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3M™ Aqua-Pure™ Branded products offer you a full line of water filtration and treatment products that may be professionally installed, ranging from under sink drinking water systems to whole house treatment and filtration. Systems are available for any size home.

Learn About Your Water

The water cycle, also called the hydrologic cycle, is the cycle by which water continuously circulates from the Earth to the atmosphere and back to the Earth. Many processes, including evaporation, condensation, transpiration, precipitation, and runoff, are involved in the hydrologic cycle.

Hydrological Cycle The tap water hydrological cycle
President's Cancer Panel
"In its official annual report, the President's Cancer Panel is recommending that people use home filtering devices to decrease exposure to cancer-causing agents."

"The President's Cancer Panel is a three-person body that reports to the President of the United States on the development and execution of the National Cancer Program."
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Consumer Factsheet on Lead in Drinking Water
Consumer Factsheet on Lead in Drinking Water
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Basic Information About Lead in Drinking Water
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Is There Lead in My Drinking Water?
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Basic Information About Disinfectants in Drinking Water: Chloramine, Chlorine and Chlorine Dioxide
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My Water Comes From a Well
All well water should be tested by an approved agency or a reputable well drilling service at least once a year to check for possible contaminants such as lead, bacteria, VOC’s and chemicals from herbicides, pesticides and insecticides.

Sediment may be present in well water.  Signs of sediment can include rings around the toilet bowl water line or upon filling a glass with water and holding it up to the sunlight you notice tiny particles in the water.  These particulates can adversely affect all your water using appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, as well as possibly clog your faucet aerators.

NOTE: If you are experiencing other issues like very discolored water with a red tint (Iron), blue staining in sinks and toilet bowls (Acidic Water), or low soap suds when washing with soap (Hard Water) you may need a water treatment system such as an Iron Reduction, Acid Neutralizer or a standard Water Softener system to treat all your water as it comes into your home.  We recommend that you review all product options on our website or contact a reputable water quality dealer or licensed plumbing contractor near you for more information on these systems.

If it is determined that a whole house water treatment system is not needed for your home, there are several options to help provide you with cleaner, clearer, better tasting drinking water:

  • Install an 3M™ Aqua-Pure™ whole house filter with a sediment filter cartridge.  The filter is installed at point of entry of your water (where the water enters your home).  This filter should be installed by a licensed plumbing contractor in your area.
  • Install an 3M Aqua-Pure water filter system under the kitchen and/or bathroom sink that filters the cold water at the sink and uses either the existing faucet or a dedicated faucet.  These types of systems can be installed by the homeowner, but if unsure, we recommend a licensed plumbing contractor in your area.


If it is determined that a whole house water treatment system is needed to treat your specific water condition, 3M Purification Inc. has a full line of 3M Aqua-Pure branded treatment systems to treat sediment, hard water, chlorine, iron, arsenic, sulfur and even tannins found in your well water.
My Water Comes From My City
Chlorine is commonly used by municipalities to treat the public water supply in order to kill bacteria that can be found in the source water.  Residual chlorine can remain in your drinking water following treatment. The chlorine used is similar to, but stronger than, common household bleach.  The closer your home is to the water treatment facility, the higher the potential concentration of chlorine can be.

Installing a carbon based water filter can significantly reduce chlorine taste and odor in the water you use for drinking, cooking, washing fruit and produce, as well as yourself.

3M Purification Inc. offers several product options under the 3M Aqua-Pure brand that help reduce chlorine taste and odor from your water. Options include:

  • Installing a whole house filter with a carbon filter cartridge.  The filter is installed at the point of entry of your water (where the water enters your home).  This filter should be installed by a licensed plumbing contractor in your area.
  • Installing a water filter system under the kitchen and/or bathroom sink that filters the cold water to that sink and uses either the existing faucet or a dedicated faucet.  These types of systems can be installed by the homeowner, but if unsure, we recommend a licensed plumbing contractor in your area.
Issue: Bad Taste & Odor

Recommended Solution: AP Easy CS-S

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Particulate, Chlorine Taste & Odor

Under-sink Dedicated Faucet

5.0

0.75 gpm

750 gallons

$0.11

5,680



Recommended Solution: AP Easy CS-FF

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Sediment, Chlorine Taste & Odor

Under-sink Full Flow

5.0

2

2,000 gallons

$0.02

15,148



Issue: Bad Taste & Odor, Lead in water

Recommended Solution: AP Easy LC

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Particulate, Chlorine Taste & Odor, Lead & Cyst

Under-sink Dedicated Faucet

0.5

0.75 gpm

750 gallons

$0.21

5,680



Recommended Solution: AP Easy Complete

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Particulate, Chlorine Taste & Odor, Lead, Cyst, Mercury, Select VOCs*

Under-sink Dedicated Faucet

0.5

0.75 gpm

750 gallons

$0.26

5,680



Recommended Solution: AP-DWS1000

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Particulate, Chlorine Taste & Odor, Lead, Cyst, Mercury, VOCs*, Turbidity & MTBE

Under-sink Dedicated Faucet

0.5

0.6 gpm

625 gallons

$0.28

4,734



Issue: Bad Taste & Odor, Cyst in water

Recommended Solution: AP Easy LC

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Particulate, Chlorine Taste & Odor, Lead & Cyst

Under-sink Dedicated Faucet

0.5

0.75 gpm

750 gallons

$0.21

5,680



Recommended Solution: AP Easy Cyst-FF

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Particulate, Chlorine Taste & Odor, Cysts

Under-sink Full Flow

0.5

1.5 gpm

2,000 gallons

$0.03

15,148



Recommended Solution: AP Easy Complete

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Particulate, Chlorine Taste & Odor, Lead, Cyst, Mercury, Select VOCs*

