WATER SOFTENER CONSIDERATIONS
Hard water contaminants found in Waltham, MA water can be removed with a water softener. The main hard water minerals are magnesium and calcium (the hardness minerals. 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. If you have these contaminants present in your water, water softening will greatly improve your water quality.
The following chart categorizes hard water. Compare your water test results:
Calcium and magnesium can have very negative 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. Clothing 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 IRON, MANGANESE AND HARD WATER
Without a water softener, hard water 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 of the 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. See the link at http://lawn-irrigation/.
WHAT WILL A WATER SOFTENER EFFECTIVELY REMOVE?
Water softening 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 as a water softener is not designed to remove particulates. 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://publications/.
For more on hard water, see the link at: https://usgs.gov/h2ohardness.