The Water Quality Association (WQA) is a not-for-profit association for the residential commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. WQA represents more than 2,700 member companies around the globe.
Bridger Analytical Lab, INC. (BAL) is a water testing laboratory in Bozeman, Montana. Our lab focuses on microbiological and inorganic analysis. The lab offers complete water testing support.
Educational resources for household water users, private well owners, septic system owners, and small landowners that promote protection of water resources around the home.
Your body is ½ to 4/5 water, depending on how much body fat you have. Water makes up nearly 85% of your brain, about 80% of your blood and about 70% of your lean muscle. (because there are a lot of tissues that have less water, the average is about 50%) Every system in your body depends on water. Its roles are impressive. Water:
Water that contains calcium and magnesium is called "hard" because it reacts adversely with soap and interferes with the cleaning process. The hardness minerals form a scale inside your kettle, appliances, water heater pipes and plumbing fixtures. They react with soap to create a scum or curd which forms a thick film on your shower, appears as a bath tub ring and makes your laundry dull and gray. Hard water is more than a nuisance, it also costs you a lot of money. You can eliminate these problems with a water softener. Water passes through a bed of ion exchange resin and the hardness minerals attach to the resin beads. When the beads become saturated with hardness minerals, they are automatically regenerated. A brine solution is drawn into the resin bed, releasing the accumulated minerals which are washed away with fresh water. The resin bed is left regenerated and ready to soften your water again.
Soft water is measured on a scale provided by the Water Quality Association. Hardness is measured in grains per gallon or parts per million. 0 gpg is soft, 1-3 gpg is slightly hard, 3-7 gpg is moderately hard, 7-10 is hard, more than 10 gpg is very hard. Hardness is considered a secondary contaminant and can create scale in water heaters, steam showers, humidifiers, dishwashers, clothes washers, faucet and shower heads, tile and glass surfaces. Removal of hardness saves energy, preserves efficiency, function and lifespan of appliances, and saves on soap and detergent use.
A water softener collects hardness minerals on the resin in the resin tank. When the resin becomes full of hardness minerals, the resin needs to be regenerated. Regeneration is done by back flushing the resin with a brine rinse. Brine is salt water. Sodium or potassium (salt) has a stronger attraction to the resin than the hardness mineral do. The hardness minerals are forced off the resin and washed down the drain leaving the resin ready for the next round of hard water.
The wastewater generated during the recharge phase of the water softening process mixes with other household wastewaters, enters the septic tank, and eventually moves to the soil adsorption field. Studies conducted by soil scientists at the University of Wisconsin and the National Sanitation Foundation conclude that the wastewater effluent generated from properly operating and maintained water softeners will not harm onsite systems that are designed, operated, and maintained appropriately. Specifically, the studies conclude the following:
Reverse osmosis filtration is an economical system for removal of organics and 90-95% reduction of total dissolved solids content of water over a broad range of mineral concentration. RO filtration is utilized to significantly remove nitrates, heavy metals (lead, zinc, copper, cadmium), pentavalent arsenic, cysts (crypto/giardia), fluoride, radium, pharmaceuticals, sodium. While RO does remove minerals which the healthy body does need such as calcium, calcium in water is in the form of calcium carbonate which the body cannot easily absorb. Typically people get vital nutrient minerals from foods and beverages consumed to satisfy their nutritional needs and water consumption is more for hydration needs. Thus compared to the removal of detrimental water constituents vs. minimal mineral values, RO filtration provides a much more significant contribution to consuming quality, purified water.
The majority of popular brand on-demand water heaters today have listed in their water quality parameters for maintaining warrantied operation, an upper limit of allowable water hardness usually expressed in parts per million (ppm) or grains per gallon (gpg) and iron expressed in milligrams per liter (mg/L). Most require less than 10 gpg hardness and .3 mg/L iron. Depending on your water quality there is a good chance you should consider a water softener which will remove hardness and reduce iron.
Rotten egg odors are usually the result of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. H2S can occur as a gas released from the aquifer or as a product of Sulfur Reducing Bacteria. Pure Water Technologies has different methods for removing sulfur odors depending on the source of the gas, so first we determine the source to advise the proper water treatment equipment solution.
Recently there have come to the market place different technologies touting water treatment for hard water scaling without the use of salt by the equipment. Systems using electric wire coils wrapped around the water pipes, electromagnetic water treatment, magnetized water, nano-crystals and template assisted crystallization are all technologies which make claims of water conditioning to produce soft water. Soft water is by definition water which has 0 grains per gallon or parts per million of hardness ions which come from carbonate minerals calcium and magnesium. Scale deposits form from contact or as evaporative residue. Softening results from removing these calcium and magnesium ions from the water. “Saltless” Water Conditioning (SWC) involves no direct chemical processes. Most reports of successful use of SWC have been anecdotal and lacking in quantitative data, reproducible data and proper controls. Scientifically validated studies proving successful performance are virtually unknown. The success of “saltless” systems lies primarily in the promotional literature and claims of the vendors.
The pH level is a qualitative measure of the hydrogen ions representing acidity or alkalinity of a solution. Thus it is a measure of the intensity not the capacity. An acidic solution has more free hydrogen ions than the alkaline solution. The pH scale ranges from 0-14 with 7 being neutral. It is logarithmic so for every one unit of change there is a 10 fold change in ion concentration.
According to Dr. Bob Anot M.D., your body is designed to adjust to its optimal pH balance. Once alkaline water enters your body, your body pours greater amounts of acid to neutralize it. The constant ingestion of alkalized water can create an abnormal digestive condition. Maintaining normal stomach acidity is also necessary to protect against bacterial and viral infection.
All of the potential water treatment solutions proposed by Pure Water Technologies are based in your water’s chemistry, the demand flow requirements of your home and the space allocations available for equipment. So during our visit we will analyze a sample of your water for its basic constituents and, depending on the concerns you have for your water, we may take a sample for analysis by a certified lab. We will discuss the concerns and problems you have with your water. We will do a plumbing assessment of where equipment could be located and how it will intersect with existing plumbing lines. If you are just building a new home we will advise you and work with your plumber on how to efficiently and effectively install rough plumbing in preparation for water treatment equipment. Then of course we will provide an estimate of equipment options, installation costs and payment options.
Filtered water involves separating suspended mineral particles like iron, sulfur or organic matter by passing water through a “media bed” and trapping the particles. Softening water involves an ion exchange to remove dissolved particles like calcium, magnesium, or iron that can’t be trapped in a media bed. These minerals form an ionic bond to a resin bed and are removed from the water.
The sodium content after softening may be high enough to retard plant growth and harm lawns. A bypass around the softener for outside irrigation and hose bibs and a designated hard water faucet (such as a laundry sink) in the house providing a raw water source for indoor plant water is advisable. Besides plant sensitivity it would be wasteful of salt and regeneration cycles on the softener to condition irrigation water.