WATER QUALITY ISSUES

It is our goal to educate our customers about their water quality issues and help them find the correct solution. If any of the descriptions below sound familiar, contact us for a free water test and we can start working on a solution for your particular problem.

what is water Hardness?

The term “hard water” refers to the fact that it is “hard” to form lather with soap.  Water “hardness” represents the amount of scale forming minerals present in your water supply. The hardness minerals (calcium & magnesium) deposit and form scale buildup as you use water.  

In addition to leaving ugly, scaly residue on your plumbing fixtures and dishes, hard water presents a number of hidden problems and added costs to a homeowner. 

  • Calcium and magnesium deposits clog pipes, restricting water flow and reducing the efficiency of water heating systems.
  • Limescale deposits can significant decrease the lifespan of household pipes and appliances by up to 30%, according to the Water Quality Association (WQA), leading to increased replacement costs of appliances and increased frequency of plumbing repairs. It can also affect the warranty of your instantaneous water heaters and wall-hung boilers. In some cases, it can cause your warranty to be voided by the manufacturer due to water quality issues.
  • Dissolved minerals interfere with everyday cleaning tasks such as laundry, dishwashing, bathing and personal grooming; clothes may look dingy and feel rough, dishes may be spotted and hair may feel unmanageable and lack a shine. 

WHAT IS IRON & MANGANESE?

Iron & Manganese are naturally occurring minerals that often occur together in groundwater. Both are commonly found in the Upstate New York area finding it’s way into our drinking water supplies.

 They can cause a strong metallic taste as stain your laundry, toilets, sinks and tubs.  They can also clog household piping.  

Manganese often results in a dense black stain or solid. It is also mistaken for sulfur in your hot water due to it sticking to the anode rod in your water heater.

WHAT IS pH?

pH is a measure of how acidic or basic water is. The range goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral.  pHs of less than 7 indicate acidity and a pH of greater than 7 indicates a base. 

High pH causes a bitter taste, water pipes and water-using appliances become encrusted with deposits and it reduces the effectiveness of the disinfection of chlorine, causing the need for additional chlorine when pH is high. 

Low pH water is acidic and will cause pinholes in copper piping and blue-green staining around fittings and fixtures.

WHAT IS SULFUR?

Sulfur water occurs when water is exposed to hydrogen sulfide gas, giving it that distinct “rotten egg” smell and taste. In some cases, the odor may be noticeable only when the water is initially turned on or when hot water is run.  Heat forces the gas into the air which may cause the odor to be especially offensive in the shower.

A nuisance associated with hydrogen sulfide includes its corrosiveness to metals such as iron, steel, copper and brass. It can tarnish silverware and discolor copper and brass utensils. Hydrogen sulfide also can cause yellow or black stains on kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Coffee, tea and other beverages made with water containing hydrogen sulfide may be discolored and the appearance and taste of cooked foods can be affected.

 

WHAT IS SEDIMENT?

Sediments are naturally occurring particles that develop as earth materials are broken down through weathering and erosion. Sediment can consist of sand, rocks, and minerals, or may consist of organic particles of plants and microbes. Sediments may appear in well water as color or cloudiness which may or may not settle on the bottom of containers. This type of sediment is called suspended solids. Additionally, some sediment develops from clear water only after it is exposed to air. This type of sediment is called dissolved solids. 

Besides an unappealing look, the sediment in the water can cause wear to plumbing, pumps, and water appliances or even create clogs throughout the water system to reduce the flow of water. Additionally, health risks posed by sediment in drinking water are from pollutants and pathogens that can attach themselves to sediment particles entering your water supply. Potential health contaminants include microbes such as bacteria, virus, and protozoa; from pollutants such as fertilizers and pesticides; and from dissolved metals like mercury, lead, and arsenic.

 

WHAT IS COLIFORM & E.COLI?

Coliform bacteria are a group of microorganisms commonly found in soil, surface water and on plants.  They are also present in the intestines of animals and humans.  Coliform bacteria that are washed in the ground by rain are usually filtered out as the water goes through the soil and into groundwater systems.  However, poorly constructed, cracked or unsealed wells can provide a path of coliform bacteria to enter groundwater and to contaminate your drinking water. 

Most coliform bacteria will not likely cause illness.  However, these bacteria are used as indicators in water tests because their presence indicates that disease-causing organisms (pathogens) could also be in the water. 

Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) is a sub-group of the fecal coliform group and are found in the intestines of people and warm-blooded animals. Some strains, however, can cause illness.  The presence of E. Coli indicates fecal contamination of your water supply and a high risk for illness from disease-causing organisms.

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