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Frequently Asked Questions

At American Water, our Austin water softener and filter specialists understand how important water quality is to home and business owners alike. As such, we carry a full line of high-quality Kinetico products from which we can customize a water treatment solution for your home or business.

We realize that many area residents and business owners probably have questions about how these products may improve the quality of their water. To help address these questions, we’ve compiled the following list of some of the questions we’re asked most frequently, along with their answers. To learn more about the full line of Kinetico products we carry, or to schedule a free water analysis with one of our water filter specialists, feel free to call us today!

What Is The Difference Between Soft And Hard Water?

Hard water is water that has not been treated. It contains certain minerals like calcium and magnesium. Soft water, on the other hand, is water that does not contain any minerals other than sodium. Soft water may be naturally occurring, such as rainwater, or may result from treating hard water with a filtration system to remove excess minerals.

How Do I Know If My Water Has Been Contaminated?

Water must be officially tested for specific minerals and contaminants in order to determine if the water has been contaminated. However, certain warning signs can signal contaminants may be present and can help determine if your water needs to be tested or treated.

These warning signs differ based on which contaminant is present in your water. For example, if your water tastes metallic, it may have certain metals in it, such as iron, copper or zinc. Other potential warning signs include an earthy taste to your water, cloudy or murky water or the presence of rust stains in your bathroom, which may all be indicative of water contaminants.

Why Do I Need A Reverse Osmosis System If My Drinking Water Comes From The City?

Although water providers like the city are required to test their water for certain contaminants, there are often still particulates present in the water by the time it reaches your home. Cities help to reduce contaminants in water, but they are often unable to ensure that your water is completely contaminant free, which may cause domestic water issues.

As a way to combat these contaminants, many homeowners decide to add a reverse osmosis to their homes to ensure their drinking water is safe from contamination and ready to be used for a variety of household purposes.

How Can I Tell What Contaminants Are In My Water?

If you would like to discover what exactly is in your household’s water supply, one of our water softener and filtration specialists can perform a free water analysis for you. Among the most common contaminants in any Central Texas area water supply are chlorine and dissolved minerals.

Once one of our specialists determines which contaminants, if any, are present in your water, they can recommend one of our Kinetico products to improve the quality of your water.

What Does A Water Softener System Do?

Water softener systems can remove nearly all the dissolved minerals that cause hard water. Once one of our Austin water softener specialists determines the exact hardness of your water, they’ll be able to recommend one of our Kinetico water softener systems to meet your particular needs. It is calcium, magnesium or iron that commonly causes hard water. These elements may be present whether your water is supplied by a well or local municipality.

Can I Find A Water Softener And Filtration System That Fits My Budget?

In most cases, one of our specialists will be able to help you customize a home water treatment system that fits both your needs and budget. We carry a number of different water softener and filtration solutions that may be tailored to the exact needs of your Austin-area business or residence. Depending upon the needs of your company or home, a dedicated drinking water filtration system may be preferential to a whole-house water filtration system.

What Are The Negative Effects Of Hard Water?

Hard water is usually rich in dissolved minerals like calcium, magnesium or iron and can have a number of adverse effects. Depending upon how hard your water is — something one of our Austin water softener specialists can determine for you — these adverse effects can be quite substantial.

Aside from damaging your hair and skin, hard water can cause considerable damage to household appliances that use water. Additionally, hard water can damage your glass and silverware, your clothing and sink and bath basins.

How Long Will It Take To Get A Water Treatment System Installed?

Depending on which Kinetico water treatment system you choose, installation time varies. To better understand exactly how long some of our more involved water treatment systems may take to install, contact one of our Austin water softener and filter specialists.

We can discuss your particular concerns and needs and help you customize a solution from our line of Kinetico products. Once your water treatment needs have been determined, installation may include anything from a simple installation of Kinetico’s water softener to a far more comprehensive water treatment system.

I Just Want A Water Filtration System For My Tap Water. What Are My Options?

If you need a water filtration system, we have many options to fit a variety of needs. We can set up water filtration for a single tap or even install a system that provides your entire house with clean, filtered water. Whatever you want from your home water distribution system, our specialists will help you craft a system that is optimized for you.

Why Do Municipalities Put Chlorine In The Water?

Since around the mid-19th century, chlorine has been used as a means to improve public health, as it eliminates otherwise dangerous bacteria in water. As such, chlorine plays a central and critical role in maintaining public health in most cities.

However, once a water supply has reached your house, there isn’t really any need for it to be in your drinking water anymore. While it certainly doesn’t hurt you to drink your water without removing the chlorine, it sure does taste a lot better when you do.

Why Does My Water Have A Metallic Taste To It?

When water has a metallic taste to it, it’s typically because there are metallic particles in the water. It may be from iron and manganese, which are naturally found in groundwater, or from minerals like copper and zinc, which are typically caused by an aging water distribution system.

What Characterizes “Hard” Water?

For water to be considered hard, it must contain unusually high levels of dissolved minerals — typically, minerals like magnesium, calcium and iron. Hard water is not uncommon. It’s estimated that nearly 85% of freshwater in the United States is hard.

