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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER FILTERS, HOME USE
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WELL CHLORINATION & DISINFECTION
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article explains using sediment filters or water softeners as options for correcting unsanitary or unsatisfactory aesthetic contaminants in drinking water such as sediment, dirt, sulphur odors, or minerals. This series of articles explains many common water contamination tests for bacteria and other contaminants in water samples.
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We include water testing and water correction measures warnings for home owners and especially for home buyers when certain conditions are encountered, with advice about what to do when these circumstances are encountered.
How to remove aesthetic water contaminants and treatment systems: sediment, iron, odors, taste:
Our photo (above) illustrates heavy white stains and mineral deposits on a tile bathroom wall and on the bath tub itself. These white stains may be soap scum but more likely are due to hard water high in mineral content. Red or brown stains are more likely due to high iron content.
At WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS we discuss treatment systems that remove these contaminants. Below we discuss other water treatment methods (such as filtration) that remove other water contaminants.
TIP: when your water pressure declines or your pump begins clicking on and off rapidly, check to see if the filter has become very clogged and change it out. We once replaced a pump pressure switch only to discover that the problem was a clogged filter.
The water filter shown at left is for sediment in the water supply. The cartridge can be changed to handle odors (see Sulphur Odor Filters) below;
The installation of a water filter may affect the water flow rate and pressure in a building, particularly if the filter has become clogged.
The frequency with which the water filter must be changed depends on the filter type and the level of particles or contaminants that the filter is removing from the water supply.
For details see WATER FILTERS, HOME USE about cartridge type water filters
Indications that the water filter needs to be changed include
Watch out: particulates in the drinking water supply can significantly reduce the effectiveness of water treatment for contaminants such as bacterial or other pathogens. For examples see WATER DISINFECTION LIMITATIONS
Watch out: also that rapid short cycling of the water pump, as may be caused by a clogged sediment filter, can damage or even destroy the pump. See WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
If your water smells like "rotten eggs" the problem is likely to be sulphur dissolved in the water. The level of odor often varies seasonally as the level of the water table changes in the ground. You may also notice that the sulphur or rotten egg smell is much worse when water is first run in a building after you've been away several days.
Our photo (left) shows sulphur-bacterial staining in a toilet tank. This cosmetic staining often accompanies high sulphur odors in water and can be addressed by well-established water treatment methods.
While a chlorine injection system will reduce low levels of sulphur odor in water, potassium permanganate ("Green sand" in the words of my Culligan™ man) is used in a treatment system where this problem is severe.
Odors in Drinking Water, provides more detail on the causes of odors in water, health risks associated with certain odors in drinking water, and various methods of treatment for water odors - how to get rid of the smell in water.
For details about sulphur odors in drinking water see
Water softeners principally remove minerals (mostly calcium and magnesium) from a "hard" water supply but may remove some lower levels of other contaminants such as iron and sulphur. If those problems are significant, an additional treatment step may be required.
If your water is hard (measured in "grains of hardness") you want a water softener installed not only for aesthetic reasons (like getting a good lather when shampooing your hair) but also to avoid clogging the water supply piping with minerals (especially the hot water and very especially where tankless coils are used to provide hot water).
Most water softeners work by an ion-exchange process: swapping a small amount of salt or sodium into the water to cause calcium and manganese to precipitate out as dirty sludge (which is periodically removed by back washing the treatment system).
If building occupants require a zero level of sodium in drinking water they may want to install a reverse osmosis point of use supply treatment or in some homes people simply run a water supply line from ahead of the water softener to a single faucet to be used for drinking water.
For complete details about using and maintaining water softeners see the articles listed at WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
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