WATER SOFTENER – Hard water, Iron & Manganese
The primary hard water minerals are calcium and magnesium (the hardness minerals), while iron and manganese (“the stainers”) can also be found in this region, mostly in private wells. Depending on whether the contaminant’s form is in solution or particulate, these contaminants can be removed with a water softener and/or a properly specified sediment water filtration installation. Calcium and Magnesium may have major affects on your home’s plumbing and your ability to clean, even though the EPA has no published limits on these.
The maximum allowable level (per the EPA) for iron and manganese as secondary contaminants is .3 parts per million (ppm) and .05 ppm, respectively. Small amounts of these minerals can have very noticeable, even damaging affects in your home. Hard water can also cause a scale build-up in pipes that can lower water pressure. Hard water interferes with many cleaning tasks, from doing the laundry to washing dishes to taking a shower. Washing your hair in hard water may leave it feeling sticky and dull. Dishes and glasses get spotted and a film may build up on shower doors, bathtubs, sinks and faucets. Clothing can look dingy and feel rough and scratchy.
HIGH EFFICIENCY WATER SOFTENERS
A water softener effectively removes dissolved forms of iron & manganese and hardness minerals from the water. To remove particulate iron or manganese, water filtration utilizing a cartridge filter with proper micron rating will be effective. Depending on the situation, this could require a series of filters with different size micron ratings to handle heavier levels of different sized particles in the water. Selecting an appropriate micron rating and style of filter can be determined by a water treatment professional based on water test results and other symptoms.
OTHER AFFECTS OF HARD WATER, IRON, MANGANESE
Scale from hard water can build-up inside water heaters insulating the temperature sensor inside the tank creating extra work to bring the temperature up to the set level. This reduces the life of your hot water heater and will likely require early replacement. Some other affects of these contaminants include corrosion and scaling inside pipes and major staining throughout the home’s showers, bathtubs, and sinks. For more information on hard water, see the link at USGS Hard Water.