Common Water Contaminates & Recommended Remediation

WATER HARDNESS:   As water falls from the sky and seeps deep into the ground it makes contact with hard rock minerals, dissolving some of these minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. Water Hardness refers to the quantity of disolved calcium and magnesium in water, which can be found in most natural waters.  These minerals cause problems for two main reasons:
  1. Once water is heated, these minerals precipitate out of the solution and form hard, rock like scale.  This scale eventually causes pipe corrosion, restricts water flow, and reduces heat transfer in water heaters and boilers.  Eventually this decreases the life span of your household appliances that utilize water to function.
  2. When water hardness combines with soap, they react to form a curd, which interferes with cleaning, dries out skin and hair, and leaves  desposits on plumbing fixtures and clothing.

Hard water can be corrected by installing a Meter or Timer Water Softener.  A Water Softener device works by exchanging the calcium and magnesium ions for sodium or potassium ions, leaving you with "soft" water which is more desirable for bathing, cleaning, cooking and laudering.

IRON:  Iron is a naturally occuring water contaminate.  Iron can be found in several forms; ferric iron (rusty water), ferrous iron (clear water iron), organic iron (pink iron) or iron bacteria.

Water containing more than .3 ppm iron can cause reddish, brown staining of plumbing fixtures and laundry, as well as sidewalks, driveways, foundations, patios, and an unpleasant metallic taste.  Iron bacteria can cause odor problems as well as a reddish slime on certain fixtures. 
Well water containing iron can be corrected by a Water Softener.

To remediate the iron staining outside caused by a sprinkler system using raw well water a Twin-Tank Meter Controlled Water Softener can be installed.  The meter counts how much water is being used and once the water usage capacity is satisfied the system automatically switches to the next tank, giving the family uninterupted water usage at all times of the day and night.

MANGANESE:  Manganese is seldom found alone in water supplies as it is usually accompanied by iron.  Manganese as low as .05 ppm will cause dark brown or black staining on plumbing fixtures and clothing.  Manganese collecting in plumbing will cause black sediment and turbidity in drinking water.  Large amounts of manganese can cause clogging of pipes.

Manganese is corrected with a Water Softener.

BACTERIA:  Bacteria are tiny organisms occuring natually in water.  Not all types of bacteria are harmful.  Bacteria is seperated into 2 groups.

  1. Pathogenic bacteria - Disease causing bacteria such as coliform bacterial or E-Coli Bacteria.  This organism is found in the intestines and fecal matter of animals and humans.
  2. Non-Pathogenic Bacteria - Non-disease causing bacteria such as iron bacteria.

Bacteria can be correctd by either a Chlorination Disinfection System or a Ultra-Violet Light Disinfection System.

A Chlorination Disinfection System uses small doses of chlorine to kill the bacteria, along with any odors in the water and then utilizes a carbon filter to remove the residual chlorine.

An Ultra-Voilet Light Disinfection System  uses a  UV bulb to kill the bacteria as the water flows through this unit.  The water must be free of sediment, iron, tubidity, manganese and most other contaminents prior to entering the UV bulb.

HYDROGEN SULFIDE:  Hydrogen Sulfide is a gas resulting from the decay or organic matter with organic sulfur and the presence of certain types of bacteria.  This gas gives off an odor similiar to rotten eggs.  Even very low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide are offensive.

Depending on the severity of the gas in the water supply, there are several water treatment devices to correct this problem.  Among them are;  Whole House Carbon Filter with removable filters, an Automatic Backwashing Carbon Filter, and a Chlorination Disinfection System. 

pH (POTENTIAL OF HYDROGEN):  Water with a low pH is considered acidic water.  Quality water should have a pH reading of 6.5 - 8.5.  Anything lower than 6.5 can cause blue-green staining of fixtures from the corrosion of the copper pipes. 

Low acidity cannot be removed from the water, however, it can be neutralized by raising the pH with an alkaline mineral.  This process is done by installing a Acid Neutralizer tank.  This tank is filled with a media substance such as calcium carbonate which raises the pH levels of incoming water.  After time this mineral will disolve in the water and need to be replenished to keep the pH above 6.5.

NITRATE:  Nitrates are one of the major ions found in natural waters caused from contamination by run off of agricultural fertilizers.  Unlike low pH, iron, manganese, or Hydrogen sulfide found in water, Nitrates have no color, odor, or taste. 

Nitrates exceeding 10mg/l are harmful to infants.  Nitrates are reduced to Nitrites in the salvia and upper GI tract.  Once nitrites are in the body it limits the ability for blood to carry oxygen thoughout the body.

Nitrates can be removed installing a Type II Strong Base Anion Resin Filter.  This system works similiar to the Water Softening system, as it utlizes salts to recharge the resin bed and works by either a timer or metered control valve.