Is all well water the same?

The elements found in well water may vary so not all well water is the same. This is true even among wells that are within close proximity to each other. Common well water issues include sediment, dirt, hardness, bacteria, and iron. It is necessary to have your well water tested before the proper treatment for your water can be determined.

Why does water sometimes smell like rotten eggs?

Hydrogen Sulfide is often the reason for this unpleasant smell. Hydrogen Sulfide may be created by decaying organic matter, some types of bacteria, and petroleum refining. If the rotten egg smell is only present in hot water, it may be the result of a deteriorated anode on a water heater system.

My water tastes and smells like chlorine. What causes this?

Municipal water treatment facilities commonly use chlorine to treat water. It is often detectable in tap water due to taste and smell. While chlorine is effective for removing dangerous bacteria from the water supply, chlorine can objectionably affect drinking water by irritating eyes and skin. Since the chlorine has already served its purpose by the time water reaches your faucet, we can safely remove it from your water.

Why do rust stains occur?

Though it may not be noticeable to the naked eye, iron may be in your water. Once it is exposed to air, the iron oxidizes, leaves rust-colored stains on clothing, showers, sinks, and fixtures.

Is water softening equipment required to remove iron from water?

The answer depends on the type of iron you have in your water. There are three different types of iron water – ferric, ferrous, and iron bacteria. It is necessary to evaluate the kind of iron in your water before diagnosing what is needed to solve your iron issues.

Will hard water effect my water-using appliances?

Hard water leads to build-up in plumbing and water-using appliances, creating a restricted flow of water. In appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, the build-up can ultimately lead to the need to service or replace these items more frequently. In hard water areas, it is not unusual for the flow of running water through household water lines to be reduced to the size of a ballpoint pen head.

Does having hard water adversely impact my energy costs?

Hard water forms build-up in appliances, which can require as much as 33% more fuel to heat water in a water heater. The reason is that additional energy is required to heat hard water scales before it can heat your water. Since soft water eliminates hard water scale issues, the result will be lower energy costs.

Soft water causes a “slippery” feeling on my skin. Why is this?

With soft water, it may actually seem like soap and shampoo have not completely rinsed off your skin. This sensation is caused by the fact that there is no dissolved rock in your water. The water’s natural softening and moisturizing agents can do their job, and thoroughly clean skin and hair. Conversely, this is why hard water can cause skin pores to clog with soap residue, leaving skin dull and hair feeling dry.

What are the advantages of using a Water Softener?

Water that has been treated with a water softener has many benefits over hard water:

  • Housework is easier without having to deal with hard water build-up on fixtures and appliances.
  • Clothes laundered in soft water wear better, lasting up to 30% longer.
  • Fabrics stay softer and whiter without the dingy gray caused by hard water.
  • Soft water cleans silverware, dishes, and glassware better, leaving a shinier finish.
  • Soaps and shampoos work more effectively because soft water allows them to lather better, enabling you to use up to 75% less product.
  • Organic, chemical-free healthy soaps and laundry products perform better with soft water.
  • Hair and skin feel softer and cleaner after bathing with softened water
  • Water-using appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and coffee makers last much longer when used with soft water.

How does a water softener work?

The calcium and magnesium in hard water are removed by resin beads as it flows through the system. Hardness ions in the water are replaced with the soft ions of the resin beads in an exchange process to create the soft water.

Once the water softener resin beads become coated with calcium and magnesium ions, their ability to soften hard water decreases. Regeneration is a process during which water is flushed through the water softener with a concentrated amount of regenerant. Resin beads exchange the soft ions from the regenerant for the hard ions. The dirt and sediment filter sends dissolved dirt, rock, and sediment down the drain. Following the restoration of the resin beads, the water softener goes back to work, providing the entire home with soft, clean water.

Is it possible to soften water without using salt?

Magnetic or electronic devices (known as “descalers” in the water treatment industry) are available on the market. They are not actual water softeners because they do not remove the hardness from the water. They can be useful for preventing scale build-up in pipes and appliances, but they do not provide softened water or its benefits.

Are water softeners expensive to use?

The only household appliance that can actually reduce costs, a water softener can reduce water-heating bills by up to 29%. Soft water also requires less detergent and soap usage, so water softeners save you money on these items as well.

Can my septic system or drain field be compromised by the water softeners’ discharge from regeneration?

