Water Treatment Equipment
Foul smell, funky taste, bad colour – these are only some of the problems associated with a contaminated water supply. Another issue is the mineral scale build up that may lessen the efficiency of your plumbing fixtures and other water-using appliances.
To address these problems, you need good water treatment equipment. However, before you invest in one, there are a few considerations first.
- Identify the contaminants in your water supply.
There are many different types of contaminants found in water. Some are organic. Some are inorganic. Some are chemical-based. Some are composed of minerals. Some are extremely harmful. Some are naturally-occurring and are not normally hazardous, even in high amounts.
The type of water treatment equipment you choose should depend on the type of water contaminants in your home. Since the different treatment systems vary in their effectiveness according to the type of contaminants, you need a water treatment system that suits your particular needs.
2. Distinguish point of use devices from point of entry water treatment equipment.
The water treatment industry is a huge business. Various water treatment products are available in the market, each of which is touting claims of producing the “purest” and “cleanest” water.
Of course, you know by now that these claims are for the most part misguided since there is no such thing as truly pure water. All of them contain contaminants. The only question left is whether these contaminants are dangerous to your health and whether they adversely affect the colour, taste, and smell of your water.
The water treatment equipment available in the market is divided into two broad categories – point of use and point of entry devices. Point of use means that the water treatment equipment treats only certain parts of water in the home, usually that coming out of a single tap. On the other hand, point of entry devices treat all the water distributed in the home. At this point, choosing the right water treatment equipment depends on personal choice.
3. Types of Water Treatment Equipment
Here is a list of the different types of water treatment equipment you might encounter:
- Activated Carbon and Mechanical Filters – This type of water treatment device deals with problems in odour and taste of water. Specifically, it addresses chlorine residue, which adversely affects odour and taste.
- Water Softeners – This water treatment equipment removes minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which can cause “hardness” in your water supply.
- Iron Filters – This equipment removes iron and manganese, which can cause staining in clothes as well as plumbing fixtures.
- Neutralizers – This water treatment equipment addresses the problem of acidic or corrosive water. Specifically, it increases the alkalinity of water to pH near 7.0.
4. Hard Water Treatment
Hard water is water that is high in dissolved minerals, especially magnesium and calcium. It should be noted that although it is highly undesirable, hard water is not a serious health risk. Rather, it is more of a nuisance since it has the tendency to create mineral build-up in water pipes and in heating systems. Moreover, hard water causes poor soap and/or detergent performance.
5. How Water Collects Minerals
As a universal solvent, water is highly susceptible to contamination. It can easily absorb impurities, whether organic/inorganic or biological/non-biological. Water becomes even more solvent when it combines with carbon dioxide in the air. As the oxygen in H20 mixes with the carbon in CO2, it results in the formation of a substance, called carbonic acid.
Carbonic acid is highly solvent, even more so than regular H2O. As water travels through soil and rock, carbonic acid is likewise carried along with it. Because of this, minerals encountered by water as it moves are slowly dissolved, creating a solution that makes water “hard.” As more calcium, magnesium, and other minerals are dissolved into the water, the degree of hardness likewise increases.
6. Simple Water Treatment Methods
What can you do in order to reduce the effects of hard water? There are simple steps you can take in order to do so. Plus, here are a few commercial systems that are commonly used for hard water treatment:
- Chemical Water Softeners
This hard water treatment method involves the addition of chemicals in the water you use for laundry. Since one of the problems of hard water is the poor performance of detergent, the aim of this treatment method is to allow detergents to produce more soap suds even in hard water.
Instead of changing the type of detergent to use, you can continue using the detergent you have always been using (Detergents specially made for hard water are more expensive). The chemicals added in the water have the effect of “softening” the water – that is, reducing calcium and magnesium, thereby making it more susceptible to the action of soap and/or detergent.
- Water Filters
Another hard water treatment method available is the water filter system. In this method, tap water is filtered using a portable unit in order to “soften” it. However, unlike Chemical Water Softeners, the water filter system produces water that is drinkable, with chlorine removed and many of the minerals filtered out.
- Mechanical Water Softeners
This method of hard water treatment uses the same principle as the water filter system. However, instead of using a portable unit, mechanical water softeners are more permanent – i.e. they are installed in the plumbing system. To “soften” hard water, mechanical water softeners essentially replace magnesium and calcium with sodium. The result is water that free of limescale and with increased heat efficiency.
Depending on where you live, the challenges associated with water purity may or may not affect you but having some basic knowledge about these systems should assist you in any decisions you may need to make.
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