Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are what create hard water. Whether it is supplied by a private well or a municipality, most homes in Minnesota have hard water. In many cases, homeowners don’t realize they have hard water or the constant and expensive harm it causes.
Many mistake the telltale signs of hard water and blame the problems on inadequate cleaners and detergents and poor performing appliances. Or they resign themselves to the fact that these problems are simply a way of life. Hard water can cause dry skin and hair, bathtub ring, spots on glass and silverware, dull, dingy clothing, disappointing performance and a shortened life expectancy of water-using appliances. Many consumers don’t realize how much time, money and energy are spent fighting the hard water battle.
Turbidity is murky, cloudy or grayish water usually caused by dissolved or suspended solids. Water can become turbid naturally or from land disturbances such as construction, storms, and urban runoff.
The turbidity of your water can range from low to high. Even if your water looks clear, it could still contain a high level of dissolved solids. We recommend you have your water tested whether it’s turbid or not. Based on the results, we’ll recommend appropriate treatment approaches if needed.
Chlorine (bleach is made from chlorine) has been used since the 1850s as a disinfectant to kill harmful bacteria in the water itself or the pipes that transport it. It has helped end a number of major threats to public health. Although chlorine in water is essential at the treatment plant and in the water distribution system, it is no longer necessary once the water reaches your home.
Chlorine is vital for stopping the spread of disease, however, its benefits come at a price. It tastes and smells bad. Water containing chlorine dries skin and hair. Clothes will fade when washed in chlorinated water. Rubber seals in appliances and toilets dry out and break down from chlorine in the water.
Kinetico’s chlorine removal systems eliminate chlorine from your water through the use of carbon.
Tastes and Odors
In its pristine state, water is colorless, tasteless and odorless. Does your water taste or smell funny? If so, you owe it to yourself to find out why.
- Earthy or musty taste and odor: These odors are generally the result of compounds released due to decayed vegetation and are typically associated with different forms of algae. They are most prevalent in supplies that use surface water as their supply. While not toxic, they are nonetheless unpleasant and can be offensive at very low concentrations.
- “Rotten egg” smell: Another common source of smelly water is hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless corrosive gas that has the characteristic odor of rotten eggs. The odor is most commonly found in groundwater supplies and can be noticed coming from hot water tanks. Hydrogen sulfide gas can occur naturally from deep in the ground or can be produced by sulfate-reducing bacteria. The odor can affect the taste of food and beverages, making them unpalatable. If present in high enough concentrations, it can leave an unpleasant odor on hair and clothing. Hydrogen sulfide can accelerate corrosion of metal parts in appliances.
- Metallic taste: As the name implies, a metallic taste to your water indicates the presence of metals such as iron, copper, manganese or zinc. Iron and manganese occur in the earth naturally and are predominantly found in groundwater. Copper and zinc can come from an aging water distribution system or the corrosion of copper plumbing and brass fittings.
Water is a natural solvent, and given the needed time and conditions, it will dissolve anything it comes in contact with. That’s why, depending on where you live, your water can contain iron or manganese, which can cause rusty-orange or black staining. It can even alter hair color. Or if you have water that has a low pH, you can see the telltale, blue-green stains. You’ll see the stains on clothes, fixtures, sinks, tubs, water-using appliances and toilets. Quite frankly, the stains can appear on anything the water comes in regular contact with. These stains are very difficult to remove if you can get rid of them at all.
Bacteria and Viruses
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there could be as many as 12 million cases of waterborne acute gastrointestinal illness annually in the United States alone. Bacteria, viruses, and protozoa can make their way into the water supply and cause illness. And unfortunately, these contaminants can survive in the environment for months. Even well operated, state-of-the-art treatment plants cannot ensure that drinking water is entirely free of microbial pathogens. System failures do occur, and not all systems are functioning at the levels they should.
If you’re concerned about the safety of your water supply, contact us for a free water test and in-home plumbing audit. We will get you reliable facts you can act on with confidence, and give you dependable options if your water needs treatment.