The importance of filtration and reverse osmosis.
United States drinking water supplies are considered the safest in the World. Although the Environmental Protection Agency sets standards and regulates public drinking water through primary and secondary standards, source waters can still become contaminated. Possible waterborne pathogens include Cryptosporidium, E coli, Hepatitis A, Giardia intestinalis, and a variety of other contaminants that can cause sickness and disease. As a result many Americans use point of entry and point of use water treatment to remove hardness minerals, take extra precautions, remove specific contaminants, or improve the taste of drinking water.
The first step in household water treatment is filtration. Filtration is the capture of gases or dissolved solids by one of many filtration medias such as, filter aggregate, activated carbon or greensand to name a few. The next step in household water treatment usually is a water softener which is used to remove hardness minerals from the water if they are present. Removing hardness minerals from household water is very beneficial to the home by protecting appliances and plumbing from scale build up, ultimately saving homeowner money. Filtration and softening of source water provides higher quality water inside the home for cleaning, washing and bathing.
The last step in household water treatment is usually reverse osmosis producing the highest and safest water possible for drinking and cooking. Reverse osmosis is a process of forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane removing up to 98% of contaminates in water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “reverse osmosis systems have a very high effectiveness in removing protozoa (for example, Cryptosporidium), Bacteria (for example, Salmonella and E. coli), viruses (for example, Hepatitis A) and common chemical contaminants (for example, sodium, copper, lead, fluoride, radium, nitrates, phosphorous, as well common minerals).” Reverse osmosis systems provide purified water at your kitchen sink.
American Drinking water supplies are among the most regulated substances on the planet with standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency and considered the safest in the world. However, technology exists to improve the quality of water in the home at relatively low cost. It is possible to remove hardness minerals to protect home appliances and plumbing, take extra precautions to insure a higher water quality and vastly improve the quality and taste of drinking and cooking water. It is well known that water is essential for us all, who wouldn’t want the highest quality of water available for themselves and their family. Contact your local water treatment company to discuss taking control of your water quality and protecting your home and family.
Discover what’s lurking beneath the surface, it’s not just for hard water issues.
Escherichia coli – CDC Image
Source water for a home comes from one of two sources public water system or a private well owned by the homeowner. In other words do you pay someone for your water? If so then the source would be a public water system. However, if you drilled a well on your own property then you would be considered a private well and responsible for your own water treatment and quality.
Public water supplies are federally regulated and water must arrive to your home at a minimum level of quality required by National Primary Drinking Water Standards Act. You have a right to an annual water quality report called a Consumer Confidence Report from your water supplier. Also, if for any reason the quality of water drops below required standards notification to all customers is required by law. If you have any concerns about your public water supply such as taste and odor issues or lead content, for example, you can have your water tested. However, the first thing to do is to call your provider and request the latest Consumer Confidence Report it will give a full report of water quality. You can contact a local water treatment professional if you wish to have further testing performed.
Those of you who own your own private well you are pumping raw water up from the ground and water quality and safety are your responsibility. When you own your own water supply there are some tests that are recommended regularly, such as, mineral analysis and coliform. There are many pathogens in water that cannot be seen or tested for so the total coliform test was developed. Coliform is a form of bacteria found in animal digestive tracts and is used as an indicator for other harmful bacteria in water, in fact, total coliform tests are the only reliable way to know your water is safe. According to the Environmental Protection Agency private wells should be tested for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, pH and mineral analysis annually or after any repair work. Also storage tanks should be cleaned out and sanitized annually as well. Contact your local water treatment professional to have your water supply tested and sanitized on an annual basis.
No matter your source, home water testing of your water can help identify what is in your water. Your only water problems may be improving the amount calcium hardness and total dissolved solid content with a public water supply. However, if you own you own well you may have calcium, iron, sulfur, nitrates, bacteria or other undesirable contaminants in your water supply. Unfortunately many water contaminants are not visible to the naked eye, the only way to know for sure is to test the source water, bacterial tests and tank sanitization should be performed annually. Water is life, what’s in your water?
There are many people in the hill country that have a septic system but also have to deal with problem hard water. There is much confusion about the effect soft water will have on a septic system and it is difficult to get a credible answer. So we will try to help by discussing how a septic system works and what impacts soft water will have on your septic system.
Conventional septic systems use anaerobic bacteria to breakdown household waste. Every drain in a home leads to the septic system the kitchen, the washing machine and the toilets to name the main ones. As the waste water enters the septic system liquids and solids are separated and liquids flow to the drainage field where the ground absorbs the water. In some systems the liquid waste water is used for fertilization and irrigation.
There are many different opinions on the old school grapevine about how a water softener affects a septic system. The truth is that the discharge from a water softener creates no problems for a septic system. In fact, a 1970’s study by the University of Wisconsin found that it actually was beneficial to the digestion of the waste eating bacteria. Furthermore, in 1993 the Environmental Protection Agency reviewed the study and found it to be correct sighting the fact that chemistry and physics of soils have not changed therefore the study’s conclusions remain correct and accurate.
Although there are many old school opinions about water softeners and septic systems at the end of the day they are just that, old school opinions. The fact remains that this issue has been studied by the University of Wisconsin and the study reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The conclusion is that water softeners will not hurt, but in fact, help protect your septic system helping it do its job. With all the worries of home ownership your water softener should not be one of them so enjoy the benefits of soft water knowing your septic system is safe and benefiting from it too.