Monday, November 5, 2018

Water Treatment Systems- What should I buy?

Before even considering treating your well water, get a fairly comprehensive water analysis and test for iron bacteria. This provides you with a full list of the contaminants in your water, pH, hardness and other characteristics that might impact taste or water quality and the effectiveness of any water treatment equipment. Water treatment equipment is a commitment, in money and maintenance. Not only is proper selection of treatment equipment or system essential, but proper maintenance is also key. Treatment adds complexity to your system, which increases the items that can go wrong and the time necessary to ensure it is working properly.

At best, improperly maintained treatment equipment may not do its job. At worst, it can cause other problems with your water system. Improper equipment selection may cause other problems that in turn need to be treated. Sometimes, you might need or want treatment for a particular contaminant, but there might be other, contaminants or constituents in the water that affect how well certain treatment devices work or might be trying to treat water for iron when iron bacteria is the problem.

Contaminants that indicate potential or are health risk need to be addressed. Contaminants that are likely to cause some sort of aesthetic problem can be ignored in some cases. . Before deciding on treatment, you should determine exactly where contaminants are coming from. Some sources of contamination are obvious, others are not so obvious. Coliform bacteria, for example, or high chloride, could come from any number of sources. It’s always best to eliminate the source first. If you are able to do that, then continued, long-term treatment might not be needed.

Home treatment is typically either Point of Use (POU) or Point of Entry (POE). POE treatment is at the point where water enters the home and provides whole home treatment. This type of treatment is generally more expensive because you are treating more water. It’s necessary, however, if you are treating for a contaminant that impacts health or renders the water aesthetically unusable (E. coli, hydrogen sulfate, radon come to mind). POU units are typically used to treat water for drinking and cooking at a specific tap or faucet. These systems are used to treat a contaminant that is a health risk if ingested, or that might cause taste issues. They only treat a portion of the water coming into your home.

Filters are a common water treatment device that can be used for a number of different applications. Some are membrane filters or tight media that prevent particles or contaminants that are over a certain size from passing through. Others include media or resins that help bind or adsorb certain contaminants that are attracted to the media. Most whole house model water filters are pressure filters, a fully enclosed tank type filter that operates at the same pressure as the water delivery system so that you do not need to buy a booster pump or re-pressurize the water.

These devices are used for a variety of water treatment purposes such as taste and odor improvement, iron and manganese removal and removal of suspended matter (turbidity) in water. The water treatment performed by a pressure filter is determined by the filter media that is inside the tank.

Reverse osmosis is a point of use filtration through a membrane. It works by forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane that lets some molecules through, but prevents the contaminants from going through. These systems can remove uranium contamination, any many other contaminants. The effectiveness of a reverse osmosis system depends the type of membrane, the pressure pushing the water, and the quality of the source water. These systems do not work for bacteria, but are excellent for other larger contaminants. Reverse osmosis are usually mounted under kitchen sinks and waste between 4 and 10 gallons of water for every gallon of water treated.

If you buy a home with a well and preexisting water treatment equipment, you need to determine what your raw water looks like and if any existing equipment is needed, appropriate and working. The best way to begin is to test the water before any treatment equipment and after any treatment. Groundwater is dynamic and can change over time and equipment available for the home market has changed over the years.

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