Water can collect a lot of contaminants which are added to its makeup as it makes its way to the water treatment plant and by extension your home. Public water is cleaned and disinfected to a basic standard, but human error and breaks in the water delivery pipes can cause contamination. Another problem is the presence of emergent contaminants that are not considered to be a health threat, yet. For this reason, many people have invested in a home water filter system, but how can you know if it’s working?
Noticing Rapid Changes
There are some contaminants that are easier to notice than others and they may be accompanied by sudden changes in taste, color, and odor. But, many contaminants cannot be detected without laboratory water testing, such as arsenic, lead, nitrates, harmful microorganisms, and more. So, the only way to reliably test the performance of your water treatment equipment is performance testing.
What is Performance Testing?
Performance testing can test the filter’s effectiveness in the removal of potentially harmful contaminants. This can help the owner to make adjustments to optimize performance and efficiency. There are two main ways to check the quality of your filtered water. They are;
1. A Full Performance Test
This is actually a pair of tests, the first is conducted before filtration occurs and the second after filtering. The results of these two tests are compared to find the contaminant levels before and after filtration. There should be significant reductions in the contaminant levels and no new contaminants should be present. This takes more time, but it’s the best way to get an accurate assessment of how well the system is working.
2. A Post-Treatment Test
This is a post-treatment water test that will only analyze the performance of the filters. This will tell you how safe the water is, the presence of any contaminants, and their concentrations. This is a less expensive performance test, but if there are any new contaminants in the pre–filtered water they may not show up.
There are home water testing kits, but they have limited value if you want an accurate assessment of your water filtration system. So, it’s a better idea to send the water samples to an accredited water testing laboratory. To get the best results, it’s important to collect the samples after the system(s) have been serviced and cleaned. The water filters should be changed to ensure that you’re getting inaccurate data from an older and failing filter unit.
Why Would the Filter Stop Working?
There is a wide range of filter makes and models on the market and they are not created equal. They can fail and this is especially true if regular filter changes are ignored. The accumulation of contaminants on filter media surfaces can degrade the performance and efficiency. If this occurs, the filter should be replaced or backwashed to restore performance. There may be bacteria growing inside a neglected water filter which can block adsorption and degrade filter performance.
If you want to schedule water testing or essential maintenance for your home water filter system, contact your local water treatment specialist.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.