However, there are a number of communities in the Central Texas area with water supplies that are considered to be extremely hard by the Water Quality Association.

Why Does My Water Have An Earthy, Musty Taste?

Typically, an earthy taste or odor is associated with the presence of a number of algae, or, more accurately, the compound released by any decaying vegetation in your water supply. While the taste and odor of water containing these compounds can be highly undesirable, it is completely non-toxic. In any case, this taste and odor may be completely removed from your water so that your water will again be as pure and refreshing as you deserve.

Why Does My Water Appear To Be Cloudy?

If your water appears to be grayish, murky, cloudy or discolored, it’s typically because it contains high levels of dissolved particles — a condition known as turbidity. Very often, turbidity occurs naturally in a water supply or, in some cases, it may otherwise be caused by land disturbances from storms, construction or urban runoff.

However, even water that appears to be clear may actually contain a high concentration of dissolved particles and, thereby, be just as turbid as cloudy water. With that in mind, it is important that you have your water supply tested in order to determine its turbidity.

Do I Need A Water Filtration System For My Well?

Depending on the region and community you live in, the water you pull from your well may need to be both filtered and softened. For instance, if your water contains naturally occurring traces of sulfur, it may need to be filtered so that it neither smells nor tastes of sulfur, which smells like a rotten egg.

Most likely, you’ll need to have your water softened, as Central Texas is known to have some of the hardest water in the country. Whatever your exact needs are, one of our Austin water specialists will be able to help you put together a system that meets each and every one of your needs from our full line of Kinetico well water filtration and softener products.

Why Are There Rust-Orange Stains In My Sinks And Bathtubs?

Rust-orange and black staining in bathtubs and sinks are most likely indicative of dissolved iron and manganese in your household’s water supply. When iron and manganese deposits come into contact with a water supply, they will dissolve and leave that rust-orange or black residue on your household appliances and fixtures. This can be remedied with a water filtration system that can eliminate these minerals.

Why Is There A Build-Up Of Residue In My Sink And Shower Hardware?

If you have found unsightly white or brown residue on your faucet or shower head, this is the common result of hard water. Hard water contains minerals, like magnesium and calcium, that collect over time on your faucets, tubs and tiles. These mineral deposits can leave your showers and sinks looking old and worn.

Furthermore, mineral deposits are not harmful, but buildup can result in lasting consequences, especially if it begins to build up within your pipes. In order to combat this hard water issue for good, investing in a water softener system is often a wise choice.

Are Kinetico Water Systems Environmentally Friendly?

Yes, the products we offer at American Water are not only energy efficient but also allow you to enjoy quality drinking water without constantly using plastic bottles. Plastic bottles have been consistently linked to environmental hazards such as waste, pollution and depletion of natural resources. In fact, bottles used to package water can take over 1,000 years to biodegrade.

Our Kinetico systems help you lessen your environmental footprint, and they also use less energy to operate. Rather than using electricity, our newer Kinetico products are engineered with environmentally conscious technologies. They use the energy generated from moving water to create a patented “unplugged” approach.

Why Is Water Testing Important?

Water quality is a top priority in many homes since we drink it and bathe in it every day. In fact, we place such importance on water quality at American Water that we offer free water testing. Our services help you understand as much about the water running through your premises as possible.

Water testing can advise you of present contaminants in your water supply. While many water issues are easily detectable, there are other issues that can seem completely invisible to a home or business owner in Austin. A free water analysis can determine exactly what is coming through your faucet so you are more informed about what you’re drinking.

Can One Water Filtration System Treat My Whole House?

Yes! When a Kinetico water filtration system is installed by American Water, it eliminates the impurities from your outside water supply to your house. These systems don’t treat individual sinks or showers — rather they are a single or double-tank solution to filter your entire home’s water supply.

Is There A Generic Water Test That Will Test My Water For Everything?

Every unwanted mineral or contaminant in your water must be tested individually. Although public water sources are regularly screened for commonly occurring contaminants, your particular residential or commercial water source can still contain a variety of contaminants. A water specialist with American Water can provide a free water analysis to determine what contaminants, if any, are in your water source.

Can I Disinfect My Water On My Own?

There are a few general methods that can be used to disinfect water. However, these would be impractical to use on a regular basis if your entire water supply to your home is affected.

Small quantities of water can be treated by chemical treatments or boiling as a quick, short-term solution. In order to sensibly address a water issue within your entire water supply, it would be wise to contact an Austin water specialist.

What Does The City Of Austin Test For In Water?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. requires that all water providers release a Drinking Water Quality Report annually, so citizens are more informed about the quality of their tap water. The City of Austin must meet both state and national quality standards that regulate public water sources.

The EPA requires each water plant to test as many as 97 contaminants in the water. However, even when a water source has safe levels of contaminants, there could still be an imbalance in a certain mineral when it finally reaches your faucets.

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Dripping Springs, TX
1320 US-290
Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Round Rock, TX
530 S I-35 Frontage Rd
Round Rock, TX 78681