Water hardness is a measure of dissolved calcium and magnesium in water. Calcium and magnesium enter water through the weathering of rocks. The more calcium and magnesium in water, the harder the water.
The term “hardness” comes from the fact that it is hard to get soapsuds from soap or detergents in hard water. This happens because calcium and magnesium react strongly with negatively-charged chemicals like soap. As a result, hard water can reduce the effectiveness of your cleaning processes.
To reduce hardness in water you need a process called Ion Exchange. This process happens when one type of ion is exchanged for another. Salt based water softeners remove high concentrates of calcium and magnesium by replacing the minerals with sodium chloride. You can learn more about this process by looking into our water softeners.
Iron exists naturally in rivers, lakes and underground water sources. Rainwater as it infiltrates the soil and underlying rock formations dissolves iron, causing it to seep into our aquifers. Iron may also be released into water from industrial wastes, refining of iron ores, and corrosion of metals containing iron.
Depending on the iron, it can usually be removed by a whole house water filter designed to remove iron. Water that contains very low amounts of iron can sometimes be removed by a water softener. There are also additional “Rust Removers” you can add for an extra boost to remove iron from your systems.
Power of Hydrogen (pH)
pH is the measure of relative amounts of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in water. Basically meaning it is a measure of how acidic or basic your water is.
The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 with 7 being the neutral level. pH levels below seven are acidic, naturally soft and corrosive. pH levels above seven indicate healthy water, at least in the perspective of pH.
Low pH can dissolve metals from pipes and fixtures, such as lead, copper and zinc. Not only does it damage pipes but it can cause aesthetic problems such as a sour or metallic taste, laundry staining and blue-green stains in sinks, drains, toilets, showers, etc.
If your water is acidic (low pH) you can use a neutralizing filter containing calcite, ground limestone (calcium carbonate) or magnesia (magnesium oxide) to raise your pH levels.
Free Basic Water Testing
(Hardness, Iron and pH)
We specifically test for Coliform and E.Coli (a type of coliform) bacteria. The presence of either of these bacteria forms in drinking water suggests pathogens may be present. Pathogens are bacterium, viruses or other microorganisms that can cause disease.
If you get a positive result back from the water test you’re going to want to order a well shock. This is where we pour bleach into your wellhead and draw it into your home.
The bleach has to sit for a minimum of 12 hours, the longer the better, with no water use what so ever. Once the time has passed, either the homeowner or our service tech will flush the lines until the smell of bleach is gone.
Two to three weeks after the well shock we suggest you have a second bacteria test taken. If the test comes up with a second positive result, it’s probably time to look into a UV system.
There are eighteen common water contaminants, some of which include Arsenic (can be absorbed though the skin and is commonly found in NW Montana), Fluoride, Copper, Bacteria, Lead, Nitrates, and more.
Contaminants most often leak into our water systems from:
- – naturally occurring chemicals and minerals (arsenic, radon, uranium)
- – Local land use practices (fertilizer, livestock, pesticides)
- – Manufacturing processes
- – Sewer overflows
- – Malfunctioning waste water treatment systems
We always suggest having your water tested annually for bacteria and any contaminants found in your local area.
There are different ways to treat and filter out any contaminants but the most successful treatment option that filters out most every water contaminant (does not include bacteria) is Reverse Osmosis.
These systems fit neatly under your kitchen sink for safe drinking and cooking water. You can read about these systems by clicking below.