Under-sink Dedicated Faucet

0.5

0.75 gpm

750 gallons

$0.26

4,734



Recommended Solution: AP-DWS1000

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Particulate, Chlorine Taste & Odor, Lead, Cyst, Mercury, VOCs*, Turbidity & MTBE

Under-sink Dedicated Faucet

0.5

0.6 gpm

625 gallons

$0.28

4,734



Issue: Bad Taste & Odor, VOCs & Chemicals in water

Recommended Solution: AP Easy Complete

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Particulate, Chlorine Taste & Odor, Lead, Cyst, Mercury, Select VOCs*

Under-sink Dedicated Faucet

0.5

0.75 gpm

750 gallons

$0.26

5,680



Recommended Solution: AP-DWS1000

Reduces

Installation Application

Micron Rating

Flow Rate

Capacity

Approx. Cost Per Gallon**

16.9 oz. Water Bottles Saved

Particulate, Chlorine Taste & Odor, Lead, Cyst, Mercury, VOCs*, Turbidity & MTBE

Under-sink Dedicated Faucet

0.5

0.6 gpm

625 gallons

$0.28

4,734



** NOTE: Approx. Cost Per Gallon based on replacement filter cost divided by its rated capacity
* Please visit www.nsf.org for full listing of VOC claims by product model

A simple glossary of terms related to water conditions, water contaminants and water treatment solutions.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

A
AB 1953
On January 1, 2010, the California bill AB 1953 from the 2006 legislative session that became law and pertains to potable water filtration products, went into effect. This law limits the weighted average lead content of products to not exceed more than 0.25% for pipes and pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures sold in California intended to dispense water for human consumption.

Absolute
Generally means 100% retention of particulates of the size equal to the filter rating.

Absorption
To take up or drink in, as a sponge imbibes water. The process of assimilation of molecules into the structure of a solid. One substance taken into the body of another substance.

Acid
A substance which releases hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. Most acids will dissolve the common metals and will react with a base to form a neutral salt and water.

Acidity
The quantitative capacity of a water or water solution to neutralize an alkali or base. It is usually measured by titration with a standard solution of sodium hydroxide and expressed in terms of its calcium carbonate equivalent.

Activated carbon (AC)
Adsorptive particles or granules usually obtained by heating carbonaceous material in the absence of air or in steam and possessing a high capacity to selectively remove trace and soluble components from solution.

Activated carbon adsorption
Removal of soluble components from aqueous solution by contact with highly adsorptive granular or powdered carbon.

Activated carbon treatment
Treatment process in which water is brought into contact with highly adsorptive granular or powdered carbon to remove soluble components. Process may be applied to raw water, primary effluent, or chemically clarified wastewater for nonspecific removal of organics, or to secondary effluent as a polishing process to remove specific organics.

Adsorbent
A material, usually solid, capable of holding gases, liquids, and/or suspended matter at its surface and in exposed pores. Activated carbon is a common adsorbent used in water treatment.

Adsorption
The process in which matter adheres to the surface of an adsorbent.

Algae
Small primitive plants containing chlorophyll commonly found in surface water. Excessive growths may create taste and odor problems and consume dissolved oxygen during decay.

Alkalinity
The quantitative capacity of a water or water solution to neutralize an acid. It is usually measured by titration with a standard acid solution of sulfuric acid and expressed in terms of its calcium carbonate equivalent.

American Water Works Association (AWWA)
The AWWA is the authoritative resource on safe water, providing knowledge, information and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond. The AWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the water community. The AWWA website is www.awwa.org.

Anion
A negatively charged ion in solution such as bicarbonate, chloride, or sulfate.
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B
Backflow preventer
A device or system installed in a water line to stop backflow from a non-potable source.

Backwash
The process in which beds of filter or ion exchange media are subjected to flow opposite to the service flow direction; to loosen the bed and to flush suspended matter (collected during the service run) to waste.

Bacteria
Unicellular microorganisms which typically reproduce by cell division. Although usually classed as plants, bacteria contain no chlorophyll.

Bypass
A connection or a valve system that allows untreated water to flow to a water system while a water treatment unit is being regenerated, backwashed, or serviced; also applied to a special water line installed to provide untreated water to a particular tap, such as a sill cock.
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C
Calcium
One of the principal elements (Ca) making up the earth’s crust, the compounds of which when dissolved make the water hard. The presence of calcium in water is a factor contributing to the formation of scale and insoluble soap curds which are a means of clearly identifying hard water.

Calcium carbonate equivalent
A common basis for expressing the concentration of hardness and other salts in chemically equivalent terms to simplify certain calculations; signifies that the concentration of a dissolved mineral is chemically equivalent to the stated concentration of calcium carbonate.

Calcium hypochlorite
A chemical compound, [Ca (CLO)24H2O], used as a bleach and a source of chlorine in water treatment. Specifically useful because it is stable as a dry powder and can be formed into tablets.

CA Prop 65
Proposition 65 (formally titled "The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986") is a California law that has been in effect since 1986 to promote clean drinking water and keep toxic substances that cause cancer and birth defects out of consumer products. It is administered by Cal/EPA's California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). Proposition 65 regulates substances listed by California as causing cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm in two ways. The first regulatory arm of Proposition 65 prohibits businesses from knowingly discharging listed substances into drinking water sources, or onto land where the substances can pass into drinking water sources. The second regulatory arm of Proposition 65 prohibits businesses from knowingly exposing individuals to listed substances without providing a clear and reasonable warning.

Capacity
An expression of the quantity of an undesirable material which can be removed by a water conditioner between servicing of the media, i.e., cleaning, regeneration or replacement, as determined under standard test conditions. For ion exchange water softeners, the capacity is expressed in grains of hardness removal between successive regenerations and is related to the pounds of salt used in regeneration. For filters, the capacity may be expressed in the length of time or total gallons delivered between servicing.

