SYMPTOMS OF WATER QUALITY ISSUES
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 excellent water quality for drinking, washing, etc.
Water softeners are typically installed to remove dissolved iron or manganese from the water through a technology called Ion Exchange To remove particulate iron or manganese, a properly sized sediment filter is required.
WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS
Various types of water filtration systems are available for the removal of any of the potential causes of symptoms you may be experiencing. For bad odors and taste or heavy sediment, point of entry system for this are effective. Discolored water can have different causes but can be resolved with the proper filtration technology.
LEAD IN DRINKING WATER
Lead found in tap water usually comes from the corrosion of older fixtures, from the solder that connects pipes or from old lead pipe service lines running from the water main in your street to your home. Water is known as the ultimate solvent in that it picks up a little of everything it touches as it flows through the ground, pipes, etc. Also, when water sits in leaded pipes for several hours, lead can leach into the water supply. Measures taken during the last two decades have greatly reduced exposures to lead in tap water. These measures include actions taken under the requirements of the 1986 and 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (http://www.epa.gov/sdwa) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Lead and Copper Rule (http://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/).
EFFECTIVE REMOVAL OF LEAD IN WATER
Reverse osmosis water filtration systems are very effective at lead removal from drinking water (as well as a host of other potential contaminants) as a Point of Use device, typically feeding a separate faucet at the sink. There are other types of filters that are designed with small enough pore sizes to remove lead from drinking water as well. Technologies such as distillation are not practical and leave a taste many find objectionable. For recommendations and alternatives, speak to a water treatment professional.