Common Water Issues
All of the following water issues and contaminants can be found in well and some can be found in public water:
Contaminants are any form of foreign substance, which is mixed into water. Some contaminants are benign, however, some can pose serious health risks to you, your family, or animals. These harmful substances can take several forms including physical, chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants. Some of these contaminants are naturally occurring (radon, uranium, and arsenic) while others are the byproducts of land use (fertilizers, pesticides, sewage, or industrial waste). The result can be life long ailments.
A way to describe water. Water passes through soft rocks, such as shale or limestone and absorbs calcium and magnesium deposits, thus creating “hardness” in the water. This hardness causes scale build up in pipes, appliances, fixtures, and water heaters. It will also increase the amount of soap needed to create a good lather.
Solution: The best solution is a water conditioner installed by Carroll Water. By utilizing a water conditioner, Carroll Water can help reduce rock and mineral deposits from occurring in the water flowing through your home or business. It will also decrease the amount of soaps, cleaning products, and time spent cleaning hard water stains, thus saving unnecessary strain on your body and your budget.
Acidic water is water with a low pH. It passes through hard rock formations, such as granite or marble, and is not able to naturally absorb rock sediment. So it will eat away at all the metal with which it comes into contact. This will leave you with pinhole leaks and blue and green stains in your sinks, tubs, toilets, and fixtures. This is even more of a concern if your house has copper piping with lead solder because you could potentially be leaching copper and lead into your water.
Solution: Many of these problems can be corrected by installing a tank that contains calcite (crushed lime stone). This is called an Acid Neutralizer. However, if you have a very low pH you might have to install a proportionate feed pump system that injects a high pH solution into your water.
Similarly to hard water, iron water develops when it passes through rock that contains iron deposits. This leads to reddish orange water that causes stains in sinks and tubs, and produces an undesirable smell.
Solution: Treating iron in your water is not a simple process. One reason is that there are several different types of iron that could be causing your issues. For example, ferric iron, ferrous iron, colloidal iron, and bacterial iron. The most popular however are ferric and ferrous iron. Ferric iron is iron that is not dissolved in the water, so it can be removed by a cartridge filter or a backwashing sediment filter. Ferrous iron is iron that is dissolved in the water so it would pass through a cartridge filter. Carroll Water recommends our water conditioner to address ferrous iron.
Most commonly found in wells, nitrates, or nitrogen-oxygen compounds, combine with both organic and in-organic materials as it makes its way to water. Nitrates are primarily the result of run-off from fertilizer use or sewage. It is not easily detectable except through regular testing and monitoring of a water supply. The introduction of nitrates into a water supply can result in serious health risks for anyone who drinks water containing too many nitrates. Expectant mothers as well as infants are especially at risk, and symptoms of overexposure to nitrates include shortness of breath and a condition known as blue baby syndrome.
Solution: The best way to remove nitrates from drinking water is a Carroll Water reverse-osmosis (RO) system.
Turbidity occurs when dirt, sand, or other organic material mixes and dissolves in the water supply. This can occur in both well and public water. If water contains dirt or is brown when it pours out of a fixture, then turbidity may be an issue you are experiencing. Turbidity can lead to clogged pipes and can increase unnecessary wear on valves, seals and washers.
Solution: Typically we manage issues of turbidity with tank filters, which contain a bed of filtering media or a cartridge filter.
Taste & Odor Issues
There are a number of causes for foul tasting and odorous water. Some of the more common causes include:
• Chlorine – commonly found in public water
• Hydrogen Sulfide (“the rotten egg smell”) – caused by decaying vegetation
• Other decaying organic matter
• Other dissolving gases and minerals
Solution: Tank filters with activated carbon are used to absorb and filter out chlorine. However, on well water, chlorine is usually injected into the water supply to kill the odor, and then the chlorine is removed with activated carbon.
Radon is a radioactive gas that is created through the natural decay of uranium, which is found in nearly all soils. This radioactive gas is cancer causing and is not detectable by sight, smell or taste. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and is responsible for nearly 20,000 deaths annually. Radon can enter a building through cracks and holes in a foundation or through the water supply, specifically through well water. Drinking water with radon has been shown to increase a person’s risk for stomach cancer.
Solution: While utilizing a “point of use” treatment system is effective at removing radon from drinking water, it will not reduce exposure to radon released into the air from all of the other sources of water that is used in the home. Therefore, we recommend the use of point of entry radon treatment systems for most residential applications.
As a naturally occurring chemical compound, arsenic is found in most bodies of natural water in the form of salt. Though this is typically found in very small concentrations in nature, this compound is also a byproduct of industrial and agricultural pollution. Continually drinking water that contains arsenic can have a severe impact to a person’s health, especially to the cardiovascular system. Arsenic exposure has even been demonstrated to lead to cancer if large enough quantities are taken for a prolonged period of time.
Solution: The best way to remove arsenic from your water supply is with a Carroll Water whole home water conditioner and a point of use reverse osmosis system.
Similar in nature to radon, except as a metal, radium is a radioactive material which is found in the environment in rocks, soil, and water. As a radioactive material, radium releases energy over time through decay. It is more commonly found in acidic water. High levels of exposure to radium can lead to bone cancer.
Solution: The best way to remove radium from your water supply is with a Carroll Water whole home water conditioner and a point of use reverse osmosis system.
Methyl Tertiary-butyl ether, or MTBE, is an additive which is mixed with gasoline to improve flammability and reduce the amount of carbon monoxide which is put into the air by automobile engines. Unfortunately, MTBE dissolves very quickly in water and some studies have shown that exposure to boiled water which contains MTBE has shown a higher occurrence of malignancy. The overall evaluation by studies focused on the carcinogenic risks by simply drinking water with MTBE is inconclusive. This has led a number of national and international health and environmental agencies to leave MTBE off of lists of known carcinogens, though some of these agencies have admitted that, though there is insufficient evidence at this time, there is indeed a likelihood that MTBE may contribute to occurrences of cancer.
Solution: The best way to treat MTBE is with a Point of Entry Treatment (POET) system with activated carbon by Carroll Water.
Water-Related Diseases: Arsenicosis – World Health Organization
Basic Information about Arsenic in Drinking Water – Environmental Protection Agency – 9/17/13
Arsenic in Drinking Water – Natural Resource Defense Council – 2/12/09
Radium and Your Drinking Water – The Department of the Environment, State of Maryland – 7/9/15
Basic Information about the Radionuclides Rule – Environmental Protection Agency – 3/6/12
MTBE – American Cancer Society – 7/17/14
Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) – Environmental Protection Agency – 11/15/14