A water filtration or water softener system may be required to solve the two most common water quality issues we get calls about from Newburyport, which are related to hard water and high chlorine levels. While Newburyport’s Annual Water Quality Report reports average hard water levels from 2.3-2.9 grains per gallon (which is slightly hard, see chart below), there are areas of town that have seen spikes as high as 9 grains per gallon.
Newburyport,MA drinking water comes from both surface water and groundwater supplies. The surface supplies, which make up 80% of the water, are the Indian Hill Reservoir in West Newbury, the Artichoke Reservoir in both West Newbury and Newburyport, and the Bartlett Spring Pond in Newburyport. Surface water is treated at the water treatment plant where color, turbidity and bacteria are removed through water filtration. The water is then treated for corrosion control, pH adjustment, disinfection and fluoridation before delivery. Groundwater, which makes up 20% of the drinking water, is supplied by two gravel packed wells (Well #1 and Well #2) located along Ferry Road in Newburyport. For more detailed information, see the link at Newburyport Annual Water Quality Report.
TYPICAL SIGNS OF HARD WATER
- One of the easiest ways to tell that your water is too hard is through the visible affects on your dishes, glasses and cutlery. The damage comes from mineral particles present in hard water that are highly abrasive and can cause stains, fogginess in glasses and spots to form that won’t go away, even after thoroughly drying.
- One of the areas that can be the most expensive to deal with is your plumbing system. Showers, bathtubs and faucets can all develop build-up of solidified minerals deposits (or “scale”), and this can be unsightly. But an even bigger problem is when boilers and plumbing systems that have pumped hard water through them long term, have clogged and become less effective at passing the water supply through them.
3. Over-mineralization can cause serious problems in your home, but one area in which you may really feel the affects of hard water more than any other is itchy dry skin, and dull unmanageable hair. Because of elevated levels of Calcium and Magnesium salts in the water, the effectiveness of soaps and shampoos to cleanse is drastically reduced, and this combination forms a salt precipitate that can bind with your hair.
4. The effects of hard water on clothes and other fabrics are clear to see. White colored clothes gain a certain grayish hue, other colors become faded and seem less vibrant than they once were. Additionally, clothing can feel scratchy or dingy, and laundry products designed to counteract this can only do so much.
WATER FILTRATION OR WATER SOFTENING
A properly specified water softener will incorporate the anticipated water usage in your home along with water test results indicating water hardness level. This will effectively soften your water and eliminate the problems associated with hard water. Water softeners are typically installed at the point of entry of your home’s water supply in the basement with proper by-pass valves and other required installation attributes. There are high efficiency water softeners available today that minimize salt usage in the associated brine tank and also minimize the amount of water required for maintaining proper functioning of the system. Also, there are one tank systems available that combine a water softener and carbon component (to remove chlorine) which will provide soft water without the chlorine smell, taste, etc.
Removing Chlorine from Water
Chlorine or forms of chlorine are typically dosed into water supplies to disinfect waterborne diseases. It is common to notice higher chlorine levels during warmer months as bacteria is more likely to form in warmer water. While the resulting odor and taste resulting from this may be objectionable, it is a necessary step in providing safe water. Water filtration options exist to remove chlorine – see below.
A carbon water filtration system which can be cartridge based or tank-based (with larger capacity) will remove chlorine from your water supply. Depending on the chlorine level in the water and the anticipated volume usage, the best approach for your situation can be determined. This will remove all chlorine for your shower and bath water, laundry and all other uses. See the following link for more information on carbon water filtration https://carbon-filtration-to-remove-bad-taste-odors/
Starting with a water test and analysis will help identify the best approach for your particular situation.
H2o Care, Inc. is an established, full service water testing and filtration systems installation and service organization formed in 1989, based in Middleton,MA off route 114, with an additional office in Stow, MA. The company has been published in Water Technology Magazines, see H2o publications. Reach us at service@h2ocare or 978-777-8330.