Carbonate hardness
Hardness due to the presence of calcium and magnesium bicarbonates and carbonates in water; the smaller of the total hardness and the total alkalinity.

Carbon dioxide
A gas (CO2) present in the atmosphere and formed by the decay of organic matter; the gas in carbonated beverages; in water, it forms carbonic acid.

Carcinogen
A material substance that induces excessive or abnormal cellular growth cancer in an organism.

Cation
An ion with a positive electrical charge, such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, lead, and manganese.

Cation exchange
Ion exchange process in which cations in solution are exchanged for other cations from an ion exchanger.

Chloramine
A combination of chlorine and a small amount of ammonia, chloramine is a disinfectant used by some water utilities. The addition of the ammonia helps to make the solution more stable and longer lasting. Chloramines can cause an adverse effect on the taste and odor of water.

Chlorine
A gas used by many water utilities for the disinfection of water and as an oxidizing agent for organic matter and some metals. It imparts a noticeable taste and odor to water, and may contribute to the formation of trihalomethanes (THM).

Coliform bacteria
A group of organisms primarily found in human and animal intestines and wastes, and thus widely used as indicator organisms to show the presence of such wastes in water and the possible presence of pathogenic (disease producing) bacteria.

Corrosion
The destructive disintegration of a metal by electrochemical means.

Cyst
(see Parasitic protozoan cyst)
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D
Dechlorination
The removal of excess chlorine residual, often after super-chlorination. (See super-chlorination.)

Deionization
The removal of all ionized minerals and salts (both organic and inorganic) from a solution by a two phase ion exchange procedure. First, positively charged ions are removed by a cation exchange resin in exchange for a chemically equivalent amount of hydrogen icons. Second, negatively charged ions are removed by an anion exchange resin for a chemically equivalent amount of hydroxide ions. The hydrogen and hydroxide ions introduced in this process unite to form water molecules. The term is often used interchangeably with demineralization.

Demineralization
The removal of ionized inorganic minerals and salts (not organic materials) from a solution by a two-phase ion exchange procedure; similar to deionization, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.

Diatomaceous earth, diatomite
A processed, natural material, chiefly the skeletons of diatoms, used as a filter medium.

Differential pressure
The difference in pressures at two points in a water system; may be due to differences in elevation or to friction losses or pressure drops due to resistance to flow in pipes, softeners, filters or other devices.

Disinfection
A process in which pathogenic (disease producing) bacteria are killed; may involve disinfecting agents such as chlorine or physical processes such as heating.

Dissolved solids
The weight of matter in true solution in a stated volume of water; includes both inorganic and organic matter; usually determined by weighing the residue after evaporation of the water at 105 or 180° C.

Down-flow
A term applied to designate the direction (down) in which water or a regenerant flows through an ion exchanger or filter during any phase of the operating cycle. Also referred to as co-current flow.
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E
E. coli
Escherichia coli, one of the members of the coli-form group of bacteria indicating fecal contamination. (See fecal, coliform.)

Effluent
The stream emerging from a system or process such as the softened water from an ion exchange softener. The filtrate water from a filter.

Escherichia Coli
One of the members of the coliform group of bacteria indicating fecal contamination.
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F
Filter
Specifically, a device or system for the removal of solid particles (suspended solids); in general, includes mechanical, adsorptive, oxidizing and neutralizing filters. (Non-health related.)

Filter area
The effective area through which water approaches the filter media often expressed in square feet. Also referred to as surface area.

Filter media
(See media.)

Filter rating
(See micron rating.)

Fines
Extremely small particles of filter media or ion exchange material formed either in the manufacturing process or as a result of breakdown; undesirable in most systems because of high pressure drop.

Flocculation
The agglomeration of finely divided, suspended solids into larger, usually gelatinous, particles; the development of a “floc” after treatment with a coagulant by gentle stirring or mixing.

Flow control
A device designed to limit the flow of water or regenerant to a predetermined value over a broad range of inlet water pressures.

Flow rate
The quantity of water or regenerant which passes a given point in a specified unit of time, often expressed in gallons per minute.

Fluoridation
The addition of a fluoride compound to a potable water supply to produce the concentration desired for the reduction in incidence of dental caries.

Fouling
The process in which undesirable foreign matter accumulates in a bed of filter media or ion exchanger, clogging pores and coating surfaces and thus inhibiting or retarding the proper operation of the bed.

Free available chlorine
The concentration of residual chlorine present as dissolved gas, hypochlorous acid, or hypochlorite not combined with ammonia or in other less readily available form.

Freeboard
The vertical distance between a bed of filter media or ion exchange material and the overflow or collector for backwash water; the height above the bed of granular media available for bed expansion during backwashing; may be expressed either was a linear distance or a percentage of bed depth.

Free carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide (CO2) present in water as the gas or as carbonic acid, but not that combined in carbonates or bicarbonates.

Free chlorine
(See Free available chlorine.)
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G
Gallionella ferruginea
A genus of stalked, ribbon-like bacteria which utilize iron in their metabolism and cause staining, plugging, and odor problems in water systems. (See Iron bacteria.)

Gallon
A common unit of liquid volume; the U.S. gallon has a volume of 231 cubic inches or 3.78533 liters; the British (Imperial) gallon has a volume of 277.418 cubic inches or 4.54596 liters.

Greensand
A natural mineral, primarily composed of complex silicates, which possess ion exchange properties.
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H
Hardness
A characteristic of natural water due to the presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium; water hardness is responsible for most scale formation in pipes and water heaters and forms insoluble “curd” when it reacts with soaps. Hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon, parts per million, or milligrams per liter, all as calcium carbonate equivalent.

Hard water
Water with a total hardness of one grain per gallon or more, as calcium carbonate equivalent.

