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- Common Well
Water Problems a Must Read for the Well Water User:
- Most well water
users are unaware the Iron Levels and other contaminants vary from well
to well in any given neighborhood. It is also fair to say that not all
well water filtration & treatment systems are created equal.
Water Systems & Purification offers a wide range of well water quality
products and water well services. Serving both new and current
customers, RainDance Water Systems offer customers a complimentary water
test which includes: Hardness, Iron, Manganese, pH, Total Dissolved
Solids, Nitrates, Iron Bacteria, and more. Please read on for a list of
some of the most commom well water problems listed in our Water Quality
- If you
have already had your water tested and need a recommendation please
fax your water report to us
Attn: Well Water Filter Recommendation
and we recommend the best
possible water quality products from our extensive water treatment
system equipment catalog.
Sediment, Off Colors, Tinted Water, Staining
- Water that has a high sediment, sand and debris levels can change the
aesthetic value of your water. It also can have a detrimental effect on
the performance of your appliances and irrigation equipment. Sediment in
water may be rust flakes from the water pipes, sand grains, small pieces
of organic matter, clay particles, or any other small particles in the
water supply. Sediment can cause blockages in the strainers, sprinklers,
flow controls and even the solenoids inside your equipment. Our
sediment filters help remove these particles
– Normally associated with an elevated level of copper in the water
supply. It may be a naturally occurring contaminant or the water may be
acidic and picking up the copper from your home’s plumbing.
- Waters with
pH below 7.0 (acid waters) tend to cause iron or copper pick-up in
piping systems and contribute to staining problems. Blue to green
staining will result if the piping is copper, or red staining if the
piping is iron. The lower the pH, the greater the corrosive tendency of
the water. Waters with pH less than 6.8 contain sufficient acidity to
cause significant corrosion and should always be treated with a
– Normally associated with Iron being present
in the water supply. Sometimes the water will come out of the faucet
clear and after sitting for a while, it will begin to show its
color.Iron concentration is measured in ppm or mg/l (milligrams per
liter, where 1 ppm = 1 mg/l). Staining usually becomes a problem at
concentrations greater than 0.3 ppm. Iron: EPA secondary drinking water
standard is 0.3mg/l
- Oxidized Red
contains red particles easily visible as
the water is drawn from the faucet.
- Clear Water
is very common, and will develop red particles in the water after water
is drawn from the faucet, and is exposed to the air for a period of
time. The iron particles actually "rust" once they are exposed to air.
consists of extremely small particles of oxidized iron particles
suspended in water. This type iron looks more like cloudy, colored
water, instead of being able to actually see small red particles of
iron. This type iron will not filter well because of the extremely small
particle size. (Chlorination may be required).
- Iron Bacteria
consists of living organisms found in the water and piping of the well
and house. You can tell if you have Bacterial Iron by looking in your
toilet flush tank, and finding a reddish/green slime buildup. To confirm
this, you should take a sample of this slime to your local health
department for testing. This kind of iron is the hardest to get rid of.
To completely eliminate this form of bacterial iron requires
chlorination of the entire water system, starting with the well casing,
well pump, pressure tank and the home plumbing system. (Chlorination may
– Normally associated with Manganese being
present in the water supply. Concentrations as low as 0.05 part per
million of manganese will produce dark brown or black staining. Fabrics
washed in manganese-bearing waters are almost invariably stained.
Deposits collect in plumbing, and tap water frequently contains a black
sediment and turbidity. Manganese bacteria often causes clogging of
pipes. Manganese: EPA secondary drinking water standard is 0.05mg/l
Yellow to light brown
– Normally associated with Tannins being
present in the water supply. Tannins (humic acid) are found in waters
which have passed through large quantities of decaying vegetation.
Tannins can cause yellow water and yellow staining on fabrics and
fixtures. Tannins measuring 0.5 PPM or higher may cause staining and/or
interference with various water treatment processes.
– Normally associated with Turbidity in the
water supply. Visual haziness in water. Turbidity (fine particles) and
sediment (coarse particles) may be caused by sand, scale, or rust In
addition to an objectionable, cloudy appearance, these substances may
cause plugged piping or fouled water treatment equipment. Turbidity does
not settle out readily, but remains suspended for several hours. It is
normally present in pond, lake, or river water supplies. EPA standard
level 5 NTU.
Hard Water Spots, Scale, Etching
White Chalky Scale
– Normally associated with Hardness or elevated levels of Total
Dissolved Solids (salts) being present in the water supply.
Bathtub rings – Normally associated
with Hardness being present in the water supply.
Soap Scum – Normally associated with
Hardness being present in the water supply.
Spots on Glassware, plates, flatware, showers, appliances
– Normally associated with Hardness or
elevated Total Dissolved Solids being present in the water supply.
– Normally associated with Hardness, Tannins,
Manganese and/or Iron being present in the water supply.
- Hard water can dry out
skin and makes hair brittle. It causes soap scum in tubs and showers and
spots on faucets, fixtures and dishes. It also causes scaling in
appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and water heaters,
which can result in high operation costs and premature replacement.
- Hardness is measured in
parts per million (or the equivalent mg/L) or in grains per gallon (gpg).
