If you own a home with a water supply that is affected by hard water, lead, and other contaminants, it can be a life-changing decision to have it treated. Water treatment is the process of improving its quality to make it appropriate for lifestyle use in a home. This can apply to drinking water, the water you bathe in, and even how water affects your dishes or appliances.
Often, people are unaware that hard water, bacteria, or other contaminants can be doing so much damage. However, once they make the switch, the benefits are apparent both in the short and long-term. We’ve taken the time to create a handy guide on how you can improve your quality of life through the different methods of water treatment and what might be most appropriate for your situation. Take a look and see what you’ve been missing out on!
Water Treatment Basics
When it comes to why we treat water and the need for your own system, it is important to understand the basics of community water treatment. Typically, for city water and community sources in a water treatment plant, they treat via:
- Coagulation and Flocculation:
This is the introduction of positively charged chemicals such as aluminum sulfate that will neutralize negative solids in dirt, clay, and other organic material. Coagulation will occur after the chemicals separate the initial materials, and particles will settle. From there, the mixing process of flocculation will bond these particles into ‘flocs’, allowing them to be removed easily.
The removal of matter that has settled at the bottom of a water container. This is necessary to refine the quality of water and prep it for filtration and disinfection.
After all the sedimentation particles have settled and been removed, there is still smaller matter that needs to be removed such as bacteria, parasites, and dust. This happens by passing them over consistent types of particles used in filtration, such as sand or charcoal.
The final stage of basic water treatment involves the addition of chlorine or chloramine typically. A disinfectant is selected based on what is best-served for the purpose of the tank (drinking, swimming, etc.)
While these procedures are standard and effective for most community water, they might be too broad for specific regions – or even just the land your property sits on. Often, simple water treatment methods will still leave hard water and contaminants that can lead to buildup, poor tasting water, or other health side effects.
Advanced Water Treatment Methods
When you are looking to upgrade your portable and usable water supply at home, there are two best-fit methods we recommend – reverse osmosis and water softening. They will have different applications depending on your existing system, the soil and water supply around you, and what problems you are looking to solve.
- Reverse Osmosis (RO) is when we take water from a given supply and remove ions and minerals by using a partially permeable membrane. This allows it to be safe for consumption. Reverse Osmosis for a household is different from normal filtration in that its membrane is 10 times less permeable than typical city water treatment. In other words, it gets all the nasty stuff out of your drinking or bathing water that you don’t want.
- Water Softening is the process of removing dissolved calcium and magnesium salts that cause water to form insoluble scale deposits and precipitates. If you’ve ever seen buildup on shower glass or an off-color ring in a toilet bowl, your instinct might be to think “wow, that’s a poor job of cleaning!” In reality, these are often from hard water that builds up quickly and is difficult to remove.
Both of these methods have a significant impact on your home water system and will make your life appreciably better. The water in your shower will feel different, your soaps will work better, and your drinking water will look and taste pure. In addition to the treatments already done by the city to prevent bacteria and viruses from getting into your home water system, we highly recommend one of these two ways to treat water.
Safe Drinking Water
When you combine the community water treatment practices with the additional steps of reverse osmosis or softening, it yields health and taste benefits you may be able to literally see. The purity, taste, and smell will be better, as well as the pH level of what you drink. People who are concerned with alkaline levels in their diet will see immediate changes.
Similarly, dust, parasites, viruses, and chemicals remain in most potable water after community treatment. The removal of these can contribute to better immune health, water taste, and is better for your home in terms of the sustainability of the pipes.
Ultimately, it is a matter of experiencing the difference between hard water and soft on your diet or noticing the absence of sediment in a glass you are drinking. The difference can be astounding, but you’d never know without knowledge of how water treatment actually works.
When is it time for a home water treatment system?
Home water treatment may not always be necessary, but sometimes the signs of a contaminated supply are wrongly attributed to poor cleaning habits or non-water related issues. Solving these with water treatment can lead to drastic improvements in health and daily routine.
If your drinking or bathing water has a foul odor similar to rotten eggs, or there are metallic tastes when you drink water, that is an immediate warning sign your supply may be contaminated. Similarly, if there is buildup on your sinks and toilets, or the water from any of your taps is cloudy or murky, it might be time for a change.
Knowing about the prevalent treatment methods is the first step to getting a better water supply. From there, we recommend consulting with a professional to perform an appraisal of your home system to assess your individual needs and determine what system you may need. Whether it is a whole house filter that connects to your main supply line or an RO system installed under your sink, there are many options that can help make your water better. Once you’ve made the switch, you’ll wonder how you lived with contaminated water in the past.