What Is Problem Water? Some water contains troublesome elements or has characteristics which can make it very unpleasant to use or damaging to things that it touches. Some local problem water issues are iron, chlorine, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, arsenic, nitrates, and acidity.
Iron typically rears its ugly head as rusty orange/brown stains, streaks or spots on clothing cleaned in a washing machine. Stains also appear on bathtubs, sinks and faucets. Even small amounts of iron can cause problems. Iron in concentrations as low as .3 parts per million can cause staining, which can be difficult to remove. Iron can also clog pipes and damage the internal parts of water-using appliances. Iron is generally found in well water, although city water users are not immune from the problems associated with it.
Kinetico offers two options for treating iron problems: water softeners and multi-stage iron removal systems. A Kinetico water professional can help you determine which system is right for you.
Chlorine is typically used by municipal water suppliers for disinfection, but it can be damaging to plastic pieces/o-rings in appliances and faucets and cause laundry to fade. It can also dry out skin and hair. Chlorine can also be inhaled in shower steam; some question the long-term health effects it has on the body. We have found that many Texas residents want de-chlorinated water for showers and baths. The Kinetico whole home water filter eliminates the need for inefficient, showerhead and sink-mounted faucet filters.
Kinetico has systems designed to provide clean, filtered water at every faucet in your home without the use of salt or potassium. This water is chlorine-free, with unpleasant odors removed and offers many other benefits. Combination systems that soften and de-chlorinate water are also available and eliminate the need to purchase separate softening and filtration systems.
Hydrogen sulfide (commonly referred to as “sulfur”) leaves water with an obnoxious “rotten egg” odor that makes it unbearable to drink, cook with or even bathe in. Because it is a weak acid, hydrogen sulfide can also promote corrosion. And its presence in the air causes silver to tarnish in seconds. High concentrations are flammable and can be poisonous.
Luckily, hydrogen sulfide can be removed using a specially-designed sulfur system that employs sulfur removal media. Such systems typically eliminate the need for expensive, multi-stage configurations that require several pieces of equipment. An excessive amount of hydrogen sulfide can be removed by first using aeration or chlorination to convert it into elemental sulfur, a yellowish powder that can be removed with filters.
Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment and as a by-product of some agricultural and industrial activities, so it can enter drinking water through the ground or as runoff into surface water sources.
The EPA allows .010 mg/L of arsenic in water. According to the 2007 City of Phoenix Water Quality Report, some people who drink water containing arsenic in excess of the maximum contaminant level over many years could experience skin damage or problems with their circulatory system. Plus, according to the EPA, long term exposure to arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidneys, nasal passages, liver and prostate. Kinetico offers several arsenic removal products.
The major sources of nitrates in water are runoff from fertilizer use, leaching from septic tanks, sewage, and erosion of natural deposits. Once taken into the body, nitrates are converted to nitrites.
The EPA allows up to 10 mg/L or 10 ppm of nitrates in the water. According to the EPA, infants below six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome.
When water is acidic, it must be neutralized or it will cause corrosion of plumbing and fixtures and could damage water-using appliances. A neutralizer containing calcite is often used to reduce water acidity. As water flows through the tanks, the calcite dissolves into the water and neutralizes its acidity. It also adds hardness minerals to the water, which can then be removed by a water softener.
A Final Note
Whatever system you choose, whether it’s for drinking water, whole-house softening, problem water filtration or a combination, you can rest easy knowing that you’re protecting the quality of your family’s water. And you won’t be alone; according to a Water Quality Association study, one out of every ten people who don’t currently own a water treatment system plan to purchase one within the next year. And 55 percent said they would be more likely to purchase a home with a water treatment device.