HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE HARD WATER?
Water hardness is demonstrated by scale in water heaters or on plumbing fixtures, by soap deposits on dishes and fabrics, and by soap scum in sinks and bathtubs.
WHY DO MY SINKS AND FIXTURES TURN YELLOW?
One of the most common water treatment problems found in well water is iron. Iron can be found in 3 different forms.
1. Ferrous iron (dissolved) – Although not visible it is the most common type of iron. Later when oxygen is mixed with ferrous iron it stains sinks, toilets and laundry especially when bleach is added. To reduce levels of ferrous iron, softening and or filtration is performed.
2. Ferric Iron (suspended) – Ferric iron or brown water iron is oxidized and forms particles. Normally these particles can be seen once settled down, the particles can be seen in a glass of water. Sometimes these particles are to small to be seen and very difficult to remove.
3. Iron bacteria – Iron bacteria is a general term given to iron that can leave a slimy growth or build up in toilet tanks and sometimes clogs filters, softeners and pipes. These bacteria are not harmful, but are considered a nuisance bacteria because of their difficulty in removing.
WHY IS MY DISHWASHER STAINED BROWN?
Brown or black stains found in the dishwasher are usually from high levels of manganese. Manganese that is dissolved in water can stain when the level is above .05 mg/l. The dishwasher is a perfect mechanism to oxidize it because it heats it, agitates it and mixes the water with air. Manganese can also stain clothes in the washing machine, due to the same reasons. If bleach is added staining is worse.
WHY DOES MY WATER LEAVE BLUE GREEN STAINS?
This indicates that the water is corrosive and usually acidic. Acidic water can leach metals from pumps, piping and fixtures. If left alone without treatment it can cause leaks in copper pipes and fixtures. Acidity is measured on a scale of 0-14 with 7 being neutral, less than 7 is acidic and above 7 is basic.
WHY DOES MY WATER SMELL LIKE ROTTEN EGGS?
Hydrogen sulfide gas is a naturally occurring contaminant, which gives water a disagreeable rotten egg odor or taste. This usually indicates the presence of some form of non-harmful mineral reducing bacteria in the well. Testing is very difficult because it is a gas and it comes out of solution very quickly. There are no known health effects; however hydrogen sulfide can also make the water somewhat corrosive.