Studies done in the 1970s at the University of Wisconsin concluded that salt-brine discharge from water softeners had no ill effects on the operation of typical anaerobic or newer style aerobic home treatment systems. It was also confirmed that water softener regeneration discharge did not hurt drain field soil percolation and in some cases could improve soil percolation. 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. According to the study results, it is preferable to discharge water softener waste to septic systems than to separate dry wells or ditches. Learn more at www.wqa.org.

What is the best way to have my water tested?

It is best to have well water tested for hardness, iron, and pH. City water should be checked for hardness, pH, and chlorine. Contact us to schedule a FREE in-home water test so we can identify your water problems and determine the right water solution for your home.

I have heard a lot of advertising about salt-less water softeners but none of the well-known, established companies seem to promote them, why?

Great question. One of the main reasons is that most salt-less water softeners have not been scientifically proven or certified by an accredited third party. Established companies have too much to lose by promoting unproven science and understand this to be more “marketing” than science. However, new technology emerges for salt-less alternatives in the form of scale inhibitors, but most of these systems must be used in controlled environments. These systems are geared towards utilizing a municipal water supply, but for consumers utilizing a private well water supply, these systems are not up to the task. Additionally, these systems are meant to prevent the formation of scale buildup within the plumbing, thus they are not actually softening the water or removing hardness. A traditional water softener operates on the basis of ion exchange, completely removing the calcium and magnesium ions from the water. Traditional Salt Softeners require water for backwashing and must be regenerated using salt or potassium chloride and require a drain to discharge the salty water and minerals.

I try to keep salt in my salt tank full, but sometimes I forget and it runs out. One of my buddies told me that’s why my water gets bad occasionally. I understand a softener needs salt to work right but last night, my wife said she had read that running out of salt can ruin a softener. Is she correct?

Great question. Keeping your salt tank filled is critical and can not be overstated for the consistent performance of your equipment. The salt provides a brine solution that literally cleans the resin beads in your water softener when it gets dirty from removing the contaminants in your water. If there is no salt, this cleaning process cannot happen, resulting in dirty water passing through the system and into your home or business. This seems straightforward enough. What many do not realize is when this happens repeatedly, the “pores” in the resin beads become clogged and can no longer be cleaned, which eventually leads to the softener no longer working properly to absorb the dirty water. Major service is then required to get the system operating correctly.

I have a water cooler that uses 5-gallon jugs. I recently was at a friend’s house and she also has a cooler but hers doesn’t have a jug. She told me she has a filtration system right inside the cooler itself. How does this work? It would be great not to deal with the storage & hassle of those big jugs.

Self-contained water coolers are the new technology…smartphones are not the only devices that need to be upgraded. All-Rite’s line of bottle-less coolers delivers higher quality water via Reverse Osmosis or Micro-filtration. The product water is then stored in a stainless steel storage vessel featuring UV technology, ensuring the safest & healthiest water possible. Traditional 5-gallon jugs are also prone to spreading bacteria while removing & replacing bottles in an open-air environment. 5-gallon jugs are also very troubling for the environment. The carbon footprint is very heavy when factoring in all the transportation costs associated with its delivery & recycling. In many cases, bottle-less coolers are also less expensive to operate.

Does certification by the Water Quality Association really matter?

Absolutely! The Water Quality Association certification program is the only accredited program in North America. It demonstrates not only technical expertise but a true commitment to continuing education and best practices. Further, the effort by staff & management to devote the time & resources necessary, to study 2 inch thick textbooks and take 3-hour exams, which are proctored by professionals who take your smartphones & check your hands for cheat sheets, shows they are serious about their career and taking care of their customers. Yes, it matters significantly.

Is the sodium in softened water anything to worry about?

The amounts of sodium in softened water are minuscule compared to other normal dietary sources of sodium. In fact, ion exchange softening of water with 75 grains per gallon of total hardness would add less sodium to your drinking water than is allowed in beverages that meet the FDA regulations for “Low Sodium” labeling. In most cases, less than 3% of your daily intake of salts comes from water consumption. For those that are on a low sodium diet, it is important to consult with your doctor, there is a method available to calculate the sodium content of your water.

I’ve seen filters at a couple of my friends’ houses. They are fairly large, about 2 1/2 feet tall. My friends told me it’s the best way to treat their city water and that the only maintenance is replacing the filters every few years. Supposedly all their water goes through these filters before it goes into their house. Do you know anything about these filters? I find it hard to believe they actually treat the city water.

