How to Solve Hard Water Problems In Well Water
Water professionals are often asked about spotting on dishes or the soap scum that can accumulate on shower walls and bathroom fixtures. The underlying cause of these issues is usually hard water. So, how do you solve hard water issues when you have well water?
The Hard Water Basics:
Hard water is essentially water that contains abnormally high amounts of dissolved minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium, but it is also possible that your water may contain manganese and iron. Water hardness can vary according to the levels of the dissolved minerals. This can be determined with water testing, but if you have severe water hardness, you are likely to notice very significant effects such as staining.
The most obvious signs that you have hard water are staining and spotting, but hard water can also be causing some less than apparent problems around your home. The most potentially problematic issue is that the dissolved minerals can accumulate inside plumbing fixtures, pipes and water using appliances. This can reduce water flow increasing the risk of a blockage. It can also compromise the efficiency and lifespan of appliances. The mineral deposits create scale around heating elements that reduce the appliance performance.
Another issue caused by hard water is that it affects the cleaning performance of soaps and detergents. These products will fail to foam up correctly, which means that you may find that you can feel a film on your skin after you shower or your dishes are not properly cleaned. This can be exacerbated since the temptation is to use more soap or shampoo, which can leave your skin feeling dry and your hair looking dull and lifeless.
Solving the Problem:
The most effective way to eliminate hard water is to use a water softener/water conditioner. This type of device uses ion exchange to treat the water and remove the excess minerals. The process involves swapping the positively charged minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and iron with less harmful minerals such as sodium. The water is passed through the device, where it flushes over a series of resin beads. The beads carry a negative charge that attracts the minerals with a positive charge. The minerals are replaced with sodium ions that are introduced via a brine solution maintained in the tank of the softener. Once the resin beads have become saturated, the softener flushes to recharge the resin.
Water softeners are an affordable yet efficient and effective method of removing hardness. There are many models available, so your device can be configured to suit the specific requirements of your household. This will be calculated based on your water flow rate, the number of people in your household and your average water consumption.
Hard water is a common water quality issue throughout the country. If you are suffering from hard water issues, you should speak to a local water treatment professional. There is a vast choice of water softeners/ water conditioners available. A fully WQA certified water treatment professional will not only be able to assist in sizing the correct unit for your needs, but you can have confidence that it exceeds industry standards.
About The Author, Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska:
With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.