Symptoms: Hard water is easy to spot: it leaves a bathtub ring made up of hardness minerals and soap. This scum collects on shower walls, clings to hair, clogs skin pores and makes house cleaning difficult. Hard water deposits also can clog pipes, cause water heaters to operate inefficiently, and increase maintenance on water-using appliances.
Cause: Hard water is created when water passes through rock formations and picks up calcium and magnesium.
Remedy: Water hardness is corrected by the use of a water softener/conditioner. The hard water passes through a tank containing resin beads holding "soft" sodium ions. The "hard" calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged for sodium ions thus softening the water. When the beads have trapped all the hardness they are able to hold, the unit is regenerated (recharged) with salt brine to replace the hardness ions with sodium ions. The unit is then ready to soften water again.back to top
Symptoms: Iron water is easy to detect; it may leave iron stains on sinks, clothing and linens, or it can form scale in pipes and water-using appliances that make water look and smell bad. A water-testing professional can determine how much iron is present in a home and which type of iron it is...
- Clear water iron: water is clear when drawn from the tap - it turns red after standing for a time as the iron mixes with the air and oxidizes
- Red water iron: water is red when drawn from the tap - the iron has already oxidized in the ground, well, or water system
Cause: Iron Water is created when water passes through iron bearing rocks in the earth. It can also be caused, usually temporarily, by water standing in iron pipes.
Remedy: Small amounts of clear water iron can be corrected by a water softener. Red water iron and larger amounts of clear water iron can be controlled by running the water through a filter containing an oxygen rich mineral or environment. The iron is then oxidized into solid particles that can be trapped in the filter and washed down the drain.back to top
Symptoms: Acid water cannot be detected by the water's appearance, feel or odor. Its symptoms, however, are very apparent in the home. Acid water, in conjunction with copper fittings and fixtures, can cause blue-green stains, on plumbing fixtures, and can eat away chrome on faucets, fittings, and pipes. It can etch china and glassware, and corrode water-using appliances. A water-testing professional can test for the degree of acidity in a home's water supply.
Cause: Acid water is caused by water passing through extremely hard rock such as granite or marble. Water, by its nature, wants to dissolve something and when it passes through materials it can't dissolve, it comes into the home in a "hungry" state and starts eating away everything it touches. The degree of problems experienced will be determined by the pH scale which measures acidity on a scale of 1 to 14. Water registering below 7 is acidic, at 7 is neutral and above 7 is alkaline.
Remedy: Slightly acidic conditions can be controlled by running water through a filter tank containing a neutralizing compound. More extreme conditions can be controlled using a chemical feed system that injects a liquid neutralizer into the water. Also, a phosphate feeder can be used to coat all water-bearing surfaces with a film that helps eliminate acidic damage.back to top
Taste and Odor
Symptoms: Tastes and odors in water do not cause physical problems in the home but can be very objectionable.
Cause: Tastes and odors are caused by many things including chlorine, chlorine compounds, decaying organic matter, and dissolved gases or minerals. The presence of hydrogen sulfide, which tastes and smells like rotten eggs or sulfur, is caused by decaying vegetation, oil deposits beneath the earth's surface or some types of iron bacteria.
Remedy: Common tastes and odors can be treated by a tank filter containing activated carbon. The carbon absorbs the tastes and odors. Minor problems can be treated by a single-faucet filter. Hydrogen sulfide is a different problem requiring a different type of treatment. Low levels can be treated with an iron filter followed by a water softener. High levels require a chemical feed pump followed by a turbidity filterback to top