Well & Problem Waters
Well water is untreated water that comes straight from an underground aquifer. Approximately 15% of the US population relies on individually owned sources of drinking water, such as wells, cisterns, and springs.
The majority of household wells are found in rural areas. Water quality from household wells is the responsibility of the homeowner. While well water is generally safe to use, it may contain one or more of the following problems:
Bacteria, viruses, and cysts
Hydrogen Sulfide (rotting egg smell)
Iron (orange staining)
Microbial and organic contaminants can't always be detected through sight, smell or taste. You might go years before realizing a problem exists.
Although some waterborne microbes can cause illness, many microbes are harmless or even beneficial. Very small levels of microbes are naturally present in many water supplies, but some are more dangerous than others. Some of the more dangerous microbial contaminants, such as E. coli, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium, can cause gastrointestinal problems and flu-like symptoms commonly attributed to undercooked or improperly stored food. They include:
There are two main treatments to take care of bacteria growth in your well. You can treat with either UV light or Ozone Treatment. The best option can be spec’d based on use and volume of the well.
Bacteria are single-celled organisms lacking well-defined nuclear membranes and other specialized functional cell parts which reproduce by cell division or spores. Bacteria may be free-living organisms or parasites. Bacteria (along with fungi) are decomposers that break down the wastes and bodies of dead organisms, making their components available for reuse. Bacterial cells range from about 1 to 10 microns in length and from 0.2 to 1 micron in width. They exist almost everywhere on earth. Some bacteria are helpful to humans, while others are harmful.
Viruses are parasitic infectious microbes, composed almost entirely of protein and nucleic acids, which can cause disease(s) in humans. Viruses can reproduce only within living cells. They are 0.004 to 0.1 microns in size, which is about 100 times smaller than bacteria.
Cysts are capsules or protective sacs produced by many protozoans (as well as some bacteria and algae) as preparation for entering a resting or a specialized reproductive stage. Similar to spores, cysts tend to be more resistant to destruction by disinfection. Fortunately, protozoan cysts are typically 2 to 50 microns in diameter and can be removed from water by fine filtration.
Low levels of sodium and chloride (salt) occur naturally in groundwater. Salting roads during the winter months and other human activities can increase sodium and chloride levels.
While salt is necessary for the human body to function properly, increased sodium levels can have an adverse effect on human health and the taste/quality of well water.
High sodium levels in drinking water can be problematic for those on low or limited salt diets. Elevated sodium levels also impact house plants and together with chloride, can corrode plumbing.
Chloride can cause plumbing corrosion problems in pipes, pumps, hot water heaters and fixtures. High chloride levels can also indicate sewage contamination.
The maximum contaminant level (MCL) for total dissolved solids (TDS) is 500.
When elevated sodium is present in well water, there is only one treatment - reverse osmosis.
Hydrogen Sulfide (Rotten Egg Smell)
Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas that exists naturally in some groundwater. Sulfur-reducing bacteria present use sulfur as an energy source, chemically changing sulfates into hydrogen sulfide, and giving your water a distinct rotten egg smell.
Hydrogen sulfide levels vary from location to location based on the geology of the region. Hydrogen sulfide is most commonly found in shales and sandstones can be associated with hydrocarbons and peat formations.
The occurrence of hydrogen sulfide gas has been correlated to groundwater with low pH and groundwater with high levels of iron and/or manganese.
The most efficient way to treat hydrogen sulfide is to use a backwashing filter with a water softener head that pulls air into the tank to oxidize the H2S in the water and holds in the tank until the time of backwash.
Iron (Orange Staining)
Discoloration usually results from the exposure of these iron to oxygen, known as oxidation. In your plumbing, water often has limited exposure to oxygen, keeping any soluble (ferrous) iron or manganese in solution. Once these metals come out of a faucet and are exposed to the air, oxidation occurs and chemical reactions may cause them to form a substance that creates visible staining.
Staining may result from water with very low concentrations of these metals: 0.3 parts per million (ppm) of iron or 0.05 ppm of manganese. This is why water that leaves stains on plumbing fixtures may appear clear when coming out of the tap.
Some specific kinds of bacteria, which can cause discoloration, thrive in iron- and manganese-rich water. While these bacteria may not be harmful to the human body, they can clog pipes and affect flow rates in a home's plumbing and appliances.
There are a few treatment options available, but the most efficient is using a backwashing filter with a water softener head that pulls air into the tank to oxidize the hydrogen sulfide in the water and holds in the tank until time of backwash.
Hardness - Calcium & Magnesium Scale Deposits
Hard water is a common quality of water which contains dissolved compounds of calcium and magnesium and, sometimes, other divalent and trivalent metallic elements.
The term hardness was originally applied to waters that were hard to wash in, referring to the soap wasting properties of hard water. Hardness prevents soap from lathering by causing the development of an insoluble curdy precipitate in the water; hardness typically causes the buildup of hardness scale (such as seen in cooking pans). Dissolved calcium and magnesium salts are primarily responsible for most scaling in pipes and water heaters and cause numerous problems in laundry areas, kitchens, and bathrooms. Hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon (gpg) or parts per million (ppm) as calcium carbonate equivalent.
Hard water scale is removed using a water softener that uses an ion exchange process.
Sediments are naturally occurring particles that develop as sand, rocks, minerals, and organic particles of plants and microbes are broken down.
Sediments can appear in well water as cloudiness or color that may or may not settle on the bottom.
Dissolved solids are sediment that develops from clear water only after exposure to air.
Sediment can contain the following:
Bacteria, viruses, and protozoa
Pollutants such as fertilizers and pesticides
Dissolved metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic
Sediment can enter your water supply in a variety of ways:
Recently drilled water wells take time to settle
Built-up sediment in older wells and those drilled in loose bedrock can be pumped out
Damaged or degraded well components (casings, screens, and seals)
Organic matter that build up on well components
Whole House Water Filtration & Softening
In-home water treatment provides the final barrier to prevent contaminants or health hazards from being ingested by you, a family member or pet. It can also address the impurities that lend an unattractive taste, smell, or appearance to your drinking water.
The staff at Texas Water House have over 75 years of experience treating water in North Texas, and several members of the company serve on the board of directors for the Texas Water Quality Association (TWQA).
Our main focus is treating the water coming into your home and creating the purest and best quality water you can get - just like it was intended to be by mother nature.