Expensive water problems; 4-8gpg hard; 6.6-6.9pH

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 options. 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- -jp
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jp1900 wrote:

It would be really helpful to tell what area of the country you are in. If it were me, I would go to the county agent (agriculture extension agent) and see what kind of information they have.
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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. -jp
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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.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Ideas? This isn't my specialty.-Jitney
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Ideas? This isn't my specialty.-Jitney
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Dear jp1900:
...

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
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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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