Is Your Water Spooky? Do You Know What’s in Your Tap Water?
Halloween might be right around the corner, but no “tricks” here. We want to talk seriously about the aesthetics of your water. Perhaps your senses have alerted you that something is amiss in your H2O?
It’s nothing life threatening. But you are wondering why you’re seeing “floaties” and “suspendies” in your water? Or you’re smelling something similar to rotten eggs? Or you’re noticing red staining in the sink?
First off, rest assured that all municipal water systems in the United States that serve more than 25 customers must comply with federal Safe Water Drinking Act regulations. Your water municipality is required to regularly test the water to ensure potentially harmful contaminants are not passed on to customers. At the same time, your water may still not taste, smell or look the way you want. Let’s discuss some issues you may have.
Today we celebebrate new discoveries. More than 500 years ago, Columbus sailed across great waters to discover the Americas. We raise our glass in toast of other great discoveries today, too –discoveries in drinking water! Specifically, the discovery of “Reverse Osmosis” (commonly known as RO) technology that now allows millions of homes to have great-tasting DRINKING WATER right at their kitchen tap.
On hot summer nights in the early 1900s, people would often sleep on screened-in sleeping porches. Electric fans would pull the outside night air through damp sheets hung to cool the room. That concept, after being refined, became the evaporative cooler (also known as a swamp cooler, desert cooler and wet air cooler) and has been in use for more than 100 years. Although not as popular as air conditioning systems today, millions of Americans still rely on evaporative coolers to reduce household temperatures by as much as 30 degrees.
Softened water can do a world of good in a home. From reducing the amount of soap needed to wash clothes and dishes, to extending the life of a water heater, and saving on energy bills. But does softened water bode well for indoor plants and outdoor gardens?
What about the salt?
Most water softeners utilize an “ion exchange” process where calcium and magnesium (minerals that make water hard) are exchanged for either sodium or potassium chloride in order to soften the water.
The amount of sodium or salt in your household water (after processing through a water softener system) can vary depending on the hardness of your water, but it certainly isn’t “salt water”. In fact, on average, those that own a water softener get less than three percent of their daily sodium intake from drinking softened water.
So, you’ve figured out you have hard water (like 85 percent of homes in the US) and are researching water softeners. One of the first things you may want to consider, is the warranties offered by various manufacturers. You’ll notice there are a wide range of warranties in the water softening industry and these warranties certainly are NOT created equally.
Generally, the standard water softener warranty is for a one-year limit on parts (labor not included) and a 10-year warranty on the fiberglass resin tank and plastic brine tank.
But because softener tanks are usually not the issue when it comes to water softener problems and repairs (rather the valve and electronics)– most warranties end up falling short when you need them most.
If you live in an area with hard water, you’re not alone. 85 percent of homes in the US have hard water and see the effects on a daily basis.
So how much does a water softener cost?
In short, you can pay anywhere from $400 to $10,000 on a water softener. That’s a huge price range! Why the disparity in water softener costs?
Salt (or brine solution) is a necessary part of the ion exchange process in a water softener. Salt is what regenerates the ion resins of a softener. So we thought it would be helpful to tackle a few of the commonly asked questions associated with maintaining a brine tank (the plastic tank that sits next to a water softener).
So what’s the big deal with TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in my water?
Generally, TDS cannot be recognized with the naked eye, but you may notice some of its effects in your home. High TDS can cause corrosion of plumbing fixtures and shorten the life of appliances. A high level of TDS can also make your water taste metallic or bitter.
What is TDS and What Does it Affect?
Total dissolved solids are organic and inorganic substances that are dissolved in your water. The lower the level of TDS, the more pure your water is.
If you’ve done any research on water softeners, you’ve come to realize that there are a lot of choices when it comes to selecting a water softener for your home. In making the purchase decision, you can be sure you’re getting a top-notch water conditioner that has gone through rigorous testing and meets industry standards when you see the “Gold Seal”.
What does a Water Quality Association (WQA) “Gold Seal” Mean?
We all know drinking water is essential for good health. We’re also aware that most of us don’t drink enough water each day and should try to drink more.
But do we give much thought to what is in the water we do drink? If not, it’s time we did.
An Unexpected Culprit
In the United States, most of us get our water from a public water supply. We trust that this water is clean and ready for drinking, showering, cleaning and cooking.
Although regulations and monitoring are in place, the quality of our drinking water can change daily.
Municipalities work hard to provide clean water for their customers, but contaminants can infiltrate aquifers and springs, and corroded pipes can introduce impurities into the water lines even after water has been processed at a water treatment plant.