WATER SOFTENER / WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS
Without a water softener, calcium and magnesium (the hardness minerals) can have devastating affects on your home’s plumbing as well as your ability to clean, even though the EPA has no published limits on these. The EPA maximum allowable level 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 create very noticeable, even devastating affects on your home’s water quality.
A water softener is effective in removing dissolved forms of iron & manganese and hardness minerals. To remove particulate iron or manganese, water filtration utilizing 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 our published articles in Water Technology Magazine at the following link: http://h2ocare.com/publications/.
For more on hard water, see the link at water.usgs.gov/edu/hardness.
OTHER AFFECTS OF HARD WATER, MANGANESE & IRON
Hard water scale (see photo below) 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 the 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.
Hydrogen Sulfide is evidenced typically by a rotten egg smell in water, however this may also be caused by high Manganese levels in the water as well. There are other types of odors & tastes that you may want to remove from your water as well. The following link provides more detail on the some of the more common ones in this region http://bad-odor-taste-water/.
RADON & ARSENIC IN PRIVATE WELLS
A water softener will not remove the health threat contaminants Radon and Arsenic which may be found in water and will require different water filtration methods. Arsenic in water can be removed at the point of entry into the home with tanks filled with arsenic specific resin that captures the arsenic before it can get into the home’s water supply. Point of use systems for drinking water can use reverse osmosis technology to effectively remove arsenic. Radon can be safely removed with an aeration system that agitates the incoming well water, collects the gas from the water in a sealed chamber, then safely vents it to the outside ambient air. Speak to a water treatment professional to decide which system is right for you.