Hydration
The chemical combination of water into a substance.

Hydrostatic test
A pressure test procedure in which a vessel or system is filled with water, purged of air, sealed, subjected to water pressure, and examined for leaks, distortion, and/or mechanical failure.

Hydroxide
A chemical compound of an element or elements with the hydroxyl (OH) anion.

Hypochlorite
Calcium and sodium hypochlorites (CLO2) are commonly used as bleaches and as disinfecting agents.
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I
Influent
The stream entering a unit or process, such as the hard water entering an ion exchange water softener, or turbid water entering a filter system.

Inorganic matter
Substances not derived from living organisms and containing no organically produced carbon; includes rocks, minerals, and metals.

Ion
An atom, or group of atoms which function as a unit, and have a positive or negative electrical charge due to the gain or loss of one or more electrons.

Ionization
The process in which atoms gain or lose electrons and thus become ions with positive or negative charges; sometimes used synonymously with dissociation; the separation of molecules into charged ions in solution.

Iron
An element (Fe) often found dissolved in ground water (in the form of ferrous iron) in concentrations usually ranging from zero to 10 ppm (mg/L). It is objectionable in water supplies because of the staining caused after oxidation and precipitation (as ferric hydroxide), because of tastes, and because of unsightly colors produced when iron reacts with tannins in beverages such as coffee and tea.

Iron bacteria
Organisms which are capable of utilizing ferrous iron, either from the water or from steel pipe, in their metabolism and precipitating ferric hydroxide in their sheaths and gelatinous deposits. These organisms tend to collect in pipe lines and tanks during periods of low flow and to break loose in slugs of turbid water to create staining, taste, and odor problems.
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J

K
Kilogram (Kg.)
One thousand grams.

L
Lime
The common name for calcium oxide (CaO); hydrated lime is calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)2.

Lime scale
Hard water scale containing a high percentage of calcium carbonate.

Limestone
A sedimentary rock, largely calcium carbonate (CaCO3), usually containing significant amounts of magnesium carbonate. The calcite grade is used in filtration and for pH modification.
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M
Magnesium
One of the elements (Mg) making up the earth’s crust, the compounds of which when dissolved in water make the water hard. The presence of magnesium in water is a factor contributing to the formation of scale and insoluble soap curds.

Manganese
An element (Mn) sometimes found dissolved in groundwater, usually with dissolved iron but in lower concentrations. Causes black stains and other problems similar to iron.

Manganese greensand
Greensand which has been processed to incorporate in it pores and on its surface the higher oxides of manganese. The product has mild oxidizing power and is often used in the oxidation and precipitation of iron, manganese and/or hydrogen sulfide, and their removal from water.

MCL
Abbreviation for “Maximum Contaminant Level,” the maximum allowable concentration of a contaminant in water as established in the U.S. EPA Drinking Water Regulations.

Mechanical filter
A filter primarily designed for the removal of suspended solid particles as opposed to filters with additional capabilities.

Media
The selected materials in a filter that form the barrier to the passage of certain suspended solids or dissolved molecules.

Medium
Singular form of media.

Mercury
Mercury (chemical symbol Hg) is a heavy metal that occurs in several forms, all of which can produce toxic effects in high enough doses.

mg/L
The abbreviation of milligrams per liter.

Microfiltration (MF)
The separation or removal of particulates of more than 0.02 μm or less than 10.0 μm size from liquids.

Micron
A linear measure equal to one millionth of a meter, or .00003937 inch. The symbol for the micron is the Greek letter “μ.”

Micron rating
The term applied to a filter or filter medium to indicate the particle size above which all suspended solids will be removed throughout the rated capacity. As used in industry standards, this is an “absolute,” not “nominal” rating.

Milligram per liter (mg/L)
A unit concentration of matter used in reporting the results of water and wastewater analyses. In dilute water solutions, it is practically equal to the part per million, but varies from the ppm is concentrated solutions such as brine. As most analyses are performed on measured volumes of water, the mg/L is a more accurate expression of the concentration and is the preferred unit of measure.

Mineral
A term applied to inorganic substances, such as rocks and similar matter found in the earth strata, as opposed to organic substances such as plant and animal matter. Minerals normally have definite chemical composition and crystal structure. The term is also applied to matter derived from minerals, such as the inorganic ions found in water. The term has been incorrectly applied to ion exchangers, even though most of the modern materials are organic ion exchange resins.

Molecule
The simplest combination of atoms that will form a specific chemical compound; the smallest particle of a substance which will still retain the essential composition and properties of that substance and which can be broken down only into atoms and simpler substances.

MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether)
A volatile organic chemical compound used as a fuel additive in motor gasoline. MTBE is easily dissolved in water and has been found in public and private drinking water supplies. Low levels of MTBE can make water undrinkable due to its offensive taste and odor and health risks.
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N
National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)
NSF International, The Public Health and Safety Company™, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, is the world leader in standards development, product certification, education, and risk-management for public health and safety. For 65 years, NSF has been committed to public health, safety, and protection of the environment. While focusing on food, water, indoor air, and the environment, NSF develops national standards, provides learning opportunities, and provides third-party conformity assessment services while representing the interests of all stakeholders. The primary stakeholder groups include industry, the regulatory community, and the public at large. NSF is widely recognized for its scientific and technical expertise in the health and environmental sciences. Its professional staff includes engineers, chemists, toxicologists, and environmental health professionals with broad experience both in public and private organizations.

Negative charge
The electrical charge on an electrode or ion in solution due to the presence of an excess of electrons.

Negative pressure
A pressure below that of the surrounding atmospheric pressure at a specific point; a partial vacuum.

Nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU)
An arbitrary unit of measuring the turbidity in water by the light scattering effects of fine suspended particles in light beam.