Based on the dimensions you provided, it sounds like the filters are for the whole house. All water entering the house would pass through the filters. In general, this type of filter removes chlorine taste and odor. The hardness would remain, which is usually between 7-11 gr hard in municipal water, which is considered extremely hard. Also, even though the filters probably remove chlorine, they do not remove chloramines. Chloramines are created from a mixture of chlorine and ammonia and are needed to sanitize city and county water. Overall, filters such as you describe are not third-party certified, meaning experts in the water industry do not get consistent test results when these filters are used. All-Rite Water believes that while Vero Beach and Sebastian do a good job providing municipal water, further water treatment equipment is necessary to provide high-quality water. We recommend third-party certified water treatment equipment.

What causes orange staining in showers? I’m on municipal water and my wife is complaining she is constantly scrubbing the shower walls due to the orange stains. I don’t see orange in the water when I shower, brush my teeth, do laundry, or wash dishes. Any thoughts?

The orange staining is caused by the iron in your water. Iron is only visible after it has been oxidized by contact with the air and/or chlorine. We have been seeing more cases of iron in city & county water and the only way to remove it and solve this problem is with a whole-home filtration system. In most cases, an efficient and economical water softener will remove the iron & hardness which will eliminate the orange staining and soften the water which provides other significant benefits. In severe cases a specialty iron filter is necessary. There is also an upgraded filtration system that will remove the chlorine as well and deliver bottled water quality from every tap.

Why does coffee at Starbucks or other coffee shops taste so good…someone told me the water they use is much better.

The coffee at Starbucks is indeed fantastic! And it is related to the water. Their water quality is high because they use filtered water to brew their beverages. The more filtering water goes through, the higher the purity and the better the taste. If you wish you could make better tasting coffee and tea at home, we recommend processing the water through a reverse osmosis drinking water system. ROs have a dedicated faucet and the system is usually installed under the kitchen sink. It features a holding tank that automatically replenishes when you use the water. Many of our customers even use RO water for cooking pasta and or for their pet’s drinking water.

Why are my ice cubes cloudy? Yuck…

Cloudy ice cubes are caused by numerous factors, but the hardness of the water can be a cause for this. If you want clearer ice cubes, a reverse osmosis system to feed your ice maker is recommended. This will improve the clarity, however, this may not get you crystal clear ice, like what you see at restaurants. Restaurants have ice makers that actually boil the water to evaporate contaminants, similar to distillation, and then freeze them so they come out completely clear.

I have well water and have a softener. It does a good job for me and my wife. But we are expecting a houseful of people to visit us over the holidays. My wife keeps telling me our water is going to be terrible because of the extra people. I told her I will put it through its cycle an extra time or two to prevent it. Then she told me one of her friends recently got a system that will automatically adjust for more water being used without someone having to remember to put it through the cycle. And she says her friend uses less salt now. I thought all softeners worked the same. Am I right?

All water softeners are not the same. There are two types, metered and timer-based. From what you described, you have a timer-based water softener. That means it’s set to regenerate on a set schedule, no matter how much or how little water is used. An example of a timer-based water softener would be if your softener was set to regenerate every other day using 10 pounds of salt per regeneration- even if you are away on vacation (not using water) or have 10 extra people staying in the house (using much more water than usual). Metered systems are more technologically advanced because they count the gallons of water used, rely on your past water usage history to predict when the softener will need to next regenerate and tend to require less salt per regeneration to clean the water. Metered water softeners compensate for more or less water usage without having to put the unit into a cycle yourself since regeneration is based upon actual water usage. Both types of softeners use a regeneration cycle to produce clear, clean, soft water.

I live in Lakewood Park and have a water softener and a carbon tank. I’ve been told it’s time to “rebed” the carbon tank. What is that and why does it need to be done?

Rebedding the carbon tank is synonymous with replacing the carbon inside of it. A carbon tank is used to eliminate odor from either iron or a very low amount of sulfur (in Lakewood Park, you could have either one). Carbon is like a sponge and when it absorbs everything it can, it should be replaced. All-Rite Water recommends replacing carbon annually. This prevents the problems that crop up when the carbon is overdue to be rebedded- such as grayish water, black specks in the water, or experiencing an odor in the water. Having the maintenance done to your equipment is an investment in your water quality.

My wife has light blonde hair and we have well water. She keeps saying that the water is making her hair orange! Is this iron? She is spending too much money having her hair fixed for it to turn orange all the time. What are my options?