Note: if the water analysis is given in ppm as CaCO3 then 1 gpg = 17.1
ppm. There is no established limit for the acceptable level of hardness
in water, but it is generally considered to become problematic at around
- Levels of hardness
are referred to as follows:
- Soft Water: 0 - 1
grains per gallon (gpg)
Slightly Hard Water: 1 - 4 grains per gallon
Moderately Hard Water: 4 - 7 grains per gallon (gpg)
Water: 7 - 10 grains per gallon (gpg)
Very Hard Water: Over 10
grains per gallon (gpg)
- Problem: Bad Tastes, Smelly Water
– Hydrogen Sulfide is a gas which smells
strongly like rotten eggs. It results from the decay of organic matter
with organic sulfur and the presence of certain types of bacteria. Even
very low concentrations are offensive as well as highly corrosive
(silver tarnishes almost immediately upon contact with H2S). hydrogen
sulfide can add to the corrosion of metal plumbing materials. It will
attack iron, steel, copper, and galvanized plumbing, producing a black
color in the water. In combination with dissolved iron, hydrogen sulfide
can produce black stains in plumbing fixtures and laundry. A black
deposit may also collect in piping and on fixtures. An official limit
has not been established for hydrogen sulfide in drinking water, a
recommended limit of 0.05ppm (mg/1) has been proposed.
– Normally associated with Sulfate, Iron, or Manganese being present in
the water supply.
Metallic Taste – Normally associated
with Iron, Manganese, Copper or Low Acidic pH being present in the water
associated with Chlorides, Sodium or elevated Total Dissolved Solids
being present in the water supply.
- Nitrate (NO3) comes
into water supplies through the nitrogen cycle rather than via dissolved
minerals. It is one of the major ions in natural waters. Most nitrate
that occurs in drinking water is the result of contamination of ground
water supplies by septic systems, feed lots, and agricultural
fertilizers. Nitrate is reduced to nitrite in the body. The EPA safe
drinking water limits of below 10ppm for Nitrate/Nitrite and below 1ppm
- Well Water Nitrate
Filter Treatment Solution: Nitrate Eater Series
- Nitrate Removal Reverse
Osmosis Treatment Solutions: Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filters
- Nitrites are not
usually found in drinking water supplies at concentrations above 1 or 2
mg/l (ppm). Nitrates are reduced to nitrites in the saliva of the mouth
and upper GI tract. This occurs to a much greater degree in infants than
in adults, because of the higher alkaline conditions in their GI tract.
The nitrite then oxidizes hemoglobin in the blood stream to
methemoglobin, thus limiting the ability of the blood to carry oxygen
throughout the body. Anoxia (an insufficiency of oxygen) and death can
occur. The US EPA has established the MCL (maximum contaminant level)
for nitrite at 1 mg/l.
- Sulfate (SO4) occurs in
almost all natural water. Most sulfate compounds originate from the
oxidation of sulfite ores, the presence of shales, and the existence of
industrial wastes. Sulfate is one of the major dissolved constituents in
rain. High concentrations of sulfate in drinking water causes a laxative
effect when combined with calcium and magnesium, the two most common
components of hardness. Bacteria which attack and reduce sulfates,
causes hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) to form. Sulfate has a suggested level
of 250 mg/l in the Secondary Drinking Water Standards published by the
- Tannins (humic acid)
are found in waters which have passed through large quantities of
decaying vegetation. Tannins can cause yellow water and yellow staining
on fabrics and fixtures. Tannins measuring 0.5 PPM or higher may cause
staining and/or interference with various water treatment processes.
- Total Dissolved
(what are total dissolved solids ?)
- Total Dissolved Solids
(TDS) - on conductivity test for dissolved materials in drinking water.
TDS comprise inorganic salts (principally calcium, magnesium, potassium,
sodium, bicarbonates, chlorides and sulfates) and some small amounts of
organic matter that are dissolve in water. TDS in drinking water
originates from natural sources, sewage, urban run-off, industrial
wastewater, and chemicals used in the water treatment process and the
nature of the piping or hardware used to convey the water, i.e., the
plumbing. In the United States, elevated TDS has been due to natural
environmental features such as: mineral springs, carbonate deposits,
salt deposits, and sea water intrusion, but other sources can include:
salts used for road de-icing, anti-skid materials, drinking water
treatment chemicals, storm water and agricultural runoff, an
point/non-point wastewater discharges. High levels of total dissolved
solids can adversely industrial applications requiring the use of water
such as cooling tower operations, boiler feed water, food and beverage
industries, and electronics manufacturers. High levels of chloride and
sulfate will accelerate corrosion of metals. The US EPA has a suggested
level of 500 mg/l listed in the Secondary Drinking Water Standards.
- Bacteria - E-Coli /
(what is bacteria ?)
- Source - Bacteria are
tiny organisms occurring naturally in water. Not all types of bacteria
are harmful. Many organisms found in water are of no health concern
since they do not cause disease. Biological contamination may be
separated into two groups: (1) pathogenic (disease causing) and
non-pathogenic (not disease causing). Pathogenic bacteria cause
illnesses such as typhoid fever, dysentery, gastroenteritis, infectious
hepatitis, and cholera. All water supplies should be tested for
biological content prior to use and consumption. E.Coli (Escherichia
Coli) is the coliform bacterial organism which is looked for when
testing the water. This organism is found in the intestines and fecal
matter of humans and animals. If E.Coli is found in a water supply along
with high nitrate and chloride levels, it usually indicates that waste
has contaminated the supply from a septic system or sewage dumping, and
has entered by way of runoff, a fractured well casing, or broken lines.
If coliform bacteria is present, it is an indication that disease
causing bacteria may also be present. Four or fewer colonies / 100 ml of
coliforms, in the absence of high nitrates and chlorides, implies that
surface water is entering the water system. If pathogenic bacteria is
suspected, a sample of water should be submitted to the Board of Health
or US EPA for bacteriological testing and recommendations.
Whole House, Commercial, Irrigation Sediment
High Capacity Sand & Sediment Filtration
Residential & Commercial RDWS-NS Sediment
& Sand Removal Selection Guide: