Q: Why treat my water?

A: Water falls into two catagories; Asthetic objectives and Maximum acceptable (MAC) according to the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines. Asthetic objectives are likely to cause staining (iron, manganese), while the MAC (sodium, fluoride) should be removed for consumption.

Q: Why does my water smell of rotten eggs?

A: The sulfur smell in well water is due to the presence of the gas contaminant, hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This gas is a common contaminant of well water and can also be produced by certain types of bacteria as a waste product. Hydrogen sulfide gas produces an offensive “rotten egg” or “sulfur water” odour and taste in the water. In all cases the odour can be removed by adding an oxident. The oxident used is highly dependent on the level of H2S present. Meathods of oxidization range from aeration in atmospheric tank (cistern) to the injection of an oxidizing chemical such as chlorine or hydrogen peroxide. Chemical iron filters using potassium permanganate or catalitic carbon are effective with H2S levels under 4.0 mg/l.

In some cases, the odour may be noticeable only in hot water. This typically a reaction with the sacrficial anode in the hot water tank. Changing the anode to different alloy may work but more likely the removal of the anode is needed. This may reduce the life of the hot water tank and will void the warranty. Installing a carbon filter either before or after the HWT may also solve the problem.


Q: Why do I have colour in the water?

A: Colour in water can be from a number sources. Fine sediment in water may appear as cloudy or light gray. Tannin, rotting vegitation, will give the water a light yellow colour. The water may appear clear but when observed in a white container, such as a stryofoam cup, the colour is more evident.

Q: What are the health risks for consuming contaminated water?

A: Cryptosporidiosis became a reportable illness in Washington in 2001. Originally considered a parasite of animals, reptiles and birds, it first was detected as a source of illness for humans in 1976. Health officials now believe Cryptosporidium has been causing human illnesses for a long time, but it was overlooked due to difficulties in testing and diagnosis.

Cryptosporidium occurs in the feces of infected animals or humans. It is environmentally resistant and may survive outside the body for long periods of time. To become infected, a person must consume contaminated food or water, including from streams or rivers.


Q: What is hard water?

A: Hard water refers to amount of calcium and magnesium in the water. The higher these minerals are, the harder the water. Even hard water can have elevated levels of sodium, this simply means the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) will be higher. Typical treatment for hard water is an ion exchange softener. Generally all softeners use cation exchange resin. Calcium and magnesium are captured by the resin and sodium ions are released. All artificially softened water will be higher in sodium (or potassium if the potassium chloride is used instead of sodium chloride)




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