I moved into a 54 year old house about a year ago. It's my first
encounter with well water as a home owner. Immediately after moving
in we replaced the shower head in the main bath. Four months later
the water flow was starting to really become distorted. In July I had
to replace a water supply line in the kitchen because of a pinhole
leak. We're using a lot of soap and running into all of the
traditional hard water symptoms. Persistent soap scum and mineral
deposits. So we thought we just needed a softener. We've met with
five water treatment firms and had a sixth send a proposal in the
mail. All found varying degrees of hardness 4-8 grains, but also
noticed pH from 6.5-6.9. The two most recent who measured pH at 6.5
and 6.6 recommended neutralizers as well as softeners. Actually one
recommended a softener plus a neutralizer, and another recommended a
combination unit which uses zeolite to control the ph and a seperate
resin tank to soften in a single unit.
We had the county come out to collect a water sample. They'll only
test for bacteria, hardness, pH, iron, but we're having another lab do
a comprehensive workup, to hopefully find out with some accuracy and
precision from an independent source who doesn't have a vested
interest in selling us treatment equipment.
In the meantime we're still evaluating softening and neutralizing
Does anyone have any thoughts on limestone acid neutralizers versus
chemical feed pumps (soda ash)? The limestone neutralizer would raise
our hardness in dealing with the pH issue so we'd be using more salt
and regenerate more often. Which is why the chemfeed pump looked more
attractive. Since we're on septic, I don't want to put any more salt
or waterinto the system than necessary. I'd dump it right out on the
lawn if I didn't think that it would kill the grass.
I liked the "no power requirement" and "no electronics to fail"
approach of Kinetico, but their higher cost made electronic demand
regen units from Rainsofta and Culligan look more attractive.
Rainsoft also has the perq of offering to replace our well tank (too
small and pretty old) and hot water heater (20+ yrs old) for us at the
same time. We'd been planning on replacing both, but wanted to do
everything at once.
Any advice appreciated. We've done lots of study online and from
books, but haven't found much info on what to do about the acid
situation. Thanks to all-
Sorry. I'm in Fairfax County in northern Virginia about 5 miles from
the Potomac river. It feels rural, but is totally surrounded by
suburbs of DC.
Thanks for the suggestion of the cooperative extension. I've used
them in the past with excellent results, but hadn't checked there yet.
These often are unique local conditions. I believe you are headed in
the right direction getting help from the local independent authorities.
I suggest checking with any local building inspection authorities and as
noted the extension office.
You can pretty easily raise the pH by about one half point (or more) by
bubbling air through the water stream at near atmospheric pressure. The
amount of air would need to be close to 1:1 (v/v). You could do this with
an injector/eductor/venturi (you pick the name you like), a
repressurization pump, and a degassing vessel. You'd need to be a little
careful how complex the system is downstream of the application of the air,
as some of your hardness will drop out after the CO2 is stripped, plating
on everything. There are companies that do this as a package, and
http://www.mazzei.net has some inexpensive injectors that will probably
match the output of your well pump (if you like to roll your own).
David A. Smith
Thanks for the suggestion. I did meet with a technician from the
public health department, who spent a good hour and a half answering
our basic questions about our well and septic systems and our water
quality. Most of the water treatment companies we spoke with
mentioned blue-green stains and hard water even before visiting to
take samples, suggesting that acidic and hard waters are ageneral
problem in our area. We'll be waiting for results of our independent
tests before implementing any remediation. We have a fair
understanding of what the test results may mean as far as action/no
action levels, but there are so many specific remediation options
available, with each vendor putting their own spin on why there's is
better, that we're not sure which way to go.
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