Water Treatment & Purification
The quality of your water is important. Forty-seven percent of the United States depends on groundwater for their basic drinking water supply. Many more rely on groundwater for irrigation purposes. Having a basic understanding about groundwater quality will help ensure that your water well is supplying potable water for your household and safe water for lawns, landscaping and gardens. Knowing the basics about water testing and treatment can help you diagnose and address water quality issues-whether they be matters of taste, odor, or appearance, or health risks. [learn_more caption=”Click to read about why you should test your water”]
Conditions or Nearby Activities
What To Test For
|Recurring gastrointestinal illness||Coliform bacteria|
|Household plumbing contains lead||pH, lead, copper|
|Indoor air or region air is radon rich||Radon|
|Corrosion of pipes, plumbing||Corrosion, pH, lead|
|Nearby areas of intensive agriculture||Nitrate, pesticides, coliform bacteria|
|Coal or other mining operations nearby||Metals, pH, corrosion|
|Gas drilling operations nearby||Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium|
|Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station, or dry-cleaning operation nearby||Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals|
|Odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and near gas station or buried fuel tanks||Volatile organic compounds|
|Objectionable taste or smell||Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals|
|Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry||Iron, copper, manganese|
|Salty taste and seawater, or a heavily salted roadway nearby||Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium|
|Scaly residues, soaps don’t lather||Hardness|
|Rapid wear of water treatment equipment||pH, corrosion|
|Water softener needed to treat hardness||Manganese, iron|
|Water appears cloudy, frothy, or colored||Color, detergents|
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [/learn_more] Along with human activities, water quality is affected by a combination of natural processes. Most relate to chemical compositions underground. However, other factors such as biological, physical, and radiological conditions can affect water quality as well. Therefore, the National Ground Water Association recommends that water well owners have their wells checked and tested by a certified and/or licensed professional like St. Lucie Pump & Water every year to ensure water safety.
How Will SLP Treat and Purify My Water?
To help you identify your existing water treatment system or to help you choose the new system which will best fit your needs, it helps to first understand the four different types of water purification and water filtration systems. [learn_more caption=”Click to read about the four main types of water treatment systems”] Filtration: A process in which water passes through a water system that may include one or more filters for the purpose of removing turbidity, taste, color, iron or odor. The design can be loose media tank-type systems or cartridge devices. In general the process may include mechanical, adsorptive, neutralizing and catalyst/oxidizing filters. Reverse Osmosis: Is a process for the reduction of dissolved ions (such as salts) from water in which pressure is employed to force liquid (water) through a semi-permeable membrane, which will transmit the water but reject most other dissolved materials. When forced against the membrane surface, the dissolved materials are repelled, while the water molecules are diffused through the membrane molecule by molecule, forming purer water on the other side. Find out more on reverse osmosis installation or learn more about RO systems. Distillation: Is the process in which a liquid such as water is converted by heating, into a vapor state, and the vapor cooled and condensed to a liquid state and collected. It is the process of removing the liquid (water) from its constituents or contaminants; as compared to other processes where contaminants are removed from the water (liquid). Distilled water is water that has been purified by passing through one or more evaporation –condensation cycles and contains essentially no dissolved solids. Ultraviolet: Sunlight has long since been known to kill micro-organisms. The rays from the sun contain the UV *spectrum used in Ultraviolet Water Treatment Systems – although at much lower intensities. It is also referred to as either the Germicidal Spectrum or Frequency. The frequency used in killing micro-organisms is 254 nanometers (nm). The UV lamps used are designed specifically to have the highest amount of UV energy at this frequency. [/learn_more] St. Lucie Pump & Water specializes in filtration and RO system design, installation, maintenance and service. Our technicians are qualifed and the products we use are superior. If you are tired of poor water quality, contact us. We are ready to serve you in the following ways:
- Water quality testing
- Monthly salt service
- System recharging
- Installation of water softener systems
- Installation of reverse osmosis systems
- Ongoing system maintenance
- Repairs of existing systems
- Filter & membrane replacement