It is indeed iron that is causing your wife’s hair to turn orange. Have you ever gotten that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling after you take a shower? Well, I would hate to burst your bubble, but squeaky is not clean in terms of skin & hair care. That feeling you get after the soap is rinsed off is hardness and iron deposits in the pores of your skin and hair follicles. Typically, blondes will see it the worst because their light hair color cannot mask the buildup. Iron as low as 0.3 ppm is enough to leave orange stains and typical well water in Indian River County is between 2-10 ppm of iron. If you have no water treatment, your wife is bound to continuously get orange hair. Your best option is to have your water tested and analyzed by one of our certified professionals, to measure the levels of contaminants found in your well water. He/she can then determine a system that will fit your family’s needs to provide consistently clear, soft and iron-free water. Your wife will love it, not only will she not get orange hair anymore, but her hair will be more manageable and she can use fewer products. Her trips to the beauty salon will be minimized as the soft water will prevent fading of hair color and buildup. That ‘squeaky clean’ feeling will be replaced by a soft, slippery feel when rinsing off, as the natural oils on your skin will no longer be stripped away or blanketed with hardness and iron deposits.

I have a white substance that’s hard and cakey in my dishwasher. It’s also on all the faucets in my house. What is it? Is it safe? And how did it get there?

The white, chalky substance you see on your dishes, in your dishwasher, and on your fixtures is calcium buildup. This is formed when hard water deposits the calcium over time. You may also notice that your glasses are etched or look like they have a milky film on them. In order to prevent hardness buildup, and save your water-using appliances, dishes, and fixtures you need something that will remove the hardness from your water. That’s where a water softener comes in, the only certified process for removing hardness and iron from your water supply.

Why do I have white streaks on my glasses and dishes?

The white streaks are caused by hard water. This can be eliminated with a properly sized water softener. In addition, soft water provides other significant benefits like increasing the energy efficiency of all water-using appliances, using up to 50% fewer soaps, shampoos, etc., and brighter and longer last-lasting laundry. The soft luxurious water is a treat to your skin as well. It has been said that a lot of dermatologists would go out of business if more consumers softened their water as hard water is like washing your skin with rocks in one hand and a washcloth in another.

I have been told I do not have a lot of iron in my water, but I always have stains in my toilets and sometimes on other fixtures. What could cause this?

Even small amounts of iron, anything over 0.3 parts per million, can cause staining in your home. Consistent long-term iron removal is easy to achieve with the proper equipment sizing and application. It is critical to have a complete water profile as the presence of other contaminants and their levels can either help or hurt the iron removal process. In addition, if iron persists in your water supply, it can lead to iron bacteria which is harder to remove & control.

Is the water supply safe in Vero Beach, Sebastian, and Indian river county? After reading the articles in the 32963 paper recently should I be concerned?

City of Vero Beach Water Quality Reports

Indian River County & Sebastian Water Quality Reports

The City of Vero Beach states, “The mission of the Water Treatment Division is to continuously produce an adequate supply of potable water that protects and promotes the health and well-being of all individuals in the community and meets State and Federal Standards.” Most municipalities have the same purpose, to provide a consistent source of potable water; potable water being water that is fit for consumption for humans and animals.

Municipal water treatment facilities will typically use various methods to sanitize and treat our natural water supply so that it is “safe” for consumption, bathing, and other household uses.

CDC Community Water Treatment

The CDC has an article that explains the various forms of water treatment used by the majority, if not all, water treatment facilities. The flaw in this system is not the treatment of the water, but the vast distribution system that gets it from the water plant to your kitchen sink; the potential for harm is very real.

Contaminants may be present despite treatment:

Endocrine disruptors
Disinfection byproducts (DBPs)
Post-treatment potential points of contamination:

Breaks in distribution lines (boil water alerts)
Repairs or replacements of distribution lines
Cross connections with waste
Power outages and leaks (negative pressure points)
Leaching from pipe walls

CDC Household Water Treatment Systems

The CDC offers some basic education on the different types of point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) systems that offer a secondary level of protection. These systems provide proven reductions of:

Disinfection byproducts formed during treatment and transmission
Corrosion products from distribution lines and in-home plumbing
Contaminant intrusions into the system
Endemic microbiological organisms
Point-of-use and Point-of-entry treatment systems provide a final barrier of protection for your home and your family.

