Q. How do I know what type of system I have?
A. You can learn more for the existing water filtering system you have just by arranging an appointment with our water specialists and they will inform you about the various types of water filtration and purification systems.
Q. How do I know what’s in my water?
A. There are several ways you can find out what is in you water. A water analysis can be sent to State Approved laboratory. This information is available through your water supplier, or call our Drinking Water Hotline (25 389 155)
There are also home DYI (do it yourself) water analysis kits that are available. They test for a variety of different contaminants, both aethetic and health related.
Q. Which type of water treatment product should I purchase?
A. First know what is in your water that you want to remove – specific contaminants. This is accomplished through a water analysis. Next investigate what type of systems are available that address your specific needs. There are a number of resources that you can use to make a good buying decision. Remember the overall water quality in the United States is very good, so never ever buy a product that is sold to you via scare or alarm tactics. And by all means check with several sources before you buy there are a great many over priced water treatment systems sold.
Q. Where do I shop for water treatment system?
A. There are a number of very reliable places to purchase water treatment equipment. They include reliable home improvement outlets, internet sales sites and water conditioning companies.
Q. Once installed does water treatment equipment require any service or parts?
A. Yes, All in home water treatment equipment needs occasional attention and many require replacement filters & membranes. Follow the manufacturers recommended service and maintenance instructions.
Q. My water is dirty, it has a color to it. Why is it dirty and how can I make it clean?
A. If your water is coming from a well and the water is rust colored, then the problem is probably iron. If the water color is black it could be either sulfur, which has a smell like rotten eggs or manganese. All of these can be treated with an ion exchange water treatment system. A bigger problem is if the water has a very fine dirt content which may indicate the presence of colloidal clay. A good indication if you have a clay problem is if water in a glass stays cloudy after sitting for 60 minutes. If this is the case a coagulation filter system may be required.
Q. My water taste bad? What may be the cause and can it be corrected?
A. If you want to just treat the drinking and cooking water at your sink POU (point of use), you have several good options. A reverse osmosis system can greatly improve the taste and the quality of your water. If the offensive taste is clearly chlorine then a good carbon filtration unit can be used.
If you elect to treat the whole house, a system that is installed at the point where the water enters the home POE (point of entry), then your first step is to identify what is causing the problem (have a water analysis done). Once you have identified what is causing the taste problem you can then research what type of water treatment equipment is designed to address your specific needs.
Q. My well water tested positive for coliform bacteria. What does this mean and what can I do about it?
A. Coliform bacteria can be an indicator that the well may be susceptible to bacteria contamination. There are several option that you have. One is to disinfect the well and retest for coliform. If this second test also shows positive for coliform, then a hole house water treatment system should be considered. The most commonly used treatment methods are ultraviolet (UV), ozonation and chemical feed pump.
Q. Will the water from my tap make me ill?
A. Keep in mind that there have been very, very few problems with water supplied by local water municipalities. A bigger concern is water that is supplied by private wells or springs. If you are concerned about the quality of your tap water have it checked by a state approved lab. If the lab report indicates that there are no health related contaminants in your tap water there is little reason to worry. If you would like to treat your water due to an undesirable taste or odor there is a variety of good water treatment choices available to you.
Q. What is a reverse osmosis system ?
A. Reverse osmosis systems produce pure water by forcing untreated water or tap water through a semi permeable membrane. The membrane lets only water molecules pass through directing it to the units storage tank,, the impurities that are separated from the water molecules are forced down the drain. The system consists of both pre and post filters which add additional contaminant removal. For more information on Reverse Osmosis systems or Reverse Osmosis Installation.
Q. What is activated carbon and what does it do?
A. Carbon used in filtration applications is produced by grinding a carbon source - like bituminous coal, peat or coconut shells and heating the material in the absence of oxygen to 1000 degrees to bake off impurities. The material is then subjected to 1600-degree steam to “activate” the carbon. The steam leaves carbon granules filled with cracks and pores, enabling them to store large amounts of chemicals. One pound of activated carbon (the amount in a standard ten-inch filter cartridge) has the equivalent surface area of a 160 acre farm. Carbon removes contaminants in two ways: through adsorption , contaminants are attracted to the surface of the activated carbon and held to it in much the same way a magnet attracts and holds iron filings; and by acting as a catalyst to change the chemical composition of some contaminants. Activated carbon is ideal for removing chlorine, organic chemicals such as many kinds of pesticides, THMs like chloroform and many VOCs that are components of gasoline, solvents and industrial cleaners.
