There are several fairly Common Water Conditions present that Affect our Homes and Lives!
Hard Water is the most Common Contaminate. Usually represented as Grains per Gallon. At 6 -7gpg and above, this will cause the formation of Mineral Scale build up on Plumbing Fixtures, Shower Walls and Enclosures, Spotting on Glassware, Silverware, and Dish's, Dingy Stiff Laundry, Stiff Dry Hair and Itchy Skin, and Heavy Soap Scum build up in Sinks and Tubs. Also when you Heat Hard Water, the Hardness Precipitates out of the Water. It Recrystalizes on the bottom of your Water Heater and will Scale the Heat Exchanger of your Boiler and Tankless Water Heaters causing Premature Failure! Hard Water has a Monetary effect on a Home. By Treating Hard Water you will: Reduce the Harsh Chemicals needed For Cleaning, Reduce All Soaps and Detergents by 50 -75%, Clothing will Retain their Bright Colors and Last 15 -20% Longer, and Appliances such as Dish Washers, Clothes Washers, and Water Heaters will Last Longer. The EPA Recommends Treatment at 28gpg and High Levels of Hardness can cause Kidney and Bladder Stones.
Iron is another Common Contaminate, typically found in Well Water. Iron can Cause Staining at only 0.3ppm. There are Three Types; Ferric (Oxidized Iron) will Leave an Orangy film in Toilet Bowls, Ferrous (Clear Water Iron) this Oxidizes when Exposed to the Air and Leaves a Stubborn Red/Brown Stain, and Colloidal (Organic Iron) this will be a Orangish Red Growth on the insides of the Back of the Toilet. Ferric Iron can Build up inside the Pipes of a Home reducing the Pressure and Flow. I have some 1"in. Copper Pipe sections Reduced to only 1/4"in. from the Accumulation of Ferric Iron. Along with the Staining caused by Iron, it can Impart a "Metallic Tang" to the Taste of the Water. Another Problem that can Accompany Iron, is Iron Bacteria or Sulfate Reducing Bacteria, Not Harmful. But as this Type of Bacteria feeds on the Iron it releases Hydrogen Sulfide or a "Rotten Egg" Odor to the Water. A Visual Indicator is an Oily Sheen, or Film on the top of the Water in the back of the Toilet. All Iron and Secondary Problems Associated with Iron is Treatable, but Require different Treatment Methods depending on Severity.
Acidic Water is not Uncommon in Colorado Well Water. The pH scale is used to Determine whether something is Acidic or Alkaline. The pH scale is 1 -14 with 7 being Neutral, above 7 is Alkaline and below 7 is Acidic. We feel a pH of 7.4 -7.8 is an Ideal Range. The EPA recommends Alkalinity of Water above 8 should be Treated. Often High Alkalinity in Water May also have Elevated Sodium or Sulfates, and Can Impart a Salty or Bitter Taste. Water below 6.8 can become a Problem as this is Corrosive to Copper Plumbing and Fixtures. If you have Copper Plumbing, Acidic Water may Leave a Very Stubborn Pale Blue/Green Stain at the Water Line of the Toilet and at the Sink Drains. This is Copper Oxide from your Copper Pipes slowly being Eaten Away. Typically, the Second time the Plumber is out to Repair a Pin Hole he'll Recommend Contacting a Water Professional for Treatment.
These are just a Few of the More Common Contaminates found in Our Water. We will Address Additional Contaminates Found in our Water in Future Articles, such as Man Made Chemicals, Industrial Byproducts, Uranium, Radionuclides, and Other Natural Contaminates.
By: Terry Hughes CWS CI