Ozone water purification research began 1984 in the Santa
Cruz mountains of Northern California. Larry Ramsauer, our founder, had moved into his new
mountain home only to discover that his well and spring water was polluted with iron,
manganese, hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg odor), and dangerous bacteria. The water was also
quite murky, and certainly undrinkable.
The only solutions to his problem were reverse
osmosis or chlorination/filtration. Reverse osmosis was out because it discarded several
gallons for every gallon of good water produced, the membranes would surely plug up
immediately with the raw water, and Larrys well was a low yield well.
Chlorination/filtration was also out because Larry insisted on chemical free water.
Knowing that Europe had been on the "leading edge" of ozone water
purification since the early 1900s, Larry researched existing ozone systems.
Unfortunately, these industrial ozone systems used an ozone production method known as corona,
which involved high voltage, air dryers and filters. If the air feed was not dried to -600F
minimum, concentrated nitric acid would be generated that would literally destroy the
generator. Obviously, corona ozone was far too complicated for home use.
As an alternate, ultraviolet (UV) production of ozone was investigated. This is the
same method that the sun uses to create the ozone layer around the earth. UV ozone did not
require air drying or filtering and thus appeared to a solution. Air moisture would result
in some hydrogen peroxide, which was fine as hydrogen peroxide is the liquid equivalent of
ozone. Ozone (O3) is a oxygen molecule (O2) with and extra
oxygen atom attached, Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is water (H2O)
with an extra oxygen atom attached. Of course, since UV did indeed produce much lower
levels of ozone than corona, a method had to be invented to apply UV correctly.
Some time later, the solution was discovered: Introduce ozone into filtered
water. If ozone (or any oxidant for that matter) is introduced into cloudy water, the
oxidant (ozone) will attack the small particulates, exhausting itself before it can do its
job. Constantly filtering the water would solve this problem, plus allow filtering out the
flocculated particles of iron, manganese, sulfur, etc. that ozone oxidation would produce.
However, since ozone has a very short half-life, low levels of ozone would require
constant ozone introduction. For this to work, the system had to be ultra-efficient as
it would be required to run 24 hours per day. That is, the system could not be water pump
driven as the electrical costs would be way too high (as early prototypes proved). The
solution was to let the ozone bubbles do the water pumping by drawing the water through a
large filter inside a water holding tank.
Larry finally had a system for his own water, and then a funny thing happened.
Neighbors noticed the high quality of his water and commented on this saying "You
have wonderful well water!" Larry would say "No, I have lousy well water but
also have a system that makes the water wonderful". Needless to say, the word spread
and several "hand built" systems were installed in Larrys neighborhood.
It soon became obvious that there was indeed a market for this new ozone system.
In 1989 prototypes were test marketed to make sure that the
system would work as well on a large variety of water as it had proven itself on
Larrys own water. Triple O Systems, Inc. was incorporated in 1990.
The system did work as planned The rest is history. Today Triple O Systems, Inc. serves
a multi-national market with over 4,000 systems installed in various locations: Homes,
businesses, farms, trailer parks, wineries, nurseries, small municipal water districts,
California Parks and Recreation, California Division of Forestry, etc. The smallest
application would be a single family home system, and the largest to date is a small
municipal system that processes up to 250,000 gallons per day, serves 350 homes and
businesses, and uses 25 each standard "Triple O" systems in a total of 560,000
gallons of water storage. This system has been "on line" since 1990.