Triple O, ozone water treatment 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 and hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg odor). 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 Larry’s 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 1900’s, 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 as well as some sort of ozone destruction method. 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 be 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 an oxygen molecule (O2) with an 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.
Sometime 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 of the flocculated (pulled together) 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 Larry’s 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 Larry’s own water. Triple O Systems, Inc. was incorporated in 1990 and continues to be owned and operated by the Ramsauer family.
Today Triple O Systems, Inc. serves a multi-national market with over 10,000 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 system did work as planned. The rest is history!