WATER SOFTENER OR FILTRATION OPTIONS
As a West Boylston, Massachusetts resident, a water filtration or water softener system may greatly benefit your home’s water quality. Whether you have well water or town supplied water, a properly designed and installed system can noticeably improve water quality. Later in this write-up, specific contaminants that are commonly found in West Boylston private wells and the public water supply are identified. Additionally, various proven water quality improvement methods are covered as well. Hard water, dissolved iron and dissolved manganese are all effectively removed with a properly specified water softener system which takes into account both the level of these minerals and the estimated volume of water used in the home.
WATER TESTING & ANALYSIS BEFORE SYSTEM SPECIFICATION
If you have a private well, water testing should be conducted by an EPA or Massachusetts state certified laboratory and should include analysis for at least the parameters in the table below. Depending on your specific situation, testing for a wider range of potential contaminants may be advisable. If you are uncertain as to how to take a proper sample and get it to a lab, your water treatment professional can assist you. If your water is town supplied, they frequently test for health threat contaminants, therefore, an in-home water test can be performed on items such as iron, hard water minerals, pH or chlorine level. Some of the typical items tested for at a lab are as follows:
|Hardness||Total Dissolved Solids|
COMMON CONTAMINANTS AFFECTING WATER QUALITY
IRON, MANGANESE & LOW pH
Common issues encountered in West Boylston, MA private wells are manganese and iron along with low pH (see below for types of water filtration systems). Additionally, some homeowners are surprised when their water test reveals the health threats radon and arsenic. This is not uncommon in this region. Even in the public water supply, you may notice symptoms of manganese, iron or low pH in the water. For a chart of symptoms, causes and solutions, see the link at Common Regional Water Problems.
Hydrogen sulfide and sulfate-reducing bacteria are two forms of sulfur most commonly found in drinking water supplies. Both forms are nuisances that usually do not pose a health risk at the concentrations found in domestic wells, but can cause major aesthetic problems. Hydrogen sulfide gas, which causes a rotten egg smell in water, occurs naturally in certain ground waters containing decaying organic matter, such as marshes, swamps, wetlands and river beds. It may be found in either deep or shallow wells. Hydrogen sulfide is often present in wells drilled in shale or sandstone, or near coal or peat deposits or oil fields. It is corrosive to metals such as iron, steel, copper and brass. It can tarnish silverware and discolor copper and brass utensils. It can also cause yellow or black stains on kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Coffee, tea and other beverages made with water containing hydrogen sulfide may be discolored and the appearance and taste of cooked foods can also be affected. High concentrations of dissolved hydrogen sulfide also can foul the resin bed of an ion exchange water softener.
The removal of Hydrogen Sulfide is typically performed with either carbon filtration, aeration or ozone. The level of the gas detected will determine which method will be most effective in resolving this annoying problem.
OTHER BAD ODORS & TASTES
In addition to the above systems described, there are many other types of systems to remove bad tastes & odors such as fishy, musty, petroleum, metallic and other objectionable minerals and contaminants in the water. Starting with a water test will lead to the right approach. (see link at Common Bad Odors & Tastes).
HEALTH THREAT CONTAMINANTS
The Arsenic maximum allowable level in drinking water per the EPA is .01 mg/L (miligrams per liter) or 10 parts per billion. For more information on this see the link at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water-faqs.html.
The current Massachusetts radon remediation action level is at Ten Thousand (10,000) pCi/L (Pico curries per liter) in water. The radon must be removed from the water and it is also recommended testing the air for Radon gas as well. Please note New Hampshire requires action if radon is only at 2,000 pCi/L. while Maine & Rhode Island actionable levels are at 4,000 pCi/L. For more information on radon, see the link at Radon Information.
REMOVING ARSENIC & RADON FROM WATER
Removing Arsenic from water is performed by installing water filtration tanks containing a specific media that grabs the arsenic out of the water. The media inside the tanks have a limited capacity, therefore they must be exchanged out for tanks with new resin at appropriately determined time intervals. A safe system will include a “lead-lag” set up with two tanks in line. Once the media in the first tank is exhausted, the second tank will be in place to continue removing arsenic.
Removing radon from water requires a water filtration system in which the water is agitated in a sealed chamber then vented safely to outside, sending the radon gas to ambient air. Other technologies and systems are used to remove other contaminants. Any properly designed water filtration system should start with a water test before an informed recommendation can be made.