Imagine that you’re at the tail end of a summer afternoon gardening session. You’ve spent hours weeding, pruning, watering, and digging in your backyard. As you’re giving one last look over your handywork, you’re only thinking about two things: that celebratory glass of water and a nice shower. You shake out the dirt in your pockets, head to the kitchen, fill up a tall glass of water from the tap, take a big swig and…something’s not quite right. Your tap water tastes terrible. Ignoring it for a moment, you decide to just shower off because that always helps you think better. With a bad taste in your mouth, you notice your shower faucet often has a white scale build-up that is difficult to remove. Is it time you finally treated your water?
Is My Drinking Water Okay?
There are two problems going on in your house. Naturally, you think that the water that is going into your body should take precedence. While many of us expect our drinking water to be consistently free from impurities and imperfections, the reality can be much different. At any given time, there are several factors that can affect the quality of your drinking water, ranging from your water supply’s source, whether it be a public system or a private well, to the quality of the plumbing that your drinking water travels through to reach your tap. These factors can affect the taste, appearance, and even the safety of your home’s drinking water if not addressed. Regardless of the cause, bad tasting and bad looking drinking water can make us wary when filling up a glass from the tap and make us ask the question: Is my water okay to drink?
Municipalities regulate and treat their water supply for contaminants and impurities, but recent news stories about the failures of some public works can make trusting the quality of our drinking water that much more difficult. What steps can we take to make sure that we’re consuming the highest quality, safest drinking water we can?
Maybe you get most of your drinking water from the dispenser in your fridge or use a water filter pitcher before consuming water from your tap. In both cases, an activated carbon filter is used to attract and remove certain contaminants, including the ones that affect the look and taste of your drinking water. This leaves behind a seemingly clear and perfect glass of water, but it may not be completely absent of contaminants. While these filters often work well with removing the taste and odor from some water, most are not able to capture and remove certain harmful contaminants, such as PFAS. The relatively short amount of time that the water spends passing through these smaller carbon filters may also not fully eliminate all odor and taste issues, especially on more difficult water.
Replacing or supplementing your home’s drinking water with bottled water is a solution, but the cost, inconvenience, and heavy environmental impact of discarded plastic bottles makes this a less than ideal fix. In addition, bottled water regulations are about on par with the EPA’s standards on tap water, meaning that your Poland Springs or Deer Park bottles might be using water very similar to what you can find in your home’s tap. Those images of crystal clear, glacier-fed artesian water sources on water bottle labels are far from the truth. Many bottled water brands have even been subject to recalls due to safety concerns of E.Coli or high arsenic contamination.
How Would Hard Water Affect My Home?
Unsure of a certain solution, your mind moves to the next problem: that obvious build up on your faucets. Chances are you have hard water which means it has a lot of minerals like calcium and magnesium in it. Water collects these minerals from the ground while traveling to your home. Excess amounts of these minerals are harmful to household items such as plumbing, appliances, and other surfaces that come in contact with hard water. Some of the specific areas to watch for if you think you might have hard water are your plumbing, water heaters, kitchen appliances and dishes.
As hard water flows through your plumbing system, it reacts with the linings of your pipes. This leaves behind mineral deposits and scaling that will eventually clog the plumbing system. Faucets, valves, and shower heads often become clogged with deposits as well. It will also stick to the soaps! The calcium in the water will mix with soaps to form a thick, sticky curd-like substance we know as soap scum. It sticks to your showers, sinks, and even your hair and skin when you bathe. This dries our bodies leaving your hair frizzy and your skin itchy.
When you have hard water, mineral deposits from inside the tank and on the heating elements of water heaters. These mineral deposits and the scaling form an insulating barrier between the heating element and water, which significantly reduces the efficiency of the water heater and increases the cost of heating your water. The prolonged buildup will even do damage that requires replacing the unit.
Dishwashers, coffee makers, and washing machines are prone to the mineral buildup that can really drag them down. As the minerals build-up, the efficiency of the heating element reduces and the time needed to heat the water increases. If the heating cycle is on a timer, it may never reach the appropriate temperature. This layer of scale can cause the heating element to burn out, reducing the lifespan of the appliance.
Glassware, silverware, and your other dishes also suffer from hardness. Not only does water with high mineral content leave a residue, but it is also like sandblasting your dishes over time. Surfaces appear cloudy and rough instead of the smooth and shiny pieces you fell in love within the store.
The Sweet Solution
If you’ve noticed any of these issues in your home, the best thing you can do is call a water treatment professional (we recommend Kel Tren). Within a few days, we can test your water and let you know exactly what’s going on, and what we can do to fix it, for good.
The perfect home solution for the best, most convenient drinking water comes in the form of a process called reverse osmosis (RO). A reverse osmosis treatment unit “polishes” water through a multi-stage filtration process that reduces bothersome contaminants that affect the smell, look, and taste of your water. In addition, an RO unit also reduces more harmful contaminants, such as lead and arsenic.
A reverse osmosis unit has a small footprint and can be installed easily in most homes. It is often installed beneath a kitchen sink or in a discrete and accessible location and is connected to its own dedicated faucet. These faucets come available in a large variety of colors and styles and are designed to match and compliment your kitchen. Once installed, you and your family will have quick and convenient access to the high quality, pure drinking water that you expect in your home.
You can solve all of your hard water woes with a worry-free water softener. Our CareSoft® series softeners will efficiently remove the calcium, magnesium, and iron minerals in your water to protect your home and family. A water softener removes all the chemicals that make showering and washing dishes a bigger inconvenience than it needs to be. Available as a CareSoft Elite, CareSoft Pro, or regular CareSoft model, we have the perfect fit for your needs.
If you find yourself questioning the water coming from your faucets or if you simply want better tasting, better-looking drinking water for your home, the first step is calling a professional to test your drinking water. Depending on the results of your water test, WaterCare offers an innovative line of products that provide pure, refreshing and high quality “polished” water that treats the base problems in your home. To get started, call us today!