With the increasing movement of people into suburban and rural areas, more homes are relying on water wells.
“Pure” water does not exist. All natural water contains some dissolved gases and minerals. Ground water quality is influenced by the chemical make-up of the geologic formations in which it occurs, and the length of time that it has been underground. Ground water may be more mineralized than surface water because its slow movement gives time for it to dissolve minerals from the rocks it touches, allowing it to pick up various rock-related chemical constituents.
These constituents may include trace levels of iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, sodium, bicarbonate, silica, sulfate, chloride, nitrate, and fluoride.
Global Water offers a FREE water analysis on your source water.
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AND SERVICES AVAILABLE:
- Water Softeners
- Iron Filtration
- Reverse Osmosis
- Water Distillers
- Ultraviolet Disinfection
- Tannin Removal & Chlorination Systems
- H2S & Methane Removal
- Sand/Sediment/Silt Removal
- Pumps/Filters/Storage Tanks
- Chemical Sales
- Preventative Maintenance Programs
TYPICAL WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS INCLUDE:
Problem: Taste and Odor
Taste and odor can affect the quality of water by tainting certain foods and vegetables and by reducing the palatability of foods cooked in water. The main sources of odor- and taste-bearing substances are harmless organic materials like iron bacteria, and certain inorganic chemical constituents such as hydrogen sulfide.
Hydrogen sulfide is the primary cause for the “rotten egg” taste and odor in water. Hydrogen sulfide may be derived from the action of sulfate-reducing bacteria, or by the decomposition of organic matter, sewage, and certain industrial wastes. In addition to
Acidic (low pH) water can leach copper out of pipes causing a metallic taste, especially when the water is not flushed from the pipes frequently. An odor problem may occur with the presence of iron bacteria, which may cause a musty or swampy smell in the water.
Most taste and odor problems are solved by eliminating the substances that cause the problem. Treatment techniques include activated carbon filtration and/or oxidation using chlorination, potassium permanganate, ozonation or aeration.
Problem: Turbidity and Color
Turbidity is a visual haziness in water caused by the presence of insoluble suspended particles. Generally, turbidity is more common in surface water than ground water because ground water moves too slowly to carry particles of sediment. Turbidity is undesirable for health as well as for aesthetic reasons because turbidity can interfere with disinfectants and can “piggy back” microorganisms.
Discolored water may contain substances such as organic compounds derived chiefly from the decay of plant and animal matter. Certain metallic ions, such as iron and manganese, sometimes color water yellow, brown or red after contact with air, heat or after disinfection with bleach. Highly discolored water is objectionable because it may stain household fixtures and clothing as well as reduce the water’s visual aesthetic appeal.
Problem: Hardness and Alkalinity
Hardness, which is very common in water supplies, is caused by calcium and magnesium in water. Hard water is disadvantageous because soap does not clean efficiently and may leave an insoluble curd on bathtubs, sinks, clothing, and skin. Hard water also deposits a scale inside pipes, boilers, and hot water tanks, reducing their capacity and heat-transfer properties. The condition is commonly treated with water softeners.
Alkalinity is similar to hardness, and is a measurement of your water’s overall buffering capacity against extreme pH changes. Its concentration is usually similar to the hardness concentration when calcium carbonate is the main contributing factor to the value. However, if alkalinity is significantly higher than the hardness concentration then the reason may be high sodium in the water. If alkalinity is much lower than the hardness value then the water may be high in chloride, nitrates or sulfates.
Iron compounds, common in rocks and soil, are easily dissolved in water, particularly acidic water. The earth’s crust is a major source of iron; consequently, iron exists in many ground water supplies. Water may also contain iron from corroding metal in pipes, pumps, and fixtures.
Small amounts of dissolved iron in drinking water present no concerns, but high levels of iron can cause rusty stains to form on laundry and appliances. When exposed to air, ferrous iron (dissolved state) oxidizes to ferric iron (precipitated state), which can form an insoluble stain-causing rust. Excess ferric iron creates havoc in plumbing systems, water softeners, and other water-related devices.
Iron bacteria create additional problems. Some iron bacteria utilize dissolved iron during respiration. This may cause a rusty color in water supplies or create a slime that clogs valves, plumbing fixtures, and water-using appliances.
Iron and manganese are often reported together because they share similar traits and treatment techniques. Manganese has fewer sources in the earth’s crust than iron, but it is present in many natural waters. Manganese-bearing minerals are common in rocks and soils, and may also occur in large concentrations in organic material because it is a plant nutrient. Manganese concentrations more than 0.5 mg/L may impart a bitter metallic taste to foods and water and may precipitate to form noxious deposits on foods during cooking and black stains on plumbing fixtures and laundry.
High chloride concentrations in water are more common in arid and coastal regions than in humid areas. Chloride in ground water may originate in evaporate rock deposits or from seawater trapped in sediments during their deposition. Other sources of chloride also include solution of dry atmospheric fallout, municipal sewage and industrial wastes, and road salt.
Chloride in excess of 250 mg/L (i.e., the EPA SMCL) may impart a salty taste (Note: seawater has about 19,000 mg/L chloride). In some situations, chloride may accelerate corrosion of pipes, boilers, and fixtures. The best removal techniques for excess chloride are deionization and reverse osmosis. Most equipment designed for chloride removal also reduces sulfate, alkalinity, and total dissolved solids.