Hard water contaminants found in Ipswich, MA water can be removed with a water softener. There are different types of water softeners, including up-flow versus down-flow which can make a big difference, particularly if there are elevated levels of iron or manganese in the water. The main hard water minerals are magnesium and calcium (the hardness minerals), while iron and manganese are also commonly found in Ipswich. If you have these contaminants present in your water, water softening will greatly improve your water quality.
The following chart categorizes hard water. Compare your water test results:
The EPA maximum allowable levels for iron as a secondary contaminant is .3 parts per million and for manganese is .05 parts per million as secondary contaminants. Small amounts of these minerals can have very noticeable, even devastating affects on your home’s water quality. Calcium and magnesium can have very negative affects on your home’s plumbing as well as your ability to clean, even though the EPA has no published limits on these. Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task, from doing the laundry to washing dishes to taking a shower. Clothes 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.
OTHER AFFECTS OF IRON, MANGANESE AND HARD WATER
Without a water softener, hard water scale can build-up inside hot water heaters insulating the temperature sensor inside the tank causing them to work much harder to bring the temperature up to the set level. Without water softening, this will reduce the useful life of your hot water heater and require early replacement. Some of the 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. Hydrogen Sulfide is evidenced typically by a rotten egg smell in your water, however this may also be caused by high Manganese levels in the water as well. A water filtration specifically for this problem is effective in correcting this. 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 http://h2ocare.com/lawn-irrigation/.
WHAT WILL A WATER SOFTENER EFFECTIVELY REMOVE?
Water softening is effective in removing dissolved forms of iron & manganese and hardness minerals. To remove particulate iron or manganese, a cartridge filter with proper micron rating will be effective as a water softener is not designed to remove particulates. Depending on the specific situation, this could require a series of filters with different size micron ratings to handle heavier levels in the water. 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: http://h2ocare.com/publications/.
WHERE DOES YOUR IPSWICH WATER COME FROM?
The Town of Ipswich Water Treatment Plant draws water from Dow Reservoir and Bull Brook Reservoir, both located in the Parker River Watershed. The Town also draws water from five groundwater sources to augment this supply: Mile Lane and Browns Wells (Parker River Watershed) and Essex Road, Fellows Road, and Winthrop Estate Wells (Ipswich River Watershed). The Town makes every effort to monitor pumping and minimize withdrawals from the wells in the Ipswich River Watershed because of its fragile ecosystem. For a link to the Annual Report, go to Annual Water Quality Report.