Water softening will greatly improve your water if you have higher levels of hard water minerals, iron or manganese present. The hard water minerals found in water are magnesium and calcium, while iron and manganese (“The stainers”) are also commonly found in Westminster water. These common contaminants can be removed with a water softener and/or a properly specified sediment filter depending on whether the forms are particulate or in solution. There are different types of water softeners recommended based on the water test results and estimated volume usage. Also, high efficiency water softeners available today use much less salt and water in the self cleaning or regeneration cycle.
The following is a hard water measurement chart. Compare your water test results:
Even though the EPA has no published limits on calcium and magnesium, these minerals can have devastating affects on your home’s plumbing and your ability to clean. Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task, from doing the laundry to washing dishes to taking a shower. Clothing can look dingy and feel rough and scratchy. Dishes and glasses get spotted and a film may build up on shower doors, bathtubs, sinks and faucets. Washing your hair in hard water may leave it feeling sticky and dull. Hard water can also cause a residue to build-up in pipes that can lower water pressure throughout the house. The EPA maximum allowable levels for iron as a secondary contaminant is .3 parts per million and for manganese is .05 parts per million. Small amounts of these minerals can have very noticeable, even devastating affects on your home’s water quality.
OTHER AFFECTS OF HARD WATER, IRON AND MANGANESE
Hard water scale can build-up inside hot water heaters insulating the temperature sensor inside the tank creating much extra work to bring the temperature up to the set level. This will reduce the life of your hot water heater and likely require early replacement. Some other affects of these contaminants include corrosion and scaling inside pipes, major staining throughout the home’s showers, bathtubs, and sinks and destruction of hot water heaters way ahead of their useful life. For more information on hard water, see the link at usgs.gov/edu/hardness.html. For those using their well water for outside lawn irrigation, iron and manganese can cause major staining of outside walkways, house siding and anyplace the water touches. See the link at https://h2ocare.com/lawn-irrigation/.
WHAT A WATER SOFTENER WILL REMOVE
A water softener is effective in removing dissolved forms of iron & manganese and hardness minerals (magnesium & calcium). To remove particulate iron or manganese, a cartridge filter with proper micron rating will be effective. Selecting the appropriate micron rating and style of filter can be determined by a water treatment professional based on water test results and other symptoms. For more information on Iron and Manganese in water, see our published articles in Water Technology Magazine at the following link: /h2ocare.com/publications/.