Why should you treat your water?
End-users all over the world suffer from the consequences of poor water quality. Whether it is a private household, a factory, a commercial or medical process, everyone has their own expectations and desires on the requested water quality. When the incoming water supply does not meet these expectations, water treatment offers the solution to make your water fit to your demands.
The purpose of water treatment is to remove contaminants present in the water or reduce the concentration of such contaminants to make the water fit for its desired end-use. Depending on the incoming water quality and the end-user’s expectations, different kinds of water treatment can/must be applied.
In general we can say that the most common water quality problems are the following:
- Water hardness
- Iron and/or manganese
- Hydrogen sulfide
- Taste, color or odor
- Low pH
Water that falls down on the earth, in the form of rain, snow,… is by nature soft. When falling on the soil, the soft water either stays on the surface (rivers, channels,…) or penetrates into the earth. Very often the water is absorbed on places where the earth holds magnesium and calcium ions. When doing so the soft water will pick up these ions and will become hard!
When this hard water is used for your water supply (via a private well or the municipal water supply) it will enter your house or application, where it can cause several inconveniences, or even damages:
- Increased heating bills, by as much as 20%
- Decreased lifespan of domestic appliances such as washing machine, dishwasher, coffee machine, water heater,…
- Scale on showers, baths, sinks,…
- Increased use of detergents
- Skin problems and irritations
Iron and/or Manganese
Just like calcium and magnesium ions (water hardness), water which falls on the earth can also pick up iron and/or manganese ions. These typically appear in an invisible, dissolved state in the water, but once they are exposed to air, the dissolved iron/manganese ions are oxidized and will form insoluble particles!
When this water is used for your water supply it can cause several damages and inconveniences:
- Your water has a reddish/brownish color
- Your water tastes bad
- You have reddish/brownish or black stains on laundry, dishes, shower,…
Hydrogen sulfide is a gas that occurs naturally in groundwater and which is produced by the decomposition of organic material and by sulfur-reducing bacteria. Water, containing a high concentration of hydrogen sulfide will result in:
- A bad smell and taste of your water (often described as “rotten egg” smell/taste) and of food cooked in this water
- Discoloration and stains on silverware, kitchens, bathrooms,…
Taste, color or odor
Your incoming water can also contain certain organisms that substantially influence the taste, color or odor of the water. In most cases this is the result of an excess of chlorine. Though this is not harmful, the consequences, mainly on beverages, are not to be neglected.
The pH value of your water shows you the relation of hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in your water. It is important that the pH value of your water is high enough, because acid water (= water with low pH), also called aggressive water, leads to corrosion of metal surfaces, like brass, copper, steel, iron,..