Q. What is an ultraviolet system? How does it work?
A. An ultraviolet (UV) system uses UV to inactivate certain bacteria, viruses and cysts that may be present in the water source that flows through the systems UV chamber. The effectiveness of UV depends upon the dose of disinfectant received by the organism, which is the combination of UV intensity times the contact time involved. It is advisable to always pre-treat the water entering the UV system. For more information on Ultraviolet (UV) Water Treatment Systems.
Q. What is distilled water?
A. Distilled water is water that has been purified by passing through one or more evaporation –condensation cycles and contains essentially no dissolved solids. Usually contains less than 5.0 ppm of TDS.
Q. What is water purification?
A. Water purification generally means freeing water from any kind of impurity it contains, such as contaminants or micro organisms.
Water purification is not a very one-sided process; the purification process contains many steps. The steps that need to be progressed depend on the kind of impurities that are found in the water. This can differ very much for different types of water.
Q. In which ways is polluted water treated?
Before the purification process begins some contaminants, such as oil, can be settled in a settling tank. They can then be removed easily, after they have reached the bottom of the tank.
Removal of dangerous microorganisms
Often polluted water has to be freed from microorganisms. The water is than disinfected, usually by means of chlorination.
Removal of dissolved solids
Microrganisms are not only a threat to water; they can also be an advantage when it comes to water purification processes. They can convert harmful contaminants to harmless substances. This biological purification process usually takes a long time and it is only used for water that is polluted with contaminants that the microrganisms, usually bacteria, can convert.
Physical/ chemical techniques
When treatment by microrganisms is not an option we often use different treatment techniques, called physical/ chemical treatment techniques. Chemical treatment often deals with the addition of certain chemicals, in order to make sure that the contaminants change structure and can then be removed more easily. Fertilizers such as nitrates are removed this way. Removal of contaminants can also be done through more difficult specific chemical processes. It takes a lot of education to fully understand these purification steps. Physical treatment usually deals with purification steps such as filtration.
Q. How can bacteria be removed from water?
A. Bacteria and other microorganisms are removed from water through disinfection. This means that certain substances are added to kill the bacteria, these are called biocides. Sometimes disinfection can also be done with UV-light.
More information on disinfection
Q. What is aerobic water treatment?
A. When bacteria are used for water purification there are two sorts of transfer; one of these is aerobic transfer. This means, that bacteria that are oxygen dependent are converting the contaminants in the water. Aerobic bacteria can only convert compounds when plenty of oxygen is present, because they need it to perform any kind of chemical conversion. Usually the products they convert the contaminants to are carbon dioxide and water.
Q. What is anaerobic water treatment?
A. When bacteria are used for water purification there are two sorts of conversion; one of these is anaerobic transfer. This means, that bacteria that are NOT oxygen dependent are converting the contaminants in the water. Anaerobic bacteria can only convert when oxygen levels are low, because they use other sorts of substances to perform chemical conversion. Anaerobic bacteria do not just develop carbon dioxide and water during conversion, but also methane gas. This can be used to keep the machinery that supports the purification going. The anaerobic conversion of a substance requires more steps than aerobic conversion, but the final result is often less satisfactory. After anaerobic conversion usually aerobic bacteria (bacteria that do use oxygen) still need to finish the process, because the water is not clean enough yet.
Q. How are fertilizers removed from water?
A. Fertilizers such as phosphate are removed through addition of another chemical, usually iron. The substances than become solid precipitates, that can be filtered from the water.
The removal of ammonium and nitrates is a little bit more complicated; it is a purification process that takes both aerobic and anaerobic conversion to remove them.
In the aerobic conversion stage there are two bacterial species involved. Nitrosomonas bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite and Nitrobacter bacteria that convert nitrite to nitrate after that.
Although nitrate does not represent a direct health threat to most fish, high levels are still undesirable. Apart from encouraging abnormal extensive algal growth, it is now believed that high nitrate levels are implicated in some fish diseases. This means that the process cannot be stopped here.
The anaerobic bacteria take over; they convert nitrate to atmospheric nitrogen gas. This process only occurs in the absence of oxygen. The first stage is the reverse of the nitrification process, it converts nitrate back to nitrite. The second stage of denitrification converts nitrite to nitrogen gas (N2). This gas can be freely released into the atmosphere without causing environmental damage.