WATER SOFTENERS – HARD WATER, IRON & MANGANESE
Hard water contaminants found in well water supplying homes in Portsmouth, NH can be removed with a water softener. The main hard water minerals are magnesium and calcium. Also commonly found in Portsmouth are iron & manganese. The EPA maximum allowable level for iron as a secondary contaminant is .3 parts per million. The EPA maximum allowable level for manganese as a secondary contaminant is .05 parts per million. Small amounts of these minerals can have large affects on your home’s water quality. The EPA has no maximum levels set for calcium and magnesium in drinking water. Without water softening, these minerals can have devastating affects on your home’s plumbing as well as your ability to clean. Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task, including washing dishes, laundry and taking a shower. Clothes can look dingy and feel rough and scratchy. Dishes and glasses get spotted and film may build up on shower doors, bathtubs, sinks and faucets. Washing your hair in hard water may leave it feeling sticky and dull. Finally, hard water can cause a residue to build-up in pipes that can lower water pressure throughout the house. For more on the Portsmouth Annual Water Quality Report, see the link at https://www.cityofportsmouth.com/publicworks/water.
There are different water softener types, including up-flow versus down-flow technology which can make a big difference, particularly if there are elevated levels of iron or manganese in the water. High efficiency softeners also use much less salt and water in the equipment’s regeneration cycle. For more information about hard water, see the link at Hard water.
The following chart categorizes hard water levels. Compare your water test results:
OTHER AFFECTS OF HARD WATER, IRON & MANGANESE
The affects of hard water, iron & manganese 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. Aside from some of the affects mentioned above, hard water scale can also 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, you are likely to experience a reduced useful life of your hot water heater requiring early replacement. For outside well water 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/.
A water softener 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. 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 articles in Water Technology Magazine at the following link: https://h2ocare.com/pub/.
Speak to a water treatment professional to decide which system is right for you.