Water filtration or a water softener system may greatly benefit your South Berwick home’s water quality. Whether you have the town supplying water to your home or you have a private well, a properly designed and installed system will noticeably improve water quality. Later in this write-up, specific contaminants that are commonly found in South Berwick private wells and the public water supply are identified, such as hard water, chlorine and others. Additionally, various effective water quality improvement methods are covered as well. Excellent water quality is achievable with the proper approach, including testing, analysis and professional installation. System maintenance is also important to achieve many years of consistent high quality water and to optimize the useful life of your water softener or water filtration equipment.
WATER TESTING & ANALYSIS
If you have a private well, water testing should be conducted by an EPA or state certified laboratory and should include analysis for at least the parameters in the table below. Depending on your specific situation, testing for a wider range of potential contaminants may be advisable. If you are uncertain as to how to take a proper sample and get it to a lab, you should contact a lab or water treatment professional for assistance. If your water is town supplied, they frequently test for health threat contaminants, therefore, an in-home water test can be performed on items such as iron, hard water minerals, manganese, pH or chlorine level. Typical items tested for at a lab are as follows:
|Hardness||Total Dissolved Solids|
COMMON WATER QUALITY CONTAMINANTS
Common issues encountered in South Berwick, ME private wells are manganese and iron along with low pH (see below for types of water filtration systems). Additionally, some homeowners are surprised when their water test reveals the health threats radon and arsenic. This is not uncommon in this region. Even in the public water supply, you may notice symptoms of iron, manganese or low pH in the water. For more on hard water, see hard water usgs.
BAD ODORS & TASTES IN YOUR WATER
There are various types of bad odors and tastes that you may experience in your water. Hydrogen Sulfide is not uncommon and is evidenced typically by a rotten egg smell in your water, however this may also be caused by high Manganese levels as well. A water filtration specifically for this problem is effective in correcting this. For a more complete description of this and other potential bad odors and taste in your water, see the link at https://h2ocare.com/bad-odor-taste/.
You may notice odor and taste issues if your home is supplied by town water, typically associated with Chlorine. Chlorine is used for disinfection purposes by the town to control microorganisms including bacteria and others that may be present in the water distribution system. Carbon water filtration systems are effective at removing chlorine and the associated taste and odors that come with it. These systems can either be installed at the point of entry in your home, typically in the basement, or at a point of use for drinking water only.
REMOVE RADON & ARSENIC IN WATER
Currently the Maine radon remediation action level is at 4,000 pCi/L (Pico curries per liter) in water. The radon must be removed from the water and it is also recommended testing the air for Radon. Note that New Hampshire requires action if radon is only at 2,000 pCi/L, while Rhode Island actionable level is at 4,000 pCi/L and Massachusetts at 10,000. For more radon information see the link at http://bit.ly/2wWkEup.
The Arsenic maximum allowable level in drinking water per the EPA is .01 mg/L (miligrams per liter) or 10 parts per billion. Removing Arsenic from water for the entire home is performed by installing water filtration tanks containing a specific media that grabs the arsenic out of the water. The media inside the tanks have a limited capacity, therefore they must be exchanged out for tanks with new resin at appropriately determined time intervals. A safe system will include a “lead-lag” set up with two tanks in line. Once the media in the first tank is exhausted, the second tank will be in place to continue removing arsenic. To only remove the arsenic from your drinking water, a reverse osmosis purification system can be installed under the kitchen sink or in the basement to feed a separate faucet at the sink. Installing a reverse osmosis system at the point of entry to feed the entire home would be very expensive and not the recommended approach for arsenic removal.
OTHER WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS
A water softener is typically installed to remove hard water minerals, dissolved iron or manganese in the water with a technology called Ion Exchange. If your water test indicates high levels of iron or manganese, an “upflow” water softener is highly recommended to reduce the chance of mineral accumulation in the lower section of the water softener. Particulate manganese or iron (which you can see in the water) can be removed with a properly sized sediment filtration set up. Other types of water filtration systems may be required to remove some of the other contaminants identified in your water test.
Any properly designed water filtration system should start with a water test before an informed recommendation can be made.