Well Water Sanitation

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

DON’T SEE YOUR ANSWER?  

WHAT CAUSES THE ROTTEN EGG SMELL IN THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY'S WATER?

This objectionable smell results from the presence of Hydrogen Sulfide. Hydrogen Sulfide is produced by decaying organic matter, some bacteria, and also petroleum refining. Rotten egg smell can also be caused by a deteriorated anode on a water heater system. In this case, the odor is only present in hot water.

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WELL WATER?

Water from a well may have a variety of elements, so not all well water is the same, even among wells within close proximity to each other. Also, the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada Foothills have unique industrial histories that have impacted ground water supplies. Typical well water issues include dirt, sediment, hardness, bacteria and iron. It is crucial to have your well water tested before determining the proper treatment for your water.

WHAT CAUSES RUST STAINS?

Though iron is not immediately visible as it flows from your faucet, it is the major cause of rust stains. Upon exposure to air, the iron oxidizes, leaving rust colored stains on sinks, showers, clothing, and fixtures. Water high in iron can also corrode pipes and stainless steel linings in expensive washers and dishwashers.

WHAT CAUSES WATER TASTE AND SMELL LIKE CHLORINE?

Many Sacramento area municipalities and rural districts use chlorine to remove dangerous bacteria from the water supply. Chlorine can negatively impact the taste of drinking water and irritate eyes, mucus membranes and skin. By the time the water reaches your faucet, the chlorine has already done its job, so your water treatment system can safely remove it! Another reason to remove the remaining Chlorine is that it can react with organic compounds found in the water supply to produce disinfection by-products or DBPs. It has been widely reported that in 2013 and 2014, the City of Sacramento, without warning, tested aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH) which increased DBP levels for residents. The city was aware of the higher exposure levels, but failed to warn anyone. With your own water treatment plant, you don’t have to wait for an alert or warning about water quality issues!

IS IT POSSIBLE TO REMOVE IRON FROM WATER WITHOUT ADDING WATER SOFTENING EQUIPMENT?

It might be. There are three different types of iron water, ferric, ferrous, and iron bacteria. It is important to evaluate the type of iron in your water before determining what you need to solve your iron issues. That is where a water test is key to finding the best solution to remove iron from your Sacramento or Sierra Foothill water.

WHY DOES SOFT WATER CAUSE A "SLIPPERY" FEELING ON THE SKIN?

It is because your skin gets cleaner with soft water! It may seem that soap and shampoo haven’t rinsed off your skin with soft water, but in most cases, the opposite is true! Water softening removes the dissolved rock in your water! This allows the soft water to thoroughly clean skin and hair. Hard water causes skin pores to clog with soap residue, resulting in dry feeling skin and dull hair!

HOW DOES HARD WATER AFFECT APPLIANCES THAT USE WATER?

Hard water causes build-up and corrosion in plumbing and water-using appliances! Hard water destroys water-using appliances! Hard water also ruins the plumbing in homes throughout the Sacramento region! Especially in the case of untreated well water, hard water corrosion restricts flow of water in appliances such as washing machines and dish washers. Ultimately the build-up from hard water leads to the need to service or replace these items more frequently. In many hard water areas, it is common for the flow of running water through household water lines to be decreased to the size of a ball point pen head!

DOES HARD WATER IMPACT ENERGY COSTS?

Hard water forms a scale, which even if only 1/8″ thick, requires 33% more fuel to heat water in a water heater! This is because more energy is required to heat hard water scale before it can heat your water. Soft water eliminates hard water scale, resulting in lower energy costs.

WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR USING A WATER SOFTENER?

