Concerns about water safety are, by no means, anything new. The quality of drinking water and its safety for consumption has been a prime concern for city-dwelling humans since the very first cities, and the necessity for easy access to it has driven many great works of public engineering. From the great aqueducts of ancient Rome, to the modern day water treatment facility, there have been a number of solutions to water quality issues.
Of course, no system is perfect. As Flint, MI found out itself the hard way, water quality can sometimes become highly questionable, although fortunately for the rest of us, Flint is a highly exceptional case. Most cities will have to deal with more common water quality issues, and the solutions to them are often closer and easier than one would think.
Do not be confused, water hardness does not refer to water being physically harder than normal. Rather, it refers to there being a higher presence of calcium and magnesium than what would be considered normal. These minerals often get into drinking water from natural sources, and you can tell when water hardness has become particularly acute by the appearance of a grayish, white film on or around fixtures and dishes, and the need for more soap than usual.
Usually, hard water is not too much of a concern with regards to your water quality, although it can cause damage to your plumbing and the appliances that rely on them like your washing machine.
An ion-based water softener like those offered by Safeway Water in Florida will exchange the calcium and magnesium for sodium and potassium, which will make the water “softer” and solve the problem.
Chlorine in the Water
You can quickly tell if chlorine is affecting your water quality since you can easily taste and smell it. Sometimes chlorine can get into the water system from various sources, and naturally this makes it rather unpleasant for use within the home. Carbon filtration systems, whether mounted under a faucet or installed with your plumbing as a whole-home solution, can remove chlorine and other minerals.
Iron in the Water
You may notice iron particles in the water, giving it a somewhat dirty red color. You may even notice a bitter iron aftertaste when drinking the water. After the water has drained you may also notice rust stains on the basin and other items. If this is the case, then you have iron contamination. This can make your water unpleasant to drink, and can also make washing things more difficult.
The problem may be caused by old rusted pipes, in which case you either need to have them replaced or treated with an epoxy lining. If that doesn’t work, however, the pollution may be coming from the main water supply. To fix this, you’ll need to install an iron filter somewhere within your water piping to help remove the foreign particles.
As well as chemical contamination, you can also have biological contamination. If a main pipeline should suffer an organic blockage – especially common immediately after heavy storms – as it decomposes, it will contaminate any water flowing through it. Depending on the extent of the blockage and how long it remains there, this can cause serious problems for anyone serviced by that pipe.
A chlorination and filtration system will be needed to clean the water as it comes through the pipes. The system will be able to eliminate bacteria while also keeping any particulate at bay. You can also clean individual portions of drinking water by running it through a funnel and filtration paper, then boiling the water for a few minutes.2016-05-21