Water softener or water filtration system options are identified in this paper for purposes of improving water quality in Westwood, MA. Additionally, certain aspects of the public water supply are reviewed. If you have a private well, it is highly recommended that you get your water tested and analyzed. This is the only way to identify whether or not you should be considering a water filtration system or water softener (water softening) system.
WESTWOOD’S PUBLIC WATER SOURCE
The District’s water supply is from groundwater. There are fourteen wells, six in Westwood and eight in Dedham. There are also emergency connections with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the City of Boston and the Towns of Norwood and Needham. There is also the ability to purchase water from the MWRA on a routine basis, up to 36 million gallons annually, however less than 1% of the annual water requirement is accessed this way..
The District has two water treatment plants where water from all of its regularly pumped wells is filtered. Chlorine is added for disinfection, fluoride is added for preventing tooth decay, and iron and manganese (naturally occurring minerals found in New England groundwater) are removed. The pH and alkalinity are adjusted to neutralize the slightly acidic characteristics of the groundwater so that it is less corrosive to piping and plumbing. Numerous tests are performed, ranging from continuously, for monitoring pH and other treatment plant performance indicators, while other parameters are analyzed daily, weekly, quarterly or annually depending on regulatory requirements. For the full Annual Water Quality Report, see the link at: Westwood MA Annual-Water-Quality-Report
According to information taken from the Annual Water Quality Report, average water hardness was identified at 116.5 mg/L (miligrams per liter) with a range from 89.9 to 143 mg/L. The average level tested is in the moderately hard range (see scale below), while the upper level of the range tested is considered hard. A water test would be required to determine what level your home’s water is at.
See the hard water scale below:
Hard water may result in scaling on plumbing fixtures and inside pipes, dull laundry, and will make it “harder to clean” than with soft water. When water falls as rain, it’s “soft” and free of hard water minerals. It picks up minerals as it passes through rock, sand and soil. Hard water is high in mineral salts, especially calcium and magnesium ions. This is no fault of the town, but just the cards they have been dealt. For more information on hard water, see the link at the Water Quality Association website at Perceptible-Issues/Scale-Deposits
WATER SOFTENER & OTHER WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS
Water filtration or water softening systems can be installed for the removal of any of the potential causes of symptoms you may be experiencing. Water softeners are typically installed to remove dissolved hard water minerals (calcium and magnesium) and dissolved iron or manganese in the water through a technology called Ion Exchange. To remove particulate iron or manganese, a properly sized sediment filter is required. Hydrogen Sulfide is evidenced typically by a rotten egg smell in your water, however this may also be caused by high Manganese levels in the water as well. A water filtration specifically for this problem is effective in correcting this. Chlorine or chloramine can be removed with a carbon filtration system while removing bad taste and odor.
Any water filtration system or water softener recommendation should start with a water test before an informed decision can be made. To determine what type of water testing to have performed and how to take a proper sample, call a water treatment professional or a state certified laboratory.
In summary, controlling your home’s water quality is attainable through proper water testing and equipment specification with today’s available water filtration technologies at a reasonable price. Proper on-going maintenance is also critical to maintain a consistent level of great water quality.