Did you know that water chemistry can differ greatly between municipalities and even within the same town? The reason: different areas have different water sources.
The only way to know your home’s unique water chemistry and which water treatment options are right for you is to have a water test done. A good water test will look closely at seven distinct factors:
Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon. It represents the amount of dissolved calcium, magnesium and/or limestone found in your raw tap water. If you have scale build-up on your bathroom fixtures and find them difficult to clean, this is a hallmark of a hard water problem. This scale also builds up in your appliances and water heater, and the result is compromised efficiency and a shorter life span. Many also notice that their hair, skin and nails are dry.
Water that has iron in it is easy to identify; it tends to leave rust-coloured stains in your sink, toilet and tub. The water that comes out of your tap might even have a yellow or brown tinge to it or a metallic taste or smell—this is how you know you have “red water” iron. If over time you see staining on your bathroom fixtures, you likely have “clear water” iron. Iron isn’t just a nuisance in terms of look or taste, it can build up inside your pipes and cause long-term damage.
3. pH level
Is your water acidic or basic? Its pH level determines this. The higher the number, the more basic your water; the lower the number, the higher the level of acidity. Water pH levels can affect the proper functioning of water treatment systems, so this is important information when trying to determine the right system for your home.
4. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
The TDS found in your raw tap water indicates how much organic and inorganic material is present. Solids can include sodium, potassium, sulphate, nitrates, chloride, calcium and magnesium. TDS levels are considered one of the key indicators of water quality; as they drop, water quality tends to improve.
For drinking, cleaning and bathing, the clearer your water, the more appealing it is. Water clarity should always be analyzed directly from the faucet. For larger water volumes, such as water from a well or a water storage tank, clarity is measured by the depth (in centimetres) that can be clearly viewed.
Several factors can cause unpleasant odours in your water. Too much iron will create a metallic odour, while elevated levels of hydrogen sulphide will produce a rotten egg smell. While such odours are certainly unappealing, most do not actually indicate harmful water conditions.
Water should appear as pure and clear as possible, without any colour, though often it can be tinted by minerals or other factors. If your water appears brown or rusty in colour, which is a common complaint, be sure to have it tested.
Water Depot offers comprehensive—and complimentary—in-home or in-store water testing. When a water treatment expert visits your home, they will determine your family’s water demand, based on the number of people who live there and the estimated number of gallons of water used per person per day.
They will also assess your plumbing to confirm the size of your pipes, the location of your drains, and the age of your plumbing, as well as determine the optimal location to install your water treatment equipment. They will inspect your plumbing for the presence of galvanized pipes or fittings, leaky or damaged piping, old unnecessary equipment or any other issue that may not meet applicable plumbing and drinking water standards.