Anyone Knowledgeable About Residential Water Treatment/Filtration?

~JM~

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Oct 31, 2007
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Seeking advice on a water filtration system for my home. Been out of the loop for a while on water treatment technology & need to update.

My house is serviced by a community well. Unfortunately the aquifer is recharged with "treated" waste-water. The local water is hard & has a high arsenic content. Also concerned with herbicides/pesticides & the types of drugs that can be found in waste water.

Advice on brands, systems, components, capacities, etc, would be appreciated.

Thank you.
 

grass doctor

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Sep 21, 2018
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I use to be on a well for my house and had just a water softener system that used salt pellets, I finally got tired of the sulfur smelly water and dealing with the pump and finally bit the bullet to have a city water meter installed and I did the rest.
I would first have a water quality test done to see what your actually dealing with and go from there , I am sure there are many good systems on the market but I would want one where I could get service and service parts close by
 
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~JM~

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Basic testing will be performed later this week.

Here is the community well test report.


H2O-1.jpgH2O-2.jpgH2O-3.jpgH2O-4.jpgH2O-5.jpg
 

grass doctor

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there are no violations , id doesn't look like there are any things to be concerned about , the EPA NUMBER for arsenic has to be under 10 ppb, and your under that
id still might look into a private lab do a test
 

~JM~

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Oct 31, 2007
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Arsenic level was higher in previous tests. It is also higher in monitoring well reports nearby.

The practice of recharging the aquifer with treated sewage/waste water strikes me as incredibly irresponsible & short sighted. Even animals know not to crap where you eat.
 

Anthony P

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Jan 24, 2007
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I can envision a series of specific pre-filters, possibly ultra-violet (UV) treatment, a NaCl or KCl softener and possibly a post-softener filter.

Pre-filters:
1st = sediment
2nd = carbon filter for chlorine, taste, odor (remove chlorine before it gets to resin beads of softener)
3rd = filter for chemicals (if needed)
4th = UV filter

softeners as one-piece or two-piece units. one piece units have resin tank inside of salt pellet storage like the Kenmore's. two piece units like the Fleck. I wanted one-piece so went with Kenmore - been fine for 13 years now and softener cost was less than $550 vs a few thousand for the Fleck units.

Post-filter:
idea is to catch anything downstream of the softener that could be introduced by a malfunctioning softener like the resin beads themselves. catch any potential issue via post-filter before reaching appliances and faucets.

perhaps there would be a reverse osmosis (RO) unit as well to serve the kitchen sink and refrigerator ice maker. really need to review concepts with a local water treatment expert.

and the separation of treated water (to an extent) for outside hose bibs. usually do not soften water used outside.

the concept of the Aquafina triple stage unit discussed here https://mozaw.com/best-whole-house-water-filter-for-well-water-reviews/ outlines the above with one caveat. DO NOT FALL FOR THE CONCEPT OF SALT-FREE WATER SOFTENER. It does not exist. Those citric acid infusers are water conditions that thru chemistry are supposed to surround the Ca and Mg ions so they do not stick to the inside of the pipes, appliances, shower tile, sink/faucet, etc. But they do not work. This old house installed one of those as seen on TV NuvoH2O units. Sad that TOH would try this and as such become and endorsement. I think there was a later followup where the homeowner noted there was no difference in the hard water and scale formation in the bathroom, laundry, etc - echoing the negative results that many have experienced with the NuvoH2O unit.

Can only soften water by removing the Ca and Mg ions by replacing them with either sodium or potassium ions.

still sound like you need to do some internet research and consults with local water treatment experts. you have your test for right this moment as well as previous historical tests. that should put you in good shape to carry an intelligent conversation with a water treatment pro. then it's up to you to select equipment and either have someone install it or do a self install ( if local codes will allow).
 
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earlbrown

runs with scissors
May 26, 2001
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Build one yourself. Make a biochar retort to get rid of yard debris, junk mail, and door-to-door salesmen.

Then enjoy an unlimited supply of lump charcoal for searing dead animal flesh, put the dust in the yard or garden, then fill the rest into a large PVC pipe.

It wouldn't take long to have enough charcoal to filter your house for 100 years or so. :)


plus, the biochar in the garden will be fertile for thousands of years.
 