Neutral
In electrical systems, the term used to indicate neither an excess nor a lack of electrons; a condition of balance between positive and negative charges. In chemistry, the term used to indicate a balance between acids and bases; the neutral point on the pH scale is 7.0, indicating the presence of equal numbers of free hydrogen (acidic) and hydroxide (basic) ions.

Neutralization
In general, the addition of either an acid or a base to a solution as required to produce a neutral solution. The use of alkaline or basic materials to neutralize the acidity of some waters is common practice in water conditioning.

Neutralizer
A common designation for alkaline materials such as calcite (calcium carbonate) or magnesia (magnesium oxide) used in the neutralization of acid waters.

NSF Std. 42

Drinking Water Treatment Units - Aesthetic Effects

This standard covers point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) systems designed to reduce specific aesthetic or non-health-related contaminants (chlorine, taste and odor, and particulates) that may be present in public or private drinking water.

NSF Std. 44

Cation Exchange Water Softeners.

This standard covers residential cation exchange water softeners designed to reduce hardness from public or private water supplies. Additionally, this standard can verify the system's ability to reduce radium and barium.

NSF Std. 53

Drinking Water Treatment Units - Health Effects

This standard addresses point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) systems designed to reduce specific health-related contaminants, such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, lead, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether), that may be present in public or private drinking water.

NSF Std. 58

Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Treatment Systems

This standard was developed for point-of-use (POU) reverse osmosis (RO) treatment systems. These systems typically consist of a pre-filter, RO membrane, and post-filter. Standard 58 includes contaminant reduction claims commonly treated using RO, including fluoride, hexavalent and trivalent chromium, total dissolved solids, nitrates, etc. that may be present in public or private drinking water.

NSF Std. 55

Ultraviolet Microbiological Water Treatment Systems

This standard establishes requirements for point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) non-public water supply (non-PWS) ultraviolet systems and includes two optional classifications. Class A systems (40,000 uwsec/cm2) are designed to disinfect and/or remove microorganisms from contaminated water, including bacteria and viruses, to a safe level. Class B systems (16,000 uw-sec/cm2) are designed for supplemental bactericidal treatment of public drinking water or other drinking water, which has been deemed acceptable by a local health agency.
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O
Operating pressure
The range of pressure, usually expressed in pounds per square inch, over which a water conditioning device or water system is designed to function.

Organic iron

(See Iron bacteria.)

Organic matter
Substances of or derived from plant or animal matter, as opposed to inorganic matter derived from rocks and minerals. Organic matter is characterized by its carbon-hydrogen structure.

Osmosis
A process of diffusion of a solvent such as water through a semi permeable membrane which will transmit the solvent but impede most dissolved substances. The normal flow of solvent is from the diluted solution to the concentrated solution. (See Reverse osmosis.)

Oxidant
A chemical substance capable of promoting oxidation, for example O2, O3, Cl2.

Oxidation
A chemical process in which electrons are removed from an atom, ion, or compound. The addition of oxygen is a specific form of oxidation. Combustion is an extremely rapid form of oxidation, while the rusting of iron is a slow form.

Ozone
An unstable form of oxygen (O3), which can be generated by an electrical discharge through air or regular oxygen. It is a strong oxidizing agent and has been used in water conditioning as a disinfectant.
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P
Parasitic protozoan cysts
Particle size
As used in industry standards, the size of a particle suspended in water as determined by its smallest dimension, usually expressed in microns.

Particulate
Tiny subdivisions of solid or liquid matter suspended in a gas or liquid.

Parts per million (ppm)
A common basis for reporting the results of water and wastewater analyses, indicating the number of parts by weight of a dissolved or suspended constituent, per million parts by weight of water or other solvent. In dilute water solutions, one part per million is practically equal to one milligram per liter, which is the preferred unit. 17.12 ppm equals one grain per U.S. Gallon.

Pathogen
An organism which may cause disease.

Permanent hardness
Water hardness due to the presence of the chlorides and sulfates of calcium and magnesium which will not be precipitated by boiling. This term is largely replaced by “noncarbonated hardness.”

pH
The reciprocal of the logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration. The pH scale is from zero to 14, and 7.0 is the neutral point, indicating the presence of equal concentrations of free hydrogen and hydroxide ions. pH values below 7.0 indicate increasing acidity, and pH values above 7.0 indicate increasing base concentrations.

Porosity
A measure of the volume of internal pores in filter media and ion exchangers, sometimes expressed as a ration to the total volume of the medium.

Positive charge
The electrical charge on an electrode or ion in solution due to the removal of electrons.

Potable water
Water which is safe and suitable for human consumption.

ppm
The abbreviation for “parts per million.”

Prechlorination
The application of chlorine to a water prior to other water treatment processes.

Precipitate
To cause a dissolved substance to form a solid particle which can be removed by settling or filtering, such as in the removal of dissolved iron by oxidation, precipitation, and filtration. The term is also used to refer to the solid formed and to the condensation of water in the atmosphere to form rain or snow.

Precipitation
The phenomenon that occurs when a substance in solution is chemically transformed into an insoluble form. The conversion of dissolved solids into suspended solids which may be concentrated subsequently by flocculation and sedimentation.

Pressure differential
The difference in pressure between two points in a system due to differences in elevation and/or pressure drop due to flow.

Pressure drop
A decrease in water pressure during flow due to internal friction between molecules of water, and external friction due to irregularities or roughness in surfaces past which the water flows.

Pressure tank
A tank used in connection with a water distribution system, for a single household, for several houses, or for a portion of a larger water system, which is airtight and holds both air and water, and in which the air is compressed and the pressure so created is transmitted to the water.
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Q

R
Rated capacity
The basis for calculating the period of time, or number of gallons delivered by a water softener or filter, between regenerations or servicing as determined under specific test conditions.

