THE DEFINITION OF HARD WATER
Hard water contains higher levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium. It makes cleaning clothes more difficult, creates streaking on dishes and glasses, scaling on faucets and shower heads and makes cleaning your hair and skin well a challenge. It can also damage your home’s piping distribution system if not corrected. There are high efficiency solutions which condition your water by removing these minerals through the proven ion exchange water softening process.
While symptoms of water quality issues such as bad odors & taste, staining of laundry, bathroom fixtures, etc. are indicators of problems, the preferred starting point is to get a water test to identify the minerals or contaminants in the water and at what quantity they exist. This will lead to an effective system recommendation and route to providing your home with excellent water quality. While certain minerals & contaminants can be tested on-site (iron, hardness, pH, total dissolved solids, chlorine), health threat items like radon in water, arsenic in water, nitrates and others should be properly sampled and brought to a certified laboratory for testing that requires specialized equipment.
WATER SOFTENER SYSTEMS
A water softener is a type of whole house water filtration system that is designed for removing hardness (magnesium & calcium) as well as dissolved iron and manganese from the water. For water with high levels of iron or manganese (“the stainers”), an “up-flow” water softener is recommended to prevent mineral build-up in the bottom of the water softener. Also, high efficiency water softeners that are more efficient with both water and salt usage are preferred. For more on how a water softener works, see https://www.mechanics.com.
BAD ODORS & TASTE
In addition to the above systems described, there are many other types of systems to remove bad tastes & odors, sediment and other objectionable minerals and contaminants in the water. If you are experiencing a rotten egg smell in water, you likely have hydrogen sulfide in your well water or possibly a high level of manganese. A water test and analysis will lead to the best approach. For more information on bad odors & taste, see the link at http://bad-odor-taste-water/.