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Whole house water filter and softener...?

 
 
triq
 
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 03:12 pm
I want to fix our water. After reading plenty of posts here about the charlatans in the water biz, I would like to know the best way to soften and filter our water...looks like fleck softener combined with some kind of filter would be best. of course lower cost is always better...and I will be installing it all myself, so that will save a little. Any help...would help.
Had our city water tested(I'm in Plainfield NJ)...a few brief readings were...
hardness: 190
Chloride:35
Sulfate:44
Calcium:56
Magnesium:13
Sodium:16
copper: 0.044
nitrate as N:2.0
Total THMs:0.011
Total dissolved solids:260
Thanks in advance
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:14 pm
@triq,
You need to povide us the units. eg , if in ppb your THMs and Cu are ok, If they were in ppm, you may have a concern with humic acids and chlorine and some copper. What was the specific ondcutance and the pH. ? we can do a Langelier index for aggressive water, and a balance.
I use a kinnetico pH adjuster and a 4micron post filter cause we have acidic ground water and , whe we did radium and THMs I ws originally concerned, hence the teeny filter because the THMs are in colloidal suspension (even though were less than 25, there shouldnt be ANY in clean ground water)
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triq
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:17 pm
looking at the analysis...the only units I can decipher are MCL (mg/l)
does that help?
triq
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:27 pm
@triq,
I don't see any PH levels on the analysis!
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:29 pm
well, get some ph paper (5 to 8) and run the water for about 5 mninutes and stick the per unser the tream for a few seconds then match it to the color on the bottle. OR, better, if you can get a pH meter. Shame on the water guy for not doing pH at the tap. The lab should have this number fro them to do an accurate ICP analysis.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:34 pm
@triq,
MgL is PPM, wow thats high for THMs . It would mean that youre over the 100 ppb public supply limit for water(mgL is milligrams per liter, it is reported (although noit completely accurately as ) parts per million. a ugL is micrograms pr Liter or ppB.) ppb is 1000 times lower than ppm.
I hope that the THMs is an error. The .44 copper is probably because the water has buffered itself on your copper fixtures somewhere. DO you have blue streaks on your sinks anywhere?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:45 pm
@farmerman,
There are a couple of water treatment guys on the line, however, usually the water treatment guys arent water chemists and only know what their product reps teah them and what they get in certification training (some states require certification as water treatment plant operators).
Youre doing correctly to have your own samples drawn first and analyzed by a certified state water lab with no ties to a water treatment company. (Many mnearby public water works have really good labs cause they have time to keep their equipment running well and they look forward to doing outside lab analyses)/

Id have ph and alkalinity, Specific conductance and If your THMs are that high First have anothersample rerun for THMa ) If they are still high, take a look at the Volatile Organics Fraction (VOCs) to see what the reason for the THMs is. Are you in a rural or suburban area and is your well in sandy material or bedrock?
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triq
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:06 pm
the entire section of volatiles are listed as ND (not detected)
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:25 pm
@triq,
so, are you on a well or do you pull water from a spring? the THMs confuse me unless youve got some tannins from trees that are seeping into ground water and then are getting hlorinated. DO you have a chlorination syatem on your well? cause if you do, Id switch to UV or microfiltration with those THMS,.
THMWS are trihalomethanes and are usually found as a result of water treatment of the natural water syastem having organic acids or soluble tannins from trees. (Otherwise its a result of upstream human activity ).
THMs are associated with birth defects and some cancers and immunosystem changes.

The neat thing is that the THMs , if a natural concern, are easy to clear out, a carbon contactor for th drinking water portion is easy to install unser the sinks. A whole house Carbon contactor is not real feasible because most of our water doesnt go for actual drinking .
Still, get the pH report from the water guy, Ill bet he took it at the tap and just didnt report it to you. If he didnt , ask him why not. Im saure he did a tap hardness and a pH meter is just easilky deployed into a beaker while running water into it..
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triq
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:43 pm
this is city water...ugh
so the THM's must be from treatment...
the exacts are
bromodichloromethane: 0.003
Chloroform:0.008
Both bromoform and dibromochloromethane were not detected.
I'll get those other levels checked.
we do britta our drinking water, and I do have a water distiller that I don't use nearly enough.
I would like to do something for the whole house water system-showering/ laundry/ dishwashing et. al.

I sent the water sample to National Testing Labs in Cleveland OH.

