Well water treatment - softener, cartridge, UV?


I am in the process of purchasing a home and have received a water quality test result showing a colliform of 9 and e. coli of 0. The home currently has a water softener. I have a few questions based upon some research and assumptions:
I am assuming that drinking softened water is not safe because of the increased sodium content. Thoughts?
My original thinking was that the best installation method would be:
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However, I have seen that the recommended position to install the UV disinfection device is after all other treatment (filter and softener.) I can't be the only person in this position.
What has worked for others?
Thanks
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OK, that ascii image didn't work so hot. What I was trying to show was a split after the UV, send hard water to a faucet at the kitchen sink for drinking, send remaining through the softener and to all remaining fixtures in the home.
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Pretty much harmless. Do a search on this group and you will find discusssions about it as recent as last week.

I don't know much about the UV, but I'd want it after the filter as the filter itself can harbor bacteria. I'd rely on the advice of a good water treatment company.
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I agree.

You want it after the filter, because the UV doesn't work well on unfiltered water. The bacteria 'hide' behind particles of sediment, and don't get exposure to the UV.
Kelly
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wrote:

I do every day activities with softened water. I mean every thing (front tooth), showers, cooking, and so on. It is safe.
Try potassium instead of sodium.

Oren
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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I have well water. All my domestic water goes through the UV, and then the softener, except that water going to exterior hose bibs is not softened... no point in softening water for watering the lawn.... costs no more to treat one thousand gallon or one gallon with the UV since it's on all the time. For drinking I use an RO (reverse osmossis filter), which is not softened. However a properly functioning water softener does not add enough salt to matter... I use the RO because that water tastes better... that water also is prefiltered with particulate and charcoal elements. One of the main reasons for soft water is to save all household fixtures from accumulating mineral deposits, and makes for much easier cleaning, especially in dishwashers and clothes washers. The cost of salt is negligible, costs less than the money you'll save on cleaning products.
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Don't know. I have a well but have not tested water and don't treat except for sediment filter.
But, I wonder what actual bacterial specs are. We don't like to think that we are drinking any bacteria but I doubt if specs are zero. You might try googling EPA specs for drinking water. Let us know what you find.
Another route would be just to discuss with someone that sells water treatment systems and ask about specs.
Frank
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Is the property anywhere near farms? If yes, did the water test look for some of the most common pesticides & herbicides? If not, go back to square one. A friend of mine just had her well water analyzed by a lab that does NOT sell filtering equipment, and it's a horror show, apparently.
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You want to put the UV filter after the softener. The main reason for this is so the scale from the hard water that accumulates, also accumulates on the UV bulb. This reduces the effectiveness of the UV light, and it doesn't kill the bacteria the way it's supposed to.
Either way, be prepared to replace the bulb once a year to keep it fresh. Just like when you only replace on bulb on your car and it's much brighter than the old one, the UV isn't as strong over time, so the bulb needs to be replaced.
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Darryl wrote:

I split the water line after the meter. Untreated water goes to the outdoor faucets since they're used primarily for irrigation and dog washing in warm weather (in winter they get washed in the laundry tub). Softener runs on KCl -- costs more but it just doesn't make sense to add sodium to the water then have to take diuretics to push the excess out the kidneys (plus I tend to run low on potassium in general). Drinking water goes through countless filters and a reverse osmosis membrane before being piped to the special faucet in the kitchen and the ice-maker in the refrigerator.
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If you haven't bought the house yet then make the seller fix or replace the well. Don't bother with the UV light unless the aquifer is contaminated and you really want to live in that neighborhood. At least in my area, this is the seller's problem.
Make sure the final clean water sample is taken by someone other than the seller. It's worth paying the testing company to send one of their people out to take the sample.
-rev