[learn_more caption=”What do I need to know about water filtration systems?”] How do I know I need a filter? Your public water authority does the best it can to ensure that your water is free of disease causing pathogens and sediment. However, it cannot ensure that your water is free of sediment after passing through the series distribution lines to reach your home. Virtually all private well water supplies contain sediment. Therefore, a dirt/rust filter is advisable on the incoming water line. A dirt/rust filter can protect washers and seals from premature wear. It also can prevent aeretors and valves from plugging and keep your hot water heater from collecting excessive sediment. How do I know what size filter to use? For a home with 1 to 2 bathrooms, a dirt/rust filter that holds one cartridge is probably appropriate. A home that has 3 to 4 bathrooms will probably require a two cartridge dirt/rust filter. How often should a taste/odor cartridge be changed? Taste/odor cartridges should be changed when the off taste or odor returns, when a drop in water pressure (from dirt/rust/etc) is noticed, or every three to four months, whichever comes first. Will a dirt/rust filter stop the red/brown stains on the fixtures and laundry? Water that appears to be clean but causes stains when allowed to sit, such as in the toilet or where hot water and chlorine bleach are used, contains dissolved iron. Because this iron is not in a particle form, but dissolved into the water like salt is in the sea water, treatment other than a particle filter is needed. Consult a water quality dealer about a water analysis to determine the best course of treatment for your situation. How can I remove hardness from my water without using a softener? There are several filter products that incorporate a patented ingredient known as Scale Stopper. The Scale Stopper cartridges utilize two important mechanisms to inhibit scale and corrosion: one that prevents the scale from forming, and one that treats the surface of the piping to prevent the negative effects of hard water scaling or corrosive water. The scale and corrosion cartridges may also incorporate a graded density pre-filter for long life, premium performance dirt/rust removal. Which dirt/rust cartridge should I use? Different dirt/rust filters may be needed depending on if your water condition. If no particles are visible in the water, then a standard filter can most likely be used. If visible particles are evident, and symptoms such as clogged aeretors are noted, then a coarser or heavy duty filter should be used. If the water appears cloudy, then a fine or very fine cartridge is probably necessary. How often should a dirt/rust filter be changed? Dirt/rust cartridges should be changed when a drop in water pressure is noticed, or every three to four months, which ever comes first. Can lead be removed from the whole house? The greatest risk from lead is through ingestion. It was only 1987 that the use of lead solder was prohibited. In any home built before that time, lead could be reintroduced into the water after a whole-house lead removal system filter. In addition the chemical reaction that takes place to remove lead takes some time. The high flow rates required for whole-house removal makes lead impractical to treat for the whole-house. Since lead poses the greatest risk when ingested, it makes sense to concentrate treatment at the point of use, such as the kitchen. Can water purifier housings be installed horizontally or upside down? Most filters will operate in any orientation. However, for any position other that the vertical and upright, drainage of the filter housing and proper seating of the cartridge have to be considered when changing cartridges. Can the dirt and rust cartridges be cleaned by backflushing or other means? Yes! Washing large particles of contaminant off the outside surface of the cartridge or backflushing will extend the life of the cartridge, but eventually the cartridge will be blocked completely and will have to be thrown away. Contamination trapped in the depth of the cartridge is difficult to remove by backflushing. Backflushing more than once is usually not effective. Once the full depth of the cartridge is blocked, the cartridge will have to be thrown away and replaced with a clean one. [/learn_more][learn_more caption=”What do I need to know about reverse osmosis systems?”] What is Reverse Osmosis (RO)? Reverse Osmosis, or RO for short, is the opposite of the natural process by which moisture is taken up by living cells. Root cells of plants, for example, have special cell walls that allow water to pass through them. In reverse osmosis, water is forced against a synthetic membrane using normal city water pressure. Only molecules of water easily diffuse through this unique membrane material, and are collected as pure water on the other side. Impurities are left behind and are rinsed away to a waste drain. What about minerals? Do Reverse Osmosis systems remove them, and if so, aren’t they needed for health? Many home water devices claim they leave so called “beneficial” minerals in, considering it an advantageous feature. Distillers, on the other hand, claim they remove all “objectionable” minerals and consider it an advantage. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? The subject of minerals in water is one over which there is much controversy. There is even disagreement among health authorities. To help you decide for yourself, consider the following information:
- Minerals in water exist as mineral salts or so called inorganic minerals. Minerals in this form may not be as biologically acceptable to the human body as are the organic forms of minerals found in all food and quality mineral supplements.
- Some inorganic minerals are harmful to human health and no water treatment process can differentiate them from inorganic minerals that are not harmful. Examples of inorganic minerals that are harmful are nitrates and toxic metals (lead, mercury and arsenic).
- Excess inorganic minerals in water may be responsible for bad tastes, salty tastes and metallic tastes.
- Excess inorganic minerals may interact with almost every food and beverage, detracting from its flavor. That’s why virtually all packaged beverages, including soft drinks and beer, are made with controlled levels of inorganic minerals to insure the best flavor possible.
- The mineral content in water may be much less than the mineral content found in foods. An 8-ounce glass of milk typically contains more calcium and magnesium than 5 gallons of water.
