Usually, the water supplied to homes is treated before passing it for public use, on rare occasions, things may go wrong. Water quality is highly questionable in homes that rely on private wells to fulfil water demands in their homes.
Many homeowners don’t understand what is wrong with their home water. A variety of factors affect how the water tastes, smells, feels and works in your home. Possible contamination, home’s plumbing system, or ageing water distribution mechanism are just a few of the possibilities that impact the quality of water in your house.
While water quality can vary from place to place and even house to house, knowing the problems and its risks can help to choose the right water treatment option.
No matter if you’re on public water supply or own a private well, and observe water problems in your home, it’s wise to get a water test done. A comprehensive water test will help a water treatment company to diagnose the problem accurately.
Problem 1: Hard Water
Hard water may not be a serious health problem, but it can wreak havoc on your home especially on your water appliances and plumbing fixtures. Water hardness is caused by excessive calcium and magnesium content in water. These mineral salts cause limescale build-up in pipes, washing machines, dishwashers, electric kettles, and boilers. As a result, it leads to decreased efficiency of these appliances and increased risk of breakdown and failures. Consequently, you have to shell out more money in the form of higher maintenance charges and higher consumption of electricity and detergent.
The indicators of hardness in water are:
- Cloudy glasses
- Spots on Silverware
- Soap Scum
- Dull & dingy clothes
- Low pressure in pipes
- Scale formation on faucets and showerheads
- Dry, flaky, and itchy skin
- Damaged hair
Solution: Water Softener
The best way to treat the problem of excessive hardness in water is by getting a water softening system installed. Water softeners are an efficient and cost-friendly option to treat hard water. It employs an ion-exchange process to remove calcium and magnesium ions from water. The resin of water softener needs to be regenerated after a period or volume, which ensures the water softener keeps on carrying its work.
Problem 2: Bad Taste and Smell
In the natural form, water is tasteless, colourless and odourless liquid. The fact that water tastes funny is the prime reason that drives people to drink bottled water. The water you’re drinking may smell or taste bad due to a multitude of factors. A few of them could be the presence of chlorine or other organic compounds in the water supply. Chlorine is added to the public water supply as it’s a disinfectant and kills bacteria and pathogens present in the water. However, it leaves an awful bad taste. Not only does chlorine impact unpleasant taste to water, but it also damages your skin and hair.
The common indicators of bad-tasting tap water are:
- Swimming pool like smell due to chlorine
- Metallic taste due to the presence of lead, arsenic, iron or mercury
- Musty and woody smell due to dissolved solids
Solution: Water Filter
Surely bottled water is not the solution to this problem. Millions of barrels of oil are used every year to produce and transport single-use plastic water bottles all over the globe, which either end in landfills or ocean beds.
Depending on the results of your water test, a water filter should be able to treat the water in your home. A reverse osmosis system is possibly the best water filtration system if you want to remove unpleasant taste and other contaminants from your water. Not only they give you bottled like tasting water, but you also save a lot of money.
If you are not sure which water filtration system will suit you best, check out this article.
Problem 3: Brown Stains
If you notice rusty-orange or brownish stains on your sinks and toilets, your household water is most likely to contain iron and/or manganese. Water containing iron is not only annoying, but it can also damage the surface it touches. You’ll see staining on your laundry, water fixtures, sinks, bathtubs and anything that uses water.
High levels of iron are common with private wells as iron infilters into your well water either by seepage or corrosion of pipes.
Few of the common indicators of iron or manganese in water are:
- Brown stains in toilets and bathtub
- Discoloured white clothes
- Water appears brown or red coming out of a tap
Solution: Iron & Manganese Removal System
If you experience these problems in your household, it becomes mandatory to get your well water tested. Your water treatment company should be able to advise you about the right treatment system based on the values of iron or manganese present. Generally, an iron and manganese removal system is fitted which remove iron from water.
Problem 4: Rotten Egg Smell
If your water smells like rotten eggs, it is usually due to high levels of hydrogen sulphide. If you only experience the smell when using your hot water tap, it may be due to chemical reaction occurring inside your boiler, and not a problem with your water supply. But if the smell is strong when the water in both hot and cold water taps is turned on, it is likely that the problem is with the well.
The presence of hydrogen sulphide can lead to corroded pipes and serious damages to plumbing fixtures. Needless to say, the water is unfit for drinking purposes.
Solution: Sulphur Removal System
Specialized water treatment systems designed to remove hydrogen sulphide from water are generally recommended in this case. These systems employ aeration system with activated carbon filters which expose the water to the atmosphere resulting in dissipation of hydrogen sulphide.
Aeration systems designed specifically for hydrogen sulphide removal have an added advantage of removing iron and manganese from water. Usually, in such systems, a sediment filtration system is added after the aeration filter which effectively removes any solids formed during the process.
Problem 5: Bacteria in Water
If you are on public water supply, the water supply to your home is free from most contaminants including bacteria. Water treatment plants are responsible to treat the water before it can be supplied for public use. However, due to rare failure at the plant, harmful bacteria could be lurking in the water supplied for your use.
Generally, the risk of bacterial contamination is higher in household depending on a private well. The presence of E.Coli, coliforms or cryptosporidium in water could be harmful to human health.
Solution: Ultraviolet Lights
If harmful bacteria are detected in your water, it needs to be disinfected before it flows through the tap. Chlorination of the well could be a short-term solution to this problem. However, if the source is contaminated, disinfecting the well with chlorination would not be an effective measure.
The best way to treat a well contaminated with harmful bacteria is by installing an ultraviolet filtration system. UV lights kill all the bacteria, making it safe for consumption.
Problem 6: Blue-Green Stains
If your water leaves blue-green stains in sinks or bathtubs, there’s a high possibility that your household water is slightly acidic in nature. Low pH levels turn water acidic and corrosive. In addition to the stain, the acidic water can corrode the copper pipes resulting in plumbing failures.
This problem is compounded when the water has high levels of hardness. Acidic water can react with copper and hard water minerals to leave multi-coloured scale buildup on your appliances and water fixtures.
Solution: pH Correction System
The water treatment expert will suggest a pH neutralizer to raise the pH level of water. If the water is slightly acidic with pH being in the range of 6.0 to 6.7, then calcite filter is generally used. Calcite is simply a mineral which resembles white sand and adds calcium carbonate to the water.
In cases where water is highly acidic, typically in the range 5.0 to 6.0, then a blend of calcite and corosex is employed.
Whatever problem you’re experiencing with your home water, Watercare would be more than happy to assist you. Over the years, we have worked on countless water treatment projects all over Ireland. We are the experts when it comes to well water treatment.
If you’re on a well, the first step to getting it treated is to get it tested.Book Water Test