A water filtration system or water softener may be needed if you live in Wenham, MA, whether you have a private well supplying your home’s water or are on the Wenham water system. The good news is a properly designed, installed and maintained water filtration system or water softener will provide you with truly excellent water quality for your home or business.
The Wenham Water System
Wenham, MA water is drawn from two gravel-packed wells (approximately 50-feet deep), located at the south end of Pleasant Pond, off Pleasant Street. These wells draw from the Great Wenham Swamp (backwaters to the Ipswich River), which provides a natural filter. Three chemicals are added to the water as it enters the system. Sodium Fluoride is added as required by town law to promote strong teeth, zinc orthophosphate to reduce the natural corrosiveness of the water and calcium hypochlorite (chlorine) for disinfection. The water is naturally corrosive and with required addition of chlorine it has a tendency to corrode and dissolve lead solder and copper pipes in household plumbing, which could lead to increased lead and copper levels if not treated. The water is pumped into the 750,000 gallon storage tank on “Lord’s Hill” and the 600,000 gallon storage tank at the Iron Rail property and then through over 27 miles of water mains to end users.
Additionally, it should be noted that the latest Wenham Annual Water Quality Report identified Manganese at .12 parts per million, which exceeds the EPA recommended Secondary contaminant maximum level of .05 parts per million. For more information on Manganese in Drinking Water, see the article at the following link: Manganese in Water Article in Water Tech . Also, the sodium level was tested at .22 parts per million. While there is no Maximum contaminant level for Sodium, the Mass DEP office of Research and Standards has established a guideline limit of 20ppm based on an eight ounce serving.
For certain health threat contaminants, water testing should be conducted by an EPA or Massachusetts state certified laboratory and should minimally include analysis for the parameters identified above. Minerals such as iron, manganese or hardness and others can be tested on-site with field test kits by a water treatment professional. If you are uncertain as to how to take a proper sample and get it to a lab, you should contact a lab or water treatment professional for assistance.
Wenham Private Wells and Testing Responsibility
You are responsible for your own water testing if you have a private well. Testing should be done periodically. Speak to a water treatment professional or state certified lab for information on how often to have your well tested.
Common Water Quality Issues
The common issues encountered in Wenham, MA private wells are manganese and iron along with low pH, sodium and sometimes the health threats radon and arsenic making their way into the water. If the testing results for Radon exceed the current Massachusetts guideline of 10,000 pCi/L in water, the radon must be removed from the water and the Board of Health recommends testing the air for Radon as well. It should be noted that New Hampshire requires action if radon is 2,000 pCi/L (pico curries per liter), Maine and Rhode Island are at 4,000 pCi/L. The maximum allowable level of Arsenic in drinking water per the EPA is .01 mg/L (miligrams per liter) or 10 parts per billion. For more information on this see the link at EPA Arsenic in Water Info. 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.
Effective Water Filtration Systems
Water filtration systems can be installed in Wenham for the removal of any of the contaminants listed above and more. A water softener is typically installed to remove dissolved iron or manganese in the water through a technology called Ion Exchange. Sediment filtration will remove particulate iron or manganese in the water. Arsenic is removed with tanks containing a specific media that “grabs” the arsenic out of the water. Sodium is effectively removed through reverse osmosis technology. Other technologies and systems may be required to remove other contaminants. These systems are typically installed in the basement.
Removing radon from water requires a system in which the water is highly agitated releasing the radon gas from the water, then safely vented outside the home to ambient air.
Again, any water filtration or water softener system designed should start with a water test before an informed recommendation can be made. A well maintained system will provide you with on-going excellent water quality for your Wenham home.
H2o Care, Inc. is an established, full service water testing and filtration systems installation and service organization, formed in 1989. (Based in Middleton, MA off route 114 with an additional office in Stow, MA). see our published articles in Water Technology Magazines at http://www.h2ocare.com/pub. Contact us at [email protected] or 800-539-1100.