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© 2019 by Mountain Estates, Inc.

 WATER ISSUES

 PURE CLEAN WATER

Water Filtering or Softening – Do I Need It?

Treating your New Hampshire or Maine water well may be necessary for a variety of reasons including poor taste and smell, undesirable minerals and contaminants and even dangerous elements such as radon and arsenic. Likewise, filtering and softening solutions must be chosen to address particular issues, water usage and other critical factors. 

Certain systems are more effective for treating particular issues and each option has its own strengths and weaknesses and our expert water treatment team can explain and install lasting filtering and softening solutions.  Below is a summary of the major types of home water treatment issues and their causes.

Ion Exchange Systems (Water Softeners)

These systems remove the undesirable but harmless minerals, calcium and magnesium, which are primarily responsible for “hard” water.  ʺHardnessʺ describes the capacity of water to combine with soap and form scale on surfaces resulting in soap scum in bathtubs and sinks, dull‐looking laundry, dish spots and scaly deposits on fixtures and inside water heaters and pipes. Water containing up to 3.5 grains/gallon (60 milligrams per liter) is considered to be “soft;” moderately hard water contains 3.5 to 10.5 grains/gallon (60 to 180 milligrams per liter) of calcium and/or magnesium and very hard water registers 10.5+ grains/gallon (180 milligrams per liter).

 

How They Work

Most ion‐exchange systems substitute sodium or potassium salts for the hardness minerals. However, a system must further treat water or salt levels in the product water will be increased.  If a primary issue is scale formation or water spots, softening your hot water alone can actually eliminate scaling and water spots without increasing the salt content of your cold water.

 

Effective at removing:

Primarily utilized for removing calcium and magnesium.

 

May help with:

Iron, manganese and other metals; chlorine

 

May not remove:

Microbial contamination, sodium, nitrates, organic chemicals, radon

 

Risks:

  1. Bacterial growth can occur in the ion exchange beds and home plumbing.

  2. In cation exchange, the product water may have elevated sodium(salt)levels.

  3. Please check with your physician for specific advice on the dietary uptake of salt from drinking water.

  4. In anion exchange, the product water from the softener may become corrosive to household plumbing, resulting in elevated levels of copper, iron, or lead in addition to shortening the life of the plumbing fixtures.

 

 

Activated-Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters are the most widely used home treatment devices.  Carbon filters are designed to remove organic compounds such as industrial solvents, pesticides, chlorine, and chlorination byproducts.  Activated carbon units are typically the easiest to install and maintain. Operating costs are usually limited to filter replacement.

 

How They Work

Activated carbon removes contaminants from water by adsorption, or the attraction and accumulation of one substance on the surface of another.  In activated carbon processes, the adsorption surface consists of pores, or small openings, created in carbon granules during the activation process.  In general, high surface area and pore structure are the prime considerations in adsorption of organics from water.  Carbon filters work best when they are able to operate slowly.

Effective at removing:

Chlorine, organic chemicals, pesticides, radon, odors and bad taste.

 

May help with:

Sediment and turbid water

 

May not remove:

Microbial contamination, sodium, nitrates, lead and other heavy metals, fluoride and hardness minerals

 

Risks:

  1. Activated carbon provides an ideal medium for the accumulation and growth of bacteria.  A unit containing a bactericide, usually a silver compound, will minimize this risk.

  2. Contaminant breakthrough can occur if the filter is used after the carbon bed is exhausted.  When breakthrough occurs, previously‐adsorbed contaminants are released from the bed and contaminant levels in the product water can exceed those in the source water.  Changing the filter regularly can eliminate this risk.

  3. Activated carbon removes radon, however as the radon decays in the filter, long‐lived radiation is produced.  The amount of radiation is related to the level of radon and other radioactive materials in the water supply and the amount of water used.

 

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis systems remove a wide variety of contaminants, including minerals, organics, and microorganisms.  However, they waste a great deal of source water in order to make a few gallons of treated water per day.  Only about 25 percent of the water passing through the unit is forced through the membrane; the rest goes down the drain.  

 

They are also slow; most units require between 3 and 6 hours to process 1 gallon of drinking water.  The production rate is greatly affected by water temperature.  For example, a 50° F water supply can result in as much as a 54% decrease from the manufacturer’s stated production rate.

 

How They Work:

Pressure in the water line moves the water along a semi‐permeable membrane.  This membrane is very selective; it rejects charged particles and large molecules and allows water and small organic molecules to pass through.  These systems are usually used in conjunction with either a water softener or an activated carbon filter.

 

Effective at removing:

Inorganic contaminants, such as dissolved salts of sodium, ferrous iron, fluoride, nitrate, lead, and some organic contaminants.  Most systems will also remove suspended solids, bacteria and viruses.

 

Ineffective against:

Less effective than carbon filters for many organic molecules; may not eliminate taste and odor.

 

Risks:

  1. Bacterial growth can occur in the post-treatment storage reservoir.

 

Water Distillation and More Filtration Information (Click Here)
"SOAPY" DEPOSITS ON WATER FIXTURES, DISHES, & LAUNDRY
BROWN/RED STAINING IN SINKS & TUBS
PINK "SLIMY" STAINS
ROTTEN EGG ODOR, CORRODED PLUMBING, POOR TASTING WATER
PARTICLES & SEDIMENTS FLOATING IN WATER
BLACK STAINS | MANGANESE
RED/GREEN STAINS ON FIXTURES AND LAUNDRY | CORRODED PIPES (LOW PH)
METALLIC WATER TASTE
LIGHT "TEA" COLORED WATER | POOR TASTE
SALTY TASTING WATER
ARSENIC IN BEDROCK WELLS
RADON GAS
URANIUM
Fluoride
NH DES FACT SHEET
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