Rated pressure drop
The pressure drop of a water softener or filter at the rated service flow with clean water at a temperature of 60 ° F., with a freshly regenerated and/or backwashed softener or filter as determined under standard test conditions.

Rated service flow
The manufacturer's specified maximum flow rate at which a water softener will deliver soft water, or a filter will deliver quality water as specified for its type, as determined under standard test conditions. A manufacturer may also specify a minimum flow rate or a range of service flows.

Reduction
A chemical process in which electrons are added to an atom, ion, or compound.

Red water
Water which has a reddish or brownish appearance due to the presence of precipitated iron and/or iron bacteria.

Regenerant
A solution of a chemical compound used to restore the capacity of an ion exchange system. Sodium chloride brine is used as a regenerant for ion exchange water softeners, and acids and bases area used as regenerants for the cation and anion resins used in demineralization.

Residual
The amount of a specific material remaining in the water following a water treatment process; may refer to material remaining as a result of incomplete removal (see leakage) or to material meant to remain I the treated water (see residual chlorine.)

Residual chlorine
Chlorine remaining in treated water after a specified period of contact time to provide protection throughout a distribution system; the difference between the total chlorine added and that consumed by oxidizable matter.

Reverse osmosis (RO)
A process that reverses, by the application of pressure, the flow of water in a natural process of osmosis so that the water passes from the more concentrated to the more dilute solution through a semi-permeable membrane.

Rinse
Following backwash in filters to resettle the media bed and purge any turbidity before returning to service mode. That portion of the regeneration cycle of an ion exchanger in which fresh water is passed through the column to remove spent and excess regenerant prior to placing the system in service.
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S
Sedimentation
The process in which solid suspended particulates settle out of a liquid (water). Usually the water or liquid is subjected to little or no movement. The process may be accelerated by feeding a coagulant such as alum. Also referred to as “settling”.

Semi-permeable membrane
Usually a thin, organic film which will allow the passage of some ions or materials while preventing the passage of others. Some membranes will only allow the passage of anions; others will allow the passage of cations. Some membranes reject most dissolved substances but allow the passage of water.

Sequester
A chemical reaction in which certain ions are bound into a stable, water soluble compound, thus preventing undesirable action by the ions.

Sequestering agent
A chemical compound sometimes fed into water to tie up undesirable ions, keep them in solution, and eliminate or reduce the normal effects of the ions. For example, polyphosphates can sequester hardness and prevent reactions with soap.

Soft water
Any water which contains less than 1.0 gpg (17.1 mg/L) of hardness minerals expressed as calcium carbonate.

Softened water
Any water that is treated to reduce hardness minerals to 1.0 gpg (17.1 mg/L) or less, expressed as calcium carbonate.

Solvent
The liquid, such as water, in which other materials (solutes) are dissolved.

Sterilization
A process in which all living organisms are destroyed and residual removed from liquid.

Sulfur
A yellowish, solid element (S). The term is also used as a slang expression to refer to water containing hydrogen sulfide gas.

Surface area
(See Filter area)

Surface tension
The result of attraction between molecules of a liquid which causes the surface of the liquid to act as a thin elastic film under tension. Surface tension causes water to form spherical drops and to reduce penetration into fabrics. Soaps, detergents, and wetting agents reduce surface tension and increase penetration by water.

Surfactant
A contraction of the term “surface-active agent”.

Suspended solids
Solid particles in the water which are not in solution.
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T
TDS
The abbreviation for “total dissolved solids”.

Temporary hardness
Water hardness due to the presence of calcium and magnesium carbonates and bicarbonates which can be precipitated by heating the water. Now largely replaced by the term “carbonate hardness”.

Throughput volume
The amount of solution passed through an ion exchange bed before the ion exchanger is exhausted.

Total acidity
The total of all forms of acidity, including mineral acidity, carbon dioxide, and acid salts. Total acidity is usually determined by titration with a standard base solution to the phenolphthalein endpoint (pH 8.3).

Total alkalinity
The alkalinity of a water as determined by titration with standard acid solution to the methyl orange endpoint (pH approximately 4.5); sometimes abbreviated as “M alkalinity”. Total alkalinity includes many alkalinity components, such as hydroxides, carbonates, and bicarbonates.

Total chlorine
The total concentration of chlorine in water, including combined and free chlorine.

Total dissolved solids
The weight of solids per unit volume of water which are in true solution, usually determined by the evaporation of a measured volume of filtered water, and determination of the residue weight.

Total hardness
The sum of all hardness constituents in a water expressed as their equivalent concentration of calcium carbonate. Primarily due to calcium and magnesium in solution, but may include small amounts of metals such as iron which can act like calcium and magnesium in certain reactions.

Total solids
The weight of all solids, dissolved and suspended, organic and inorganic, per unit volume of water; usually determined by the evaporation of a measured volume of water at 150 ° C. in a pre-weighed dish.

Toxic
Having an adverse physiological effect on man.

Trace
A very small concentration of a material, high enough to be detected but too low to be measured by standard analytical methods.

Turbidity
A measure of the amount of finely divided suspended matter in water which causes the scattering and adsorption of light rays. Turbidity is usually reported in arbitrary units determined by measurements of light scattering. Usually expressed as NTU.
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U
Ultrafiltration (UF)
The process of removing colloidal and dispersed particles from a liquid by passing the liquid through a membrane under high pressure. Separation or removal of particulates of more than 10Ǻ and less than 200 angstroms.

Ultraviolet (UV)
Light waves shorter than visible blue-violet waves of the spectrum having wave lengths of less than 3,900 D Angstroms.

Ultraviolet ray
Light rays beyond the violet of the spectrum invisible to humans.