I just read the article about water in the 32963 magazine. Is hard water actually bad for your skin and hair? And how does it affect your clothes when you wash them with hard water?

Glad that you read the article in 32963! We thought it was very informative. Here’s a link to it for those people who didn’t read it: http://vb32963online.com/ebooks/Online%20Issues%202014/VB32963_OEI02_09January2014/
It can be found on page 30 of this issue.

Hard water has been known to cause several problems for hair. If you dye your hair and then use shampoo in hard water, the hair dye will not last as long. It is harder to remove tangles in your hair if your water is hard. Hard water can also make your hair feel coarse.

Hard water also affects your skin. Municipal water that enters your home untreated has chlorine in it, which will dry out your skin. People don’t ingest chlorine and it’s been medically proven to be harmful to humans. Your skin is the largest part of your body. Every time you shower or bathe, if you don’t treat your water, your skin is absorbing the chlorine and it’s getting into your body. Over time, this can add up to a lot of chlorine your skin has absorbed. Or, if you have the chlorine removed by a carbon filter and the hardness of the water remains (i.e., not having a water softener), skin tends to be more blotchy, less smooth, and not as soft.

Washing your clothes in hard water can shorten the life of your water-using appliances, including your washing machine, due to corrosion of the water going through the pipes to the appliance. In addition, you have to use more detergent to clean the laundry- soft water uses about 1/4 of the soap products because it lathers up more quickly. Your clothes tend to be more stiff washed in hard water and they typically will not last as long before they need to be replaced. You don’t need to use fabric softener when you have soft water. Soft water prevents your clothes from getting dingy and fading. Hard water deposits into the fabric and causes fading quickly.

Why are my toilet bowls orange when my neighbors aren’t? My next-door neighbor in Vero Lake Estates and I have the same water softener but he doesn’t have the problem with the toilet bowls. His water is always clear and mine isn’t.

There are a few reasons this might happen. Perhaps your water softener is malfunctioning and needs to be repaired. Or maybe you have run out of salt in your water softener and need to add some. Another possibility is that your well has a higher iron content than your neighbor’s and the water softener simply cannot remove it all due to overcapacity. Wells can vary greatly in the amounts of hardness, iron, sulfur, and other contaminants- even if you compare yours to your neighbor’s. This is why there is no “one-size fits all” approach at All-Rite Water Purification. Our WQA-certified water specialists determine the water profile and then recommend equipment based on the water contaminant tests. Our company philosophy is to provide a water softener that solves your water problems today, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, and 15 years from now. Based on the information in your question, I would recommend calling to set up an appointment for one of our certified water specialists to perform a full water profile at no charge. He will look over your water softener to assess if it needs repaired, reprogrammed, or replaced with one that will remove the iron from your water.

I hooked up to city water in Sebastian several years ago but we kept the well for our sprinkler system. I’ve been noticing some parts of my house are turning an orange color and my wife can’t scrub them off. Why is this happening and how do I get rid of the stains (besides re-painting the house)?

The orange color is probably caused by iron in your irrigation water. Plants and grass thrive on iron- but it sure doesn’t look nice on the sides of houses, sidewalks, driveways, etc. We sell various chemicals that will remove the stains. We can install systems that reduce the amount of iron- which minimizes staining while still providing the nutrition plants need. Also, you may want to check and adjust your sprinkler heads to minimize the house getting sprayed on when your sprinkler system is activated. All-Rite Water Purification repairs irrigation systems and sprinklers if you prefer to have that done for you.

I have tried several companies over the years and no one has been able to consistently get rid of the sulfur smell in my home. Why is this so difficult?

Sulfur can be difficult to consistently remove if the initial testing is not accurate and the technology and equipment used is not properly sized and applied. A number of factors need to be considered; – Proper training, techniques, and testing equipment are necessary as sulfur is gas & can dissipate quickly if the testing process & location are not carefully selected. – Sulfur levels fluctuate based on environmental factors like barometric pressure. – The oxidation process & contact time need to be engineered in conjunction with flow rates and volume of water usage. – Other contaminants in the water supply can help or hinder the sulfur removal process, a thorough understanding of the water profile is critical to a successful outcome. You do not have to live with this serious problem that negatively impacts your quality of life. All-Rite Water Purification is the only WQA (WQA.org) certified company on the Treasure & Space Coast and specializes in sulfur removal with a chemical-free process. ARW has exclusive access to the latest technology to consistently solve your sulfur problem. ARW absolutely guarantees results.

