Diagnose Your Water

EWS_HardWater2

Hard Water

Do you notice spots on dishes, shower doors, or fixtures?

Hard water is water that has a high mineral content. It’s a natural result of minerals like calcium and magnesium accumulating during the water cycle, and it can happen with well water and even city water.  The hardness of water is measured in grains per gallon (gpg). One grain is equivalent to 17.1 milligrams of calcium or magnesium dissolved in one liter of water.  The more calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water, the harder the water becomes. This is why certain cities and counties within the same state can have varying degrees of water hardness.

The effects of hard water are fairly easy to spot:

  • It is the scum that collects on shower doors.
  • It leaves ugly stains in sinks and fixtures.
  • It dulls your hair and clogs your pores.
  • It wears out clothing and makes laundry feel hard and scratchy.
  • It makes household cleaning more difficult by lessening the effectiveness of soaps and cleaning products.
  • It leads to higher energy bills because of scale build-up in your water heater and pipes.
  • Water using appliance become less efficient and need to work harder.
  • It can lead to low water pressure from your shower or faucets, and even cause burst pipes over time.

Hard water can be tough on your home, your skin and your wallet. A water softener counteracts those effects by creating better quality water that extends the life of your appliances while also helping you and your home look and feel better.

EWS_IronStainsIron

Does your water taste metallic or do you notice reddish, rust-like stains?

The culprit for these hard to remove stains or that “off” taste could be due to high levels of iron in your water.  Iron water is caused by water passing through iron-bearing rocks.  Because iron accounts for 5% of the earth’s crust, it can be found in just about all types of water supplies and in different forms.

The type of iron present is important when considering the type of water treatment solution.  Water that comes out of the faucet clear, but turns red or brown after standing is ferrous iron, also referred to as ‘clear water iron’.  Water which is yellow or reddish immediately from the faucet is ferric iron, also known as ‘red water iron’.  Ferric iron has already oxidized and come out of solution into a particle form.

Iron in water can stain sinks and laundry and form scale in pipes and water-using appliances which leads to clogged filters, pipes and showerheads over time.  While you may be able to spot treat iron in your water with an acidic cleaner, the most effective way is with a water softener or specialty filter.

EWS_Eggs2Hydrogen Sulfide

Does your water smell like rotten eggs?

The presence of Hydrogen Sulfide is caused by decaying vegetation and oil deposits beneath the earth’s surface.   Sulfur in your water supply is easily recognized by its offensive odor. Hydrogen sulfide gas causes the “rotten-egg” or sulfur water smell. If you notice this odor only when using hot water, the problem may be simply fixed by servicing the water heater. If your cold and hot water, however, is found to have traces of hydrogen sulfide, you may need to invest in a point-of-use drinking water system or point-of-entry filter.

Water containing Hydrogen Sulfide can alter the look and taste of beverages and cooked foods. The water can also corrode plumbing metals, such as iron, steel, copper and brass, as well as exposed metals in washing machines and other water-using appliances. Exposure to water containing Hydrogen Sulfide can darken silverware and discolor copper and brass fixtures.

EWS-FarmerNitrates

Nitrate is a naturally occurring form of nitrogen, essential for plant growth and often added to soil (fertilizer) to improve productivity.  Like some contaminants, it is both tasteless and odorless.  When nitrates are not completely absorbed by the soil or the crops, excess can often find itself in groundwater and surface water supplies, which are in turn used in residential drinking water systems.

For homeowners in rural communities or using wells or springs, water should be tested for nitrates by a water treatment professional, as it is harmful to human and animal health.  Your local EcoWater Pro can recommend a POU or POE filtration solution to reduce water pollutants, like nitrates, up to 99%.

EWS_bleachChlorine & Chloramines

Does your water smell or taste like a swimming pool?

Chlorine is commonly known to maintain swimming pools. It is also used in common commercial and household disinfectant products such as bleach. Often, municipalities use chlorine in the disinfection of the public water supply to manage bacteria levels in drinking water and to kill other potentially harmful agents.  Chloramines (Chlorine + Ammonia) is an alternative to using chlorine.  The typical purpose of chloramines is to provide longer-lasting water treatment as the water moves through pipes to consumers.

 

Chlorine, even at acceptable household levels, can affect the taste of food and beverages and contribute to dry eyes, skin irritation and can exacerbate conditions such as eczema.

An EcoWater refiner or carbon-based filter can be used to remove both chlorine and chloramines throughout the home or can be accomplished with a “point-of-use” filter for single faucet water treatment.  Our water treatment specialists understand how to treat your local water and can provide the best recommendation for your home and family.

Manganese

Does your water taste metallic, look brackish or do you notice brownish stains?

Similar to iron, manganese is a naturally occurring mineral that is present in soils, rocks, and sediment. While it is an essential mineral, concentrations higher than 0.5 parts per million (ppm) in water are considered unhealthy for human consumption.  Well water could have concentrations as high as 2 to 3 parts per million, or six times above the safe threshold.

Levels as low as 0.05 ppm will leave brownish stains in sinks.  It can appear as a floating film on the surface of standing water.  You may also notice a black discoloration in your dishwasher, because detergents raise the pH of the water high enough (>8) to allow manganese to precipitate out of solution.

Similar to iron, manganese can be completely dissolved in water or is precipitated out of solution and makes water appear black straight from the tap.  While a softener is able to remove dissolved manganese from water, many other factors (pH, presence of other minerals, and level of total dissolved solids (TDS)) can reduce the efficacy of this solution.  Manganese removal is best removed using a specialty whole home filter.  An EcoWater Pro can test your water and determine the best treatment solution for you.


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