Water treatment advice needed


Old 06-17-16, 12:16 PM
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Water treatment advice needed

I recently had my well water tested by a reliable local lab not associated with any water treatment companies. The test sample is from a water source after my pressure tank but before my existing water treatment equipment.
The results are as follows (Can any of you guys make sense of this?):

Total Aluminum: None Detected (EPA 200.8 R5.4 - - MRL = .01, MCL = .05)
Total Iron: .575 mg/l (EPA 200.8 R5.4 - - MRL = .1, MCL = .3)
Total Manganese: None Detected (EPA 200.8 R5.4 - - MRL = .01, MCL = .05)
E. coli (Chromogenic): Absent (SM9223B-97)
Total Coliform (Chromogenic): Present (SM9223B-97)
Total Hardness: 392 mg CACO3/l (SM2340C-97 - - MRL = 1)
Total Sodium: 3.75 mg/l (EPA 200.8 R5.4 - - MRL = .01, MCL = 20)
pH: 6.41 S.U. (SM4500H+B-00)
Specific Conductivity: 635 umhos/com (SM2510B-97)
Total Alkalinity: 284 mg CACO3/l (SM2320B-97 - - MRL = 1)
Total Dissolved Solids: 402 mg/l (SM2540C-97 - - MRL = 10, MCL = 500)
Turbidity: .28 N.T.U. (SM2130B-01 - - MRL = .22
Total Sulfate: 44.3 mg/l (EPA 30.0 R2.1 - -MRL = .5, MCL = 250)
Total Chloride: 8.82 mg/l (EPA 30.0 R2.1 - -MRL = .5, MCL = 250)

To be honest, I don't know what most of this means.

I'm looking at this report from the perspective of how to improve the water quality in my house for drinking, bathing, and washing.

Current whole house water treatment: I currently have a regular Whirlpool 44,000 grain water softener from Lowes and a large particle canister filter before it for sediment removal. I have to replace the filter every couple of months.

Drinking Water Treatment: Lowes RO kit

Thanks in advance for any advice!!

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Old 06-17-16, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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My background is with water used in boilers, not for domestic purposes, but I can give you some insight.

All the numbers and letters in parentheses are the designations of the testing protocol. You can ignore this part.

mg/l is milligrams of contaminant per liter of water.

You have no aluminum in the water.

You have no manganese in the water.

You have no e-coli in the water.

You have 392 milligrams per liter of hardness measured as calcium carbonate in the water. This is removed by your water softener.

You have 3.75 milligrams of sodium in your water. Sodium is the "nasty" in table salt.

You have a hydrogen-ion (pH) reading of 6.41 standard units. Anything below 7 is acid and anything above is alkaline. Acid water is corrosive and alkaline is scale-forming. Your water is mildly acidic and mildly corrosive, probably not so much to be concerned about.

Specific conductivity is a measurement of how easily an electrical current travels through the water. The units used are mhos, or ohms spelled backwards because it is a unit of conductance rather than resistance. In this case the units are micromhos as denoted by the u before mho. Micro means 1 millionth so you have 635/1,000,000 mho conductivity. Conductivity is a method of determining the total solids (mostly minerals) in the water. This reading of total solids can be skewed by other contaminants. In my opinion and with my background you have high conductivity therefore high solids content in your water.

Your total alkalinity is 284 milligrams (milli means one-thousandth) of calcium carbonate per liter of water.

Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of the water. NTU is nephelometric turbidity units, a standard of measurement for comparison.

Now what does this all mean? I can't tell you, but with my limited background and living where our water supplies are primarily mountain snow-melt run-off, I sure wouldn't want to drink that water. Honestly, it reads like mud to this kid.
Old 06-18-16, 07:23 AM
biermech's Avatar
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I've always known that if a sample comes back as coliform present, you have some type of bacteria in the water. Coliform is an indicator of a pathogen and should be treated. Chlorination is the best way to kill any bacteria.
Old 07-06-16, 01:11 PM
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If you really want to get rid of ALL the contaminants in your water and have crystal clear, clean water, then the only way to go is a whole house reverse osmosis system. This type of system will pay for itself in five years with the money you will save in soaps, worn out clothes, bath fixtures and appliances. Not to mention the luxury of taking a bath in bottled water. No more hard water spots or damage ever again. If your married, short of a big diamond you will never buy anything that makes your wife happier.

Last edited by Shadeladie; 07-06-16 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Advertising not allowed
Old 07-06-16, 01:41 PM
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Whole house R.O. system, if I might ask .. how would you deal with the new low PH that could be around 5.5?
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