Upflow
A term used to indicate the direction (up) in which water or regenerant flows through an ion exchanger or filter media bed during any phase of the operating cycle. Also referred to as counter-current flow.

USEPA
The abbreviation for “United States Environmental Protection Agency”.

USPHS
The abbreviation for “United States Public Health Service”.
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V
Virus
The smallest form of like known to be capable of producing disease or infection, usually considered to be of large molecular size. They multiply by assembly of component fragments in living cells, rather than by cell division, as do most bacteria.

Volatile
Capable of vaporization at a relatively low temperature.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are ground-water contaminants of concern because of very large environmental releases, human toxicity, and a tendency for some compounds to persist in and migrate with ground-water to drinking-water supply wells….In general, VOCs have high vapor pressures, low-to-medium water solubilities, and low molecular weights. Some VOCs may occur naturally in the environment, other compounds occur only as a result of manmade activities, and some compounds have both origins.

Volatile solids
Matter which remains as a residue after evaporation at 105 or 180 ° C., but which is lost after ignition at 600 ° C. Includes most forms of organic matter.
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W
Water conditioning
Virtually any form of water treatment designed to improve the aesthetic quality of water by the neutralization, inhibition, or removal of undesirable substances. (Not health related).

Water Quality Association (WQA)
The Water Quality Association is a not-for-profit international trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Its membership consists of both manufacturers and dealers/distributors of equipment. WQA is a resource and information source, a voice for the industry, an educator of professionals, a laboratory for product testing, and a communicator with the public. The WQA’s website is www.wqa.org.

Water softening
The removal of calcium and magnesium ions from water, which are the principal cause of hardness in water.

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Where can I purchase 3M Aqua-Pure water filtration and treatment products?

Click the Find a Plumber button to find your closest 3M Aqua-Pure certified plumber to install your 3M Aqua-Pure system or visit one of our local distributors by clicking the Find a Distributor button in our resources box above. If you already have a system installed, you may choose to visit the Buy a Replacement button above.


How do I know if I need a filtration system?

Your public water authority does the best it can to provide you with water that is free of disease-causing pathogens and sediment. However, water that is passed through a series of distribution lines to reach your home may contain sediment. Therefore, a sediment reducing filter is advisable on the incoming water line. A 3M Aqua-Pure sediment reduction filter can help protect washers and seals from premature wear, it can help prevent aerators and valves from plugging and help keep your water heater from collecting excessive sediment.


How do I know what size filter to use?

For a home with 1-2 bathrooms, a 3M Aqua-Pure sediment filter that holds one cartridge, such as the AP101T or AP11T, is appropriate. A home that has 3-4 bathrooms will probably require a two cartridge sediment filter such as the AP102T. If the incoming line size is one inch, then the recently introduced AP902 Sanitary Quick Change Whole House filtration system or the AP801-C is recommended.


What can I do if I have a moderate amount of hardness in my water, but don't want to use a softener?

There are several 3M Aqua-Pure filtration products that incorporate a scale inhibition agent. These cartridges, like the AP420, utilize two important mechanisms to help inhibit scale and corrosion: one that helps prevent scale from forming and one that treats the surface of the piping to help prevent the negative effects of hard water scaling or corrosive water. In addition, 3M Aqua-Pure Scale and Corrosion cartridges incorporate a progressive porosity pre-filter for premium sediment reduction and long life.


Which sediment cartridge should be used?

The AP110, supplied with the 3M Aqua-Pure AP11T, AP101T filtration systems, is considered a standard cartridge for use on most "normal" water supplies. That is, those that don't have visible particles. If visible particles are evident, and symptoms such as clogged aerators are noted, then the coarser AP124 should be used. If water appears cloudy, then use the finer AP1003 cartridge or very fine AP1001 cartridge.


How often should a sediment cartridge be changed?

Cartridge life may vary by product system and local water conditions. Product packaging will indicate approximate life of each system. Please use this as the guide to how often you need to change your filter. If you notice a drop in water pressure, it is recommended that you change your filter.


How often should a taste/odor cartridge be changed?

Taste/odor cartridges should be changed when the off taste or odor returns, when a drop in pressure sediment is noticed, or every 4 to 6 months, whichever occurs first.


Will a 3M Aqua-Pure sediment filter stop the red/brown stains on the fixtures and laundry?

Water that appears to be clear but causes stains when allowed to sit, such as in the toilet or where hot water and chlorine bleach are used, contains dissolved iron. Because this iron is not in a particle form, but dissolved into the water like salt is in sea water, treatment other than a particle filter is needed. Consult your 3M Aqua-Pure representative about a water analysis to determine the best treatment for this or other contaminants.


Can lead be removed from the whole house?

The greatest risk of lead is through ingestion. It was only as recent as 1987 that the use of lead solder was prohibited. In any home built before that time, lead could be reintroduced into the water after a whole-house lead reduction system filter. In addition, the chemical reaction that takes place to reduce lead takes some time. The high flow rates required for whole-house reduction makes lead impractical to treat for the whole-house. Since lead poses the greater risk when ingested, it makes sense to focus treatment at the point of use, such as the kitchen or bath faucet.


Can 3M Aqua-Pure housings be installed horizontally or upside down?

3M Aqua-Pure filters will operate in any orientation. However, for any position other than the vertical and upright, drainage of the filter housing and proper seating of the cartridge have to be considered when changing cartridges.


Can the sediment cartridge be cleaned by back-flushing or any other means?

Yes! Washing large particles of contaminant off the outside surface of the cartridge or Back-flushing will extend the cartridge life, but eventually the cartridge will be blocked completely and will have to be thrown away. Contaminants trapped in the depth of the cartridge is difficult to remove by back-flushing. Back-flushing more than once is usually not effective. Once the full depth of the cartridge is blocked, the cartridge will have to be thrown away and replaced with a clean one.


