When building your home, one thing your contractor or plumber may bring up is water treatment and conditioning – especially if you are on well water. If you are used to high quality municipal water sources, the idea of treating or conditioning your water may be unfamiliar. The following guide can help you better understand why it is needed and your options for doing so.
Why is water treated or conditioned?
Water treatment helps remedy quality issues. Generally, this is to remove specific minerals or microorganisms from the water. In some cases, it could be to remove harmful organisms so that the water is safe to drink. In other cases, it could be to soften the water – which is to remove hard minerals that are harmless to consume but that can damage plumbing and fixtures.
How do you know if you need treatment?
When going on a well, water testing is necessary. This is done at a laboratory that is accredited by the EPA. The testing will let you know what minerals or organisms are in the water that need to be treated. In some instances, there may be chemicals, such as pesticide runoff, that will need to be remedied. You may also want to have the water tested if you are on a municipal source, especially if you are concerned about hard water or minerals such as iron, which can cause stains.
Will you need to treat all of the water?
This depends on the quality issues and personal preference. If there is an issue with the safety of the water, either due to chemicals or organisms, then it is best to have a whole-house filter placed at the source so there is no untreated water in use on your property. If the problem is simply mildly hard water, you may only want a point of use filter in the kitchen. For very hard water, on the other hand, a whole house filter placed at the main pipe into the home prevents mineral buildup in sinks, tubs, and even on your laundry, but filtration isn't necessary for outside taps.
What is the best filter?
The type of filter you choose depends on why you need it. If hard water is the problem, then a deionization or reverse osmosis filter is usually sufficient. On the other hand, if bacteria, viruses, or chemicals are the main concern, then an ozone system may be best. If only bacteria is a concern, then a high quality carbon block filter or a UV filter can be sufficient.
For more help, talk with a water treatment specialist like Valley Drilling Corp.
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