Does Reverse Osmosis remove fluoride from the water? Isn’t fluoride necessary to reduce cavities? Reverse Osmosis systems can remove over 90% of the fluoride in the water. Fluoride occurs both naturally in the earth and water and is often artificially added to municipal supplies because there is evidence it helps prevent tooth decay. The long-term effects of fluoridation of public water supplies, however, is still a subject of great controversy. Here’s why: Chlorine, for instance, has been used routinely since 1913, but only recently have we discovered this helpful chemical has the potential to generate cancer-causing chemicals (tri-halomethanes or THMS) when combined with organic substances naturally found in water. Fluoridation may have little benefit for teeth after childhood, yet the population can consume fluoridated water from their municipal supply as well as pay for it. Consider too, that only 2% of total fluoridated water is used for human consumption. Further, there are more prudent alternatives to fluoridating the entire water supply such as the application of fluoride tablets and vitamins that may provide a safe, precise dose to your children. What factors affect my RO system’s performance? The quantity and quality of water produced by a Reverse Osmosis system are affected by feed water temperature, feed water pressure and total dissolved solids. Temperature affects the performance of an RO due to the intricate design of an RO membrane. Production is improved as water temperature approaches 77 degrees Fahrenheit (32ºC). Please Note: An RO device should only be installed on the cold water line. Reverse Osmosis systems are also affected by feed water pressure. As pressures increase so does the rate in which water is produced. Generally speaking, Reverse Osmosis systems should be operated on feed water pressures above 40 psi to provide acceptable performance. High concentrations of total dissolved solids (poor quality) of the feed water may decrease the life of the RO membranes or require additional maintenance. How long do RO membranes last? The longevity of an RO membrane greatly depends on feed water conditions, how well the system is maintained and whether the supply is municipal or well water. On most municipal water supplies, the average useful life of a Reverse Osmosis membrane is 2 to 4 years. In well water applications, RO life may be reduced due to varied water conditions. What kind of maintenance is required? The prefilter(s) need to be replaced every 6-12 months. Your local Reverse Osmosis dealer can recommend the optimal change-out period based on his experience. It is also suggested that the storage tank air charge be checked yearly. The system should also be sanitized at this time. Please contact the dealer in your area for proper maintenance of your system. What can I use Reverse Osmosis water for?
- Drinking Water
- Juices & Mixes
- Coffee & Tea
- Ice Cubes
- Baby Formula
- Complexion Care
- Low Sodium Diets
- Weight Loss Diets
- Clean Solutions
- Steam Irons
- Windshield Washer
What is required to install a Reverse Osmosis system? Countertop Appliance: Remove the old aerator from a kitchen faucet and replace it with the special one supplied with each countertop appliance. It takes only a few minutes and instructions are provided. Under-the-Counter Appliance: This requires plumbing experience and knowledge of hand tools. It is recommended that a factory-trained dealer who is familiar with plumbing and drilling sinks or counters install your under-the-counter system. Can a Reverse Osmosis system be connected to icemakers, refrigerator water dispensers and instant hot water dispensers? Yes, provided a water line can be run from under the sink to the refrigerator. The tubing used should preferably be plastic. Existing copper tubing is often corroded and scaled from tap water and the purified water may dislodge this buildup and create problems in the icemaker. We recommend copper tubing not be used unless absolutely necessary. We can supply a special icemaker hookup kit that includes all the tubing and fittings required for the typical icemaker and/or refrigerator water dispenser connections. Can I run out of water when using a Reverse Osmosis system? Yes, but rarely. Reverse Osmosis drinking water appliances treat tap water slowly and steadily. This small flow builds up in the tank for later use. It is possible to draw water from the reservoir faster than it can fill. While this won’t happen often with average use, it is possible when using large amounts of water. Please feel free to contact a Reverse Osmosis dealer if you have questions concerning usage. How much water does a Reverse Osmosis systems provide? The amount of water produced depends on factors such as water pressure, water quality and water temperature. Under most conditions typically found in a community water supply, a Reverse Osmosis drinking water appliance should supply between three (3) and ten (10) gallons of high quality drinking water each day. What happens to all the organic and inorganic impurities removed by a Reverse Osmosis system? They are automatically rinsed from the membrane surface and washed down the drain. Unlike filters that trap impurities, the membrane used in the Reverse Osmosis drinking water appliance is self-cleaning. As water flows across the membrane, it becomes divided into two streams. The production stream is the purified water that is forced through the membrane by diffusion. The impurities are left behind. The concentrate stream serves as a rinse that carries those impurities off the membrane surface and into a drain. As a result, accumulation of impurities on the membrane is slow, keeping it clean and effective over time. How much water is used to insure there is no buildup of toxic organic and inorganic impurities on the membrane? The Reverse Osmosis drinking water appliances are the most efficient systems of those incorporating self-cleaning membranes. Under-the-counter systems are also equipped with an automatic shut off valve which stops processing water when the storage tank is full. Other systems use as much as 15 gallons of tap water to process each gallon of water for drinking. Only 3 to 4 gallons of water are required to process each gallon of Reverse Osmosis water. This amounts to a mere trickle that carries impurities to drain. The use of a concentrate stream may increase an average family’s water bill by 25 to 75 cents per month. Many concerned families consider this a small fraction of total water usage and a small price to pay for all of the high quality water they will be enjoying. [/learn_more]