I recently moved to Vero Beach and have noticed that my house smells like a pool. What causes this? The smell is overpowering when you walk into my house. My mother-in-law even commented on it.

There is chlorine in both county and city water. At times, the water lines must be super-chlorinated per the health department’s standards. If you don’t like the smell of chlorine in your house, there are several pieces of water treatment equipment that will remove it. We recommend having one of our WQA-certified technicians test your water to determine the amount of chlorine you have. We do this at no charge. Our company believes in water solutions that work for both today and long term.

I have heard Reverse Osmosis water referred to as “dead water”, meaning all the minerals have been stripped from the water and it is no longer healthy. Is this true? What are the benefits of Reverse Osmosis water?

Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtration cleans water by taking out the total dissolved solids (TDS). Increased TDS in water can be caused by pollution of surface and groundwater with contaminants such as lead, mercury, and chromium-6, as well as naturally occurring contaminants like arsenic, fluorides, and sulfides. Although municipal water supplies treat the water to remove dirt and debris and chlorinate it to prevent the spread of disease, they do not remove the TDS. You can review our local water quality reports for the City of Vero Beach here and the Indian River County water quality reports here. It is more important than ever to have a way to remove these contaminants at the point of use. Many people believe that RO water is “dead water” because they are under the impression that this type of filtration removes all the TDS. RO filtration removes the smallest of materials, from 1 micron down to 1 Angstrom. Within these ranges, particles such as metal ions, viruses, asbestos, fine dust, atmospheric dust, protozoan cysts, and bacteria are removed during the RO process. The Center for Disease Control has created a guide for water filtration, you can view that here. Research shows that RO membranes remove an average of 90-95% of TDS from your water supply, meaning that trace elements of TDS are left in the water. Since most of the essential minerals that we need come from our diet, drinking RO water will not adversely affect your health. RO filtration will remove common chemical contaminants (metal ions, aqueous salts), including sodium, chloride, copper, chromium, lead, arsenic, fluoride, radium, and sulfates.

Will your company perform a water analysis and what is the charge?

Yes, and we will do it free of charge. A proper analysis begins with the sample collection procedure & point of use. Often, when a consumer encounters problems after hiring a company to treat their water, the issue can be traced back to inaccurate water analysis. Consider requiring Certification through WQA.org as a prerequisite to analyzing your water source.

Is it true all-rite has the only certified techs in IRC?

Yes, All-Rite Water has the ONLY WQA-certified water technicians in Indian River, Brevard, and Martin counties.

Thanks for answering my question earlier. I am now curious to know how iron is removed from the water.

Water readily dissolves iron from the earth’s deposits. As the iron-bearing water enters the house it is usually clear and colorless but with a distinct iron taste. After exposure to the air, the iron precipitates and leaves behind the unsightly reddish-brown stains on sinks, showers, tubs, and clothes. There are several ways to remove iron from water. The two most common types of equipment used are water conditioners (ion exchange) and oxidizing filters. For less severe applications, All-Rite Water Conditioning normally recommends the use of a well-designed water conditioner that employs effective counter-current brining and backwash cycles. For applications requiring heavy iron removal, a standalone iron filter system is required.

Is there an easy way to tell if I have iron water in my home?

Rust-colored stains on sinks, clothing, and linens indicate the presence of iron in the water. Iron can also form scale in pipes and water-using appliances, and make food, water, and water-using beverages look and smell bad. Iron is measured in parts per million (ppm). The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 provided a recommended Secondary Drinking Water Regulation which suggests limits of 0.3 ppm of iron. Even in concentrations as low as 0.3 ppm, iron can leave stains on sinks, dishes, and cooking utensils, and give the water an unpleasant metallic taste. Iron affects both the color and the flavor of foods and reacts with the tannins present in coffee, tea, and some alcoholic beverages to produce a black sludge which affects both taste and appearance. An early form of ink was made in a similar manner by mixing iron salts with tannins.

Thanks for answering my question about water softeners. Now I have a question about water conditioners. Do they add sodium to my water?

Yes, although the amount is negligible for most consumers and there are other alternatives, please ask for our brochure produced specifically for this subject. When water containing hardness minerals is passed through a water conditioner, the hardness minerals are exchanged for sodium. The amount of sodium added is dependent upon the hardness of the water being conditioned. If you like sodium-free water, we sell potassium chloride as a substitute for salt. The other option you have available to reduce your sodium intake is to purchase a drinking water system to remove sodium.

