Common Water Problems...

Hard Water...Looks like scum and build up on fixtures

Hard water is created when water passes through rock formations such as shale and limestone, it begins to dissolve and pick up calcium and magnesium deposits from the rocks.  The introduction of these minerals into water is what causes water to become hard.  Hard water is one of the easiest water problems to detect.  In the bathroom, signs of hard water include bathtub rings and a filmy collection of scum on shower walls.  Hard water can also cling to hair and clog skin pores.  Finally, clogged pipes, poorly operating water heaters and other water-using appliances could be a sign of hard water.

Suggestions...Water hardness is countered with water conditioners or water softeners.  Hard water is passed through a tank containing resin beads.  The resin beads hold sodium ions, which act as a softener.  Water conditioners exchange the calcium and magnesium deposits for the softer sodium ions.  When the resin beads reach their capacity for water exchange, the water conditioner is regenerated with salt brine - replacing the captured calcium and magnesium with a new batch of sodium ions and the cycle is ready to begin again.  Recommend Equipment: ERR System, ECR System, ESD System, or EP System.

Hydrogen Sulfide...Smells like rotten eggs

The presence of Hydrogen sulfide, which tastes and smells like rotten eggs or sulfur is caused by decaying vegetation and oil deposits beneath the earth's surface. Water containing hydrogen sulfide may be especially noticeable when running hot water.  Such water can discolor coffee, tea and other beverages, and alter the appearance and taste of cooked foods.  In high doses, Hydrogen sulfide can make the entire home smell.

Hydrogen sulfide in water can corrode plumbing metals, such as iron, steel, copper and brass and exposed metal parts in washing machines and other water-using appliances.  The corrosion of iron and steel from hydrogen sulfide can darken silverware and discolor copper and brass utensils.

Suggestions... Most common causes can be treated by tank filters containing activated carbon as the carbon will absorb the objectionable odors and tastes.  Single faucet filters are also a common solution in minor cases.  However, hydrogen sulfide must be treated with ion filters, followed by a water softener.  For more severe cases of hydrogen sulfide, a chemical feed pump followed by a turbidity filter is the recommended solution.

Chlorine...Tastes like swimming pool water

Chlorine can make the water smell and taste bad.  Chlorine is a powerful oxidant and is commonly used as a disinfectant in commercial and household sanitation, bleaching, and in maintaining swimming pools.  The most significant application is in the disinfection of public water supplies where it is used to manage bacteria levels in drinking water and kill other potentially harmful agents that seep into lakes, rivers, streams or ground water.

Chlorine, even at acceptable household levels, can contribute to dry eyes and skin irritation as well as exacerbate conditions such as eczema.

Suggestions...Most common causes can be treated by tank filters containing activated carbon as the carbon will absorb the objectionable odors and tastes.  Single faucet filters are also a common solution in minor cases.  ERR Refiner, Whole House Reverse Osmosis, Reverse Osmosis Drinking System.

Cloudy Water...Looks like foggy water

Turbidity is simple dirt or other suspended solids in your water that gives it a cloudy, milky look.  It is caused by dirt and sand getting into wells, or by run-off of other organic matter into water supplies.  In addition to looking unpleasant, it can clog small water-bearing openings and cause wear on valves, seats, and washers.

Suggestions...Activated carbon filters or mechanical filters remove turbidity. Two different types of mechanical filters may be used individually or in combination. One is the sand filter and the other is the cartridge filter.  A sand filter is best for removing heavy loads of suspended particles while a cartridge filter may be used as secondary filtration at the point of use to remove very fine particles not removed by the sand filter. If the turbidity concentration is relatively low, a cartridge filter may be all that is needed.  Public water systems using surface sources provide full treatment, including filtration. Many systems with turbid groundwater also provide filtration.  Reverse osmosis and distillation also successfully treat turbidity.

Iron water and Manganese...Taste metallic

When water passes through iron-bearing rocks beneath the earth's surface, it can collect iron deposits. Standing water in iron pipes can also develop into iron water, although the effect is usually temporary.  Like iron water is fairly easy to detect. Iron water will leave iron stains on sinks, clothing and even linens. It can also form scale in pipes and appliances. The presence of iron can lead to an undesirable appearance and smell of the water as well.

Suggestions...Minor cases of clear water iron can be solved using a water conditioner or softener. For red water iron and more severe cases of clear water iron, a filter containing an oxygen-rich material is recommended. The mineral will oxidize the iron, allowing the filter to trap the iron, thus removing it from your water source. For the most extreme cases of iron water, a chlorination system is the best solution. To combat bacterial iron, the water system should be "shocked" with a heavy dose of chlorine and then monitored by way of a filter and/or feed system.  ECR Conditioner.

Acid Water...Looks like blue and green stains

The natural tendency of water is to dissolve the materials that it passes through. Acid water forms when water passes through granite, marble, or other types of extremely hard rock. In these cases, the water is unable to dissolve the hard rock and enters your home water system in what is referred to as a "hungry" state. This causes water to dissolve the materials that it comes into contact with in your home instead - things such as plumbing fixtures, pipes, glassware, and appliances.  Acid water is measured on the pH scale. Water is naturally a 7, or neutral, on the scale. Values less than 7 are considered alkaline and a pH reading above 7 is acidic.

Unlike hard water and iron water, acid water is not detected through odor, feel or appearance. Acid water is identified by the bluish-green stains that it leaves on plumbing fixtures. Acid water also eats away at chrome fixtures, etches china and glassware and can even corrode appliances.

Suggestions...Minor amounts of acid water can be corrected by utilizing a filter tank that contains a neutralizing compound. For more sever cases, a chemical feed system can be used to inject neutralizer's into the water supply. A phosphate feeder can also be installed to coat all water-bearing surfaces with an acid-reducing film.  Sanitizer.

Algae, Mold and Bacteria...Smells like algae or mold

Different types of organic matter can cause your water to taste bad, often fishy or earthy.  Most commonly found in well water supplies.  Bacteria present in water can often cause health problems that range from minor to major.  There are both beneficial and harmful bacteria, Coliform bacteria -Fecal Coli form and E. Coli being the most common of the harmful type.  Accurate lab analysis is required to determine bacteria levels since samples need to be cultured.  Bacteria in water takes many forms and the best way to know the type of bacteria present is to have your water professionally tested.  A common symptom of bacteria in water is slime build up in the toilet tank.

Suggestions...One of the most common solutions is an Ultraviolet Disinfection system.  Virtually maintenance free (bulb replacement once a year), UV light kills a wide range of bacterial invaders.  Additional solutions are chlorination through chemical feed, particularly if bacteria is combined with other water problems, i.e. iron, hydrogen sulfide.

Nitrates...Undetectable smell or taste

Nitrate (NO3) is a naturally occurring form of nitrogen (N) which is very mobile in water.  It is essential for plant growth and is often added to soil to improve productivity.  Water moving down through soil after rainfall or irrigation carries dissolved nitrate with ground water.  In this way, nitrate enters the water supplies of many homeowners who will use wells or springs.  Drinking water high in nitrate is potentially harmful to human and animal health.  Unfortunately, contaminants can only be detected by professional testing.

Suggestions...A variety of solutions can be used to combat water contamination, depending on the type and severity of the contamination. Sediment filters, chemical contaminant filters, lead reduction filters, reverse osmosis drinking water systems, and distillers are examples of possible solutions for water contamination.

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