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Chuck Leeper

8/10's of a century!
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I'm on a well, in the country. Earl built the filter for my house about 12 yrs ago. Still working like a charm!
I've not had a single salesman call, haven't had to haul my trash to the community dumpster, either.:cool:
 

Anthony P

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Jan 24, 2007
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if space is a premium and/or you don't want to mount a plywood/unistrut rack in the basement for all the individual single-stage filtering stations, there are newer custom systems for filtration that will combine all the needed materials (layers) for filtration in one tall tank - like a free standing resin tank cylinder.

TOH shows one version here by Culligan. video also discusses a RO unit for kitchen. and a self-cleaning pre-filter unit. have to get thru the few seconds spent on the simplest kitchen faucet mounted filters. still need consultation with water treatment pro. at least to get estimate on proposed system specifically designed per your water test results.

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-choose-water-filter

instead of investing in disposable filters and the time spent changing them, something like the following could be a viable solution to your needs:

---self-cleaning pre-filter unit for sediment - need electrical outlet and drain plumbing;

---custom built Culligan (or equivalent) filter;

---NaCl or KCl based softener;

---basic post-filter like this WATTS unit. it's temporarily out of stock now. make sure any one of these types you get has the threaded brass inserts for connections and not just threaded plastic. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E78XH6/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_8?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

---I use these filters in the WATTS unit...EcoPure makes them for Whirlpool

Whirlpool WHA2FF5 Water Filter

EcoPure EPW2F Premium Fact Universal Whole Home Filter (2 Pack), Dark Gray/Black

---UV filter (if needed)

---RO unit for kitchen point of use and refrigerator (if desired)

if you don't have pressure gauges on each side of well pump, inlet and outlet and at tank (for system pressure) - those should be installed.

if you wanted a simple hose bib gauge for the time being, this works. at $6, it's half price than same unit in home depot stores...
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RACK/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
 

KC87

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Feb 11, 2009
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aaahhh youll be alright that stuff gives it flavor , like how the romans used lead pipes because it gave the water a sweet taste, but made them bat shit crazy LOL

here something to read
And they made plates, goblets, jewelry, etc out of it too. Really puts a zing in your coffee when the lead gets a nice hot beverage poured into it.
How about out west in gold mining country when they used mercury to separate the gold from the ore. Arms elbow deep in the crap. At least now they're more sophisticated about it and inject it directly into the bloodstream with your kindly doctor's (local big pharma salesman) vaccine.
 

Frederickdav

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Oct 10, 2014
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And they made plates, goblets, jewelry, etc out of it too. Really puts a zing in your coffee when the lead gets a nice hot beverage poured into it.
How about out west in gold mining country when they used mercury to separate the gold from the ore. Arms elbow deep in the crap. At least now they're more sophisticated about it and inject it directly into the bloodstream with your kindly doctor's (local big pharma salesman) vaccine.
When I was a lad in school, we used to play with mercury. We called it quicksilver and it was fun rolling it around our desktops. A few years later they closed a high school because someone dropped a small amount on the floor of the chemistry room. They had hazmat scrub the entire school! School was out for three days!
 

deezdad

Well-Known Member
Mar 25, 2005
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Mendon, Ma
Build one yourself. Make a biochar retort to get rid of yard debris, junk mail, and door-to-door salesmen.

Then enjoy an unlimited supply of lump charcoal for searing dead animal flesh, put the dust in the yard or garden, then fill the rest into a large PVC pipe.

It wouldn't take long to have enough charcoal to filter your house for 100 years or so. :)


plus, the biochar in the garden will be fertile for thousands of years.
Straight outta Georgia, respect!
 

~JM~

Wrinkled Member
Oct 31, 2007
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Met with a local sales rep this morning. Suggests a water softener for the house & a reverse osmosis unit under the kitchen sink with its own tap. I am somewhat familiar with these components & how they function. My exterior hose bibs are plumbed internal to the house. Do not need or want to increase the salt content to those water sources. My house is on a septic tank with leach line. The R/O unit provides a 1 to 1 return with 1 gallon of clean water generating 1 gallon of waste into the septic tank. The water softener regenerates with salt & sends 80 to 100 gallons of solids & brackish water to the septic. How will this impact the beneficial bacteria inside the tank & leach line. There are some trees that grow in proximity to the leach line. Might they die off?

PS. That Biochar angle is interesting. I will retain that info later. May not be suitable for the dry/windy conditions at this property.
 

grass doctor

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Sep 21, 2018
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There appears to be a lot of information and miss-information on the internet and in the minds of the septic system industry. The old question, does discharging the water from your water softener have an effect on your septic system. The answer is yes and no.
Over the years there have been many studies by different groups that come to different conclusion. The water softener manufacturing groups say that the water softeners have no affect on septic systems. The septic system industry says that water softeners are bad. As you can see, each industry is protecting their turf.