How do I stop a leak between the filter system head and cartridge housing?

Separate the head and the cartridge housing and inspect the o-ring/gasket for tears, crimps or kinks. If any of these exist, you need to replace the o-ring/gasket. If the o-ring/gasket appears to be in good condition, you can lubricate it with water.


How long does it a Reverse Osmosis Filtration System take to make the RO water?

It takes approximately 24 hours to fill the storage tank (2.5 gallons) when empty. The production is at a steady drip rate.


How often do you need to replace the Reverse Osmosis Filtration Systems filters?

Depending on the RO system you have, the pre and post filters should be replaced every 6 or 12 months. The membrane should be replaced every 2 to 3 years.


What does the Reverse Osmosis Filtration System reduce?

The RO will reduce approximately 95-99% of the total minerals in the water, such as: .


Do you have any water softeners that do not use salt?

No, all of our water softeners use a salt based regeneration system, but potassium chloride is an acceptable alternative to standard replacement softener salt.


Can you use Potassium Chlorides in your water softeners?

Yes, you can use potassium chloride salts in our water softeners. You do have to increase the salt setting by 3 pounds to compensate for the lower efficiency.


What kind of salt do you use in your water softeners?

Our water softeners are designed to use any type of salt. Ex: Rock, Pellet, block. The best salt is Solar Salt and can be found at any home center or water quality service provider.


How much salt do you add to the water softener and how?

The salt storage tank can hold up to 160 pounds of salt. We usually suggest keeping the tank ½ to ¾ full of salt. When starting up a softener we would suggest at least 2 bags of salt (40 pounds each). You just check the salt level periodical and pour a bag in when it looks low.


Can I use Iron reduction salt?

If you have ANY amount of iron in your raw water, you should use the Iron reduction salt or an iron reducing media with your salt.


What general maintenance should I do with my water softener?

For optimum performance of your water softener, we suggest cleaning out the brine tank and cleaning the injectors in the softener roughly once a year or at least every other year.


My brine tank is full of water, what should I do?

If the unit is several years old, suggest cleaning brine tank and injectors. After cleaning procedures are done, manually regenerate the softener. If problem still persists, consult senior techs or refer to a service company.


Will the softener make the water taste salty?

No, a properly working softener will not add salt to the water, only sodium (or potassium if using potassium chloride as your reentrant media).


I'm on a Sodium restricted diet or I don't want extra sodium in the water. What should I do?

Have a licensed plumbing contractor run an untreated line to the cold water faucet in the kitchen. You can also potassium chloride salt instead of sodium chloride. Lastly, you can use a Reverse-Osmosis Filtration System, like the AP-RO5500, as this will reduce the total mineral content in the water.


My water softener is not producing soft water. What do I do?

Clean the brine tank and injectors. Instructions on how to do this can be found in your manual. If the problem persists, contact our senior technical service team or refer to a local water quality service company.

Questions to ask when choosing a water filtration company

1. Does the company have sufficient experience in the water filtration business?
3M Purification Inc. (3M PI) is a leader in filtration and separation with over 40 years of residential filtration experience. 3M PI is a key fluid filtration solutions provider to the many popular fast food chains and donut and coffee restaurants.
2. Are the company's products certified by an independent testing lab?
3M PI has numerous products that are certified by NSF International. NSF sets the standard for third party water filter system testing and their protocols have been accepted as the American National Standards Institute's standard test methods.
3. Will the company be around in 2 or 3 years to sell replacement filters or honor warranty?
3M is a Fortune 500 company that has been in business for over 100 years, with a solid global business spanning over 60 countries.
4. Is the company a member of a nation trade association?
3M PI is registered with the Water Quality Association (WQA).
5. Do the company's systems have industry leading technology?
3M, a leader in innovation, holds thousands of patents, which cover some of the most technologically advanced drinking water systems available to the public.
6. Does the company make information readily available on what water contaminants its systems are certified to address?
Performance Data Sheets, which list all contaminants a water filtration system is certified to address, are available on all product pages.
7. Does the company excel in customer service?
"Whether it's on the phone, in person, or when our certified technicians come to your home, we strive to deliver exemplary service."
8. Is the company environmentally-minded?
  • April 2009: 3M awarded ENERGY STAR® Award for Sustained Excellence in Energy Management for the fifth consecutive year.
  • April 2009: 3M PI manufacturing facility decreased its water usage, conserving more than 5 million gallons per year.
9. Does the company give back to the community?
  • 3M and employees/retirees donated $390,000 to American Red Cross® and CARE for Haiti Earthquake Relief
  • 3M's annual Volunteer Match donates funds to organization where 3M employees or retirees volunteer. The 3M Foundation has donated over $2.3 million in the names of over 11,800 volunteers.
Social Responsibility
Sustainable solutions to Haiti's water quality issues 3M engineer, Satish, visited Haiti in 2010 to capture a first-hand account of local water quality issues plaguing those still affected by Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. 3M is now working on the development of sustainable solutions to address the water quality in Haiti. Furthermore, 3M and employees/retirees donated $390,000 to American Red Cross® and CARE for Haiti Earthquake Relief.

In addition to aiding relief in Haiti, 3M's annual Volunteer Match donates funds to organizations where 3M employees or retirees volunteer. The 3M Foundation has donated over $2.3 million in the names of over 11,800 volunteers.

Environmental Progress
3M strives to meet today's needs while respecting the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The company takes a holistic view of environmental sustainability to develop programs addressing every aspect of 3M's business. Read more about 3M's sustainability initiatives.
Economic Progress
3M believes only by continuing to be a viable and successful enterprise can we continue to be a positive contributor to sustainable development. That said, the company runs on four principles: corporate values, sustainable growth, productivity and talent management. Read more about 3M's sustainability initiatives.