News regarding hard water treatment systems, water softener, water treatment, water treatment service, water treatment system, well water treatment – presented by American Clear Water, Mechanicsburg, PA
Bacteria Plagues Well Water
Well water is a common source of potable water in Central Pennsylvania. According to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, there are over one million private wells in Pennsylvania serving nearly 3.5 million people in rural areas. A well is simply a hole in the ground deep enough to access the ground water. Depending on the geographical area and the well construction, the water that is produced can contain thousands of possible contaminants. Lucky for us, depending on the ground composition that the water passes through, well water problems like surface contaminants can be reduced by the filtering action of the soil.
Common Well Water Contaminants
Hard water from minerals in the ground, bacteria, and organic pollutants can plague well water. However, the most common problems experienced in Central PA are:
- Hydrogen sulfide
Well construction is an important component of water output and avoiding well water problems. Some general rules include:
- Locating the well on a high spot of the property to reduce the chances of having surface run off contaminate the well water.
- Using adequate and properly installed casing (pipe that seals off the top part of the well) can help to prevent surface water infiltration to the well.
- Grouting to reduce bacteria. The top of the well is drilled oversized and a grout is pumped into the space between the casing and the ground to seal off the upper part of the well.
- Adequate pump & piping system.
How to Treat Well Water Problems
Unlike municipal water, where residents pay to make drinking water for less than half a percent of how the water is used, the only well water that must be treated is the water used. Raw water is fine for irrigation. However, for household use, soft water that does not stain fixtures, is odor free, is non-corrosive and is bacteria sterile is best. For human consumption, a high-purity water for drinking, ice, and cooking is desirable.
A properly designed, installed and maintained water well system will give the end user superior water satisfaction at a lower cost than most municipal water suppliers.
We recommend that a residential well be tested once a year for coliform bacteria. If bacteria is found, the most common fix is an ultra violet water sterilizer (UV).
An Ultra Violet Water Sterilizer
- Is relatively inexpensive and low maintenance compared to alternatives like chlorination.
- Does not add any chemicals or create by products in the sterilization process.
Bacteria are exposed to a controlled dose of ultra violet radiation to ensure that the water will not make people sick. The sterilizer only requires us to perform an annual cleaning and lamp replacement.
Schedule your yearly well water test today to be sure that your drinking water is free of coliform bacteria.
American Clear Water
The Evolution of a Water Softener
Water softening services are necessary in most parts of the country, including Central Pennsylvania. Many water customers suffer from soap scum, spotty dishes, graying clothes, mineral deposits on faucets, and dry skin. Hard water is the culprit. Luckily, the modern water softener can clear up all of these issues, leaving the customer with crystal clear water that does not damage clothes, dishes, skin, or hardware.
A Brief History of Hard Water
The term “hard water” comes from olden days when people would refer to water as “hard to clean”. They realized that certain waters made the job of cleaning clothes “hard” because of minerals, like calcium and magnesium. It was discovered that water filtered through columns of some soils had their mineral content reduced and worked better for cleaning. The soil contained natural zeolites that exchanged hardness minerals out of the water. Soon, artificial ion exchange resins were developed that were more efficient and practical for removing hard water minerals from water.
Modern Water Softeners
We’ve come a long way from the days of inefficient water softeners. Today, computerized controllers allow for fine programming of the water softening process, achieving higher efficiencies and reducing regeneration water use. Modern water softener technologies include:
- “Sensor” Softeners – These softeners “sense” the softness of the treated water or the state of the resin. However, they are plagued with reliability issues, costing the customer time and money.
- Twin Tank Softeners – A twin tank softener alternates between two resin tanks, providing customers with 24/7 high efficiency soft water when sized properly with reliable controllers. These softeners tend to be expensive and reduce water volume available to the customer as they regenerate anytime as needed. The control valves are sensitive to water conditions and require more maintenance that conventional softeners.
- Catalytic Water Conditioning – Ceramic beads covered with a catalyst, which, in theory, causes hardness minerals to precipitate onto their surface, rub against each other releasing microscopic minerals back into the water. These particles supposedly do not bind to soaps and detergents like the dissolved hard minerals do; therefore they reduce the effects of hard water. This process does not produce “soft” water, but it also does not require salt, electricity or regeneration water. In certain water conditions this technology is coupled with sequestering agents to increase its effectiveness. This is an ongoing maintenance and expense. Additionally, this method requires chemicals added to the water.
- Electronic Anti-Scaling – Another conditioning technology involves wrapping an electric wire around the water pipe at the point of entry to the customer’s building and hooking it to a device that generates an electrical signal that supposedly transforms the hardness minerals in the water in a manor the prevents them from “sticking” to plumbing, soaps and detergents. All objective study of this method indicate that it is not effective.
An on-site water test is necessary for an accurate recommendation for treating your water. However if you really want to soften your water, you will need to use water softening services with a salt regenerated softener. With today’s technology, you can achieve high efficiencies, and low salt and water use, while enjoying all of the benefits and savings of truly soft water.
American Clear Water