well water vs public water - cost

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Better in what way?
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water is softened with salt and the Na+ can be really high in areas with hard water. hard on plants. Ingrid
On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 12:25:31 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

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OK. I wondered what you meant. Most well water here has to be softened, or it's useless, so well water is NOT always the better choice, which seems to be what you were saying.
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it is useless for washing hair, clothes, maybe even drinking. but the harder the water, the higher the Na+ content, so that some people are told to RO the water if they have high blood pressure. I was told about somebody having real trouble with their goldfish, turned out their "salt" content was so high in the softened water it was stressing the fish out. calcium is a pain in flower pots, but here in Wisconsin everything in my mothers garden grew fabulously well on well water. Ingrid
On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 18:35:49 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom" <

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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

Nonsense... you make it sound like softeners produce brine. A properly functioning water softener puts no more salt into water than exists in the water before softening, in fact water softeners usually produce water with a lower salt content than contaned by the hard water before softening, in removing minerals it also removes salt. The salt used in the softening process does not enter the domestic water supply, that salt is eliminated in another direction as grey water. If any salt does end up in dometic water it is so miniscule a concentration as to be negligible and has absolutely no more effect on plants than rain water... there is more salt contained in bottled water. There is plenty of info available on this topic.
http://www.wqa.org/sitelogic.cfm?IDC1
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wrote:

Maybe, but softened water sure tastes like crap. Of course, this statement is based only on my experience in about 15 homes, two of which just had softeners installed by professionals.
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Well, then you can only discuss those two homes with softeners... I've no idea how those other thirteen homes fit into this discussion about water softeners since those have none... perhaps you thought by injecting larger numbers, regardless how meaningless, you'd appear more of an expert, NOT! Actually has just exactly the opposite effect, proves that you know nothing.
As an aside most water softeners installed are of an inferiour quality and/or installed incorrectly. People who contract with the usual national brand water service companies typically get ripped off. You are much better off having your water softening system installed by an independant, the honest ones will refuse to service by contract, instead they will contact you once each year to set up a service call... anyone who guarantees your well water quality is as much a con artist as a medical professional who guarantees your health, both are charlatans.
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wrote:

They all taste like crap in the same way.
As far as "independent" vs the word I used, "professional", I now need you to tell me who installed the softeners in the two aforementioned homes.
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Softeners does not purify the water, therefore drinkable. I believe they remove some minerals like iron and manganese, but does not remove all forms of minerals or other stuff like biologicals. For Drinkable well water most need a filtration or steam distillation system.
I do not know if soften water is better or worse for plants. Soften water might be better than a very high hard line for plants.
However, my soften water does taste horrible ack! yucky. My RO water, pure distilled is tasteless, drinkable but not as good as bottled spring water with a few extra vitamins and minerals added. I use RO for coffee and cooking. I buy bottled spring water for drinking, mmmmm aahh goood :)
hmmmm :)

I have never tasted crap so I would not know if soften water taste that way. However, Joe have you really really really ... tasted crap? :)
I bet you never use that phrase again :)
Enjoy Life ..... Dan
--
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.

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wrote:

Your cleverness is...well.... zzzzzzzzzzz..............
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correct, softeners do not purify the water. I just paid for the required once every 5 year well water quality test done, mostly for bacteria. Any hint of E.coli and the well must be bleached. E.coli is an indication that animal waste is seeping down into the well. the well is ONLY used outdoors for watering, but it cannot be contaminated anyway. we have an iron filter BEFORE the softening unit ... and this is for city water which is also from deep wells. In addition, this house has an RO unit for drinking water to lower the amount of Na+ ions.
evidently softening is prohibited in some areas due to the impact on the ecosystem of such sodium laced discharge. Ingrid
On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 19:21:17 -0400, "Dan L."

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I like smart people, ingrid is smart :) I can learn from Ingrid ....
Thanks for backing me up and adding common sense to this world. My chemistry and gardening knowledge is weak, that is why I scan this newsgroup. Mathematics, Physics and computer sciences are my strengths. However, I am becoming more interested in plant biology.
Enjoy Life .... Dan
snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

--
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.

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thankew, thankew, thankew.... yes, I am a microbiologist, I just ended up in the Physics dept, and the course I teach has a heavy use of computers... LOL. Ingrid
On Mon, 17 Sep 2007 18:17:05 -0400, "Dan L."

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On Sep 17, 9:20?am, snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

When bacteria is present just shocking a well with chlorine is not good enough, UV (Ultra Violet) treatment is also necessary (and testing should be conducted often, at least once a year, more often if small children, the aged and any with immune dificiency are present). Also the hot water heater needs periodic cleaning and shocking, the tepid water at the bottom of the tank along with all the sediment that accumulates creates the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish... the unit needs to be turned off and the tank needs to be shocked and flushed several times. If there are any old fashioned expansion tanks those require service too but really the system needs to be modernized, anytime there is stagnant water a problem will arise.
I've lived with well water most of my life, only a few times for short duration did I have city water. With well water a little common sense goes a long way, and well water is not free, dollars need to be spent on proper maintenence... bleach is cheap, UV lamps are expensive.... bleach is very temporary, UV is constant. I use both... I wouldn't live with well water that wasn't UV treated. All the air in my house is UV treated too.
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wrote:

You never saw me say that, so I assume you were replying to someone else. Might be time to back up your reader's message files, and do some maintenance. It seems to be threading the messages incorrectly.
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incorrect. softeners do use a brine to exchange calcium for sodium ions. they are not environmentally friendly either.
"As the water passes through both kinds of resin, the hardness ions replace the sodium or potassium ions which are released into the water. The "harder" the water, the more sodium or potassium ions are released from the resin and into the water."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_softener "A water softener reduces the calcium or magnesium ion concentration in hard water. These "hardness ions" cause three major kinds of problems. The metal ions react with soaps and calcium sensitive detergents, hindering their ability to lather properly and forming an unsightly precipitate the familiar scum or "bathtub ring". Presence of "hardness ions" also inhibits the cleaning effect of detergent formulations. More seriously, calcium and magnesium carbonates tend to adhere to the surfaces of pipes and heat exchanger surfaces. The resulting scale build-up can restrict water flow in pipes.....
Conventional water-softening devices intended for household use depend on an ion-exchange resin in which "hardness" ions trade places with sodium ions that are electrostatically bound to the anionic functional groups of the polymeric resin. .....
The water to be treated passes through a bed of the resin. Negatively-charged resins absorb and bind metal ions, which are positively charged. The resins initially contain univalent sodium or potassium ions, which exchange with divalent calcium and magnesium ions in the water. This exchange eliminates precipitation and soap scum formation."
Ingrid

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I agree. the "saltiness" of table salt NaCl is due to the chloride ion, Cl- ... and saltiness can be increased by adding a bit of acid, like lemon juice or vinegar. similarly, the saltiness can be lessened with a pinch of baking soda which brings the pH down. Ingrid
On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 02:29:48 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"
softened water sure tastes like crap. Of course, this statement

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Can only tell you about my case. Live near a small town with a municipal water supply run by a corporation. I do not have access to that water due to the distance from that town. The corporation uses a community billing method. That is, every resident receives that same identical bill each month. The typical water bill is around $68.00 per month. Have seen it climb as high as $230.00.
Live in an all-electric home, including the water pump for the water well. My highest electric bill this year was $110.00 last month for this year. Last year, was $148.00. I have no other source of water. I live in central TX. Am single, 2 year old 3 bedroom home 1260 sq ft., thermostat 80F summer/65F winter. Ceiling fans in a 3 bedrooms/living area/dining area. AC compressor is SEER 12. House doesn't receive direct sun until after 9:00 a.m. due to tree stand in the east. The pump is a 220VAC version, that's all I know about that part of it. The water source is 550 feet deep in the earth. In the last year of the drought (last year), the water was exceptionally high in anaerobic matter. This year, been relatively low.
Water quality is always an issue. The well water here is high in hydrogen sulfide, use an aeration/flush system for that. Requires zero maintenance. If it wasn't there my pipes would be corroding as a result, the toilet bowl would be black, and the house would stink of rotten egg smell. The water also contains matter that is similar to moss. I use a sediment filter followed by a carbon filter for that. Sediment filter changed once a month is cheap, carbon filter changed every 3 months is not cheap. All filter systems are housed in an outbuilding I constructed on a slab. My water filtration house, if you will. Further, for drinking water, use a carbon filter pitcher that I fill daily and put in the refrigerator. The water is high in minerals, so I need to install a water softener system as well. It stains the glasses/pots/pans/tableware with a white substance after drying normally or in dishwasher. More so in dishwasher, am not using drying cycle. Its probably affecting the hot water heater as well. Washing the car or truck has same problem.
Water usage is probably not in par with most people. I have a small yard that I irrigate if the weather doesn't cooperate. I do draw a bathe once a week, shower on other days. Fill a 12" deep X 4' diameter kiddy solid plastic wading pool for the dogs once a month. A small 12"X12' garden plot. Other water usage is typical washer usage for one person, dishwasher, bath and kitchen sink, toilet. The water used on the outside water faucets is not filtered.
I stopped performing irrigation last year around end of August 2006 on yard. Was unsure of water reserves on my well source. A few people in the area did run out of water in their wells. Typical water wells in area run from 200 to 1100 feet deep. Believe the dry wells were shallow.
For purposes of your specific question I believe you're asking if there is a definite difference between cost of municipal water supply and electricity for our water well pump to provide same amount of water. Look at your water bill, see the billing period. Open the breaker on the pump, use municipal water one period. The following billing period, use the well water. Be consistent in garden water usage as you can during both periods. Not real accurate, but guessing will show a difference. Another way, kill all breakers except the water well pump. Record the electric meter reading. Go water the garden normally. Record the electric meter reading. Subtract the last reading from the first, this is KW usage. Multiply that by your KW charge by your electric supplier. That is the actual cost in terms of electrical usage. Dave
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If the well pump is working properly then it should not cost alot to run. If you are not sure you can have a plumber check it out. We noticed our well pump running alot more than it should and one day it finally quit. It probably had not been working properly for a while before we noticed there was anything wrong. We had it replaced and our electric bills were quite a bit less following the replacement. Just my opinion but I think we pay less for our elctricity for the pump than my others pay for municipal water. But there are more factors to consider than my unscientific opinion. Marilyn

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Marilyn wrote:

Electricity is a minor cost. Couple of months ago, my pump went too and cost ~$1,600 to have replaced. That's the 2nd one replaced and add cost of whole house filter and 2 new pressure tanks. But, this is over a 30 year period and all in all having a well is less cost than buying water. Same calculations can be done for septic and it comes out cheaper. Rough calculations based on friends bills on water and sewer show I'm saving maybe 50%.
Frank
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