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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Home Water Safety and Quality

Most people turn on their tap to get water without giving much though about where it comes from or its quality. The truth is natural water is not clean and it takes much effort to make it safe to drink, which is termed potable. Water is called the universal solvent because it will dissolve almost anything it comes in contact with due to its polar nature. Most of the things water will dissolve are naturally occurring minerals such as calcium or iron; although harmless these can be quite a nuisance damaging appliances and plumbing fixtures in the home. However, some naturally occurring minerals and numerous man made chemicals are not harmless and along with organic matter such as microbes, dirt, or leaves are not desirable in household potable water supplies.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed maximum contaminate level (MCL) standards for over 80 contaminates that may be found in drinking water which put human health at risk. The EPA standards cover the following:
• Microbes: (bacteria, parasites, viruses) The EPA monitors disease-causing microbes such as Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium, other microbes the EPA tests for are not harmful to people but indicate that the water has not been adequately treated.
• Inorganic Chemicals: These can come from natural erosion or from factories and farming. Some chemicals that the EPA monitors are arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, nitrate/nitrite and selenium.
• Organic Chemicals: These can be chemicals used to treat water; chemicals such as herbicides and fungicides used in agriculture; chemicals such as insect poisons used by home owners; and chemicals from factories.
• Radionuclides: These are naturally occurring radioactive minerals that may emit a form of radiation. Examples include radon, radium and uranium.
• Disinfectants: Used in water treatment such as chlorine dioxide or chloramines in order to disinfect public water supplies. When disinfectants react with naturally occurring organic matter found in the water they create byproducts which may cause disease or organ damage over years of exposure. The EPA monitors these byproducts which are trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, bromate and chlorite.
Municipal water supplies are regulated and do a good job overall of providing water that meets EPA standards and is safe to drink. However, the technology exists for homeowners to take water quality to a higher level allowing them to protect their largest investment, as well as help to enhance a healthy lifestyle.
Those homeowners who own their water supply relying on well water can enjoy the same high quality water, however, there is a little more involved in the process for them. There are many things that can have an effect on well water quality such as:
• Bacteria or pathogens which can cause recurring gastrointestinal problems- Well should be tested for coliform bacteria, it is recommended once a year. Positive results may require some form of disinfection to insure water is safe to drink.
• Water should be tested for lead, which can be harmful to health and cause pipe corrosion.
• Water should be tested for hardness, iron and sulfur. These minerals can cause damage to appliances, fixtures and cause objectionable odor.
• Storage tanks should be cleaned, it is recommended annually.
There are many well owners in the San Antonio and Hill Country area and the well water in many areas can be a challenge for homeowners. However, if you chose a reputable company that specializes in well water any problem water can be tamed to provide high quality water to the home.
Aqua-Man Water Conditioning is a local water treatment company in Boerne, Texas specializing in well water with equipment specifically designed for such problem water. If you would like information on how to improve the quality of your water please give us a call at 210-342-2290 or 830-816-2290