Water softener technology will address the main hard water minerals found in Shrewsbury (magnesium and calcium), along with iron and manganese. These common contaminants can be removed with a water softener and/or a properly specified sediment filter depending on whether the forms of the contaminants are particulate or in solution. 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. Water softening will noticeably improve your water if you have these contaminants present.
The following chart categorizes hard water. Compare your water test results:
Calcium and magnesium 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. 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. 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.
OTHER AFFECTS OF HARD WATER
Water hardness 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. This will reduce the useful life of your hot water heater and require early replacement. Some 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. 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. For more information on hard water, see the link at water.usgs.gov/edu/hardness.html.
WHAT WILL A WATER SOFTENER REMOVE?
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 our published articles in Water Technology Magazine at the following link: http://h2ocare.com/publications/.
BAD ODORS & TASTES
In addition to water softeners, there are many other types of systems to remove bad tastes & odors, sediment and many other objectionable minerals and contaminants that may be present in the water. For more detailed information on bad odors and tastes in your water, see the link at: http://h2ocare.com/bad-odor-taste-water/.