Water softener water has many benefits over untreated hard water:

  • Soft water allows your soaps and shampoos to lather more effectively. This allows you to use up to 75% less product and save money.
  • Natural, chemical-free healthy soaps and laundering agents work better with soft water.
  • Clothes last up to 30% longer when washed in soft water.
  • Dishes, silverware, and glassware get cleaner and shinier with soft water.
  • Water treated by a water softener results in hair and skin feeling softer and cleaner.
  • The elimination of the soap curd created by hard water substantially reduces housework.
  • Fabrics are also softer, last longer and stay whiter without the dingy gray caused by hard water.
  • Soft water extends the life of all water using appliances including dishwashers and washing machines, as well as coffee makers.
  • A water heater used with a water softening system will also decrease the annual energy cost of that appliance by as much as 33%.
  • Using a water softener substantially reduces greenhouse gases equaling the benefit removing an SUV from the road for one year.

HOW DO WATER SOFTENERS WORK?

Resin beads in the water softener system remove calcium and magnesium as hard water flows through. During the ion exchange process, the hardness ions in the water are replaced with the soft ions of the resin beads, resulting in soft water. As the resin beads in the water softener become coated with calcium and magnesium ions, their capacity to soften hard water decreases. Through a process called regeneration, water is flushed through the water softener with a concentrated amount of regenerant. At this point, the resin beads pick up the soft ions from the regenerant in exchange for the hard ions. Once the resin beads have been restored, the water softener goes back to work, supplying the entire house with clean, soft water.

ARE WATER SOFTENERS COSTLY TO OPERATE?

A water softener is actually the only household appliance that can actually reduce costs associated with energy, supplies, and even extend the life of your water-using appliances. Water-heating bills can be reduced by up to 29%. Since soft water also requires less detergent to do laundry and dishes, water softeners save you even more. Factor in an expensive water supply line replacement due to hard water corrosion and water softeners start to look like a “savings account”.

IS THERE A WAY TO SOFTEN WATER WITHOUT USING SALT?

You have probably seen the magnetic or electronic devices known as “descalers” in the water treatment industry. Some companies equate their ability to reduce scale as “water softening”, but this is grossly inaccurate. Descalers are not considered water softeners and do not remove the hardness from the water. They can help prevent scale build-up in pipes and appliances, but do not provide the benefits of softened water.

Can the water softeners’ discharge from regeneration hurt my septic system or drain field?

University of Wisconsin studies done in the 1970’s confirmed that salt-brine discharge from water softeners had no adverse effects on the operation of typical anaerobic or newer style aerobic home treatment systems. It was also established that water softener regeneration discharge did not interfere with drain field soil percolation and under some circumstances, improved soil percolation. The significant and beneficial difference is that septic tank effluents containing water softener effluents include substantial amounts of calcium and magnesium, which balance the effect of sodium, in addition to promoting and sustaining soil permeability. The study results indicated that it is preferable to discharge water softener waste to septic systems than to separate dry wells or ditches.

WILL SALT BE ADDED TO MY WATER?

Despite tales to the contrary, a water softener system adds no salt (sodium chloride) to the household water. Instead, a water softening system exchanges sodium ions for the pesky hardness ions, thus adding sodium to the water supply usually in the form of sodium bicarbonate. During the regeneration process the softener is separated from the household water supply by an automatic bypass that eliminates salt from entering your home’s water supply!

It is a common misconception that water from a water softener contains too much sodium for consumption. However, in reality there is little sodium in soft water. The average amount of sodium in a quart of water from a properly functioning water softener is 75 to 100mg, which is less that the 120 mg in a slice of white bread. If this small amount of sodium is a concern, a Reverse Osmosis system added to your water softener removes residual sodium ions from your drinking water.

HOW SHOULD MY WATER BE TESTED?

Well water should be tested for hardness, iron and pH. City water should be tested for hardness, pH and chlorine. Call Pure Water today at 916-663-1493 or 530-742-SOFT to schedule an in-home water test. We will help you to identify your water problems and select the right water solution for your home.

Be sure to ask about special 12 Months Same As Cash financing available for qualified Sacramento and Sierra Foothill homeowners!

 Pure Water, Inc. will gladly test your city or well water for the following: hardness, pH, iron, total dissolved solids, nitrates, chlorine and bacteria. Our water test is available for Sacramento, Sierra Nevada and Northern California homeowners whether your water supply is a well, municipal or cistern. The water test is your path to peace of mind.

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