis remove bacteria and viruses?', 'Is recycled water really safe to drink?', 'Do the germs end up in the Mississippi?' are questions we get asked quite often. The following post provides the answers...
Our purification systems apply pressure to filter wastewater. Thereby the water passes through a membrane embedded into the heart of each system. Dissolved contaminants are unable to pass through resulting in purified water coming out at the end. For extra safety, pre and post-filters are incorporated into our systems.
A filter membrane has a pore size of about 0.0001 micron. For illustration purposes, bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella are about 0.2 to 4 microns in size, which means that they are way too large to fit through the pores.
According to a report published by the CDC reverse osmosis systems have a very high effectiveness in:
- removing protozoa (e.g. Cryptosporidium, Giardia),
- removing bacteria (e.g. Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli)
- removing viruses (e.g. Enteric, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Rotavirus).
So to get back to your first question: Does reverse osmosis remove bacteria and viruses? Yes, it does and it does so very effectively.
Is recycled water really safe to drink? Yes, it is. You can find additional proof for it in every supermarket in the country. Drinking water that you can buy in a supermarket was processed using reverse osmosis in 90% of the cases. On the bottle label it therefore often says 'purified by reverse osmosis'.
Above that, millions of Americans own a reverse osmosis filtration system themselves and have it installed in their homes. These devices are smaller compared to our systems and quite affordable. If you are interested to learn about them, follow this link: https://www.best-ro-system.com.
Our purification systems don't kill bacteria or viruses. They weren't designed to do that. The germs are just removed from the water and rinsed out of each system with all other contaminants.
So, where do the filtered out bacteria and viruses end up? Do they end up in the Mississippi river? The answer is short and simple; No, they don't! They are stored in a septic tank and later end up at a disposal station. There the water gets treated with UV-light, which destroys every living organism.
As you can see, there is no reason to worry about drinking recycled water, when you are on board of one of our river cruisers.
The water is 100% safe for everyone - toddlers, kids of all ages, pregnant women and older people...
The is no need to rack your brain, either, over filtered out germs being released into the Mississippi river, where they could do damage. All germs are safely stored on board and later disposed.
Going on a Mississippi Explorer river cruise means going on an exciting journey with lots of things to see, learn and experience. Going on a Mississippi Explorer river cruise also means entering a very sensitive ecosystem and it is our top priority to conserve it the way it is - with all its wildlife and flora, its scenic backwaters, remote wetlands and creeks. Naturally, this is not an easy task! But there are certain precautions we can take to ensure that entering the Mississippi ecosystem goes without leaving a footprint.
The United States of America is one of the greatest countries in the world in so many ways. One of it is its great history that one can look back on and learn from. We as a company take pride in our part of preserving this history.
Nature conservation on the one, history preservation on the other hand; both equally important. The question is how can we balance the two? By refurbishing old paddlewheelers in an authentic way and modernizing them with up-to-date technology, we can guarantee that history will not be forgotten, but we can also reduce the negative impact this ships originally had on our environment significantly. The following list explains some of the measures we take in more detail:
- We use the same kinds of wood for the inside and outside of our boats, that were originally used in the past. To seal all wood that gets in contact with water, we use a special finish that mainly consists of natural ingredients. Our highly specialized contractor is the #1 expert for boat refurbishment out there. Covers for upholstered furniture are also replicas of original fabrics.
- Energy efficient water purification systems are installed on each of our ships to recycle wastewater and make it safe for human consumption. In just one day the ship can completely filtrate the water that is on board. Using the technology we don't have to drain any water into the Mississippi river.
- All rooms were designed to meet the style that brings history to life. Thereby we still had a focus on comfort and a feel-good effect.
- With our superb cuisine we combine traditional food with regional growers that provide us with fresh and local ecological fruits, vegetables, etc. every day.
- Wildlife specialists and historians are part of our crew and will provide you with insights about the life of ancient animal species that have belonged to the Mississippi river ecosystem for millions of years, such as the Mississippi map turtle, to bring awareness to the fact that many of these species are endangered today.
If you are eager to learn more about nature and wildlife conservation, you can visit the official website of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (link). The National Park Service provides more information for anybody who is interested in historical and cultural stories of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (link).