As a Littleton resident, you likely have the town supplying water to your home but may have a private well, both of which may benefit from water filtration or a water softener. Later in this write-up, specific contaminants that are commonly found in private wells and the public water supply are identified and effective water filtration methods are covered. Excellent water quality is achievable with the proper approach.
WATER TESTING & ANALYSIS AS A FIRST STEP
If you have a private well, water testing should be conducted by an EPA or Massachusetts state certified laboratory and should include analysis for at least the parameters in the table below and potentially more depending on the situation. 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. They can walk you through the steps required to complete this task. 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 issues encountered in Littleton, MA private wells are manganese and iron along with low pH. 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 a chart of symptoms, causes and solutions, see the link at Common Regional Water Problems
BAD ODORS & TASTE IN WATER
There are many other types of systems to remove bad tastes & odors, sediment and many other objectionable minerals and contaminants in the water. There are “point of entry” systems that will provide filtration for all of the water entering your home or facility. Also, there are “point of use” water filtration systems that will provide filtered water at a sink or other single point of use, typically by feeding the filtered water to a designated, separate faucet. Starting with a water test will help steer to the right approach for you. For more on bad odors & taste in your water, see the link at https://h2ocare.com/bad-odor-taste/.
RADON & ARSENIC IN PRIVATE WELLS
Currently the Massachusetts radon remediation action level is at 10,000 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 Maine and Rhode Island actionable levels are at 4,000 pCi/L. EPA is also currently at 4,000. For more radon information see the link at https://h2ocare.com/wp-content/upload.
The Arsenic maximum allowable level in drinking water per the EPA is .01 mg/L (miligrams per liter) or 10 parts per billion. For more information on this see the link at http://www.mass.gov/eeal.
WATER FILTRATION & WATER SOFTENER 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 contaminants not identified in this write-up.
H2O Care is an established, full service water filtration and testing organization originally formed in 1989 with offices in Middleton & Stow, MA. See our published articles in Water Technology Magazines at http://h2ocare.com/pub. Contact us at [email protected] or 800-539-1100.