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And make sure the testing company doesn't sell water treatment equipment. The state's environmental department can probably recommend some "just plain laboratories" that will do the testing.
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The UV must be last in line so it gets the highest quality water or it will fail. All UV lights have a minimum water quality requirement or they are not to be used. Things like hardness, iron, TDS, manganese, H2S, turbidity etc. are limited.
Th invisible 254.7 nm UV-C wave length light decreases over time, not the visible light you might see on some UVs. Do not look directly at the light form any UV, it will damage your eyes and you'll never feel it. No bare skin exposure either, it will be the worst 'sunburn' you've ever had or seen. UV lamps/bulbs rarely burn out but have a usable life of 9000-10000 hours continuous operation or 2 years non continuous operation. No fingerprints etc. on the quartz sleeve or the lamp. When you service a UV light, you must sanitize/disinfect it and all plumbing past the light.
The formula to find how much sodium is added by ion exchange softening is 7.85 (mg/l) times the compensated hardness of the water. Compensated hardness is ((4*iron) + (2*manganese)) +gpg hardness. I.E. 25 gpg*7.856.25. Most people will have 15 gpg or less hardness in their water. A slice of white bread has 140-160 mg of sodium. A glass of V-8 juice 560. Skim milk 530 etc.. And remember, the 196 or 118 mg is per liter, roughly a quart of your softened water. How much of your water do you drink? So, it is always better to soften all th ewater in the house because you get few if any benefits by drinking hard water.
Some people use salt substitute potassium chloride. No cation resin is made in the potassium form, only the sodium form. So potassium is less efficient and depending on your salt dose effeciency, you will have to increase the salt dose up to 30% to get the same K of capacity from the resin.
Labs sell water tests. So be careful of being sold more tests than you need. And who knows water treatment needs better than a water trewatment dealer? Those lab folks are salespeople too.... and when you hear the price, think of their costs to do the tests. I can do a Coliform bacteria test for a cost of <$2.00, although I don't do testing of any kind anymore, as an independent water treatment dealer, I did for 17 years (until 3 years ago). Hardness, iron, manganese, chlorides, sulfates, pH, copper, etc. cost me less than $6.00 and 35 minutes including the report. And labs get a much lower price for the chemicals etc. than me.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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Gary,
I understand how turbidity can affect UV effectiveness... but why do do hardness, etc.?
Kelly
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Because mineral content is not necessarily dissolved, it consists in large part of minute particulates in suspension, in effect forms a cloud that blocks the UV... there should always be a proper particulate filter immediately after the well and prior to any and all treatment apparatus... not removing particulates previously will also drastically reduce the life span/effectiveness of water softeners, RO membranes, and other filtration devices such as charcoal odor filters.
Manufacturers of UV equipment can explain how UV water treatment works: http://www.home-water-purifiers-and-filters.com/whole-house-ultraviolet.php
I have two homes on my property (two wells), both with UV treatment, softener and other filtration mediums... I have servicing performed by a professional, I discovered it costs about half the price of doing it myself and I get a much better job... there are many little details involved that the ordinary homeowner would not know about, especially pertaining to disinfecting. Servicing both systems costs me just under $200 a year, labor and materials... and all work and equipment is guaranteed.. it's conforting to know that I can call 24/7 for any problem, even to repair a leak. And UV lamps are kind of costly (about $50 each), so if I damage one then it's on me, if the lamp fails under service replacement costs me nothing... and it's easy to damage a lamp. My systems also have a UV alarm, first time it went off scared the crap out of me... didn't know it was the UV alarm.
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The question was why a softener...
Hard water in a UV will form scale on the quartz sleeve because of the heat in the UV. The scale will prevent the invisible UV-C wave length light from penetrating into the water and the light can not work. Iron, manganese, H2S gas etc. all convert to a particle inside the UV and block the transmittance of the light through the quartz into the water reducing the dose of UV, which prevents the light from working.
As to DIYers maintaining their own equipment. If you want to be a DIYer, anyone can maintain their UV light, softener, filters etc. with simple common household tools; except for Fleck control valves, you need special Fleck tools. Installation is very simple and straight forward plumbing. I include very in depth detailed instructions with all the equipment I sell, and I sell at least one softener or other large piece of equipment per day every day of the month to DIYers that assemble, setup, install and maintain the equipment themselves as opposed to paying service call charges and inflated parts and equipment prices of a local dealer.
All that equipment has the same warranty as if I or any other dealer sold and installed and maintained it (or not). UV lamps are 1 year, the rest of the warranty on a light will vary up to 7 years. If you drop and break a lamp, you should be responsible for its replacement... That is not a warranty problem!
I sold a class A 12 gpm UV light yesterday with a spare quartz sleeve, a clear housing prefilter with PR and a wrench delivered for $586.00. He also has 8-10 ppm of Nitrate, so he bought a 2.5 cuft softener with a Clack WS1 control and by-pass valve and 2.0 cuft of cation (softening) resin and 1/2 cuft of Nitrate specific anion resin delivered for $1150. Resin for Nitrate removal is very expensive.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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