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 06:06 pm
@triq,
well, if its city water, your big problem with any kind of treatment that is chemically based is that the city water is of variable loading for the nastier stuff so a sytem like a Calgon GAC usint may be the ticket (CAlgon does industrial treatmensta dnthey handle water contaminated by organics like gasoline and MTBE. ) The THMs that you identified are target compunds from surface water treatment systems. Does your city pull its water from a river? if so, then youll probably find the last THM (and its only a copycat THM ? WAIT A MINIT. 0.008 ? oops , I looked back and saw that it was 0.011, thats ok its only 11 ppb , well beneath the drinking water standard.

In my estimation, Id just put a submicron filter in and that alone would get rid of the TDS components and colloidal ****. ESpecially since its city water and the taste may not be the best.
Treating it at this point would be more of a "belt and suspenders thing".
triq
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 06:10 pm
@farmerman,
new jersey....plainfield to be exact
I will definitely go to the water authority
0 Replies
 
triq
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 09:53 pm
So as far as recommendations for sub micron filters...I am open...

Also, would the best series to hook it all up be: incoming water line>filter>(split at his point to one line to cold water faucet), one to the softener>to all the other water in the house?
And....should I run the line to the outside spigot before the filter too?

and should I still put a charcoal type filter on the drinking water line?
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 04:52 am
@triq,
THMs occur when chlorine is introduced into the water before it is filtered. The organics in the water combine with the chlorine to form THMs. In Newfoundland, Canada the city water authority went cheap and instead of filtering the water to remove the solid waste and organics they merely chlorinated the water supply resulting in residents developing cancer as THMs were formed.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 05:11 am
@triq,
Itd be easiest to isolate those lines that only provide deinking (Kitchen and bathroom sinks. Other water like dishwasher and toilet and wash machines , if its possible , dont bother with the filter. A submicron filter will take out mnost of the problems but Id leave the Britta on the sinks as a "final polish".
Ifd you do a filtration system, try to get as big a unit as possible. The filters look like a large roll of paper towels but the water is forced through by system pressure and adsorption. If your pressure is marginal (less than 35 psi) you will need to go with 2 filters so that you dont lose pressure as the filter gets all clogged up. I have a well and a series of treat tanks and a filter that does ALL the water because we send the bulk water out to the barn for our animals and any copper in our water is bad for our sheep.

A microfilter is gonna be waay cheaper and better than a "softener" since you really dont need a softener. Taking out trace THMs will be the best thing and getting your water spotlessly clear will help the most. MAybe some of the water guys can give advice on the system hookup since Im not qualified to make those decisions. Good Luck on the system.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 05:26 am
@triq,
Activated carbon is good as it adsorbs organics. Silver mesh to contain the carbon would act as an anti-bacteria agent.
0 Replies
 
triq
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 09:45 am
@triq,
triq wrote:

I want to fix our water. After reading plenty of posts here about the charlatans in the water biz, I would like to know the best way to soften and filter our water...looks like fleck softener combined with some kind of filter would be best. of course lower cost is always better...and I will be installing it all myself, so that will save a little. Any help...would help.
Had our city water tested(I'm in Plainfield NJ)...a few brief readings were...
hardness: 190
Chloride:35
Sulfate:44
Calcium:56
Magnesium:13
Sodium:16
copper: 0.044
nitrate as N:2.0
Total THMs:0.011
Total dissolved solids:260
Thanks in advance


So I don't need to soften water with a hardness level of 190? That surprises me! I could filter it out instead of softening it? I didn't think you could filter out dissolved minerals. Can you? That would be GREAT!
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:50 pm
@triq,
The activated carbon removes the organics not the minerals.

Dissolved minerals means that the minerals have combined with the water molecules to form a solution and only a reverse osmosis system could filter out dissolved solids.

The hardness is the dissolved calcium from the soil or rocks the water passed thru. The hardness form white scales when you boil the water. Some detergents don't work well with hard water. The scales could cause problems with the hot water tank so you do need to soften the water. Anyway don't consume water from the hot water tank as it contains dissolved copper from the copper tubing. Use the cold water tap for heating the kettle for coffee or tea. Copper is known caused depression in women and may be the cause of post partem depression (spelling?) after pregnancy. Women are especially susceptible to minor chemical changes as they lose so much blood and chemicals from menstruation.
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