There are four broad classes of water contaminants -- heavy metals, organics, inorganic compounds and bacteria. Identifying which are affecting the quality of your drinking water is the first step in deciding which type of home water treatment or conditioning system is best for your situation. Having your water tested will help in confirming the contaminants.
In today's market there are many purveyors of water and water processing products. We know, our water quality business was founded after visiting more than twelve vendors of water processing equipment where we were given ten different solutions!
It is our policy to assist you to make informed decisions, providing you with the information for you to measure the pro's and con's of the water processing products available to solve your problem.
Throughout our web pages we make reference to the following terms, when in doubt refer back to this page:
Water treatment refers to systems that reduce harmful contaminants in the water; therefore, deal with health and safety issues of the water. High levels of coliform, nitrates, arsenic, lead, and pesticides are examples of harmful contaminants that must be treated before water is safe to drink.
Water conditioning refers to water problems that effect water taste, color, odor, hardness, and corrosivity rather than health and safety. The presence of high levels of magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, and silt are common contaminants that require water conditioning. Frequently both treatment and conditioning are both used to improve water quality.
Inorganics. These contaminants include toxic metals like arsenic, barium, chromium, lead, mercury, and silver. These metals can get into your drinking water from natural sources, industrial processes, and the materials used in your plumbing system. Toxic metals are regulated in public water supplies because they can cause acute poisoning, cancer, and other health effects.
Organics. The term "organics" within these web pages mean compounds that have the element carbon as a principal constituent. Organic compounds can be of many types and can have many origins. Some organics called lignins or tannins found in drinking water can be caused by the decay of naturally occurring vegetation.
A much larger group of organic contaminants are the thousands of manmade organic contaminants that can be grouped into subcategories that are often more recognized than the actual chemical name. These subcategories are:
Possible chronic health effects include cancer, central nervous system disorders, liver and kidney damage, reproductive disorders, and birth defects.
Coliform are used within water testing as an "Indicator" bacteria. The presence of coliform bacteria, which itself is generally a harmless bacteria, may indicate other contamination to the drinking water system
Microbial Pathogens. Pathogens in drinking water are serious health risks. Pathogens are disease producing microorganisms, which include bacteria (such as Giardia Lamblia), viruses, and parasites. They get into drinking water when the water source is contaminated by sewage and animal waste, or when wells are improperly sealed and constructed. They can cause gastroenteritis, salmonella infection, dysentery, shigellosis, hepatitis, and giardiasis (a gastrointestinal infection causing diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas - also known as "Beaver Fever").
Categorizing Hardness: (divide by 17.2 to get grains per gallon)
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