The Effects of Salt

Of all of the studies I have read, the amount of salt that is contained in the backwash water is negligible and has no affect on the biological process in the septic tank. Additionally, the water softeners of today are much more efficient than designs of the past. Most modern water softeners are scheduled to regenerate based on demand rather than a time clock. These designs have a water meter in them so based on the programmed hardness they will regenerate every several hundred gallons of metered water. The old designs were programmed to regenerate based on an estimated water usage per day and time. If you used more water than the estimate you would run out of softened water and if you used less water than the estimate you were wasting salt and water. Also, the amount of salt used to regenerate the media has been dramatically reduced in the new designs. The conclusion my research leads to is that the water softener salt has no detrimental affect on the function of the septic tank.

The Effects of Regeneration Water

Now the flip side of the argument. When a water softener regenerates it can use 30 – 150 gallons of water. To put this into perspective, the average person uses about 50 gallons of water per day. So every time the softener regenerates it is like adding 1 – 2 people living in the home for that period. While that may not seem like a lot of extra hydraulic loading it adds up to tens of thousands of gallons of water that must be treated over the life of the septic system. The bigger issue is how the hydraulic loading occurs. When the water softener regenerates it uses the large amount of water over a relatively short period of time. This surge load displaces partially treated water from the septic tank into the drainfield. The partially treated water has high organic content and can accelerate the maturing of the biomat. For this reason water softeners can harm a septic system.

The Best Solutions

My recommendation is to discharge the water softener regeneration water outside of the septic tank if local codes allow. This will eliminate the additional hydraulic surge loading on the system. If code requires the water to be discharged in the septic system consideration should be given to upgrade the equipment to a more modern design that uses less salt and regeneration water.
Installing the Aero-Stream remediation system will also minimize the effect of the water softener on the septic system. Because the aerobically treated water in the septic tank will be 90% cleaner than the anaerobic water in a conventional septic tank, the surge loading will have much less of an affect because the water will have very low organic content and not accelerate the maturing of the biomat.
I
 
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grass doctor

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when I had my softening system I discharged right outside my house into a a pit I dug right next to the foundation, a hose came outside the wall from the unit into a piece of pvc pipe into the pit
the pit was basically a two foot wide by 3 foot hole I dug a filled with 3/4" to 1" gravel/rock and covered it with dirt to be at grade again , never a problem but , very sandy soil here

as far as the trees I think they'll be alright , they should adapt to changes unless they are sensitive fruit or ornamental trees
 
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~JM~

Wrinkled Member
Oct 31, 2007
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I was thinking about a separate drain field alongside my driveway.
 

KC87

Active Member
Feb 11, 2009
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When I was a lad in school, we used to play with mercury. We called it quicksilver and it was fun rolling it around our desktops. A few years later they closed a high school because someone dropped a small amount on the floor of the chemistry room. They had hazmat scrub the entire school! School was out for three days!
Surprising they even had any mercury around back then knowing how dangerous it is and in school no less. But than again the kids back then weren't a bunch of whiny snowflakes like 90% are today. So, did they ever find out you did it to go on a fishing trip?
 

KC87

Active Member
Feb 11, 2009
140
119
43
Met with a local sales rep this morning. Suggests a water softener for the house & a reverse osmosis unit under the kitchen sink with its own tap. I am somewhat familiar with these components & how they function. My exterior hose bibs are plumbed internal to the house. Do not need or want to increase the salt content to those water sources. My house is on a septic tank with leach line. The R/O unit provides a 1 to 1 return with 1 gallon of clean water generating 1 gallon of waste into the septic tank. The water softener regenerates with salt & sends 80 to 100 gallons of solids & brackish water to the septic. How will this impact the beneficial bacteria inside the tank & leach line. There are some trees that grow in proximity to the leach line. Might they die off?

PS. That Biochar angle is interesting. I will retain that info later. May not be suitable for the dry/windy conditions at this property.
Why not just leave the water the way it is and use a good gravity fed filter like Aqua Rain for drinking or is it eating faucets and crappy laundry, etc? Yeah, I think too much salt going into the septic would kill all the good bacteria just like bleach will.
Is biochar another term for activated carbon? Now that can get expensive.