Submitted by Barron Plumbing

From taking a shower to washing your dishes, the average family home uses more than 300 gallons of water every day (www.epa.gov). Water is an essential part of our lives, and the quality of that water has an often-underappreciated impact as well. A wide range of bacteria and pollutants can contaminate your water supply and create health concerns. Hard water minerals, for example, can damage your home’s appliances and piping, and be an irritant to your skin and hair. And if you’re in the market for a home, whether new or not, water quality isn’t something that’s always included in a home inspection—and if it is, it’s the bare minimum. As with many responsibilities of being a homeowner, doing your due diligence is imperative to ensure the health of your home and family. But what factors commonly affect a home’s water quality? Several—including whether your water source is well or municipal, your geographic region (West Coast, Mountain, Northeast, etc.), location, and age of your home. 

Photo courtesy Barron Heating

Well water may be one of the most obvious offenders of water quality, as it often looks, tastes, and smells different than city water. Private wells source untreated groundwater—essentially rainwater that has passed through the soil and into the aquifer, then is pumped up and into your home. Groundwater is full of dissolved organic matter, good and bad, including minerals like calcium and magnesium, which cause “hard” water—water that leaves your hair and skin feeling dry, leaves residue in your sink, and can even alter the overall flavor of your meals. Sulfur and iron, too, can be nuisances in your well water, causing rotten egg-like odors, staining your fixtures, and changing the taste as it comes out of the tap. And then there are the big concerns like E. coli, coliform bacteria, radon, and arsenic—all contaminants that can be tested for and prevented in your water.

While homes in the city typically have fewer water concerns, as much as 90% of US homes—even in urban areas—experience issues with hard water, as dissolved minerals are not typically removed in municipal water treatment (www.water-rightgroup.com). Potentially harmful contaminants like lead can also hide in your city water, leached from old infrastructure. But water that “tastes like a swimming pool” is one of the most common complaints from homeowners that use city water. That taste comes from chlorine that is used to disinfect the water. It’s important, as it removes the harmful bacteria before it reaches your home, but it undeniably affects the flavor and odor of your tap water.

There are several steps you can take to improve the quality of water in your home. A Sediment and Carbon Filter Cartridge Set is a great first line of defense, as it oxidizes specific impurities like iron, chlorine, and sulfur in your water, catching contaminants before they pass through your tap. This type of filter can also remove other nuisance contaminants, all adding up to water with better smell and taste.

Unlike a filter that removes chemicals and improves taste, a UV Water Treatment System treats water that is confirmed for microbiological contamination. With this system, water is exposed to UV light as it passes through a steel chamber, killing bacteria and viruses otherwise missed by softeners or filters. Paired with pre-filtration, a UV Water Treatment System creates the ultimate safety net for clean water in your home.

Finally, a water softener is the match for—you guessed it—hard water. It exchanges minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron for low levels of sodium, resulting in water that is easier on your pipes, appliances, skin and hair. Combined with a water conditioner, a full Point-Of-Entry Water Conditioning and Treatment System takes a traditional softener to the next level, filtering out additional minerals and raising the pH level of acidic water as needed (www.water-rightgroup.com).

Whether it’s washing the dishes or bathing your kids, taking a refreshing shower, or filling the bowl for your furry friend Fido, the quality of the gallons of water you use a day is imperative to the comfort and health of your home. Imagine pouring a crisp, clear glass of water straight from your tap—water that clean is within reach! The Barron Plumbing team of experts is ready to help you find the best solution for the water in your home. And for a limited time, get up to $350 in combined savings with a series of treatment systems. That includes $50 off a Sediment and Carbon Filter Cartridge Set$100 off a UV Anti-Bacteria System, and/or $200 off a Point-Of-Entry Water Conditioning and Treatment System. Ready to make a change? Give us a call today! As your Pacific Northwest home and building performance experts since 1972, we stand by Our Mission: Improving Lives™.

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