The authorities say my water is OK. Why do I need water treatment?

Local health and water department authorities only certify that water is potable. Water is deemed potable, or safe to drink, when and only when it is free of disease-causing organisms as well as toxic chemical contaminants. Water that is deemed potable does not necessarily mean that the water is palatable. To be palatable water must be free of detectable tastes and odors. It must also be free of turbidity as well as strong color. Tastes and odors can be traced to one or more of the following: decaying organic matter; living organisms; iron or manganese; the metallic products of corrosion, industrial waste pollution, and/or chlorination; and high mineral concentrations. Water quality is determined by its use, and there are three types of water to be considered. The first is called utility water. An example of utility water would be water used to sprinkle the lawn, fight fires, or as wash-down water in a food processing plant. Working water is another type that includes water for bathing and cleaning. Working water quality needs to be better than utility water since it needs to be free of contaminants that leave behind hardness deposits, stains, or cause an odor. The third type is water for drinking. Obviously, drinking water needs to be of the highest quality to eliminate any contaminants that cause taste and odor as well as any disease-causing organisms.

As stated earlier, I have an iron problem with water in my home. I was wondering why it is important to consume high-quality drinking water.

For years health experts have advised that drinking plenty of water is necessary for a healthier life. Since 70% of your body is made up of water and 85% of your brain’s gray matter is made up of water, the statement is true that ‘You are what you Drink!’ Imagine the benefit to you and your family if you drink filtered water every day.

I’m on a budget. If I need water treatment, is it expensive?

Not necessarily. In many cases, water treatment can actually save money. For example, conditioning water to eliminate hardness can reduce the cost of soap, lower the cost of heating hot water, increase the useful life of water-using appliances, and increase the life of clothes and linens (See FAQ “Why is hard water a problem?”). It might also eliminate the need to purchase bottled drinking water or the need to take clothes to the laundromat to avoid the staining caused by ironic water. The investment in water treatment equipment will, of course, depend on what is in your water. There are many Payment/Financing Options available, including financing tailored to fit almost any budget. In addition, there are low-cost alternatives available such as rental of automatic equipment as well as exchange tank service. In today’s environment, water treatment is not a luxury, it is a necessity that ensures the quality of life to which everyone aspires.

How can I find out what is in my water? Does it cost anything to find out what is in my water?

The easiest way to find out what is in your water is to call All-Rite Water at 772-617-8901 for a free water test. A trained technician will come to your home or business and conduct tests for hardness, iron, pH, sulfur, total dissolved solids & chlorine if applicable. They might also conduct tests for other constituents if they have reason to believe they are present. Additional flow and pressure tests will be performed on the water system to determine its operational capacity. After the tests are completed the consultant will explain the results and make recommendations for treatment if required. The entire procedure takes 30-45 minutes and is completely free.

I have signs of hard water in my house, such as rust stains in my sink. What exactly is hard water?

Hard water is caused by excessive levels of calcium and/or magnesium dissolved in water. The US Department of Interior classifies hardness based on the concentration of calcium and/or magnesium as measured in grains per gallon (gpg). To put this in perspective, a typical aspirin weighs about 5 grains (1 grain = 1/7000 pound). If the aspirin were dissolved in a gallon of water it would add 5 grains of aspirin to the water.

Why is hard water a problem? I’ve heard that hard water is a problem. What problems are hard water associated with?

Calcium and magnesium are the primary hard water minerals. Hard water reduces the ability of soaps to clean and produce suds, leaving a dingy gray residue on clothes, and spots on dishes. Hard water is more abrasive than soft water. The tiny mineral particles combine with soap curd or detergents to become like little pieces of rock pounding away at clothing fibers and fragile glassware. Over a period of time, the structural integrity of the product is weakened. This means glasses become etched and the life of clothing is reduced. Skin and hair are affected by hard water. A greater amount of shampoo and soap is needed to clean, and hard water doesn’t rinse as well as soft water. That means soap residues remain, leaving skin susceptible to blemishes and hair less shiny. Hard water is also tough on plumbing. It can cause scale to build on water heaters and pipes, limiting the water flow, reducing the life of the product, and increasing operating costs and maintenance on water-using appliances. Studies have shown that soft water saves time and money in the home.